Grooming Goldendoodles and Labradoodles

In 1980s Australia, a visually impaired woman needed a guide dog. She wanted one that was hypoallergenic so her husband’s allergies wouldn’t activate. A breeder set out to help this woman by crossbreeding the intelligent Labrador Retriever with the hypoallergenic Poodle, thus creating the Labradoodle. Goldendoodles emerged in the 1990s shortly after. Bred as a hypoallergenic guide dog, the Labradoodle, as well as the Goldendoodle, are now two of the most popular family pets in the world. This is why we created a guide with tips on how to maintain, style, and care for your Doodle’s coat.

Types of Doodle Coats

curly doodle

The genetic diversity of doodles creates a wide range in height and weight, with heights from 13-24 inches, and weights from 15-90 pounds. Their coat type also varies:

  • Straight/wavy
    • Straight coats are typically low-shedding, and have a silky texture.
  • Curly
    • Curly coats have tight curls, are hypoallergenic and low-shedding, and require very frequent brushing too prevent mats.
  • Wavy/curly combination
    • Some Doodles have a mixture of wavy and curly hair. They may have wavy hair on the body, and curly hair on the face and tail.
  • Fleece
    • Fleece coats are soft, wavy, and have a wool-like texture.
  • Hair
    • Some Doodles have a straight, dense coat resembling a Golden Retriever.straight doodle

Tangling and Matting

Mats can occur for the following reasons:

  • Lack of Brushing
    • This is the most common cause of matting. Irregular brushing allows loose hair to accumulate and tangle with the coat, which causes mats. Additionally, a Doodle’s undercoat can shed and mix with the outer coat which can also cause mats.
  • Moisture and Dirt
    • Moisture and dirt can cause the hair to clump together and become matted.
  • Coat Length and Texture
    • The longer and curlier the coat, the more prone it is to matting.
  • Friction and Movement
    • Areas where the coat rubs against itself, like behind the ears, under the collar, or between the legs, are prone to becoming tangled and matted.

Long-haired dogs, especially Doodles, should be brushed out a few times a week. Curly-haired doodles should be brushed out everyday (our Lead Groomer Lisa has some tips on brushing dogs in this article).

For quicker results, detangling spray is applied before brushing to loosen tangles and make mats easier to brush. Coat conditioning sprays can be used in between regular grooms to moisturize and deodorize. It keeps the coat soft, shiny, and smelling fresh.

In general, Doodles should be getting groomed every 4-6 weeks. Bathe your Doodle too often and their coat will be stripped of natural oils, resulting in dryness and skin irritation. They can usually be bathed with regular dog shampoo. Our default shampoo is Tropiclean Coconut and Papaya all-in-one shampoo and conditioner, and a tear-free shampoo for the face.

Doodle Cut Styles

  • Puppy Cut
    • The hair is uniformly trimmed all over the body, keeping the coat short and manageable.
  • Teddy Bear Cut
    • The hair is kept slightly longer. The face is trimmed round, and the ears are kept long and fluffy, resembling a teddy bear.
  • Lion Cut
    • The body is trimmed short, while the hair on the head, neck, and shoulders is kept longer and fuller. The longer hair around the head and neck resembles the mane of a lion.
  • Retriever Cut
    • The body hair is trimmed shorter, while the hair on the ears, tail, and legs are kept longer. The long hair on the head and tail is seamlessly blended with the short hair on the body. This cut provides a natural, less stylized look for your Doodle.

Doodles have hair on their feet that grows in between their paws, which should be trimmed regularly to prevent matting, debris accumulation, and provide better traction. Our Senior Groomer Sabrina has tips for trimming paw pads:

@backyardpetservicestx Sabrina gives us paw pad grooming tips! #backyardpetservices #mckinneytx #frisco #allen #prospertx #celina #melissatx #plano #texas #dog #doggrooming #pet #cute ♬ All I Want Is You – Disco Lines

Seasonal Grooming

short hair doodleThe way your Doodle’s hair grows changes with the seasons:

  • During the summer, you may want them to have a shorter coat to stay cool.
  • As fall begins, the coat will grow back out, meaning you’ll need to stay diligent about brushing to prevent matting. Also check their paws after they go outside for fallen leaves, twigs, or debris.
  • During winter, Doodles may appreciate having a longer coat for some added insulation. They may also experience dry skin due to the dryness of the winter air, so make sure they’re getting moisturizing dog shampoo when they get baths.
  • During spring, dogs typically shed a little more than usual, which can be alleviated with frequent brushing.

If you decide to get a Labradoodle or Goldendoodle, you must be committed to brushing everyday and getting on a regular grooming schedule. If you’re up for the task, Doodles are the most fun companion you could ask for!