When I saw a Goldendoodle puppy for the first time, I immediately fell in love with this adorable teddy bear, and I wanted to bring her home with me. And I did just that.
As a hybrid, Tess truly has the best qualities of both of her parents: the gentle, family-loving, playful nature of a purebred Golden Retriever and the intelligence and adorable curly coat of a purebred Poodle.
But I had no idea that keeping Tess’ coat fluffy would become a daily battle due to terrible matting. I desperately need some tips to groom Tess properly in between her visits for professional grooming.
Fortunately, we can help this Goldendoodle parent with the following guide to how to groom a Goldendoodle.
Is It Important to Groom a Goldendoodle Regularly?
Yes, absolutely: regularly grooming your Goldendoodle is a critical part of ensuring that your dog is happy and healthy. All dogs require regular grooming to keep their coats clean, shiny, and healthy. However, Goldendoodles need grooming more frequently than many other dog breeds that regularly shed naturally.
Goldendoodles’ coats may vary, ranging from extremely curly, to slightly wavy, to relatively straight coats. Only those with straight coats may tend to shed. The curlier your Goldendoodle’s coat, the more hypoallergenic your dog will be.
The Goldendoodle’s coat texture and coloring, which depend on the pup’s parents’ genetics, may be apricot, reddish-brown, cream, gold, black, or multi-colored.
You will need to brush, groom, and trim your Goldendoodle’s hypoallergenic coat regularly to prevent loose hairs and bits of dirt from becoming trapped within the coat, leading to matting and tangling.
Matting can become problematic due to the following:
- They may essentially lockdown against your dog’s skin and become extremely painful.
- Every time your dog moves, these tangled knots may become tighter against the skin and more difficult to brush or comb through.
- If mats are left in place and allowed to grow bigger, they may become favorite hiding places for fleas and other parasites, mold, or yeast.
When Should You Begin Grooming Your Goldendoodle?
When Goldendoodles are puppies, their coats are silky, fluffy, soft, and simple to care for since you don’t yet need to worry about mats. But beware: Once your puppy’s adult coat begins to grow in, the transition may be a rapid one.
But first, consider taking the following steps to help your Goldendoodle puppy become comfortable with grooming:
- Begin brushing your Goldendoodle at an early age to help the puppy become familiar with a brush and comb. This way, when you bring your puppy to a professional groomer, it should feel like a comfortable, positive experience.
- Play with your pup’s paws. Many puppies can get snippy and upset when someone touches their paws. Yet if puppy parents gently play with their pups’ feet, they should be comfortable when a professional groomer starts to groom their paws.
If your veterinarian agrees, once your puppy is given his or her 16-week immunizations, bring your puppy to a professional groomer for the first time. Request a puppy clip, where the groomer will give your puppy a simple bath, trim the hair around the eyes, give a sanitary hair clipping, and trim the nails.
This first visit should help your pup feel safe and comfortable with grooming.
When Should Goldendoodles Receive Their First Full Haircut?
Goldendoodle puppies will still have their soft, fluffy puppy coats during their initial visit to the groomers. Many experienced Goldendoodle owners and professional groomers agree that Goldendoodle puppies should receive their first full haircut when they begin to shed their puppy coats.
During this process, which generally takes place between four to eight months of age, you’ll note that a new adult coat is replacing your puppy’s fluffy, soft puppy coat. The new adult coat may be curly, kinky, wavy, or relatively straight and stiffer and thicker than the puppy coat.
When the puppy coat begins to shed, the hair doesn’t simply drop on the floor or the ground. However, the dead hair has to go somewhere. Therefore, the puppy hair may get caught in the newly growing adult coat, causing tangles. If you don’t bring your puppy to the groomers for his or her first full hair cut early enough, those tangles can quickly become mats.
Because there are such a variety of Goldendoodle coats, this change may be relatively subtle, taking months to switch to an adult coat. Or it may occur rapidly, where your puppy’s soft, silky coat may appear to have developed tangles and mats overnight.
How Can I Prevent Matting?
Be sure to have a few tools in your toolkit to help prevent matting:
- A high-quality, hard-wire comb. Because mats tend to begin at the skin level beneath the hair, you should use a high-quality comb. When using the comb, begin at the skin and then comb out the hair.
- A high-quality brush. In some cases, brushes will only brush through your dog’s top coat and will not fully reach the mats. After combing your Goldendoodle, use a high-quality brush.
Ask your veterinarian for recommendations concerning the best combs and brushes for your Goldendoodle.
What Type of Coat Your Adult Goldendoodle Will Have?
During the first several months, the puppies’ coats will continually change, making it difficult to know what types of coats they’ll have as adults. However, when Goldendoodles’ adult coats begin to come in, you should begin to get a sense of the type of coats they’ll have.
Their coat type is important since it will impact how often you’ll need to groom your Goldendoodle. Although Goldendoodles with curly or wavy coats have no or low shedding, you’ll need to groom them more frequently than those with straighter coats.
Fortunately, there is one early sign that can help predict what kind of adult coat your Goldendoodle will have. Simply check the way that the hair grows around your Goldendoodle puppy’s snout:
- Does your puppy’s muzzle have a prominent mustache appearance? He or she will tend to develop a curly adult coat.
- Does the muzzle have a shaggy, beard-like appearance? Your dog is likely to have a wavy adult coat.
- Does your puppy have a short, neat snout? If so, your dog will likely have a straight coat.
In addition, what generation are your puppy’s canine parents? If the parents are anything other than the first generation (F1) – where the parents were a purebred Golden Retriever and a purebred Poodle – comparing the coats of your puppy’s parents may give you a good indication regarding the type of coat your puppy may have.
