Doodle Grooming 101
Updated: Dec 27, 2019
Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Sheepadoodles, Aussiedoodles, Cavapoos, Schnoodles….the list goes on. All of these dogs have several things in common; they are a popular breed dog, crossed with the non-shedding poodle to achieve a “teddy-bear” appearance with low to no shedding.
Here at Sweethaven, we have a passion for all things Doodle. We are on many popular Doodle owner groups and try to keep up with common problems and concerns of doodle owners. One of the most common complaints that we see is a gorgeous, fluffy Goldendoodle/Labradoodle taken to the groomer and getting shaved all the way down. The outrage is fierce, and typically directed at the groomer. If we are being honest, though, it is our responsibility as dog-parents to keep the coat properly maintained between grooming.
You see, Doodle coats are different than the hair coat of a poodle and the fur coat of the Golden retriever. Not only that, they can have different types of combination coats -fleece, curly, wavy, silky or coarse! Doodle hair/fur takes a bit of a different approach.
Now, don’t let that scare you off! These coats are something special, and with minimal care - done the RIGHT way - you can enjoy you can enjoy the teddy bear doodle look all year long!
Proper grooming cannot be done without the proper tools. You wouldn’t paint a masterpiece with a toothbrush, and neither should you try to groom with inferior tools. Does that mean that you have to spend a fortune? NO! My favorite slicker brush (your most important tool) was only $12!
Long, bent tooth slicker brush
Metal long-tooth comb
Rounded edge scissors
I was able to find all of these on Prime for under $40
Good to have:
I could add this to my order for about $25
Grooming level: Boss
Small grooming table
Cordless hair trimmer
High-velocity Pet Dryer
These are a bit pricier BUT you could do ALL of your own grooming - saving hundreds of dollars per years - thousands over the life of your pet.
So, for just around $450, you could have a complete home set-up for grooming your doodle or poodle! These items are more than sufficient for grooming a few dogs at home. If, however, like us, you have more than a few dogs to groom, you should have a more professional grooming table, a second set of electric trimmers and possibly some extra blades as well.
Let's get started!
Brushing is THE most important grooming task that you will do with your doodle or poodle. Here at Sweethaven Kennels, we give detailed brushing instructions to all customers. Brushing training begins at about three weeks old with our puppies. We begin to desensitize pups to all aspects of grooming before they head home. We advise that new owners take about five minute each day to calmly brush their puppy. To make this a pleasant bonding experience, we also advise giving treats while brushing. Not only does this begin to instill the new habit of brushing your dog, but helps the puppy associate daily brushing with yummy treats and good feelings!
If you have not already, we recommend watching a you tube video to understand what “Line Brushing” is.
NOTE: Doodle puppies do not necessarily need the daily brushing, but will need it once they clear the puppy coat and the adult coat comes in. Beginning the habit of daily brushing as a fun, bonding time will make the transition to focused adult-coat brushing seamless!
Please study the photo below. As you can see, we have our gorgeous model, Molly, an F1 Red Goldendoodle on our grooming table. She is in serious need of brushing! We have broken down a brushing session into three areas of priority.
Red Zone: highest priority. These are the areas that should be brushed FIRST and thoroughly. They will mat the easiest AND be the most sensitive to the dog. If you are treat-training for brushing, we recommend focusing the majority of the treat giving during this phase.
Yellow Zone: Second priority. These areas should be focused on only after all red areas are brushed completely down to the skin using the line brushing method.
Green Zone: Lowest Priority. These ares, while still needing brushing, are the least likely to get matted, and therefore should be brushed last.
We recommend brushing all three zones daily, but if you are pressed for time, do not neglect the Red Zone
Thanks for making it this far! Taking good care of our dogs is our responsibility! We hope that this blog post has helped you on your journey to better doodle stewardship. Be sure to sign up for updates to our website and check back often for more tips, trick and adorable puppy pictures.
Part II…. Scissoring, Ear Plucking, Nail Trimming and using the electric trimmers….coming soon!