The “doodle” craze has been all the rage lately because they are non-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs. But, just because they don’t have an undercoat, doesn’t mean they are low maintenance. In fact, doodles are one of the most difficult breed mixes to groom. If you have tried to groom your doodle at home, make sure to avoid these common doodle grooming mistakes:
You don’t dry your dog completely.
Towel drying leaves hair damp. Doodles or curly-haired dogs need to be dried to the skin in order to prevent matting. This rule applies any time your dog gets wet – after bathes, swimming, rainy days, or beach outings. Owners that make this mistake will create severe matting that turn into pelts and require shaving down to the skin to get rid of. A pelt is when the matting is so severe that it becomes knotted and intertwined and can be pulled off as a single layer. This is the worst kind of matting and is very painful for an animal.
You move around the blow dryer too much.
Curly haired dogs need to be blown out in a specific direction or the hair tangles and knots. Use low heat if using a human dryer and blow dry in one, specific direction to avoid a knotted mess once they are dry.
You use the wrong brush.
Some people swear they brush their dogs every day, but their dog is still matted. When brushing curly haired dogs, the brush or comb needs to get down to the skin in order to prevent matting. Brushes are great, but combs make it easier to get down to the skin. Check out recommended brushes for your doodle grooming here.
You don’t brush your dog before the bath.
Dogs with mats or tangles need to be fully brushed out prior to getting wet. Water tightens matting and makes them more difficult to remove. For medium to large doodles, it should take at least 1 hour to properly brush out prior to bathing.
You don’t use a detangler conditioner.
For amateur dog bathers such as pet owners, detangler conditioners can help the pre & post bath brush outs. To tackle knots that a brush or comb can’t handle, consider using these detanglers recommended by professional groomers.
You don’t brush your dog daily.
Brushing a doodle is time consuming but if you want long hair, it’s a must. Break up the body parts by day to minimize the time. But, never miss a day.
You don’t trim your dog’s bangs.
The sheep dog look is cute, but giving your dog the ability to see is more important. We have seen some dogs blinded so much by their hair that they can’t even see a treat when it’s in front of their face. Keep bangs neat or pull them up so your dog can see.
You keep your dog’s harness on all of the time.
We always recommend having a collar with tags (for safety). But, harnesses need to be removed when dogs are not outside. They shaft and cause severe matting under the armpits. Matting around the neck and armpits is very painful and difficult to remove. Here are some harnesses we recommend for your doodle.
Keeping your doodle hair long
In addition to daily home maintenance, doodles should have professional grooming appointments every 4 to 6 weeks. Bringing them to the groomer will ensure that they are properly cleaned and thoroughly brushed and combed. The better maintained the coat, the more options you have for styling.
Grooming doodles can take two to five hours depending on the size of the dog and the condition of the coat. Even a well maintained doodle takes nearly two hours to properly groom. Expect to pay upwards to $200. Many groomers have an extra fee for doodles and matted dogs generally cost more as well.
If you want easy maintenance, we recommend keeping your doodle’s hair short and neat. This reduces at home care (but does not eliminate it).
If you have questions about doodle grooming, ask your local dog groomer for tips and make sure you set up a regular routine.