A How-To guide on everything from brushing to nail trimming your Labradoodle
Grooming Your Labradoodle
Labradoodle coats require a regular brushing and grooming routine. There are some simple things you can do to help your Labradoodles coat to stay free of mats and maintain that adorable look of the Labradoodle. By doing these you can keep your Labradoodles coat looking great between visits to the groomer.
Australian Labradoodles continually grow their coats. They need to be clipped regularly or the coat will end up too long for you to maintain, thus resulting in the coat matting. How often you have your Australian Labradoodle trimmed will depend on how fast their coat grows, your personal preferences in look, how much maintenance you want to do at home and how often you want them groomed professionally.
How Often Should I Groom my Labradoodle?
- You should expect to bathe and blow dry their coat once a month. Brush out coat before bathing.
- Plan to have them trimmed approximately every 6-8 weeks.
Before taking your Australian Labradoodle to the groomer it is best to ask if the groomer has experience with grooming Australian Labradoodles. You do not want them to 'Poodle your Doodle'. You can ask for references or take photos of the look to show them to the groomer. If still unsure, ask for the "Teddy Bear" clip.
Additionally, you can ask your groomer to do the nails and pluck the ear hairs during grooming if you would like to avoid doing this at home.
Brushing Your Australian Labradoodle's Coat
The amount of brushing needed is dependent upon your Labradoodle’s individual coat, how long you keep the coat and what activities they are involved in.
Puppies should have gentle grooming with a slicker brush 2-3 times per week starting after they are 2 months old. This is primarily to get them used to the process of being brushed. Each grooming session will likely take you no more than 10 mins.
For an adult Australian Labradoodle you should allow on average 30 minutes every week for brushing. If your Labradoodle is active in the water or activities in nature you may have to brush through them more often to remove debris or loosen hair clumping during the drying process post-swimming.
Don’t try to brush wet hair as it is very elastic and can break off or mat tighter. Wait until your dog is dry, then run a slicker brush through their coat.
Tips on Brushing Your Labradoodle
- Using the slicker brush , separate your dog's coat with your hand. You can then brush and comb all the way to the skin. Work backwards from the feet up to the body and from the tail to the head.
- Brush in the direction of the hair and add small amounts of the coat to each stroke. This will allow you to work all the way to the skin.
- Between six to twelve months old a puppy's coat needs more frequent brushing during its changeover to the adult coat. This is to remove the puppy coat so it doesn’t tangle and get matted as the adult coat is growing in.
- It is very important that you work through the process of helping to remove the puppy coat from your Labradoodle. During this period you can have the Labradoodles hair cut short to help keep the maintenance down.
- Use a dematting tool to help break a mat into a smaller piece for easier removal. Then brush, comb, and gently work any mats out. When the comb will work through the hair without getting caught up your Labradoodle's hair is properly groomed.
- It is often a good idea to set aside shorter periods of time and brush certain areas each day instead of a long brushing session. This will help to keep the Australian Labradoodle from being frustrated with the brushing.
- Don't forget to treat the Labradoodle for a job well done!
Bathing Your Australian Labradoodle
Australian Labradoodles need to be bathed and brushed out approximately once a month. Puppies can be bathed as needed.
- Use a natural, tear-free, gentle dog shampoo/conditioner that rinses out thoroughly.
- Be sure to brush through the coat completely before bathing to prevent any mats from getting tighter.
- Pay close attention to rinse all the shampoo out of the Labradoodles' hair.
Australian Labradoodle Nail Trimming Tips
Trim your Labradoodles nails about once per month. Puppies are often trimmed more than once a month because their nails grow so fast.
See our recommended nail trimmers.
- Have your Labradoodle sit beside you. Then place one of its paws in your hand and gently pull it forward. If your Labradoodle dislikes being handled this way, slowly accustom the Labradoodle to it by offering treats and praise.
- Gradually shorten one nail. Be sure to stop before you reach the quick, which is the part of the nail that contains nerves and blood vessels.
- If you cannot see the quick clearly, stop cutting just before the point at which the nail begins to curve downward. It's better to be safe than cut into the quick.
- If you cut into the quick, do not panic. Put some clotting powder on a moist cotton swab and press it firmly against the nail for several seconds.
- Repeat the process until all of the dog's nails have been trimmed.
- Treat the Labradoodle for a job well done!
Australian Labradoodle Dental Care
Australian Labradoodle puppies need regular dental care. Poor Labradoodle dental care encourages tartar build-up which can cause swollen, inflamed gums as well as dental infections that can lead to serious health issues, such as heart and kidney disease. Puppies between one and three years old should have their teeth brushed at least twice a week, although more often is beneficial to have your puppy become comfortable with the task and long term dental health. Australian Labradoodles over three years old should have their teeth brushed at least three times a week. Getting your young Labradoodle puppy used to having their teeth brushed will pay off when you have to brush more often as they get older.
- Doggie toothbrush-choose the style that works best for you.
- Canine toothpaste. Never use human toothpaste.
- Dental wipes/pads-for a quick brush
Ear Plucking/ Cleaning
Australian Labradoodles have hair that grows inside their ear canal. It is absolutely essential that you remove this hair on a regular basis.
It is very simple and straightforward to do as long as you keep on top of it and don't let it get out of control. Once a month, have a look inside the ears to check for hair growth.
- If there is any hair in the ear canal that needs to be removed, put a little ear grooming powder in the middle of the ear.
- Massage the powder in for around 10-20 seconds. This opens up the pores and also ensures that the hair is dry so that you can get a firm grip on it.
- Gently between finger and thumb to tease the hair out slowly a little at a time. This is obviously not the most pleasant of things for your Australian Labradoodle to put up with, but they will soon get used to it and it is much better than the ear infections that could occur if this procedure wasn't done properly and regularly.
- If your puppy/dog wiggles or starts whining you must persevere as it is very important to have the hair removed for the long-term health of the dog's ears.
After plucking the ears, it is good to use an ear cleanser solution once a month to remove excess wax and dirt from the ear.
- You just need to put an ear cleanser solution in the ear canal (fill the entire ear canal) and massage the outside of the ear at the base for about 30-45 seconds.
- You will hear a squishing sound. At this point let go of your Lardadoodles head. Your Labradoodle will shake his head from side to side which will loosen the wax and dirt.
- Covering the dog's head with a towel before letting go of their head helps to control the mess.
- Then take a cotton ball/square and wipe all the dirt and wax out of the ear canal. Work slowly and gently and you will not cause any damage to the ear.
- If the ear canal is still not clean repeat the process. Then simply do the other ear in the same manner.
If your dog's ears have any of the following consult your veterinarian immediately.
- Odor from the ears
- Pruritic discharge (pus) or blood
- Excess scratching, pawing or rubbing at the ears
- Violent head shaking or “ear snapping”
- Redness and/or swelling of the pinna or ear canal
- Sensitivity or pain when ears are touched