Every puppy has a certain amount of grooming that is required to keep your puppy healthy. Some breeds require more effort than others, and in the case of our Doodles, it can be confusing because of the different variations in Doodles. The majority of grooming will come down to the coat of the Doodle. It is important to know that Doodles have a double coat, as a result, they are highly susceptible to severe and painful matting if not groomed on a regular basis.
The wavy coat is the most common and is what’s referred to as the “teddy bear” coat. It will require regular brushing to keep it free from tangling. This type of fur is low shedding and can often be close to non-shedding as you can get.
The curly coat resembles much closer to the Poodle’s coat and the tightness and length of the curls can vary depending on the parent’s coat. This is the second most common type of coat in the Doodle family and it’s the most non-shedding coat out of the three. It’s also the most allergenic free of the three coats. Curlier coats are broken down into wool and fleece categories. Coats that are heavier curl and poodle-like are the wool coats. Fleece still refers to curly coats, but this hair is less curl and a lot more wave.
The straight coat is the least common. This coat is the easiest to maintain and great for people that don’t have the time required to daily groom a Doodle.
Unfortunately telling the type of fur coat that your puppy is going to have is going to be extremely difficult to do.
Their fur is constantly changing from the time they’re born, until the time they become full-grown. The best thing you can do is to pay attention to the area around their nose when they are still a puppy.
The curly coats will have an excess amount of hair on the top of their muzzle, almost making curly looking mustaches on the sides of their nose. The wavy coat will have more straight hair around their muzzle, while the straight fur coat Doodles usually tend to have short tidy hair around their muzzle.
Many use the coloring of the ears when puppies are little to be a good indicator of what color their coats may be as an adult. This again is only a guess.
Nothing is guaranteed because each puppy is unique, so these are just some general guidelines of what may happen. Looking at the parent’s coat is also a good way to get a better idea of what your puppy’s coat could turn into.
Most people choose to have a professional groomer to take care of the bi-monthly grooming for their Doodle, which includes a bath, blow-dry, and haircut. Most groomers will also clip the nails and may even drain the anal glands if necessary. If you bathe your Doodle a few times in between these visits, it will keep the coat soft and clean as well as helping your dog learn how to behave when being bathed and brushed.
Most groomers are not trainers and they don’t have time to deal with unruly dogs, so it’s your job to ensure your Doodle knows how to behave during a bath and grooming session.
A Doodle will typically need the first haircut at five to six months of age. The hair covering their eyes tends to be the first problem that many owners encounter and often clipping the hair on the bridge of the nose between the eyes is enough to ward off the first professional haircut for another month or two. Carefully using a pair of clippers or a blunt-ended pair of scissors works well, allowing the puppy’s eyes to become visible again.
Don’t forget to gently massage between the toes of all four feet daily starting as soon as your pup arrives home. This desensitizes the puppy so he or she allows feet and toes to be handled. Hair grows between the toes and pads of the foot and the groomer needs to be able to clip these areas without your dog pulling his or her feet away.
New owners often have a hard time recognizing their Doodle puppies when they pick them up from the groomer’s the first time the newly revealed adult coat may have a different texture, body or color than what they grew accustomed to when the puppy coat was present.
Sometimes owners are shocked to see their puppy shaved bald as that was not what they requested. However, if the undercoat had mats, the kindest thing the groomer can do is to evenly shave off all the hair. You will then have the job of brushing more thoroughly as the coat grows back so you can avoid having a bald dog after the next haircut!
A Doodle with a coat longer than about one inch requires a full brush out at least every other day. You’ll need to use a slicker brush over the entire body and follow this up with combing out with a metal comb.
The slicker brush typically does not have bristles long enough to reach the skin, which is where mats form. The goal is to remove all tangles before they become mats – as the only remedy for a full-blown mat is to cut it out. Mats tend to form first behind the ears, under the collar, and in the armpits.
It can also be helpful if you print internet photos of Doodles with haircuts you like. A picture will help describe to the groomer how you hope your puppy will look on your return. Keep in mind that you need to select pictures of dogs that have the same coat as your Doodle.
If you do decide a professional groomer is worth the time and money, your dog must be fully vaccinated for everything, including kennel cough, which is basically a severe cold. It is highly contagious, especially when several dogs are kept in small rooms together. Vaccines take up to a week to become effective, so make sure your dog has had his or hers well in advance of the grooming appointment.
No matter the type of coat your Doodle has there are also other important aspects to add to your grooming routine:
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