As a crossbreed between a Labrador Retriever and a Poodle, the Labradoodle is a non-shedding dog breed that’s very cute and fluffy in terms of appearance. They are ideal for people who have pet allergies but they do need proper care when it comes to grooming and regular brushing.
Even if a dog breed like the Labradoodle doesn’t shed, they still need to be removed from their mats and tangles. By sticking to a regular schedule and doing the right grooming techniques, you’ll end up with a healthy and happy dog.
So, how exactly do you groom a Labradoodle? We’ll find out more in this article below, as we list down some tips and tricks to make your life easier with your dog.
At what age do you start grooming a Labradoodle grooming?
The Labradoodle is best groomed first at 4 to 6 months old. This is the stage of their life when they begin to develop their adult coat beneath their puppy coat. In most cases, you do need to get your Labradoodle puppy fully vaccinated before you can take them to the grooming salon.
When should a Labradoodle puppy get his first grooming?
As mentioned above, you should wait until around 6 months of age to get your Labradoodle to the grooming salon. This is also especially the case if the salon owner or caretaker requires that your dog gets a full vaccination before they can get their grooming.
How often to groom a Labradoodle?
Once they get their first haircut at the salon, your Labradoodle should be groomed at least every 6 to 12 weeks. This regular schedule will help them to remove tangles, mats, and to keep their coat looking pristine and neat.
Remember that grooming your Labradoodle is more than just taking them to the salon – you should also do your part by brushing them daily.
How to groom a Labradoodle
The basics of grooming a Labradoodle involve bathing, clipping, trimming the nails, brushing, and even cleaning their teeth. When you’re grooming your dog for the first time, it can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if your canine friend isn’t very cooperative (or if they’re scared). But eventually, they will get used to it if they are kept in a routine.
Generally, Labradoodles don’t get aggressive when you groom them, so sticking to a positive reinforcement method such as giving treats, is usually okay and will work well in most cases.
To groom your Labradoodle’s face, a #9 blade works best since it tends to be longer to give a fluffy look. As with the rest of the body, always follow the direction of the growth of the hair to make sure that you aren’t hurting your dog.
Start from the top to the bottom but avoid the ears, since that will be a different cutting story altogether. Always be careful when trimming the facial hair and it helps if you use dull-pointed scissors.
If your Labradoodle has a very messy mustache and you need to shave it, do so with scissors and thinning shears to blend it out.
When it comes to grooming the ears of your Labradoodle, you have to be very careful. Using a #5 blade is more ideal because we want it to be just the right amount of shortness. It helps if your dog or puppy is extremely pampered while you are trimming their ears, such as when they’re asleep or eating.
To cut and trim your dog’s ears:
- Place your clipper at the highest point of the ear at the head
- Start clipping downwards, following the hair growth direction
- Use scissors around the edge of the ear to shape the cut
- Follow up with thinning shears to smooth and blend out the lines
- Shave under the ear to avoid getting ear infections as well
When trimming the hair around the eyes, use your dull-end or ball-point scissors to avoid accidents. Start by trimming between the eyes and looking closely to see if your dog’s eyes are not obstructed. Trim from the bridge of the nose and be careful around this area to avoid accidents.
Brushing your Labradoodle’s teeth is an important part of their grooming routine. If they don’t have good dental health, they can be prone to infections, inflamed gums, and other health problems.
A Labradoodle’s teeth should be brushed 3 times a week once they become adults (3 years old or more). As for puppies, you can already start brushing your dog’s teeth once they turn 1 year old, which can be brushed weekly. Starting a routine early will help make your Labradoodle feel at ease with brushing their teeth.
Before you begin, you will need the following:
- Dog-appropriate toothbrush with long handles for a farther reach
- Enzyme or dog-appropriate toothpaste
- Dental cleaning pads, if your dog isn’t very cooperative with a toothbrush
- Chew toys to pamper them
When grooming your Labradoodle’s body, a #10 blade is the most ideal because it has a just-right length, which leaves the coat at about 1/16 inches or 2 mm. If you want a shorter cut for your Labradoodle, you can choose a higher blade number, such as #15 (1.2 mm) or #30 (0.5 mm).
Depending on the coat condition of your Labradoodle, we suggest a shorter blade if there’s a lot of matting going on, such as if they haven’t been groomed for a long time. Grooming the dog in a sitting position is the most ideal so that you can get all of their body furs.
