Smart, energetic, affectionate — Labradoodles are the total package. However, just because these furry friends make ideal companions doesn’t mean that they’re necessarily easier to groom. Never fear! Let’s explore the 6 steps to make Labradoodle Grooming Fun.
We are going to make labradoodle grooming your favorite pastime. We’ll also answer common Labradoodle grooming FAQs so that you can enjoy peace of mind as a pup parent. Sit back and relax. Grab a notepad and jot down some of these awesome tips!
Do Labradoodles Need Grooming?
Labradoodles serve as a cross between Poodles and Labradors, which gives them the unique advantage of having a somewhat hypoallergenic coat. However, take caution with this term.
Though hypoallergenic breeds may be less likely to shed, they can still carry common allergens within their coat. Moreover, many people are allergic to dogs’ saliva and dander, which isn’t necessarily mitigated by a low-shedding coat.
Long story short, Labradoodles will require regular maintenance and grooming, just like any other dog. Not only does this ensure that your pooch will stay happy and healthy, but it also keeps your home clean.
Should You Shave Your Labradoodle?
Before getting into the basics, it’s important to address this common misconception regarding Labradoodle grooming. When it’s hot outside, it only seems natural to shave down your Labradoodles luxurious, cozy coat. However, this isn’t always the best idea.
Since Labradoodles are part Lab, they are predisposed to be born with a double-coat. You’ll want to avoid shaving down a double-coated dog as much as possible, as this can make it difficult for the fur to grow back properly. Moreover, it may make it more difficult for your pooch to self-regulate their temperature.
There’s no way to really tell how much of your dog’s coat is Lab and how much is Poodle so it’s always good to err on the side of caution. If your vet needs to shave down your doodle for medical reasons, that’s understandable. However, if you have the choice, try to focus on alternative methods of grooming your pup.
While you may clip your dog’s fur to reduce cut down on the fur’s length, try to avoid shaving down your Labradoodle completely for the best results.
6 Steps To Make Labradoodle Grooming Fun
Without further ado, let’s get into exactly how to groom your furry friend.
1. Identify Your Labradoodles Hair Type
Before beginning your grooming process, you’ll want to identify your Doodle’s hair type to make sure you’re addressing it appropriately. The three main Labradoodle hair types are as follows:
The wool coat of a Labradoodle is very reminiscent of a Poodle’s coat. While this coat is very allergy-friendly and extremely low-maintenance, you’ll still have to prioritize regular brushing to prevent matting.
This hair type is slightly textured but less so than wire-haired Labradoodles. It usually features soft spirals and is fairly easy to manage, though it’ll require more maintenance than a wool Labradoodle’s coat.
These Labradoodles have longer strands of hair that are likely to shed more than the other Labradoodle hair types. This coat requires the most maintenance out of all 3 coats as it can easily carry odor and other debris.
2. Select Your Cut
Before picking up your pair of scissors, it’s also a good idea to pick out your preferred Labradoodle hairstyle. That way, you’ll have a game plan going into your grooming session. Moreover, if you ever need to go to a professional groomer, you’ll be able to communicate exactly what you’re looking for.
Keep in mind that some of these options may be limited based on your dog’s specific hair type. Here are some of the most popular haircuts for Labradoodles.
The Teddy Bear Cut
This trendy haircut makes any dog big or small, look like an adorable teddy bear. To complete this look, you’ll want to clip your dog’s body to about 2 or 3 inches long. You’ll leave the ears and face hairs deliberately longer, and try to frame the face with a more rounded look.
The Long Clip Cut
Perhaps you’re looking for a more shaggy look, in which case the long clip cut is probably your dog’s haircut of this choice. This style cuts the hair all around your dog’s body to about two inches in length. With this haircut, you’ll have to remember to brush your pooch’s hair more often to maintain those luscious curly locks.
The Short Clip Cut
The short clip cut is fairly simple and makes for an easy, low-maintenance haircut. Essentially, hair is cut down to about an inch around your Labradoodle’s entire body. This hairstyle won’t require as much regular brushing, though you’ll need to clip your dog’s fur frequently to maintain the short hair length.
