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How to Groom a Labradoodle

How to Groom a Labradoodle

September 14th

Labradoodles may have impeccable coats (super soft, non-shedding, and hypoallergenic to boot), but that doesn’t mean they are exempt from regular grooming. Here’s what you can do to keep your Doodle looking dapper. When looking for a new puppy for sale grooming and coat type is critical to consider when getting matched with the perfect puppy for your lifestyle and unique situation.

  • Twice a year: Shave the body fur down to a length between one inch and half an inch – the body being everything from the neck down to the knees, excluding the tail. Don’t forget the belly and the rear!
  • Monthly: Keep your pooch looking fresh with a touch-up trim. Tidy up any unruly areas on the head, tail, rump, and feet. We will go over the various types of scissors you can use in the next section.
  • As needed: Remove mats using a high-quality pair of thinning shears. Typically, a Labradoodle’s coat will mat more often when they are brushed frequently.
  • If they stink: Give them a bath! Choose a shampoo made for puppies in a scent most pleasing to you (or your Doodle if they show preference). Before you bathe, do some mat-thinning and a quick trim around the head, feet, and rump. After the bath, towel them off and/or let them air dry.

If your looking for labradoodle puppies for sale, you may want to know what your getting into grooming wise before you buy. Here’s a quick overview of how you should shave, cut, or trim each part of your Labradoodle’s coat. Read on for a more in-depth explanation on how to achieve the ultimate Doodle ‘do.

  • Ears: Trim the back short and curve along the leather of the ear. To check for proper length, pull the ear forward – it should reach right above the nose. The fur of the outside of the ear should be layered to approximately one inch. The area at the base of the ear, both in front and back, should be shaved. Carefully remove the hairs inside the ear canal.
  • Head: Layer the top of the head to be one to two inches long. The hairs above your Doodle’s eyes should be trimmed at an angle so they fall just over their eyes (Make sure you leave the eyelashes long so they can keep the hair out of their eyes as is grows).
  • Muzzle: At the base of the muzzle (below the eyes), trim short and at an angle to allow for a fur-free field of vision. Cut the muzzle itself to be round and layered – the hair here should be one to two inches long.
  • Feet: As opposed to the poodle’s characteristically short and dainty paws, a Doodle’s feet should be trimmed to emulate their playful and happy-go-lucky nature – large, round, and floppy – perfect for loping around the backyard.

Shopping List

At this point you may be imagining yourself toting around a hairdresser’s cart full of fancy diamond-tipped scissors and top-of-the-line styling products. Worry not! There are only a handful of essentials required in order to give your scruffy friend a Kennel Club-worthy cut.

  • Bathing: Choose any pleasantly-scented shampoo made for puppies.
  • Eyes: Curved scissors with a blunt tip to protect your pooch’s eyes, such as Tweezerman Baby Nail Scissors
  • Ears: To remove excess hair inside the ear, use Miracle Care Ear Powder. For hair that is further within the ear canal, you can use a pair of hemostats (long surgical scissors). As an additional measure to keep bacteria at bay, feed your Labradoodle some coconut oil everyday (1 tsp for every 10 lbs of your dog’s weight).
  • General trimming: Find a high-quality pair of thinning shears, such as the Geib Gator 40-Tooth Double-Sided Thinning Shears. Additionally, you should have a nice pair of general scissors with a somewhat blunt tip to protect you and your Doodle from any accidents.
  • Brushing: A bristle brush made for breaking down mats, such as the ActiVet Mat Zapper Red German Grooming Brush. Remember – excessive brushing can cause more mats to form!
  • Body: General clippers will work fine, such as the Oster Animal Grooming line. For the belly and around the ears, use a number 10 blade, and a 5FC for the body. To reduce friction, heat, and blade wear, use Kool Lube.

The Specifics

Now that we have a general idea of proper grooming guidelines and the tools of the trade, let’s take a closer look at how to treat each area of your Labradoodle’s prized coat.

