Labradoodles have coats that will require a regular brushing and grooming routine. There are some simple things you can do to make sure your dog’s coat stays free of mats and has a wonderful groomed look. We hope this page helps you keep your dog’s coat in good shape at home in between the visits to the professional groomer and we hope you learn to have fun with your Labradoodle grooming experience at home!
We frequently see dogs with coats in need of serious help due to families attempting to clip or scissor coats on their own, or being unsuccessful at keeping the coat mat free. A matted or butchered looking Labradoodle is not a very attractive Labradoodle and severe matting can cause severe discomfort and skin issues. If you are not capable of keeping your dog’s coat in good condition, please budget for a professional grooming at least three times a year for the major trimming/clipping, and more frequently for bathing/brushing for those who do not brush their dog at home. The average cost to have a Labradoodle done at a groomers is between $45 and $75 dollars, depending on what you are having done. It will be less for bathing and brushing only than it will for a full trim and clip.
LABRADOODLE GROOMING BASIC – TOOLS & SUPPLIES YOU WILL NEED AT HOME FOR BASIC GROOMING NEEDS
- Slicker brush (We prefer Les Pooch or Chris Christiansen brushes.)
- Mars Coat King (dematter)
- Nail Clippers (We prefer the guillotine style or Dremel)
- Styptic Powder (For use if you accidentally cut the quick of the nail down to low and bleeding occurs.)
- Blunt tipped cutting shears (For use between the eyes and on face. Geib and Dubl Duck are two quality brands we recommend.)
- Thinning Shears (Great for use on the muzzle and head.)
- Shampoo (Oatmeal based shampoos are generally good options, unless your dog is allergic to oats.)
- Cowboy Magic Detangler
- Ear Cleaner (We prefer Epi-Otic cleaning solution.)
- Ear Powder (To prevent moisture causing infections.)
If you want to try and do your own fully body scissoring or clipping at home instead of hiring a professional groomer, we recommend having the following tools. We highly recommend that you use the services of a professional groomer at least once every 6 months, but preferably every 4 months.
- Andis AG-2 speed clippers
- #10 blade
- #3 3/4 Finish blade
- #7 Finish blade
- #30 clipper blade
- Blade cleaning solution
- Clipper oil
- Spray coolant (For use on the blades during grooming so they do not heat up to hot on dog’s skin.)
Your puppy will require weekly grooming maintenance including nail clipping, ear cleaning, and brushing. Establish a routine that you will follow through with or you will end up with a puppy with nails that may rip or cause problems walking properly, ears that have infections, and coats that are severely matted to the skin and cause severe discomfort for your dog.
Your dog’s coat should be checked 2-3 times weekly for mats and brushed with a slicker brush giving a lot of attention to the chest, under the neck and armpits, and behind and under the ears. These are the areas that are most prone to matting. Part the hair and brush from the base of the coat in small sections. Many people only brush the surface of the coat and do not realize the dog is matting very badly next to the skin.
Remember, if you cannot maintain basic brushing and grooming on your own, then you will need to budget for using a professional groomer. You should still try to clip nails and clean ears weekly at home, and give your dog a brushing at least once a week.
When you groom your puppy or dog, you will want them to have a clean coat so your scissors and clipper blades work efficiently and do not wear down more quickly. For new puppy owners, here is a basic video on HOW TO BATHE YOUR PUPPY.
Here are some general, simple tips for basic maintenance when grooming your doodle at home.
Eyes: Your Labradoodle should always be able to see well and not have hair hanging and restricting vision or growing up and into the eyes from the bridge of the nose! Using blunt tipped scissors, trim the hair over the bridge of nose and in between eyes so vision is not obstructed. Hair that hangs over the eyes should be trimmed neatly across the brow blending down into the sides of the face. If your dog gets eye gunk, use eye wipes every few days to keep them clean.
Ears: Hair on ears should be 1/2 to 1” below the end of the ear leather. NO LONGER. Many people let the hair grow much longer and then it is prone to matting and the dog loses the nice teddy bear shaped look of it’s head. A Labradoodle with long ear hair does NOT look like the standard for the Labradoodle, it looks more like a Cocker spaniel. Shape the ears and blend hair neatly into the top of the head. Just under the ear canal and under the ear flap, keep the hair clipped no longer than 1/2” to allow for good air flow. This will help prevent infections. You can use a clipper with #10 blade for a good length in this area. If the canal has a lot of hair inside, you will need to pluck it out in very small amounts to prevent irritation. Hair that grows in the canal can “ball up” and become a source of wax and bacteria buildup. If you are not comfortable pulling the hair yourself, then make sure your groomer does so when you take your dog in for their trimming/clipping. Clean ear canal with solution and then use ear powder to eliminate moisture.
Paws: Trim paws in a nicely rounded shape so that hair does not hang over the paw and cannot be walked on. Completely clip hair from in between pads on bottom of feet. This is most easily done with an electric clipper and a #30 blade. Keeping the paws shaped nicely will aid in less debris attaching to feet when outside and being drug into your home.
Muzzle: The hair on the underside of the muzzle should be trimmed so it does not hang longer than 1” below the jawbone, and rounded along the jaw line up towards the neck. Long muzzle hair results in beards that drip with water every time your dog gets a drink. The hair on the sides of the muzzle should be even with the bottom of the lower jaw.
Tail: Hair should be kept clipped no longer than 2-3” so that it has a nice feathered look, but is not hanging too long. This is an area of the body we frequently see with matting. Hair is left to grow and grow and GROW and you not realize it is severely matting close to the tail.
Inside Legs & Hind end: Clip hair on inside of legs and on the hind end under tail to 1/2” length. This helps prevent matting and urine or feces from building up on the coat when your dog uses the bathroom.
Body: If you like a longer coat, more brushing and maintenance will be required. It is possible to have a Labradoodle with a long coat of more than 4″ long, but it isn’t easy and requires a very dedicated and committed person following a strict grooming schedule. A good and easy length for most people to maintain is between 1-2” long. Here are a couple examples of shorter cuts that most find easy to maintain.
Recommended Groomer in the Portland, Oregon, area. Dog Grooming By Kristin
PICTURES BELOW ARE THE DESIRED LOOK FOR A LABRADOODLE COAT THAT IS CLIPPED. NOTICE EAR HAIR IS NOT TOO LONG, EYES ARE NOT COVERED WITH HAIR, HAIR UNDER THE CHIN IS NOT TOO LONG, MUZZLE IS WELL ROUNDED, FEET ARE NICELY SHAPED, AND OVERALL LENGTH OF HAIR NO GREATER THAN 1 1/2 – 2″ LONG.