Doodle Grooming Tips
Just because Doodles are a little more “high maintenance” in the grooming department than most dogs, doesn’t mean it can’t become easy with a little knowledge and routine. Please know that all grooming will vary depending on your breed of doodle, their coat type, and the conditions in which your dog lives. Whether the groomer is you, a professional or both; finding a regular brushing routine is highly recommended. Once you find a professional groomer; which is what most owners prefer, it is still necessary to find a routine at home to “maintain” your doodle between grooming visits. Here are some grooming tips to maintain your doodle:
Start as a puppy
Once your puppy has received the necessary vaccinations, we recommend getting your puppy familiar with a professional groomer. The sooner you do this, the easier it will be for them in the long run to get used to baths, brushing, drying and trimming of nails. And just the overall field trip of the ordeal is something they will need to get used to!
All puppy’s or dogs are going to get dirty and need a bath. It should be expected and typically doesn’t happen when always convenient for us owners! Your dog may or may not like it…so talk them through the process. It helps to encourage them that they are not in trouble and make it so they will enjoy the extra attention. While some breeds need more bathing than others, excessive baths, especially for doodles, can cause dry skin and irritability; resulting in itching. To avoid this, bathing your doodle around 1-2 times a month is ideal. Of course, there will be times when your dog gets dirty and more often is necessary. For puppies we recommend finding a “puppy shampoo”; which is very gentle and better for their immature PH levels and more sensitive skin. The older they get we recommended finding quality or natural ingredient based shampoo. Check out our recommendations at our shopping list link. After all bathes encourage your clean furry friend with praise and a doggy treat!
Jus a side note: A lot of groomers offer just having your dogs bathed, and not a “full groom” (hair cut,nails, ears, etc.). Because you don’t always need the hair cut or trimmed. So ask your groomer for options available.
Drying after Bath
Throwing a towel over your dog like a horse blanket will not only stop them from shaking all over your, but will soak up any excess water. Wipe and squeeze all body parts to soak up as much water as possible. After the towel, you can use a blow-drying to speed things along if you’d like and if your dog isn’t afraid of it. If you can get your puppy exposed to a dryer when they are young, it really will help as they get older. Especially when they go to a professional groomer because most will use dryers. If you do use a blow-dryer, set it on the coolest setting to avoid accidentally injuring the skin for not moving fast enough. Keep encouraging them during this process…some dogs end up loving the dryer and try to “eat” the air.
Brushing your doodle on a regular weekly basis is very important! When begun as a puppy, it can be a very bonding time for you and your new fur baby. Because Doodles don’t shed profusely, they do need to be brushed a minimum of once a week to remove dead and dying hair and also to prevent matting. We like and highly recommend the “Christensen brush” for any daily brushing routine (found at this link). We’ve found that it’s the best for a dense coat which a doodle can sometimes have. This brush will also help to get all the way down to the skin. And remember when brushing, preventing matting is goal! If a groomer gets a matted dog, they are more likely to shave them instead of de-matting them. If you’re dog does begin getting some matting, try using a spray-in conditioner or cornmeal (sounds weird, but works!) to work out the mats. Visit our link here for more help with de-matting your dood.
Your puppies nails are going to get surprisingly sharp. So as you train them to not jump; you may also want to trim their nails yourself. To do this you can use your own (or buy a new pair designated for your dog) toenail clippers. As they get older you’ll need to find a pair of clippers designated for dog’s nails. When cutting, taking off just the tip will be sufficient; especially if it is something that you plan on keeping up with on a regular basis. Usually trimming their nails once a month with work. When you start this process as puppies, you will have a much more compliant dog on your hands to work with as they get older.
When bathing your dog you need to be mindful and careful of their ears. It is important that they be kept clean and remove any hair in their ears because they could become a haven for bacteria to grow in. So trimming ear hair is encouraged and almost always something that your groomer will do. We like to use gauze or cotton balls to protect ear drums while bathing, and then when you remove, you can gently wipe the dirt and excess grime out of the ears to prevent water from getting through. If water gets through, it can cause bacterial infections, so it is better to be safe than sorry. If needed, use a Q-Tip to get into the canals. Just be careful to not go to deep and cause damage. Consult your groomer or vet if you are concerned with grime that is hard to reach.
While most of us know we want to leave any type of hair cutting and trimming to the professional groomer, we will notice one day our poor doodle is unable to see us so we break out the shears! Cutting a doodles face truly is an art, and one that is somewhat hard to communicate via this method. I highly recommend the following YouTube video’s for the best face-trim tutorials and do-it yourself methods at home. And don’t worry, your doods hair will grow back…it always does.
YouTube Video to checkout:
There is nothing like a clean and purrrdy puppy or dog. So try to make your times of brushing and cleaning a bonding one. Have fun!