For example, if both parents have straight, loose hair, chances are that your puppy will inherit that trait and have a similarly straight coat (which means your dog will probably be a shedder).
Brushing Your Goldendoodle
How often you groom your Goldendoodle may vary depending on the coat type:
Curly Coat Goldendoodles
Curly coat Goldendoodles have coats that most closely resemble those of purebred Poodles. They also have the densest curls when compared to other Goldendoodle coats, which may range from tight, kinky, Poodle-like to loose curls.
If you don’t clip your Goldendoodle regularly, the curly coat will eventually stop growing. However, because the curls are so dense, you’ll be unable to determine the coat’s length.
In most cases, the hair around a curly coat Goldendoodle’s face is shorter than elsewhere on the body. Yet if that’s not the case, when brushed, your Goldendoodle may appear to have a large, tightly curled, kinky hairstyle that stands out all around the head.
If you have allergies, curly coat Goldendoodles may be an appropriate choice for you since they are usually hypoallergenic. (However, please note that no dog breed can be 100% hypoallergenic.) They typically do not shed, but again, require regular grooming. Most curly coat Goldendoodle owners say that their dogs’ coats have little to no smell.
So How Often Should You Groom a Goldendoodle?
Estimates vary among professional groomers and experienced dog owners, who may suggest that you brush your curly coat Goldendoodle daily, twice weekly, or three times weekly.
If you’re brushing three times weekly but are starting to notice little mats in between brushings, increase your brushing schedule to prevent tangling, knotting, and mats to help your dog be most comfortable and happy.
When brushing, be sure to reach the innermost layers of hair closest to the skin to gently remove any dirt, sand, or other matter that may have gotten caught during playtime outdoors. Some curly coat Goldendoodle owners have their dogs clipped just two to three times each year. If that’s the case, that makes regular brushing even more important.
Wavy Coat Goldendoodle
Goldendoodles most frequently have wavy coats that are also known as fleece coats. These Goldendoodles typically are low shedders and have coats that are not as dense as curly coats. If the coat remains untrimmed, it will grow in length to about four to seven inches. Wavy Goldendoodles typically have hair that is shorter around their faces.
You should brush your fleece coat Goldendoodle at least once or twice every week to keep your dog’s coat clean and healthy–and increase your brushing schedule if small mats begin to appear. If you do not brush your dog regularly, deep mats and tangled knots may develop in the coat that are extremely difficult to remove.
In some cases, you may need to shave the knots, which can be upsetting and painful for your dog.
Straight Coat Goldendoodles
Goldendoodles with straight coats have the most similarities when their coats are compared to those of Golden Retrievers. These Goldendoodles are the easiest to groom. However, you will still need to brush your dog regularly, particularly if your Goldendoodle has a dense undercoat.
In that case, you’ll need to brush your dog at least once weekly to avoid tangling and knots. Straight coat Goldendoodles do shed a bit, which you’ll need to consider if you have allergies.
Where Do Goldendoodles Tend to Develop Mats and Knotting?
When Goldendoodles begin to develop their adult coats, they may tend to develop tangles, knotting, and matting on and under their ears, under their armpits, on the back of their elbows and legs, and the base of the tail.
In addition, if your Goldendoodle wears a harness or collar, you will need to regularly brush these areas no matter your dog’s coat type.
Can I Groom My Goldendoodle Myself?
As noted above, you should regularly comb and brush your Goldendoodle. In addition, there are simple steps that you can take to help your puppy become more comfortable with the grooming process:
- Begin slowly, making every new grooming step a positive experience. Be sure to talk gently and sweetly, praise your puppy for cooperating, and reward with a favorite treat.
- As discussed earlier, gently play with and massage your puppy’s paws. This will help prepare your Goldendoodle for future grooming and dog nail trims.
- Sit on the floor with your puppy with any grooming tools you plan to use and allow him or her to sniff them. Provide praise and treats.
- Request a consultation with your professional groomer. Consider bringing your pup with you if he or she is current with vaccinations and your veterinarian gives approval.
- Slowly introduce your Goldendoodle to easy grooming steps at home. For example, begin with lightly using your fingers to comb your puppy’s hair and, when ready, progress to gentle combing and brushing.
- Continue to move forward with small steps, such as doing a simple Goldendoodle face trim at home rather than full professional grooming.
- Locate a professional groomer who has received good reviews and is extremely experienced with grooming Goldendoodles, particularly for your Goldendoodle’s first full adult haircut. Even if you’d like to periodically groom your Goldendoodle at home, it’s important to have a professional groomer whom you and your Goldendoodle trust.
How to Trim a Goldendoodle: Goldendoodle Grooming Styles
Did you know that the classic teddy bear was named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt? After he refused to kill a bear that fellow hunters had captured, Roosevelt called their behavior “unsportsmanlike.”
A Brooklyn candy shop owner decided to create a stuffed toy bear and dedicated it to the President, naming it “Teddy’s Bear.”
How to Do the Classic Goldendoodle Teddy Bear Cut?
Teddy bears are still popular today, and many feel that their adorable Goldendoodles look quite a bit like teddy bears. In fact, the Goldendoodle teddy bear haircut obtains all the cute features seen in the classic stuffed teddy bear, including the rounded face and muzzle, fluffy body, and big, rounded paws.
You can ask your professional groomer to give your Goldendoodle this classic haircut, or if you have confidence about your grooming ability, you can learn the specific steps.
Though keeping your Goldendoodle well-groomed may seem intimidating at first, you’ll find that it’s a wonderful way to bond with your new best friend.
Taking the steps discussed above will also play an important role in ensuring that your beloved Goldendoodle is a happy, healthy, and downright adorable teddy bear of a dog.