Doodles come in three main coat types. Wool, fleece and hair. If you consider a woolly wool coat to be at one end of a scale and shedding coarse hair coats to be at the other end, your doodle could have a coat anywhere in-between. Not only that...it could be a combination of more than one type. Coats can also be very curly, somewhat curly, spiral curls, wavy or quite straight.
Hint for maintaining your favorite look.
You will find lots of pictures on this site of great looking doodles. Use them to take to your groomer to show what look you like or use them to follow for home grooming.
Coat Change from Puppy to Adult
Somewhere between 8 and 12 months doodles start growing their adult coats. Matte time! Since they don't shed, you need to comb the puppy coat out. This takes quite a bit of dedication and this stage can go on for several months. If you let your puppy mat at this time and resort to shaving, you STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM. You cannot shave it away. At some point, you must comb that puppy coat out. To make this stage easier, scissor the coat to about 2 inches in length so there is less to tangle. A seriously good way to reduce brushing is to buy a high speed blower. It produces cool air at high volume and really helps clean and untangle the coat.
Combing your doodle.
Use a steel comb. Start from one foot and brush..yes brush with a brush..the hair up. Then start down at the foot again and brush down in layers, making sure to always get to see the skin in the area you are working on before you go on. After about and inch or two, comb where you brushed. If the comb won't go thru, start again. Work thru the whole coat in this fashion.
Make sure you hit all the areas.
inside, outside and back and front of legs
upper and lower chest
sides, back and under tail
top of head and neck all the way around
under ears, chin and face
If a wool dog is very matted, it can take 10 hours to demat. If you have a fleece coat that is in good shape, it should take an hour or less to brush and comb the whole dog thoroughly.
Worst trouble spots: in front of hind legs, armpits, under tail and neck
To Do List for regular maintenance.
1. brush and comb twice a week or when ever you feel mattes ..dampen after brushing
These things to be done every 4 to 6 weeks
2. trim hair from between eyes as required to keep it from poking into the eyes
3. shave belly
4. trim hair from around anus and on male or female parts to prevent messy mattes that can get infected from bacteria
5. clip nails
6. trim feet ...inside of feet, around toes and trim length so it just barely touches the ground.
7. trim hair above eyes so it does not obstruct sight
8. pull hair from inside ears and clean with ear cleaning solution
9. shave hair from base of ear to increase airflow into the ear
Links to Grooming Information from this forum.
How to trim feet
You can trim feet with scissors or clippers. I prefer to use a combination of both. I first cup the dog's foot in my hand so the bottom is visible and keeping my scissors flat to the bottom of the foot, I trim all hair sticking beyond the foot. Next I take my clipper with a number 10 or 40 and trim inside between the large pad the the small toe pads. From the top of the foot looking down, I pull a hair back from toes and scissor hair from around nails and between toes. You can to this with a clipper too and make 'poodle toes'...not to be confused at all with poodle feet. You want the foot to have lots of volume from the top, but look clean underneath.
Will my dog need professional grooming or a haircut?
Here's your answer....
All Sheepadoodles and All Bernedoodles ...YES, they need professional grooming probably every 2-3 months depending on their adult coats, or longer if you brush them in between. You can get them a "puppy cut" as us groomers call it, where they are cut to a length that they were when they were younger, before their hair grew long. This would probably be half off, it
would have the same look as before, same length all over but shorter. Then we like to do a teddy bear face, which is where you trim the beard with the same blade guard as you did the body. This leaves the beard full but cleans it up a bit. Then you round the bangs so they are not hanging in the dogs face. This is just an idea, you could also have your dog cut down for Summer, many people do this......we give our Doodles a summer cut. This keeps them cooler in the Summer and by the time Fall comes their hair is back and they will be warm again.
If you choose not to get your Doodle trimmed because you like the full hair look and you aren't brushing them at home, you should get them to the groomer every 4-6 weeks for a bath and brush out. If you don't the matting will get so bad when you do take them to the groomer they will have to be shaved.
Snow and Rain cause matting beyond belief. If your dog has long hair and they get wet they should be thoroughly brushed once they are dry.
If you'd like to groom your dog yourself you will benefit if you have these supplies. Learn what they are and how to use them below.
Nail clippers, I prefer these scissor style ones. The easiest way to trim your dogs nails are to flip their paw backwards, behind them. Trim off all the white part of the nail, if you cut to short the quik will bleed...no big deal, if you put some flour on it it will clot the blood in no time. Don't make a big deal about it if you do cut to short, it will make your dog scared next time.
This is called a rake, it is best for longer haired breeds like F1B's and Goldendoodles. You can get this at Target or Walmart for $5. These are great because they get right to the skin, if your dog has a mat just hold the mat away from the dogs skin and pick at it with the rake, in no time it will be gone.
Scissors can be handy to trim the eyebrows, pads or the rear end. Please be careful, if your dog is wiggly you may want to have someone hold them.
This is called a slicker brush, it is great for everyday brushing. It has a short curved metal face. It puffs the coat up and is great for small mats. When you are brushing if you come to a mat it will sound crunchy, continue brushing unitl the
crunchy sound is gone. Brush your dog all over, don't forget the armpits. The most matted spots on a dog are the armpits, where the collar lays and behind their ears. Brush everyday to make it easier on you and your pet or at least 3x per week.
Ear cleaner, you can buy this at pet stores or use 50/50 alcohol vinegar mix. Squeeze it into the ear and rub the ear a bit, then take your cotton ball and gently wipe the dirt away, repeat until clean. You could also moisten the cotton ball or Q-Tip instead of putting the cleaner right in the ear.
After bath colognes are a great way to freshen between groomings or if your dog gets dirty. They probably aren't a good idea if you or your dog has allergies though. You can find these in the pet aisle at most stores.