Goldendoodle Grooming: How to Keep Your Dog’s Coat Looking Great

You’ve just brought home a new addition to the family – a Goldendoodle puppy, but how do you keep your dog’s coat appropriately groomed?

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How do I groom a Goldendoodle?

Goldendoodle grooming means regular bathing and brushing to ensure they look great. Depending on the coat type, Goldens should be brushed each day to keep their hair from matting. A slicker brush, steel comb, and dog clippers can aid in keeping your dog’s nails and coat looking as they should.

If you are a Goldendoodle owner who has enjoyed the affection of this excellent breed for a while, you know how essential it can be to keep your Doodle adequately groomed.

Rather than spend money and energy on professional groomers, many pet owners try to take care of their dog’s grooming needs themselves. 

Due to the wiry coat many Goldendoodles have, a little preparation and patience can go a long way to ensure the Doodle’s coat looks great and leads to a happy and healthy life for everyone. But what is involved in Goldendoodle grooming? How often do they need to be bathed or brushed? What about trimming their nails? Are there some specific tools that are needed for grooming your Goldendoodle? Should you just keep their coats trimmed regularly, or is shaving the loose curls just the lazy way out? There are so many questions to tackle, so let’s get started. 

What Should You Know About A Goldendoodle’s Coat?

Goldendoodles have different coats, made from different hair types. Typically, their coat type will vary from flat to curly, with a lot of shedding or virtually none.

The amount of hair loss will depend on their genetics. Most breeders find that F1B (hybrid back cross) sheds very little hair, based on the amount of Poodle they have in their bloodline. Most Goldendoodles do not release pet dander too severely, which is why they have a reputation for being hypoallergenic. 

Regardless of the kind of coat that they have, you should plan on daily grooming to keep the coat free of matting. 

Golden Retrievers have long hairy coats that do shed, so if your Golden has a straight coat, you should expect that your new addition to the family will release a lot of fur all over the sofa. 

The Retriever’s thick coat is designed to protect it from the elements, and shaving it down to the skin is not the answer. Shaving a Goldendoodle straight coat can make them susceptible to the elements, especially sun, heat, and colder temps. 

Poodles have curly, wiry hair that is designed to repel water. (Poodles were first bred as waterfowl retrievers). 

Since their hair is prone to knots and matting, this kind of hair requires daily brushing. If you don’t have time for this kind of one-on-one bonding, plan on trips to the groomers. 

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How Often Does A Goldendoodle Need Bathing?

You should plan on bathing your Golden about once a month on a routine. Use a 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner that is ph-balanced and made from natural ingredients. 

The shampoo and conditioner will work together, so you don’t have to rinse your pet twice. (As much as Poodles love the water, many Goldendoodle puppies are not accustomed to it).

There are lots of products on the market, but many pet parents have found that brands like TropiClean or WeLoveDoodles shampoo (this product has conditioner, moisturizer, and detangler in it) are excellent choices. (Both are top sellers on Amazon).

What Kind Of Goldendoodle Grooming Tools Are Needed?

You should spend a few minutes (5 – 10) a day brushing and removing any mats or tangles on your dog’s body that might have occurred. This routine can be an excellent bonding time for you and your doodle, prevent matting, and most dogs will love to have the chance to do some snuggling. 

To make daily dematting easier, you will need two kinds of brushes to help keep your puppy’s coat detangled and free of mats. 

A steel comb can be instrumental in detangling spots that have matted together (which seems to happen with curly-haired dogs). Use the steel comb to detangle and remove knots. 

A slicker brush is handy in removing mats and loose hair that would typically be shed all over the furniture. A slicker brush has a series of wire bristles attached to a flat surface, and as the wire brush travels over the dog’s coat, loose hairs, mats, and knots are caught and gently removed. (I usually start with the steel comb to get any visible mats or knots undone and then use the slicker brush as a finishing tool). 

It is important to remember to be gentle when using a brush. Since a slicker brush tends to catch hair mats that might still be rooted in your dog’s skin, using too much pressure, you can cause your baby some discomfort. If the brush doesn’t slide through the fur easily, back it off and work on the tangle with a steel comb or try to loosen it with your fingers before reapplying the brush

A detangling spray is helpful in getting stubborn hair knots out of your dog’s fur. Be sure to use one that is ph-balanced and safe for canines. Use a detangler to help coat the brush. For an example of one of Amazon’s best sellers for grooming dogs, see below (but it’s actually not hard to make a homemade Goldendoodle detangling spray):

What About Shaving My Goldendoodle Puppy?

Many pet owners shave their dog’s hair during the summer to remove the heavy curly coat that can sometimes trap heat and make the dog miserable. While a Goldendoodles coat can be heavy, shaving your Golden’s coat can also make them susceptible to heat, sunburn, and cold fluctuations. 

