Are you planning to adopt a Labradoodle soon? If yes, then you need to learn how to groom a Labradoodle in detail. Contrary to popular belief, not all Labradoodles are hypoallergenic.
Some of these gorgeous dogs can shed quite a lot and might require professional grooming, just like heavy-coated breeds.
Understanding the Labradoodle Coat
As with any crossbreed, there is no method for telling which parent breed has a stronger genetic influence over your puppy. You can only guess by looking at the fur around the muzzle of your Labradoodle pup.
What Type of Fur Do Labradoodles Have?
Labradoodles do not have homogenous coats. These canines have three different types of coats that also come in a variety of colors.
If the fur is crimped or crinkled, your pup has likely inherited the fleecy coat of the Poodle. Also known as the “Poodle coat,” it appears as loose waves or tight spirals. Either way, both locks are silky, smooth, and soft to the touch. Most importantly, this type of coat is manageable and sheds the least. That is why fleece is the most preferred coat in Labradoodles.
First-generation Labradoodles often sport a hair coat. This coat, being straight and medium in length, is a breeze to trim and kept clean. Typical brushing and a few pet wipes are enough to freshen up your furry pal in-between baths. On the downside, this coat sheds as it profusely does in Labradors. Also referred to as the “Labrador coat”, it is the least preferred type among sensitive pet owners.
Nevertheless, Labradoodles with this fur type is the right choice for pet owners who love the great outdoors. These dogs have a water-repellent top coat and an insulating undercoat, making them adventure-ready any time of the day.
If your Labradoodle has this type of coat, then you have a show dog right there! A wool coat has a lot of volume. Like cotton candy, it is pompous, light, and plushy! However, this beautiful fur also has its downsides. This coat requires frequent trips to the groomer since the hair mattes too quickly.
Some Labradoodles can be more like Poodles with a high-maintenance coat, while others can be more like Labradors that shed as often as they breathe. Rarely, Labradoodles can also have both curly fur and coarse straight hair. But only when a Labradoodle becomes an adult can you recognize its full coat.
Bathing a Labradoodle
Much like humans, our canine companions have their preference when it comes to bathing. Some dogs see bath time as another playtime, while others shy away from the mere sound of rushing water. Either way, the following information should help you how to bathe a Labradoodle effectively and efficiently.
How Often Should I Bathe a Labradoodle?
You may bathe your Labradoodle as seldom as once every two weeks if your dog spends most of its time indoors. The frequency can also go up to once every four weeks, depending on the time of the year. However, recent veterinary conferences suggest that there are benefits for dogs to weekly bathing, such as reduced allergen buildup.
Dogs that are as playful and energetic as Labradoodles can always end up with muddy paws and stinky fur after frolicking outdoors. Besides, bathing your dog is also an excellent opportunity to check in on your Labradoodle for red flags.
How Should You Bathe a Labradoodle?Train your pup
Make sure Pupper is already comfortable with the bathroom environment before you decide to bathe him for the first time. Likewise, acquaint your puppy with the items you will be using. Have your pooch sniff and touch the things.
Reward your dog immediately with a treat to trigger a positive association. According to Russell Hartstein of Fun Paw Care in Los Angeles, bath time is comparable to other training scenarios.
Your dog will learn to overcome its fear and learn to love the new experience through positive reinforcement.Prepare bath time ahead of time
- Buy a quality dog shampoo. Canines have a different skin pH as humans, and so, even an expensive baby shampoo is a poor choice for your furbaby. If your pet has a skin condition, you need to ask your veterinarian for a product that will address the individual needs of your canine buddy.
- Gather all the necessary supplies before you bring your dog to the bathroom. Having everything you need reduces the time spent on bathing your dog, as well as minimizes the risk of chasing your Labradoodle halfway during the task.
- The sound of rushing water may sometimes aggravate a nervous puppy or an unenthusiastic adult dog. So, fill the tub with water before you bring in your dog. Also, block the drain with a ball of steel wool to catch dog hair.
- Place a thick towel or a rubber mat at the bottom of the tub to provide traction. Being unable to stand without slipping can stress out your dog.
- Tuck in a cotton ball in each of your dog’s ear canals to prevent water from getting inside, and don’t forget to take it out after bathing.
- Offer treats and praises as you lead your dog to the tub. Use a leash if your dog is uncooperative, but never associate bath time with sulking glances or an angry tone of voice.
- Brush your dog before wetting him to get rid of loose hair and tangles. At the same time, check your dog for rashes and lumps.
