Goldendoodles are great dogs with fantastic personalities. Given their unique status as a hybrid, though, they can actually be a little more challenging to groom than you might expect. With a little guidance, though, any dog owner can groom his or her own dog.
Do You Really Need to Groom a Goldendoodle?
Yes, you really do need to groom your Goldendoodle! It’s not just that these dogs have unique coats, but that they are incredibly active and that they’re very good at getting dirty. Their coats hang on to everything that they pick up, so you’ll need to put in some effort to keep your dog looking and smelling his or her best.
What Type of Coats Do Goldendoodles Have?
It’s always a good idea to learn a little more about a dog’s coat before you start grooming him or her. While Goldendoodles can have straight, curly, or wavy coats, it’s rare that you’ll actually see a Goldendoodle with the former type of coat.
What’s frustrating to many dog owners is that the coat a dog has as a puppy isn’t necessarily what he or she will have when he or she grows up. You might think your dog has a wavy coat only to find out that he or she has a curly coat, or that dog with what looks like a straight coat might end up with a very curly coat later on. While you can usually tell a bit about what your dog will look like by looking at his or her face as a pup, there’s still enough variation out there that you probably want to wait until adulthood to make a firm statement on his or her coat type.
Why does this matter? For most, it’s because the type of coat that your dog has determined how easy he or she will be to groom.
If your dog has a straight coat, you’re going to have an easy time grooming him or her. You’ll brush your dog from time to time, but you’ll generally get off easy. Most Goldendoodles have Wavy coats, which is a little tougher to take care of because it requires weekly maintenance, but it doesn’t shed too often. Curly coats are the hardest of the coats to groom, with daily brushing a necessity in order to keep your dog looking his or her best.
The Benefits of Grooming a Goldendoodle
Beyond looks, there are some really good reasons to groom your Goldendoodle. Grooming helps with your dog’s circulation, for example, and it even helps with many skin issues – like when your dog has crusty scabs on their back. It gives you time to spot fleas and ticks, but it also just gives you time to spend with your dog. It’s no surprise, then, that grooming is one of those activities that is popularly performed by many Goldendoodle owners.
How to Groom Your Goldendoodle
Grooming your Goldendoodle might not be as hard as you think, but it does require some organization. That’s why it’s good to take this process step by step the first time, as you’ll get a better feel for how to get through with grooming your dog more efficiently.
Start by Brushing
Depending on the type of coat your dog has, you’ll want to brush him or her somewhere between daily and three times a week. Doing so allows you to find all the tangles and mats in your dog’s hair and will make the rest of the grooming process far easier on you.
So, how do you actually brush a Goldendoodle properly?
You’ll start by grabbing your slicker brush and brushing your Goldendoodle from the bottom. You’ll brush away a line of hair, then pull the hair away. Keep repeating line by line, untangling his or her hair and cutting away stubborn mats until you’ve got a dog with a great-looking coat.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll switch over to a pin brush. You’ll use this to simply brush your dog’s hair, grabbing any stray tangles and helping to make his or her fur look presentable. This can be a very pleasant process for your dog, but don’t forget to have some dog treats on hand to make the process go a little easier.
Shave Down Trouble Spots
Unfortunately, Goldendoodle hair is really prone to tangling. As such, you’re going to need to shave down certain trouble spots in order to help your dog stay clean and healthy. Generally speaking, this means that you’re going to need to take your dog hair clippers to the area around your dog’s anus and genitals – a process that you’re obviously going to be very careful about performing. In addition, you’ll want to shave down the hair that’s about an inch below his or her ear canals.
Removing Ear Hair
Goldendoodle ears take more maintenance than you may have thought. You’ll actually have to pluck the hair in your dog’s ear canals before you bathe him or her, as failing to do so can lead to serious ear infections. You can actually do this task with your hands, but be warned – your dog isn’t going to love the process if you aren’t quick.
Once you’re done, it’s time to grab some cotton balls to place in your dog’s ears so that you can get him or her ready for a bath.
Bathing can be stressful for your dog, so you’re going to want to make this step as easy as possible. Go ahead and grab your supplies (including a rinsing cup and towels), and make sure that you have the bath fully run before your dog gets in the bathroom. This will help to reduce the amount of time that you have to spend with your dog getting ready and thus will make him or her much less nervous when you start bathing.
As a note, don’t jump straight to this step. Bathing a Goldendoodle who has a coat full of knots is a recipe for disaster, so make sure that you groom him or her properly before you get anywhere near a bath.
