Grooming a Goldendoodle – A Complete Guide
Goldendoodles are popular for their friendly, loving temperament and their adorable teddy bear looks. But that beautiful curly coat does demand lots of care and attention to keep it clean and looking gorgeous.
So, here are a few essential Goldendoodle grooming tips that every owner needs to master!
Do I Need To Groom My Goldendoodle?
Yes, you do!
Although you can opt to take your pet to a pro dog groomer every six weeks or so to have his coat clipped into a smart style, you still need to attend to basic daily brushing. Here’s why:
- Grooming prevents tangling and matting
- Brushing helps improve the dog’s circulation and promotes wellbeing
- Grooming enables you to spot skin problems
- Brushing your pet helps you to bond with each other
You don’t need to bathe your Goldendoodle every time you brush him. However, these lively, fun-loving dogs do enjoy getting down and dirty while out on walks, so frequent shampoo sessions might be necessary to keep your Doodle clean and tidy.
Goldendoodle Grooming Tools
Before you can get started on your Goldendoodle grooming adventure, you’ll need to invest in a few essential Goldendoodle grooming tools, including:
- Dog clippers
- Steel comb
- Scissors (blunt-tipped)
- Slicker brush
- Pin brush
- Dematting rake
You can find some of these supplies at your local pet store or order them online via the handy links we’ve included for you here.
If you use clippers, always buy pet-specific ones. Human clippers are usually not powerful enough to cope with pet hair and will pull on the coat and skin, which is very uncomfortable for your dog.
How To Brush Your Goldendoodle
We recommend that you brush your dog at least three times every week, depending on his coat length and type, although a daily brush is best. That will keep the coat mat-free and looking beautiful.
Step 1 – Brush Your Goldendoodle
Start by brushing your dog with the slicker brush. Always brush your dog in the direction of coat growth.
Brush the coat in sections, working from the bottom to the top. You want to see the skin in a line underneath each section of hair you work on.
Be very gentle and make sure that you don’t pull the dog’s skin as you work.
Go over the whole coat, including the tail, and under the armpits.
Step 2 – Remove Mats
Use a steel comb or a de-matting rake to gently remove mats from the coat. Generally, a steel comb is best on curly coats, whereas a de-matting rake is better for wavy coats.
Stubborn mats can be removed with blunt-tipped scissors.
Step 3 – Shave Problem Areas
The hair around your Goldendoodle’s belly, anus, and genital areas is especially prone to tangling, so it’s best to shave those parts entirely or at least trim them.
In these areas, the curly coat acts like a sponge, trapping dirt, urine, and feces, all of which can present a risk of infection and unpleasant odors.
You should also shave or trim away the hair about an inch or so below the dog’s ear canal. If the hair in this area gets too long, the airflow is restricted, encouraging bacteria growth that could trigger an ear infection.
Step 4 – Bathe Your Goldendoodle
Always brush your dog before you bathe him. Wet hair encourages matting and makes it extremely difficult to remove tangles after the fact.
Before you start, make sure the room isn’t drafty, and turn off your air conditioning. You don’t want your Goldendoodle to get chilled. If possible, have someone hold your dog so that he doesn’t jump out of the tub while you’re bathing him.
Shampoo Your Dog
The water temperature should be pleasantly warm but not too hot and definitely not freezing cold!
Use a showerhead or plastic cup to wet your dog thoroughly, taking care not to get water in his eyes.
Once your dog is completely wet, take a small amount of shampoo and work it well into the coat, right down to the skin. Don’t shampoo the dog’s face; you can use a sponge to wipe away dirt later.
Make sure you rinse away all the shampoo from your Goldendoodle’s coat, as residue can cause skin irritation.
Allow the water to run straight down the drain as you work.
Condition and Detangle
Now, take your conditioner, working it through the hair from front to back, and taking care not to ruffle the coat as you go. Unless you’re using a leave-in product, rinse the coat thoroughly.
Finally, take a nickel-sized amount of detangler and work it through the fur with your fingers, following the direction of the hair growth.
When all the conditioner is rinsed away, use a dry, fluffy towel to dry your dog.
Finish drying your Doodle with a pet blow dryer. Keep the dryer 12 to 18 inches away from your dog and use a warm setting, not a hot one, as you might burn your pet’s skin. Move the dryer back and forth quickly while fluffing the hair smoothly with your hand in the direction of growth until the undercoat is completely dry to the touch.
Finish off the process by setting the dryer on a cool setting and running it over your dog’s coat to cool it down.