Your dog’s haircut can lead to skin problems in sensitive areas. If your Doodle is an inside dog, shaving is okay, but if you keep your dog outside in the elements, shaving is probably not the best idea. (Most Goldendoodles look better with a more fluffy look). 

Simply get a professional groomer to give your dog a haircut, and make it clear that you want the fur to be short but not shaved.

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What Are Some Tips For Effective Grooming? 

Here are some helpful tips when undertaking the grooming process with your Goldendoodle.

  1. Brushing should be part of your dog’s daily routine, especially during the evening when things are winding down, and your Golden prepares for bed. If the Doodle knows this is a regular part of their day, they will be much more willing to participate.
  2. Brush your Goldendoodle for 5 – 10 minutes daily to keep its fur from tangling into knots. 
  3. Regularly use a detangling spray to help keep the fur free of matting. About once or twice a week is sufficient.
  4. Bathe, towel dry, and then blow-dry your Doodle at least once a month. (The best time to get them acclimated to the water is when they are young).
  5. If you bathe at home, you can lengthen the time between groomer visits, but since Goldendoodle’s hair seems to grow fairly rapidly, you may need to visit every eight-ten weeks for regular grooming, a clip, and nail treatment. 
  6. If you bathe at home, use a 2-in-1 dog shampoo and conditioner so that you don’t have to rinse the dog shampoo, and then apply conditioner and rinse that out, too. 
  7. If you decide to give your Golden a haircut, it is best to get a Goldendoodle grooming guide that can guide you on what thinning shears to purchase and where to cut around the face and body to ensure a uniform length. Most dogs do not care to have their face trimmed and view anyone approaching with grooming scissors or dog clippers as a threat. (Believe me, a groomer might be an expense, but it is easier than fighting with your Golden just to keep them sitting still while you spend time grooming). 

One of the keys to an effective grooming session is to make the time in the water a positive and loving experience where you can bond with your pet. Do not bathe them quickly, but have some patience. 

Your dog can sense your anxiety about bath time and become more fidgety and resistant. (If you don’t like bath time, why should they?) So, stay positive and block off plenty of time to finish the job with minimal fuss.

Another tip is to break up the bath and brush time into different activities.

 Once the Doodle is towel and air-dried, (you want to expose your dog to blow drying) move to another location (like the couch or bed) to finish brushing. The Goldendoodle will relish the grooming time more if brushing is more of a snuggle moment than standing in a cold bathroom shivering. 

What About Nail Trimming?

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Nail grinders or clippers are a new thing that your dog needs to be exposed to. If you use a grinder, call your dog over with a treat and turn on the grinder. 

Let the dog check it out and get used to the sound. (Sometimes, you might only clip one nail a day until your dog realizes the clipper won’t attack them, but it means more bonding time with their owner. 

Here are some tips for effectively performing a nail trim regularly.

  1. Decide which nail to clip, and gently take your dog’s paw in your hand. Place your thumb over the nail and lift gently. 
  2. Insert the nail into the clipper or nail grinder. Cut at a 45-degree angle so as not to cut the quick. 
  3. Reward your dog with a treat.
  4. Take your time, be patient, and don’t scold your dog if they pull back or become uncooperative. Just reinforce the behavior you want with a treat, and soon they will become compliant. 

What Is An Improper Coat On A Goldendoodle?

A Goldendoodle is a cross between two breeds, a Poodle and a Golden Retriever. An improper coat is when your Doodle has short hair on the face, nose, and legs (looks like a Retriever) due to the lack of an RSP02 dominant gene. Many F1 Goldendoodles look like a Retriever with flat hair over their entire body. 

In addition, an improper coat Golden will not have a long mustache and eyebrows commonly seen in Poodles or dogs with wiry coats. 

One of the best ways to tell if your puppy has an improper coat is to look at a Goldendoodle’s face. A full mustache and heavy eyebrows mean that they don’t have IC. (A wavy or curly coat across their body is another sign). If you gaze into your dog’s face and it reminds you, or a Retriever or Labrador, your dog has an improper coat. 

Having a dog with an improper coat is not a bad thing. It means your dog will shed more and probably release more pet dander. 

(Regular bathing and brushing can help reduce the amount of hair transferred to your furniture). The dog will not be as hypo-allergenic as you might want, but these dogs have a dominant Golden Retriever gene and make for calm, loving, wonderful pets. 

Key Takeaways

  • Goldendoodles need to be brushed daily to keep their coats from matting. 
  • Most Goldendoodles need trips to the groomer every eight to ten weeks.
  • Grooming a Goldendoodle at home can be a time of bonding between your puppy and yourself.

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