Grooming can be quite a daunting task, especially if it is something you do not have a lot of experience with. However, it does not have to be difficult. Once you know the basics, you will be surprised to learn just how easy grooming can be.
Not only is grooming important for your dog’s wellbeing, but it allows them to look fresh, and it can also improve your relationship with them!
When it comes to Doodles, there are so many breeds that are included. From Bernedoodles, and Aussiedoodles, to the well-known Labradoodles. It is clear to see why Doodles are a popular choice. Not only are they fantastic and loving pets, but they also have beautiful fur too.
As Doodles will have varying types of fur, it can be difficult to know where to begin, especially if the dog has a wooly coat. However, once you know how to correctly wash and brush through the fur, you will find that it is not so difficult.
We will be talking you through everything you need to know about grooming your doodle at home. We have covered aspects such as brushing, washing, and matted fur. Not only will you be able to keep your dog’s fur clean in between grooms, but you can help to keep them looking cute and cuddly too!
Types Of Doodles
Before you begin to groom your doodle, it is important to remember that different doodles will have a different type of fur. If your doodle has a smoother and shorter coat, this will typically be easier to maintain and groom in comparison to a wooly coat.
The type of coat will have an impact on the way in which the dog will be groomed, which is worth keeping in mind. However, the vast majority of doodles do have a wooly coat.
The Benefits of Grooming Your Dog At Home
When it comes to grooming, the best results happen if you take your dog to a professional groomer. However, learning how to groom your own dog is a useful skill to have. Not only will it save you money over time, but you may find that your dog will be more relaxed if it is being groomed at home. Many dogs become anxious about going to the groomers.
In addition to this, it can help to improve your bond with your dog, and it can allow you to only have to take your dog to be professionally cut occasionally.
What Equipment Do You Need?
When it comes to purchasing the equipment needed to groom a doodle, the list is quite extensive. While it can be quite expensive to purchase these items, they are necessary. However, in some cases, there are alternatives you can purchase.
In addition to this, things such as clippers, brushes, and dryers are investments, but will last for a good number of years. When you add up the cost of a professional groom, you will save money as the years progress.
You will need:
- Slicker brush
- Dematting brush
- Clippers (Wahl are one of the best brands to choose)
- Grooming scissors
- Thinning scissors
- Nail clippers
- Body spritz
- Ear Wipes
- Face wipes
- Pet fur dryer
- Bath scrunchie
Different Types Of Brushes
When it comes to the types of brushes you will need, this can vary depending on the doodle you have and its fur. However, here are the most useful options:
- Slicker brush – A slicker brush will help to remove dead fur and will help to brush out knots and the undercoat. They are the best brush to use for a doodle
- Dematting brush – A dematting brush is a great option if you want to help remove mats. While large mats should always be cut or shaved off, smaller mat can be removed using these brushes
In addition to this, you can choose to use a pin brush, or a comb to brush through the fur, though these are not essential.
Choosing the correct shampoo is important because there are different shampoos that are better for different types of fur. We would recommend purchasing a shampoo that is suitable for Doodles.
In addition to this, it is important to ensure that the shampoo is suitable and safe for your dog, especially if they have sensitive skin and allergies.
Here are some great options:
Wahl 4-In-1 Calming Pet Shampoo
TropiClean PerfectFur Curly & Wavy Coat Shampoo
Clippers and Scissors
The clippers and scissors you purchase are important, they should always be suitable for dogs. While there are a number of different clippers you can purchase, you only really need one type that has different clipping settings. Wahl clippers tend to be the best option for doodles.
When it comes to scissors, you will want to choose grooming scissors. You cannot use regular scissors as these will not cut the fur correctly. GLADOG Professional Grooming Scissors for Dogs is a great set that features all the scissors you will need, including a thinning scissors and a comb.
The Grooming Process
Now that you have a better idea of the equipment you will need, and how much they are going to cost, we are going to discuss how to groom your dog.
When it comes to grooming, it is important to remember that it is a work in progress. You are not going to perfect your technique straight away. It is not an easy thing to do. Given this, you will want to have patience and perseverance.
Brushing Your Doodle
Before you bathe your doodle, you will want to brush them thoroughly first. This will help to remove any knots or potential mats they have. It is important to do this to ensure that the coat is being washed properly and that you are not in any discomfort.