Both the back and the sides need to be groomed carefully. Start with the sitting position of your Labradoodle and slowly glide the clipper from the highest point of your dog downwards. Always keep in mind to follow the hair growth direction to avoid getting the hair caught in the clipper.
Usually, trimming both the back and the sides of your Labradoodle won’t be a problem since they are of the same size. They should be trimmed as much as possible while in a calm position.
When trimming on their stomach area, you should do the following:
- Have the dog stand up so that you can easily see their belly.
- Follow the direction of the stomach hair and then trim in that direction.
- Use the same blade but you can also use a smaller blade size if you prefer to have their stomach hair longer, such as a #5 blade.
- Be careful when around your dog’s genitals and tail.
As with most dogs, trimming the bottom of a Labradoodle can be tricky. A way to do it safely is to lift the dog’s tail so that you’ll have sufficient height to groom your dog’s rear end. By trimming your dog’s bottom, they’ll have less likelihood of infections.
Legs and Feet
A Labradoodle will pick up all kinds of debris from their outside world trips such as grass and whatnot. That’s why we prefer that your dog gets shorter hair on the legs. Have your dog stand up and work from the highest point to the paw.
Just like with human legs, a dog’s leg is very sensitive when it comes to grooming the hair there. That’s why you truly need to follow one direction only to avoid pulling at their leg hair.
When trimming their feet, we prefer sticking to a #1 blade or no blade at all and just trimming it manually, since it is usually shorter hair. A Labradoodle’s paw could get matted more quickly than the rest of their body.
If your dog is extra sensitive about getting its paws groomed, you can skip the clipper and use scissors. Work on the sides of their paws until it doesn’t feel too thick.
The nails of your Labradoodle should be trimmed every 6 weeks or so. To know if they are already in need of being trimmed. Listen to the sounds that your dog’s feet make when they walk on hard surfaces, such as wood flooring. If you hear clicking sounds, that only means that their dog nails are already too long.
Another way to look into their nails is that they should not go beyond the pad of the paws when they stand up. Some Labradoodles also have faster growth rates for their nails so each dog may vary.
Always buy a quality clipper that has a safety guard. This will help you to not accidentally cut the quick, especially if your Labradoodle has black or dark nails, which make it difficult to see.
When bathing your Labradoodle, start by using the appropriate shampoo and conditioner. Make sure it is pet-friendly and formulated specifically for dogs. If you can find a brand that’s just right for a Labradoodle or any breed with wavy hair, that would be great.
First, wash them with water and then squeeze in some shampoo. Rub the shampoo thoroughly as you would on your hair – except on your dog.
When bathing your Labradoodle, always make sure to stay only on the important parts like their body, paws, tail, and ears. Don’t put shampoo near their eyes to avoid causing discomfort. If you have to clean the eyes, use regular water to wash them.
After the shampoo, you can move to the conditioner after rinsing off the shampoo. Rinse everything off with water and then dry your Labradoodle with a towel thoroughly. If you can, use a dryer so that they are thoroughly dried, as a damp coat will get dirty faster since it will catch dust and other debris outside.
Labradoodle Grooming Styles
Now that you know how to groom a Labradoodle, what kind of hairstyle should you give to them? Here are some of the most common hairstyles that your dog groomer can offer:
- Short clip. This is a straightforward way of grooming your Labradoodle – a 1-inch all-over clip that will make tangles and mats less likely to form. This is the best choice for owners who don’t want a lot of brushing or don’t have a lot of time to do so.
The only downside to the short clip is that to maintain it, you’ll have to either take the dog to the grooming salon more frequently. Alternatively, you can also buy clippers and learn to groom your pet at home, which is a little tedious and scary for some folks.
- Long clip. You can also go for a fluffy and curly Labradoodle cut by having a 2-inch all-over clip. It’s roughly the same as the short clip in terms of design, just 1 inch longer.
If you prefer that your Labradoodle looks like a huggable stuffed toy with a cute and cuddly appearance, this type of cut is for you. However, you do have to prepare to brush them more regularly to keep them away from mats and tangles.
- Teddy cut. Also known as the Teddy Bear cut, this style will leave about 2 to 3 inches of hair on your Labradoodle but the ears will have longer hair. Aside from that, the face is trimmed to a rounded shape so that it looks more like a teddy bear.
If you find that this cut is too difficult for DIY or home clipping, talk to a professional groomer for this one. After all, knowing the right length and proper shape for your Labradoodle is often tricky for first-time groomers at home.