- Wet your pup thoroughly, starting from the head and down to the paw. Make sure there are no traces of dried dirt left before you start shampooing; otherwise, it may cause the coat to felt.
- However, avoid spraying water directly on the face. Dogs tend to panic if there is water gushing outside their nose. You should also keep the ears dry.
- Lather up at the neck using a vet-recommended shampoo and work your way down to the tail and paws. A sudsy barrier at the neck prevents fleas and ticks from crawling to the ears. Don’t forget to wash your dog’s bottom.
- Follow the specific instructions set by the manufacturer or by your vet if there’s any. Keep your attitude upbeat as you wait for a minute or two for the active ingredients to penetrate the skin and coat of your dog. You may want to give your pup a relaxing massage while waiting.
- Rinse, rinse, and rinse some more until you get all the soap out of the skin and coat. Leftover shampoo residue can lead to flaking and itchiness.
- Use a pet wipe to clean the face and ears of your pet.
- Gently hold your dog’s muzzle with your thumb and forefinger to prevent him from shaking after its bath. A dog will start to shake from the head back, but if it can’t rotate its head, it can’t rotate its body, either.
- Wrap your dog with a large blanket. Use a different towel to wipe the face and paws. You can use a hairdryer to speed things up, but set it on the lowest setting to avoid painful injuries to the skin.
- Keep your pup busy indoors. Dogs usually get the “zoomies” right after a bath. Animal behaviorists depict this phenomenon as a release of nervous energy or perhaps, just an expression of sheer joy and relief. Since post-bath hyperactivity is a thing in dogs, you don’t want to let your dog outside to dry au naturel. Otherwise, he will roll in the ground and get dirty again.
How to Groom a Labradoodle
The following are simple tips for grooming your Labradoodle at home.
Trim the top of the nose and in between the eyes using a pair of blunt-tipped scissors. You should also trim the bangs neatly across the brow and blend it down into the sides of the face. Wipe any gunk out of your Labradoodle’s eyes.
Pay special attention to the ears, particularly the hair inside the ear canals. If left alone, the hair can ball up and attract mites and parasites.
Having too many hair strands in the ear canals also increases the risk for a bacterial infection due to the moisture and gunk it collects.
Therefore, pluck the hair inside your dog’s ears. Better yet, let a professional groomer do the job for you if you are apprehensive about the said task.
Likewise, use a dog-formulated otic solution to clean the ear canals and sprinkle some ear powder to eliminate moisture.
Moreover, keep the back of the ears short and curved. Layer the outside of the ear to approximately ½” to 1” below the end of the ear leather. Many pet owners let the hair grow much longer, but doing so will make the hair prone to matting. If that happens, your Labradoodle will lose the teddy-bear look of its head.
Head and Muzzle
Take all the hair from the top of your Labradoodle’s head in your hand, and gently pull forward to where the muzzle forms. Trim 2” to 3” above the eyes to create a feathered effect, with short hair in front for better vision and long hair flowing towards the back.
As for the muzzle, you want to trim the underside. You don’t want the hair to hang longer than an inch below the jawbone. Trim the muzzle to be round and layered so that it won’t get wet each time your dog stoop down to take a drink.
Eliminate tangles and matted hair using thinning shears or a bristle brush. Clip your Labradoodle’s coat to the desired length or shave it down to an inch. While it is possible to retain your Labradoodle’s long coat, it isn’t fun and easy exercise to do alone at home.
Do not let the hair around your dog’s bottom to grow continuously. This area mattes severely, and may catch poop.
Keep those pearly whites tartar-free by brushing it every month using a special toothpaste made for dogs.
Nails and Paws
Clip your dog’s nails to emulate your Labradoodle’s playful and carefree nature. Likewise, give its paws a nice, rounded trim. Keeping the paws shaped nicely lessens the amount of dirt and debris attaching to the feet.
How Often Should You Groom a Labradoodle?
Having the appropriate grooming schedule can help you cut down the shedding, as well as the opportunity to check your dog.
- Always lookout for any odor or discharge coming from the ears, eyes, and mouth.
- Brush your Labradoodle at least once a day.
- Give an adult Labradoodle some dog chews to help fight tartar.
Twice a month
- Give your Labradoodle bi-weekly baths or as soon as Doggo stinks.
Once every 2 – 3 months
- Trim the hair around and inside the ears.
Every four weeks
- Do a minor trim in the head, tail, feet, and rear.