Owning a doodle, you will know how important it is to stay on top of brushing. This is something that you should be doing every few days, to ensure that their coat is in a good condition.
However, even the best brushed dog can fall victim to a mat or two. If your dog has any mats, you will want to brush these out using the dematting tool first. It is important to take great care when doing this, especially if the mats are close to the skin as you do not want to catch your dog’s skin.
Many people want to avoid clipping out mats, sometimes it is the best thing you can do for a dog. Taking too long to remove mats is uncomfortable for your dog. Given this, if you have taken a significant amount of time trying to remove them with no success, they can be clipped out in a few minutes.
However, you should not attempt to do this yourself if the mats are particularly difficult to remove. We would recommend speaking to a professional groomer to remove them for you. Don’t worry – the fur will grow back!
Some common places mats can be found include – behind the ears, on the stomach, under their arms, and on their chest. However, mats can be present anywhere on the fur. It is important for matting to be removed as it can cause discomfort, pain, and a build of bacteria in the fur.
You can use a detangling spray or cornstarch to help remove slight matting. When using a dematting brush, you always want to brush away from your dogs skin as they are sharp tools, and care does need to be taken when using them.
Washing Your Doodle
Once all the mats have been removed and your doodle’s fur is nice and brushed, you can move on to washing the dog. Before placing the dog into the tub, you will want to ensure that you have the correct amount of shampoo.
You will want to place a dollop of shampoo into a bowl and dilute this with water. The shampoo should always be diluted before you use it. Place your dog carefully into the tub, and ensure that the water you are using is lukewarm.
Use the shower head or a bowl of water to wet your dog’s fur fully. Take care to not spray inside your dog’s ears or eyes. This can be painful and cause irritation. Once the fur is completely wet, you will want to take your bath scrunchie and dip this into the shampoo mixture.
Run the shampoo across the dog’s fur ensuring that all the dirt has been removed. Once complete, rinse off the shampoo and complete the process. After the second round of washing, your dog should be nice and clean. Don’t forget to wash the dog’s tail and paws too.
Drying With A Towel
Before taking your Doodle out of the tub, allow it to shake off the excess water. Take a towel and towel dry the Doodle for a few minutes. This will speed up the dying process and will ensure that the room does not get too wet.
Drying With A Pet Dryer
Before you begin to clip and cut your dog’s fur, it needs to be dry. This will help you to cut it easier. While you can choose to use a regular hair dryer on a colder setting to ensure it does not burn the dog, these are slow.
Doodles have a lot of fur. Given this, a pet dryer is a far better option. While they are an investment, they will significantly speed up this process for you. In addition to this, you can choose to buy a stand dryer to accompany it and speed up the process further.
It is important to note that not all dogs appreciate being dried with a dryer. It can make some dogs quite anxious. Given this, you will want the process to be as quick and stress free as possible for them. One way in which you can make your dog calmer is by purchasing a happy hoodie. These are placed over the dog’s ears to calm them and stop the dryer from being too loud.
If you have a smaller doodle, you may benefit from purchasing a grooming table. While they are not completely necessary, they can help you when it comes to grooming to reach under the belly and the rear end of your dog. They keep your dog secure and make the process quicker on the whole.
Clipping the Fur
Once your dog has dried completely, you can go ahead and clip their fur. Before doing this, we would recommend following some tutorial videos, or reading grooming books. This will help to give you a better idea of the type of cut you want to try.
When you are grooming for the first time, we would recommend just trimming the dog’s fur or clipping them slightly, rather than going for anything too complicated. This will help you to get used to using the scissors and the clippers.
However, the type of cut you choose will depend on the type of doodle you have. For example, many people choose to have a poodle style cut for their Labradoodles, whereas someone with a Sheepadoodle may prefer to go for a longer coat to resemble the sheepdog rather than the poodle genes.
When clipping, you should take care and always use the blade guards that are included. This helps to prevent you from cutting your Doodle’s skin. Take things slowly, and get your dog used to the sound and feeling of the clippers so that it is comfortable with the sensation. This is important when clipping near the paws, face, and rear end. You will want to ensure that the fur between the paw pads is cut down for comfort.
As the clippers can become warm, care should always be taken. You will want to ensure that you are clipping the rear end well so that it is nice and clean. You should also aim to get the fur as even as possible in places such as the back and belly. This can be corrected with the grooming scissors, however.
