Who doesn’t love the luxurious, shed-free coats of Goldendoodles! Those iconic curls look amazing, but without proper grooming, they can quickly get out of control.
Let’s take a look at the basic principles of Goldendoodle grooming every ‘Doodle owner should know.
The Importance of Grooming Your Goldendoodle
Goldendoodles require more grooming than some other breeds who naturally rid their coat through shedding. Grooming your ‘Doodle is important because it keeps their fur clean, and it also helps:
- prevent mats and tangles
- you spot skin problems
- you bond with your dog
To begin, you’ll need to gather the necessary grooming tools:
Grooming Step 1: Brushing Your Goldendoodle
Brushing is the key to keeping your dog’s coat clean, beautiful, and mat-free. Ideally you should brush once a day, but if that’s not possible, you need to brush your ‘Doodle no less than once a week, especially if your ‘Doodle has a very curly coat.
First, gather your supplies together. There are 2 main tools for brushing a doodle: the slicker brush, and a steel comb. The slicker brush is useful for removing loose hair and tangles, making your ‘Doodle’s curls fluffy and soft.
While slickers are great at finding your doodle’s mats, they aren’t great at untangling them. That’s where the comb comes in.
Start brushing your ‘Doodle with the slicker brush, from his head to his toes. Don’t forget his armpits, and tail! When you find mats, carefully and gently detangle them with the comb.
If you encounter stubborn mats that cannot be easily brushed out, use a pair of blunt-tipped scissors to cut them off.
If your ‘Doodle is too wiggly, you may find that a leash will come in handy to keep him in place. Try your best to make grooming a pleasant experience for your dog; give lots of rewards and praise, and keep grooming sessions short, with some breaks if necessary.
Grooming Step 2: Bathing Your Goldendoodle
Sometimes your ‘Dood just needs a little more than a brushing! Perhaps he was playing in the woods, and got some leaf and dirt bits stuck in his curls. Or maybe he decided the zoomies were a good idea on a muddy day. Or maybe it’s just simply time for a bath and a fresh look!
You always should brush your ‘Doodle before bathing. If he has any mats or tangles, bathing will “set” and tighten the mats.
After your ‘Doodle is all brushed out, gather your supplies together for a bath. Bath time will be a lot easier on both of you if you take the time to prepare.
Run warm water into a tub – WARM water, not too hot or too cold – grab the shampoo, a rinsing cup, and lots of towels. If you plan using a hair dryer to speed up the drying process, have it close at hand.
Place your dog into the water, and thoroughly wet him. Lather a nourishing dog shampoo into his coat (no human shampoo) and then rinse. Avoid getting shampoo and/or water into your dog’s eyes and ears. Make sure you rinse ALL shampoo out of the coat; any left behind can cause skin problems.
Keep your ‘Doodle in the tub, but drain the water. Using your hands, and working with the grain of the fur, squeeze the excess water from his coat. Then towel him dry, again working with the grain of his coat to avoid tangles.
If you let your ‘Doodle air-dry, let him hop out of the tub, and allow him to run around to dry off. If you decide to use a blow dryer, keep it about 12 to 18 inches away, and use a low setting – NOT hot! Too hot can burn your dog’s skin. Use quick, back and forth motions until the coat is dry to the touch.
Grooming Step 3: Brush Again And Trim
After your ‘Doodle is completely dry, brush through his coat again, to remove any tangles.
You may have noticed that your doodle gets a little unkempt in certain areas. The adorable trademark curl over the eyes grew out and blocks your ‘Doodle’s vision. He begins to get little cling-ons on his rear and belly.
Even if you plan on leaving the coat longer, the belly and behind should still be trimmed. Their thick fur in these areas can act like a sponge, and increase tangles, mats, and the chances of infection. Use the scissors to carefully trim your dog’s fur on his belly and around the genital areas.
Nail trimming is also an important part of grooming. Just like humans, mosst dogs need their nails trimmed on a regular basis, or they become overgrown.
Buy a quality nail trimmer for dogs, and make it a habit to keep his nails tidy. Cut the nail at a 45 degree angle, as shown. Be careful to only snip the very end; cutting too short into the pink quick, is very painful for your dog.
If more than a simple scissors trim is necessary, we recommend you take your ‘Doodle to the groomer. However if you do decide to clip your dog at home, a pair of sturdy, good quality dog clippers is a great investment.
Buy the very best product you can afford; a quality clipper is imperative. If the blades are dull, or the motor not powerful enough, it will not cut evenly, and worse, pull uncomfortably on your dog’s hair.
The clippers may heat up in which case it is good to have some clipper cooling spray handy unless you have two sets of clippers to use.
For detailed instructions on how to give your pup the perfect ‘doodle cut’, read this informative article.
Even if you prefer to take your ‘Doodle to the vet for all his grooming needs, it’s a good idea to acclimate your pup to grooming.
Frequently handle those paws for easy nail trims, and finger comb his fur to help your pet get used to being handled. The younger you start him, the more positive things will go in the future! Oh, and remember to reward him for being such a good dog!