Once you’ve selected your Labradoodle’s haircut of choice, it’s time to get grooming! Be sure to watch a couple of handy YouTube videos as well so you know what to expect when cutting down your dog’s coat.
Be especially cautious around sensitive areas— Dogs aren’t naturally used to being prodded in this way, so try to desensitize them ahead of time by massaging their paws, ears, and face gently whenever they are calm. Reward with lots of treats and praise to get them comfortable with the process.
In fact, it’s always a good idea to sit in on a professional grooming session before trying your hand at it. Your groomer is happy to give you some specialized tips and tricks to keep your Doodle happy and healthy.
3. Don’t Underestimate Brushing
One common misconception of Labradoodles and other poodles is that they don’t require regular brushing. This is simply not true. If anything, they may require more brushing than other breeds since their fur doesn’t shed as much. The longer a dog’s hair stays on the body, the more likely it is to tangle or hold on to nasty debris and dirt.
Therefore, make brushing your Labradoodle a part of your daily routine. Introduce them to your brush slowly so that they’re able to learn to love brushing.
You can also opt to use a detangling spray to make the brushing process easier while simultaneously moisturizing your skin. Try to opt for a more natural, mild option, like Earth Bath’s line of detangling and grooming products.
Brushing your pooch regularly will allow your dog to go in between thorough baths and haircuts for longer, and will also keep your pooch smelling as fresh as ever.
4. Keep Those Pearly Whites Pristine
A lot of owners will make the mistake of not regularly brushing their dog’s teeth. However, brushing your dog’s chompers will preserve their breath and your wallet.
By focusing on preventative dental care, your dog is less likely to need expensive surgery or dental operation down the line. Moreover, a lot of dogs can quickly learn to love the process. While it may sound gross to us, dog toothpaste comes in bacon and other meat-flavored varieties that your pooch will love.
Try to brush your dog’s teeth once a day to keep up their gorgeous smile. If you have the opportunity, start when your pooch is a puppy to make sure that your dog is open to dental cleaning throughout adulthood.
Old dogs can, in fact, learn new tricks (or tolerate teeth brushing for that matter), but it may take them twice as long to fully accept the process.
5. Bring On Bath Time
To keep your dog’s fur nice and fresh, you’ll want to give them a bath about once every month. However, try not to wash your Labradoodle too frequently, as this can dry out their skin. Be sure to check with your veterinarian for a washing schedule that works best for your doggie.
Generally speaking, you’ll want to brush your dog first before starting the bath. Next, you’ll gently use lukewarm water to rinse down your dog’s coat, be careful to avoid the facial region.
Using a mild shampoo, massage the directed amount into your dog’s coat starting at the top of the neck, all the way down to Fido’s bottom. Once it is fully worked in, rinse thoroughly with water. Make sure you get out as much residue as possible— Left behind products can irritate the skin and leave your pup feeling itchy.
You can dry your dog with a cotton towel or a hairdryer on a low setting. Finally, reward Fido with loads of treats and praise!
6. Nail Care Is Dog Care
Dogs need to maintain a healthy nail length to stay healthy. As an added bonus, your pooch will be less likely to scratch or damage furniture.
Have a groomer show you how to clip your dog’s nails safely. When you cut nails from home, be sure to have some styptic powder on your hands, just in case you clip a bit too far. While hopefully, this won’t happen, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Over time, you’ll become much more comfortable with grooming your Labradoodle and develop a regular routine. Don’t be discouraged if grooming is difficult for your Doodle in the beginning.
Grooming Your Labradoodle Is An Essential Skill
Even if your pooch is hesitant to grooming currently, that doesn’t mean that they won’t or can’t learn to love the process in the future. Regardless, grooming will certainly keep your pup happy and healthy and is an essential part of canine care.
In addition to feeling great, regular grooming protects your pooch from nasty parasites and common transmittable diseases. Your dog depends on you to make sure they stay fresh and clean, so make sure that it’s near the top of your pup parenting priority list. Enjoy bonding with your Labradoodle over bathtime.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Doodle Board!!