One of the most attractive features about our multigeneration labradoodles is that they do not shed. It’s why many who have had goldens, labs or other breeds in the past are now seeking labradoodles. Doodles still have the great loveable personality of the lab but, with the addition of the poodle, the multigen coats are non-shedding. Hooray!!
If there is a downside, it may be that because they do not shed, labradoodles do have a high maintenance coat. It can be easily maintained but takes commitment of time and effort.
First of all, plan to brush your doodle at least twice a week. If you begin this routine when your puppy is young, it will become a pleasurable bonding time for both you and your dog. Begin by using a metal comb for one or two minutes and then reward your puppy. Gradually increase the brushing time until you are able to do a full brush out with your dog remaining comfortable and relaxed. Use treats if necessary to reinforce that this is a great time for the two of you together. Always brush your doodle out before bathing and bathe once a week at first making it a fun experience.
The best tools to use for grooming at home are a metal comb and a slicker brush. You can also purchase small trimming scissors to snip those long hairs around the eyes and a nail cutting tool if you plan to do that at home. While it isn’t essential, a grooming table makes the task of brushing so much easier.
Check the inside of your dog’s ears often. Rinse them out weekly with an ear wash and then use a cotton ball or pad to dry them.
While your puppy is young, stop by your local grooming salon to introduce yourself and your dog. Let your pup experience the sights, sounds and smells of the environment. Go early in the day before it gets too hectic and keep your pup in your arms during this visit unless all vaccinations have been administered. Just a short, positive stop will make the next visit all the more comfortable for your dog.
Usually puppies will need their first grooming at about 4-5 months of age. At this initial appointment, your groomer will likely suggest just a bath and tidy with a full groom on a subsequent visit. Be sure to take photos to your stylist and let them know the look that you are hoping for. If you have been good about brushing your doodle, you will never get that horrible phone call advising that your dog will have to be shaved due to extensive matting.
Plan to take your Austalian Labradoodle to the groomer every 6-8 weeks and remember that the longer the coat the more high maintenance. If you like that long shaggy look but find the brushing is just too much for you, cut the coat shorter leaving the head and tail longer for easier maintenance.
Many doodle owners invest in the tools and learn the techniques to groom their dogs themselves. The following grooming video, produced by the Australian Labradoodle Association, will give you a great start.