Step 5 – Brush Your Dog A Second Time!
Now, you need to brush your dog all over again, starting at his head and working over the body to the tail, including the legs.
If you find any mats or tangles, gently remove them with your steel comb or a de-matting tool, adding a little more detangler to the coat if necessary.
Step 6 – Trim Your Goldendoodle’s Face
That cute teddy bear face with its curly fringe is a trademark look of Goldendoodles, but if the hair grows too long, those curly locks can block your dog’s vision.
Use a pair of blunt-tipped scissors to carefully trim overgrowth so that your dog can see clearly again.
How To Clip Your Goldendoodle’s Nails
Your Goldendoodle needs to have his nails trimmed regularly. If the nails get too long, they can scratch you and damage your flooring and furniture. However, most importantly, over-long nails can force the dog to walk abnormally or even grow into the skin.
Not all dogs appreciate having their nails clipped, so if you’re not confident to do the job yourself, ask your dog groomer to include a pedicure in your Doodle’s monthly visit to the salon.
However, if you have a chilled-out dog that’s not fazed by the procedure, here’s what to do:
Nail Clippers Vs. Nail Grinders
There are two main types of nail trimming tools; clippers and grinders.
Nail clippers look like pliers. Simply grasp the clippers’ handles, put your dog’s nail between the blades, and squeeze the handles together to trim off the tip of the nail.
Clippers are the most popular nail trimming tool since they are quicker and easier to operate than grinders, which can be fiddly, especially if your dog is a wriggler.
Nail grinders, or dremels, are battery-operated devices that contain a rotary sanding surface that gradually grinds down the end of the nail to the required length. Grinders tend to produce a smooth finish to the nail, which some people prefer.
Clipping The Nails
Before you begin, make sure that the nail clippers are sharp. If the cutting blades are dull, you risk twisting the nail rather than cutting it.
If you cut the nail too short, you might catch the “quick” inside the nail. The quick is filled with sensitive nerve endings and blood vessels, so it will bleed if you clip it by accident. Cutting into the quick is also extremely painful for your pet and can make your dog frightened of having his nails clipped in the future.
Transparent nails enable you to see where the quick ends, making it easy to gauge where to cut the nail. If your dog’s nails are opaque or black, look for the notch in the nail, which is usually where the quick finishes.
Correct Nail Clipping Technique
Your nail clippers will most likely be fitted with a special guard that you set to prevent you from cutting the nail too short. Make sure that you adjust the guard correctly before you begin.
To do that, work out where the quick ends and set the guard so that it’s impossible for you to cut the nail too short.
For extra safety, trim the nails at a 45-degree angle, as shown in the graphic below.
What If I Accidentally Cut My Dog’s Quick?
Unfortunately, accidents can happen, especially if your dog fidgets at just the wrong moment. So, what can you do if you cut your pet’s nail quick?
Take a clean cloth and apply it to the damaged nail.
If your dog will allow you to, apply firm pressure on the nail to stop the blood flow through the injury while the cut clots. Eventually, the wound will stop bleeding, and you can remove the cloth.
Apply Ice Or A Cold Compress
Cold temperatures make the blood vessels shrink, slowing the blood flow to the area, and allowing the wound to clot. Again, if your dog will tolerate it, try applying a cool cloth or some ice wrapped in a towel to the injury.
Styptic Powder For Dogs
Styptic powder is a commercially available product that you apply to the end of the nail to accelerate clotting.
However, you should know that styptic powder burns like crazy when you apply it, so your dog will quickly learn to associate his nail clipping experience with pain. That’s going to make the job super-stressful for both of you in the future.
We recommend you can use a pain-free alternative of corn starch or plain old flour that you probably already have in your kitchen cupboard.
Bandage The Wound
Any open wound, including a cut nail quick, can be an entry point for bacteria and subsequent infection.
To keep the area clean and protected until the quick heals, place a bandage around the whole paw. The bandage needs to be tight enough that it doesn’t come off but not so tight that you cut off the circulation to the foot. You should be able to fit one fingertip between the dog’s paw and the bandage.
Check out this video of a veterinary surgeon demonstrating how to correctly bandage a dog’s paw to see how it’s done!
Even if you take your Goldendoodle to the groomer every month for a professional grooming session, you still need to brush your pet every day to keep his coat clean and prevent mats and tangles from forming.
Invest in a range of high-quality grooming equipment and follow our top tips to keep your Goldendoodle’s gorgeous curly coat looking beautiful and in fabulous condition!