While many Goldendoodles don’t mind the water, you can make this step a little easier on your dog by being as excited as possible. Be kind and patient, but try your best to make the bath seem like a game. If you’re lucky, your dog is going to think of bath time as a fun time and you’ll have fewer problems going forward.
Washing the dog is actually fairly straightforward. You’ll get him or her down from the top of his head to the back of his body, then follow it up with a fair bit of dog shampoo. Be sure to carefully rinse away all of the soap, as dried soap can be a major skin irritant for dogs.
Drying your dog is probably the hardest part of the whole bath experience. If you have a big enough tub, you’ll actually want to dry him or her off before you get him or her out of the bath. You can absolutely use a pet-friendly blow dryer to help dry your dog off faster, but make sure that you always keep it on a low or medium setting and that you don’t let it linger on any one part of your dog’s skin too long.
Drying with a towel needs to be done in a specific direction – that of your dog’s hair growth. You’ll dry his head and ears first, followed by his or her topcoat, legs, and belly. Once that’s one, you’ll either continue toweling off your dog or you’ll use the dryer on cool until you get rid of all of the damp spots. Remember, a damp spot after a bath will end up being a mat, later on, so you might as well deal with the problem now.
Combing and Trimming
Now that your dog is nice and dry, it’s time to grab the brush or comb again. You’re going to go back through, trying to get any tangles that you’ve missed and doing your best to stop any new mats from forming. This is your best chance to figure out if your dog’s coat is truly dry as well – if it’s not, it’s time to grab the towels again.
Once your dog is combed, you’ll start trimming. Grab your grooming scissors and start on the top of your dog’s head – you’ll want to cut the dog’s hair so that it blends fairly seamlessly into his or her neck.
Now it’s time to grab your clippers. You’ll slide on the one-inch attachment here, starting on your dog’s cheeks. Don’t let the clippers get too hot without letting them cool down, then follow up your initial cut with your hand scissors to get anything that you might have missed.
From here, it’s time to start working on your dog’s body. Start with the neck, back, and sides, then move onto your dog’s chest and belly. Don’t be afraid to go in different directions as you cut, as your goal is to make sure that your dog’s coat is an even length all around.
The legs are going to take a little bit of extra work. A single-pass should be enough, and you’ll get all the sides of your dog’s legs in this single swipe. Once you’re done, grab your grooming scissors and try to get anything that you’ve missed.
Now it’s time for the nails. Whether you use a traditional set of clippers or a good dog nail grinder for this job doesn’t matter – your goal is to cut or file down the dog’s nails until they no longer touch the floor. Once this step is done, you’re going to use your scissors to cut away the hair on your dog’s feet until his or her nails are just covered. You’ll also want to cut between your dog’s toes at this time just to help him or her stays clean.
As a note, there’s a good chance you’ll accidentally snip your dog’s quick if you aren’t careful with your clippers. Though this is something you should avoid because it is very unpleasant for your dog, you can stop the bleeding with a little bit of baking soda.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How should Goldendoodles be groomed?
Goldendoodles should be groomed frequently and with a great deal of care. You’ll want to make sure that you brush your dog’s hair somewhere between once a day and three times a week, paying special attention to any mats or tangles. From there, you’ll want to add in bathing somewhere around once a month. You’ll also want to make sure that you take the time to trim your dog’s hair and nails so that he or she can stay both clean and stylish.
2. How do you groom a Goldendoodle face?
You’ll largely be using hand scissors for this job. It’s always a good idea to go slowly and carefully during this process, as you definitely don’t want to scare your dog or potentially injure him or her. While parts of your dog’s face can actually be cut using your clippers, it’s generally best to make sure that you have a small pair of scissors available for any part of your dog that needs extra attention.
3. What tools do I need to groom my Goldendoodle?
You’ll need a few tools for different jobs. For brushing, you’ll want a slicker brush and a pin brush. For bathing, you’ll want dog shampoo, a rinse cup, and as many towels as you can find. When you cut your dog’s hair, you’ll want a good set of pet clippers as well as a pair of reliable scissors. Trimming your dog’s nails will require you to have either a good set of clippers or a reliable nail grinder for the job.
4. How do you shave a Goldendoodle at home?
You’ll want to start by making sure that you use scissors around your dog’s face and any sensitive areas. From there, you’ll simply use your clippers with a one-inch attachment to start with your dog’s neck, back, chest, and sides, and then carefully move down so that you can deal with his or her belly, legs, and feet.