- Trim the nails every six weeks or so depending on how fast they grow.
- Promote dental hygiene by brushing your Labradoodle’s teeth at least once a month.
Twice a year
- You may want to visit the groomer twice a year. Your Labradoodle will shed intensively as the seasons transition, Fall and spring are the worst shedding times for a Labradoodle.
What Dog Grooming Tools and Products Do I Need?
You will want to add the following tools and products to your Labradoodle grooming kit.
Brushes and Combs
- Give your Labradoodle bi-weekly baths or as soon as Doggo stinks.
- Make sure to use a pair of blunt-tipped cutting shears for cutting bangs and thinning shears for clipping near the muzzle.
- A bristle brush is an all-around type of tool. Made with natural boar bristles, it caters to all kinds of coats. Use this brush to clean and polish your dog’s coat.
- A slicker brush works well at breaking up tangles without causing dogs discomfort.
- As the name suggests, an undercoat rake resembles a mini garden rake with its small, fine teeth. This tool is an excellent choice for pulling out dead hair and severe tangles in long-haired Labradoodles. You may use this tool as a part of your daily grooming routine for dogs with thick undercoats.
- Once in a while, you will want to run a flea comb over your pooch to detect and remove fleas.
- A curry brush is an ideal tool for shaved Labradoodles, as well as those who inherited the coarse and straight “Labrador coat.” Use this tool to remove dust, dried dirt, and debris from your pet after a long day playing outdoors. This brush also helps stimulate the natural oils in your dog’s skin.
- A claw-style nail clipper cuts nails in a scissor-like manner. This product also goes by the term “plier-style trimmer.”
- A guillotine clipper comes equipped with a sharp blade that slices off a nail when the spring-loaded handle is depressed. This clipper is suited for puppies or smaller Labradoodles.
- A nail grinder is the safest and most convenient choice. This tool grinds down the nails using various speeds, resulting in smooth edges.
- A natural shampoo often includes fruits and herbs to improve the skin and coat of your pooch.
- Medicated shampoos contain varying ingredients, depending on the formulation and purpose of the product. Frequently, you need a veterinarian’s prescription to buy this type of shampoo.
- A coat conditioner is a fantastic addition to your dog’s bathing products. While this product isn’t always necessary to use, it can help keep your dog’s coat shiny and smelling fresh for longer.
Dog Ear Care
- Use an ear cleaner to soften gunk and wax buildup in the ear canal. With the help of an ear cleaner, you can remove visible dirt easily using a Q-tip.
- Sprinkle some ear powder after you clean your pet’s ears. This product will dry the ear canal by seeping excess moisture.
- Stick to electric clippers for shaving your pet, especially if you are not trained to use scissors.
- Tartar causes foul breath and yellowing teeth in dogs. If you don’t like the idea of brushing your dog’s teeth by hand, you can give your dog chew bones or toys to promote dental hygiene.
Should I Groom a Labradoodle Puppy?
A five-month-old Labradoodle puppy will not shed as much as its five-year-old future self. Then again, you should introduce grooming to your furbaby as early as possible. Allow your pup to become familiar with the tools you have at home.
Practice short and fun grooming sessions three times a week and extend the sessions as your puppy grows. Ultimately, you will have an adult Labradoodle that doesn’t mind sitting for an extended period or growl at you for fussing over its paws.
Should You Shave a Labradoodle?
You may shave the hair around the tail and belly area to prevent them from becoming dirt magnets. Shaving the base of the ears and along the neck also helps prevent matting.
How Much Do Grooming Services Cost?
Having your Labradoodle done by a professional dog groomer may cost you $45 to $75, depending on the type of service. Meanwhile, home service grooming will cost you anywhere between $75 and $100. I suggest you budget for professional grooming services at least twice a year.
While you can do many things at home to keep your Labradoodle clean and fresh, you must ask help from a professional groomer when it comes to clipping and shaping the coat.
A butchered-looking coat looks just as sad as matted fur. Many Labradoodles require serious help because their owners attempted to clip the coat at home.
Knowing how to groom a Labradoodle is an essential part of being a responsible owner. Even if you have plenty of money to cash out at the groomer’s, nothing beats the time spent caring for your dog. Dog grooming offers so much more than having a clean pet.
Taking time to groom your pet is an expression of love. Your Labradoodle will surely enjoy the extra snuggles and the attention it craves. But when it comes to challenging tasks, I suggest you would have a professional do the work for you.
Find a picture of a nice Labradoodle haircut and show it to your groomer!