Body: Eliminate the mats – use thinning shears to thin them, or a bristle brush to pull them out. Trim all over with scissors to the desired length, or use your clippers to shave down to an inch. Remember that the body consists of everything except the head, tail, and below the knees. If you decide to shave your Doodle, do this twice a year. Shaving results in a lower amount of grooming needed throughout the year.

Rear:  Using scissors or clippers, taper the the tush gradually from rear to tail (Do not shave the top of the tail!). Trim or shave the hair short near the private areas. In warmer weather you can cut belly hair shorter than usual to help them stay cool and to dry more quickly after swimming.

Under ears: Clean inner ears monthly. Hair should be pulled from the ear canal and the underside of the ear leather should be shaved (near the ear canal). Here is the best way to clean the ears, step by step:

  1. Don’t squeeze ear powder into the ear, it will clump and disperse unevenly. Instead, dip a Q-tip into the powder – this will provide a sufficient amount.
  2. Rub the Q-tip around inside the ear canal. If you give the Q-tip a twist, most of the hair should stick to it and pull right out.
  3. Use your fingers to remove the hair that is left over. This will also dry out the ear.
  4. To allow more airflow, you or the groomer can shave just behind as well as underneath the ear with a medium blade. Doing so will let the ear lay flat.
  5. Shave below the ear flap and along the neck. This helps to prevent mats caused by their collar.
  6. Repeat this process monthly (after swimming as well). Follow up with a treat of coconut oil – one tablespoon per 30 pounds of weight. Eating the coconut oil will help ensure that your pooch’s ears stay free of infections.

These steps are crucial in preventing bacteria from taking residence inside your Labradoodle’s ears.

Outer ears: Trim the outside part of the ear flap. The hair should be layered to about an inch, unlike the long, flat ears of a cocker spaniel. To check for proper length, pull the ear forward toward the snout. The hair should end before the nose and after the canine teeth. Polish up the edges by trimming along the curve of the ear.

Muzzle: The ideal Labradoodle muzzle should NOT be long and blunt, but round, with a shorter edge beneath the eyes so their vision remains unobstructed. For the top of the muzzle (eye to nose) – at a downward angle pointing toward the face, trim one to two inches above the nose.

Below the eyes, carefully trim the fur short enough so that there is nothing blocking your Doodle’s vision. Trim or thin out the wisps along the lip line so none of the hair goes into their mouth. At most, the hair along the lip line should be one inch long below the lip itself. From chin to neck, use thinning shears to prevent mats that tend to form here. Trim the beard to create a round, circular shape with the rest of the muzzle.

Top of the head: The top of your Labradoodle’s head should look natural. Take all of the hair from the top in your hand, and gently pull forward to above where the muzzle begins. Trim two to three inches above the eyes. This will create a nice layering effect, with short hair in front for clear vision, and gradually longer hair towards the back.

Feet: Create a round, teddy bear paw look by trimming along the toe line. Next, gather all of the paw fur and pull up, then cut to approximately one inch. This method makes the feet look natural instead of blunt. Turn the paw over and trim between the pads – this is especially important in the colder months when snow can get stuck here. Finally, trim the nails.

Bathing: Use shampoo and then spray with detangler – a popular brand is Cowboy Magic. If your Labradoodle just needs a quick refresher, try a bath replacement spray such as Dry Dog Instant Clean. DON’T BRUSH! Let your Doodle air dry or dry them without brushing by scrunching with your fingers. Doing so keeps their fur corded instead of fluffy.

Teeth: Keep your Labradoodle’s smile fresh and clean by brushing their teeth monthly with a toothpaste made for dogs.

If you are unsure of your styling skills, or would rather have someone else do the work for you, simply find a picture of a nicely cut Labradoodle and take it to your local groomer, along with your furry friend. Here are some good-looking Doodles for your grooming inspiration!

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