Grooming

Grooming Your Labradoodle Puppy

Most puppy’s coat require little brushing. However, they need to get accustom to being handled. They should be brushed, have their ears and teeth looked at, and nails handled or trimmed every day. At around nine to sixteen months the adult coat starts to grow in. The puppy coat does not fall out and will start to cause matts. Brushing thoroughly to pull the puppy coat out from the new adult hair is necessary. This could be a good time to consider a good clip to ease the amount of brushing and formation of mats.

It is important to start introducing your puppy to the groomer early so when he is older he will be comfortable with the grooming process.  Once your Labradoodle puppy has had all of his shots, he can safely be taken to the groomer.  Up to this point, handling and brushing your puppy everyday will prepare him for his first trip to the groomer. Let the groomer know you have a puppy and want to have an introductory visit. Even just for your puppy to meet and have a nail clip might be enough to start a good, calm rapport with the groomer. Follow up visits can begin to include a simple session of brushing, washing, drying, nail clip and ear hair pluck. Your puppy and groomer will be thankful for these small visits every 3-4 weeks so puppy can get used to all of the sights, sounds and sensations till he is ready for a full clip.

Grooming Your Adult Labradoodle

You can maintain a long fleece coat with thorough brushing weekly. A curly fleece will need more attention than a wavy fleece. Curlier coats will be easier to maintain if it is kept shorter. Many owners have their labradoodles clipped two to four times a year depending on personal preference, lifestyle and curliness of the fleece. I like to take my Labradoodles to my groomer every 4-6 weeks for a brush and/or bath. They get a full groom with a 1.5-2 inch clip twice a year. For your doodle to not look like a poodle, talk to your groomer about what you want. Pictures of a well groomed labradoodle can help. Regular bathing is mostly unnecessary. Even after getting muddy, it will dry and fall off or can be brushed out.

Note: Ask your vet about giving your puppy a bordetella shot when he gets his last set of vaccinations, to protect him from a dog flue/cold like viruses easily contracted in places where many dogs go. (i.g. groomer and boarding)

Nails should be clipped regularly (every 4-6 weeks) depending on wear. If you take your Labradoodle to the groomer regularly, they should take care of the nails adequately.

Pay special attention to the ears. The hair in and around the outside of the ear canal clogs the inside and prevents air flow. This can cause ear infections. The hair needs to be pulled out of the ear canal and kept trimmed around the opening and under the ear. This can be done every 2-3 months. Your groomer should be doing this and will keep it maintained. Also, if you do not use a groomer often, make sure the hair around the anus does not get too long and cause problems with waste build up.

Brushing Your Labradoodle

When your Labradoodle has short hair, an inch or two, regular brushing with a pin brush or slicker can work just fine. Once the hair gets longer, it is important to make sure you are reaching all the way to the base of the hair.  If not, loose hair is not removed below the surface and matts will begin to form.  If that hair builds up, it is not going to be possible to clip the hair at a decent length and the only alternative will be to shave the hair close to the skin.  In order to keep a coat longer than and inch or so, you will want to use a technique called line brushing.

 

Line Brushing

It is simply done by parting the coat with your free hand and brushing the loose hair on the other side of the part, starting at the base of the hair.  With every other stroke or so, you can bring down a small bit of the hair being held up by your hand.  This continues so that every stroke you are brushing through a new, thin “line” of hair.  You will slowly move your hand up that section of coat.  Start low on a section of the body and work your way up.  This method can be done with a pin brush, slicker brush and/or comb.

Grooming Guidelines for Your Australian Labradoodle

The Australian Labradoodle is a very simple groom, but definite guidelines must be provided to a qualified groomer; otherwise, you may be very disappointed with the experience. Grooming an Australian Labradoodle is probably one of the most difficult concepts for a groomer who has never groomed a doodle, or never groomed a doodle correctly. A lot of groomers try to make a doodle look like a poodle or a schnauzer or something in-between. The guidelines below should help you keep your doodle groomed perfectly.

BRUSHING

It is important to start brushing your dog from the early days when he/she joins your family. Brush your dog from head to toe at least 4 times a week until the adult coat is fully established. Your puppy will likely be around 18 months old when the adult coat is established. You will need a good brush and a de-matting comb to get started. You will probably want to purchase scissors with rounded tips to touch up around the eyes.


 

AUSTRALIAN LABRADOODLES
need to be
brushed full body
at least
3 TIMES A WEEK.






 

BABY AND ADULT COAT

Your puppy will have a baby coat until 8-12 months when the adult coat comes in. While the adult coat is establishing, you will need to brush multiple times a week, and I find this the best time to give your pet his first trim. It will be difficult to keep up with the matting in the longer coat, but with a trim, it is very manageable, and the beauty of the adult coat is better realized.


 

SHEDDING:

This will be the time in your Multigen Australian Labradoodle's life that he/she will shed. Once your dog gets to 12 to 14 months, the adult coat will be fully established, and this is the coat you can expect to work with for your dog's adult life.


 

A LABRADOODLE'S adult coat
is fully established at
12-14 months.


 

Grooming Rule:
Brush your dog from head to toe three times a week using the line brushing technique

 

Australian Labradoodle Grooming Instructions

FACE: The face tends to give groomers the most trouble. I find that the picture to the right will help to clarify the instructions you will need to convey for your dog's face. It is best to print this picture and take it with you to the groomer.

BODY AND LEGS: I prefer for the groomer to use the longest blade available for the coat. A three-fourths inch blade (don't go shorter than one-half inch) will keep your dog's coat nice and full but give a smooth consistent length all over. If you like your dogs coat longer, your groomer should have a guard they can use to achieve this. The legs are typically just a little longer than the rest of the coat if you trim the coat to three-fourths inch.

FEET: The feet will need a "slipper" cut to achieve the floppy, full leg look. The leg will look like a column.

TAIL: The tail needs to be de-matted and trimmed.

PRIVATE PARTS AND EARS: Always have the groomer do a hygiene trim to keep your dog's private parts and ears healthy. It is also important to have the hair removed, either trimmed or pulled, inside the dog's ears.

NAILS: Nails need to be trimmed every 2 to 4 weeks.



 

Click the grooming picture for an enlarged, printable version and take it with you to your groomer!