LABRADOODLE GROOMING GUIDE
LABRADOODLES ARE HIGH MAINTENANCE
There’s the good and bad in everything.
Well, the good news is that most Labradoodle’s coats are low shedding. It is wonderful to get up off the couch and NOT be covered in dog hair. The bad news is that keeping a Labradoodle’s coat at its best, requires regular brushing and grooming.
Regular grooming and clipping not only keeps your Labradoodle’s coat looking it’s best. A nicely maintained coat is important for the dog’s welfare. Fleece, wool and combination type coats can become heavy, hot, matted and uncomfortable without diligent care.
FREQUENCY OF GROOMING
To show-case the typical “doodle look, many families will visit the dog groomer every 6 weeks. At a minimum, you will need to clip the coat three or four times a year. Think about timing the clips in Autumn and Spring, Summer and Winter. You can keep the coat a little longer in the Winter and shorter in the Summer.
CLIPPING AT HOME
Most people choose to take their Labradoodle to a professional groomer. I recommend this option to achieve a beautiful finish. Another option is to attempt to do the clipping yourself. It’s a good idea to research and reading about dog grooming, prior to launching in. You could also consider doing an online course to better equip yourself. Home clipping comes with risks. Clipper blades and Scissors are extremely sharp and Clipper blades can overheat. It is ever so easy to slip and take out a chunk of fur (or worse).
There are many areas where extreme care needs to be taken. For example, the edges of the ears, around the vulva, and between the toes. A combined approach can work really well. Leaving the big grooms for the professionals and also having the right tools on hand to neaten up and trim your Labradoodle between grooms. It is also really helpful to be able to groom and tidy your Labradoodle around the face. It can be annoying for your dog to have the fleece/wool over the eyes, obstructing their vision.
It is totally worth it to invest in a good quality set of Clippers. The power of the motor can make a real difference to being able to cut through the thick Labradoodle coat. Burrinjuck Boutique are retailers of the Andis Brand. We stock the complete range of Dog Clippers including professional Dog Grooming Clippers. Buyer beware however, they are super powerful. My best recommendation would be the Andis Clipper AGCB 2 – Speed – Black. These clippers have a brushless motor for maximum power and torque.
If you don’t mind lowering your standards for a while until you master the art of Dog Grooming, home grooming is a great alternative. It is definitely a more affordable option. In a short amount of time, the hair grows back and covers over an uneven cut or a shaven appearance . We use a size 4 or 5 blade for most of the coat and use a size 10 blade for the really difficult areas that matt, such as behind and under the ears, under the armpit and on the belly.
TRIMMING AROUND THE FACE
Your Labradoodle will need to be trimmed around the face periodically. The best method to achieve and maintain that cute teddy bear look is to trim the face, imagining invisible, soft round lines. Trim slightly flat over the top and then softly angle towards the ears. There should be a natural curved flow between the eyes and ears. Snip a line from the corner of the eyes on an angle and also snip a line straight across the bridge of the nose. The fur on the muzzle should flow on either side like a waterfall. The chin is trimmed to a soft rounded arch like a smile.
IT'S ALL IN THE SNIP
There are a few tricks in the Professional Groomer’s kit bag to achieve that adorable Teddy Bear Look. The variety of scissors are the secret ingredients. Scissors come in all different sizes. There are curved scissors. to create nice, rounded lines and thinning scissors to create a shaggy effect. Just like the hair dresser is unlikely to trim your hair with K-Mart scissors, to create the cleanest finish, a beautiful quality pair of scissors can make all the difference. Burrinjuck Boutique stock mid range grooming scissors such as the Miracle Care Grooming Shears.
Perhaps you would like to splurge on our premium range of Japanese Steel Cut 440C Grooming Scissors which are world famous for quality. Options include the straight swivel 7″inch grooming scissors with a delicate jewel screw. Japanese 48 tooth curved thinning scissors and Japanese curved 8’inch grooming scissors with a delicate jewel screw.
BATHING YOUR LABRADOODLE
Brush your Labradoodle prior to bathing. This will help to prevent the coat from matting during the bathing process. Frequent bathing strips the natural lanolin oils from your dog’s coat. I advise only bathing on a “need-to basis’ or approximately once a month. It is best practice to wash and dry your dog prior to cutting. This will preserve the life of your clippers.
I use an oatmeal shampoo called “Aloveen Dermcare” and the matching conditioner. This brand contains oatmeal which is gentle on the skin and coat and will leave your Labradoodle smelling fresh.
BRUSHING YOUR LABRADOODLE
As Labradoodle parents, we need to be mindful and acknowledge that the signature Doodle look requires daily upkeep on our part. This is why brushing is something you need to prioritise everyday. If a few days slip by between grooming sessions it may be necessary to "Line Brush" your Labradoodle.
Line brushing can be used as an intensive solution to deal with knots and mats. Below is a link to a video tutorial on line brushing. Line Brushing Tutorial.
The benefits of regular brushing include:
The ability to keep the coat longer if you brush more regularly
The more regularly you brush your dog the easier it will become.
Your Labradoodle will become accustomed to the sensation of being groomed.
It can be a time of bonding and is also a great opportunity to check for skin irritations, ticks, fleas and grass seeds.
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE
USEFUL TOOLS OF THE TRADE:
Wide toothed metal comb.
Miracle Slicker Brush
The slicker brush by Miracle Coat is one of the best tools for grooming undercoats. The fine, wire pins reach into the undercoat to remove loose hair. Regular use deters matting. Angled flexible pins allows for effective grooming without irritating your pet’s skin. The Miracle Slicker Brush effectively reaches the undercoat on double coated breeds. The cushioned and ergonomic designed grip also prevents hand and wrist strain. The large slicker brush has a larger head suitable for use on large dogs.
Professional Grooming Comb
This may well be your most useful grooming tool. A good comb is perfect for removing tangles and dead undercoat. Ensure that any comb that you purchase has the rounded teeth to prevent potential skin irritations. Burrinjuck Boutique stock a range of different combs. A favourite type of comb is the Shear Magic Professional Combination Comb. This brand is available in small or large size.
DOG VERSUS PUPPY GROOMING
Although it will be some time before your soft puppy’s coat begins to matt, it is important that your puppy becomes accustomed to the feeling of being groomed. Brush your puppy regularly using either the slicker brush or comb. You do want to ensure that you are brushing from the skin in an outward direction. Please be gentle as it is very easy to scratch the delicate puppy skin. Puppies have a soft baby fleece that is fine and wispy. Somewhere between 6 – 8 months of age, your puppy will go through a transition stage as the adult coat begins to emerge. This is a prime time for matts and tangles galore. At this time, extra brushing will be required to remove the fine strands of moulting puppy coat and prevent additional matting. Make sure to get right down to the skin level to clear away the dead hair. It is extremely important that your puppy is well accustomed to the grooming process by this age.
FOR OLDER DOGS
Brush the coat from the skin outwards using a slicker brush. Hold the skin tight to protect from any discomfort, especially where you come across a knot or matt. Like human hair, work knots out gently or cut through them with scissors or a matt breaker. It may be helpful to spray the matted area with a DeTangler Leave-in Conditioner. Knots are quite common around the ears, jaw, and collar as well as behind the tops of their legs. If they wear a harness regularly, you may find matting at these friction spots . After using the slicker brush, comb over the coat once again, using a metal comb to ensure finer matts are not missed.