Different types of Doodle Cuts
Ultimately, the type of doodle cut you choose will depend on personal preference and the type of Doodle breed you have. Some of the more common cuts include:
- Teddy Bear – This is very common for Doodles, it is fluffy and cute, but quite difficult to perfect. However, it is a popular choice for professional groomers
- Shaggy Doodle – This is one of the easier cuts to do at home. It is not too specific and just makes the coat shorted all over. It does not need to look perfect.
- Shaved – While a shaved Doodle may not have the most impressive fur, it is a great option in the summer months. It helps to keep the dog cool, and it is easy to maintain.
If you are looking for something that is the quickest option, shaving the fur to be fairly short is a good option. You can still choose to have longer fur around the face and tail areas too.
Cutting The Fur
Once you are happy with how the fur looks clipped, you can then go in with grooming scissors. These will help the overall cut to look cleaner. It will even remove any parts that are imbalanced, and it will help the rear end, legs, tail and belly to look cleaner. You will want to cut so that the fur is even and follows around the dog’s body.
Always remember that grooming scissors are very sharp, and you should never cut too close to the dog’s skin. Take great care around the ears, face and rear end.
Thinning The Fur
Thinning scissors are useful if you want to blend the fur. This allows the cut to look more natural and less harsh. Again these scissors are sharp so care needs to be taken.
These scissors are typically used around the face to soften the cut. However, you should only do this if you are confident and the dog is comfortable with this.
Cleaning Ears and Eyes
Once you are happy with the cut, you will want to clean your dog’s ears and eyes using ear and eye wipes. This will help to remove any muck, and keep them nice and sanitized. Do not clean too far into the ears, and always ensure the wipes or products are safe to use.
If your dog has tear stains, you can use specific wipes to help remove this from white fur.
Another part of grooming is ensuring that the dog’s nails are the correct length. If you are comfortable clipping your dog’s nails you can go ahead and do this. Care should be taken to ensure you are only cutting off the small white edge of the nail, as blood does travel through some of the nail.
If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, we would recommend having this carried out by a professional to ensure it is done correctly.
Once you have finished grooming, finish off by cleaning your dog’s teeth. This will help to prevent a build up of plaque and tartar. This is something that should always be incorporated into your dog’s grooming routine.
You need to ensure you are using a dog toothpaste and a dog toothbrush.
Spritzing with a Dog Spray
To finish you can spray your dog with a dog friendly spritz to make them smell lovely and fresh.
The most important thing to remember is that with practice you will grow in confidence. Grooming a dog is not easy, especially when it is a Doodle. However, over time, you will become more comfortable doing this.
Always take things slowly and allow your dog to have plenty of treats and praise. You will want the grooming process to be as comfortable as possible for the dog. Many dogs do not like to be groomed, and given this patience is needed.
While it can be cheaper and more rewarding to groom your dog yourself, if it is too difficult, we would always recommend having your Doodle cut by a professional. While you may be able to complete some aspects of the groom yourself, you should always seek help for the more difficult aspects if and when it is needed.
Keeping Up With Fur In Between Grooms
One of the most important things you can do in between grooms is to ensure you are keeping up with your dog’s fur. This will involve a number of different things.
- Brushing – The most important thing to do regularly is brushing. You should be brushing your Doodle a few times a week. This will help to prevent any matting and will remove the dead fur. This makes grooming day quicker and easier.
- Baths – In between full grooms, you can opt to give your Doodle a bath and a brush. This is a great way of keeping them nice and clean in between cuts. However, be sure not to overwash your dog. This can cause their skin to become sensitive, and it strips the natural oils within the dog’s fur.
We hope that you have found this article helpful. As you can see, grooming is not too daunting of a task when you know how to do it. Always ensure to take things slowly and only carry out parts of the groom you and your dog are comfortable with.
There is no harm in seeking professional help for certain areas of the groom. In addition to this, the more you educate yourself on grooming in general, and the more you practice, the easier it will get.
We would recommend purchasing good quality grooming equipment as this will greatly help your grooming process. While it can be expensive to purchase all the tools, it will save you a lot of money in the long run, and it is a rewarding thing to do. You will have your doodle looking pawsome in no time!