Grooming Pointers & Supplies
We do very minimal grooming on our labradoodles. When you go to the groomer, there are basically three levels you can request (and all sorts of custom spa treatments). There is Face, Feet & Fanny touch up work - ears, eyes, nails, and touchy area. There is the glam groom, that many people choose to do on a regular basis so that there doodle always looks great. Finally, there is the all over, full groom - standard is a complete clipper trim. They will typically leave what they can on the face, feet, and tail. You can also ask for - to the skin - which is what we choose. They look like skinny, small Labradors with this cut, but they are the cleanest this way (they don't pick up vegetation) and you can go the longest between groomings - typically 5 months. Remember, your doodle doesn't shed, so they MUST have their hair cut. If you start to notice any shedding balls or matting, it is time to go to the groomers. Below are some tools to use between groomings or to do your own grooming - which isn't really too bad, particularly if you do it outside. If you are patient, you can even completely maintain your doodles coat with just a brush and old fashioned scissors. That said, most people these days are very happy to get back a beautiful, clean pup from the groomers.
We use nail grinders, nail clippers, slicker brush, and de-matter tools for very small amounts of upkeep between grooming. Watch ears closely for too much hair, which can cause yeast infection. Groomers and vet can pluck ear hair and it isn't too hard to learn to do it yourself. The nail trimmers are the only thing you will need quickly when you bring your new puppy home.
POINTER: Every day, while you are playing with your puppy, mess with their nails, their eyes, their tails - so that they are not alarmed at grooming time. I literally pretend to do the nails as often as possible when they are little so that they are comfortable with their nails being handled and looked at. Also, a bit gross, but your doodle will have a lot of eye buggers in their lifetime because of the facial hair. Most of my dogs are happy to eat them when I take them out (in fact, my little nursemaid dog EWOK cleans up everyone in the morning for me). One of my girls doesn't and it is a little bit of a hassle, so if it doesn't gross you out, go ahead and give them to your puppy.
You can leave everything to the professionals except cleaning out eyes in the morning, watching the ears, trimming bangs and hair from eyes, and occasional, between grooming nail trims.
I love the IWEEL cordless, rechargeable clippers. The dogs get used to them quickly and with a little practice, I have been reducing my trip to the groomers. During COVID, I have been able to do all my own clipping, although it is not as pretty as the job the groomers do.
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Current Authors: Megan and Chris Moore