What grooming tools will you need for your Labradoodle?
To groom your Labradoodle properly, you will need quality and safe grooming tools. Here are our suggestions for you:
We picked The Doodle Brush for Labradoodles as it is specifically designed for the coat of this dog breed. It has long and curved pins that will help get through matted fur and tangles. Aside from that, since it has a special design compared to other slicker brushes, it will produce less snagging.
Moreover, to help you feel comfortable when using this brush, it has a flexible head, as well as a double head design. This makes it easier to clean since you can easily switch to the other side once one side is filled with dog hair.
Shears & Scissors
The thick and long coat of the Labradoodle will be easily trimmed with the AEXYA Premium Dog Grooming Scissors Kit, which comes as a set of scissors that come with a comb. Packed with 5 tools in a stylish red case, it has various types of shears (curved, straight, dull-pointed, thinning) to adapt to your grooming needs.
The soft finger ring inserts of the scissors will help you feel comfortable while handling the tools. Aside from that, it comes with a cleaning cloth, two clips for longer fur, and e-books on properly trimming your Labradoodle’s hair.
Made with ceramic and stainless steel for the blade, the Ceenwes Dog Clippers is a good choice for trimming your Labradoodle’s coat. It has low noise so it is suitable for dogs that are often scared of loud motors. What’s more, it is also cordless so you’ll find it more flexible and adaptable to various situations.
It has adjustable blades of various lengths and it has an LED screen that lets you know the battery life. It will be usable for up to 4 hours on a full charge. Other accessories come with the grooming clippers, such as a cleaning brush, comb attachments, a stainless steel comb, and nail grooming tools (clipper and file).
The Wahl Professional Animal #10 Medium Detachable Blade is a good choice for Labradoodles since you’ll want them to generally have a longer coat. As we mentioned above, a #10 blade is suitable for clipping the body and this is what we recommend for you. It will fit most of Wahl’s clippers, as well as those from other brands like Oster and Andis.
It will give a cut length of 1/16 inches and it has a midnight chrome finish. Aside from that, it has a corrosion-resistant coating to make it durable. As part of the Ultimate Competition Series Blades, it will leave no clipper tracks.
The Ryan’s Pet Supplies Paw Brothers Nail Clipper for Dogs is our recommended nail clipper for a Labradoodle. This tool has a stainless steel cutting guard and a safety lock to ensure that your nail grooming activity won’t likely end in injuries. Aside from that, it has comfortable grip handles that have an ergonomic shape to avoid or lessen fatigue.
The nail clipper measures 6.75 inches and it’s best for trimming stubbornly thick nails. The build is also quite durable due to the stainless steel construction.
When it comes to grooming your Labradoodle, we think that the Go Pet Club Pet Dog Grooming Table with Arm has sufficient height. It is adjustable up to 40 inches high and comes with a grooming arm, which is also adjustable. Since it has rubber capped feed, it won’t easily move around, resulting in safety and security.
Aside from that, it has goal post-style legs that make it stable and durable. This design also allows it to be folded quickly when no longer needed. The table measures 20 x 18 x 32 inches and has a black finish, which makes it easy to clean.
For drying your dog after bath time, the petnf Upgraded Dog Dryer is a great option. It has a 3.2-HP motor with step-less adjustable speed so you don’t risk blowing your dog away and causing accidents (or discomfort). It has an ergonomic handle to avoid user fatigue and it has 4 different nozzles included.
Aside from that, it has an anti-skid design at the bottom for safety. The long spring hose can be stretched up to 73 inches. It also has 2 temperature options: 85 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a blowing power of 1,300 watts and weighs 9.2 to 10.5 pounds.
We chose the Healthy Breeds Smelly Dog Deodorizing Shampoo & Conditioner specifically because it is made tailored to the Labradoodle breed. It has baking soda so it is organic and safe for your dog’s skin. Aside from that, it is hypoallergenic if your dog has sensitive skin.
The shampoo bottle contains 8 ounces and also comes with other organic and helpful ingredients, such as wheat proteins, oat, and aloe leaf juice, which makes it gentle on your dog’s skin yet effective for cleaning. It will also work well for dogs that have dry skin.
Labradoodle Grooming Tips
So, now that we’ve covered the basics, what are some tips to improve your Labradoodle grooming routine? Here are some of them that we can think of (and we’d like to share them with you):
- Giving treats to your Labradoodle during and after grooming will keep them pampered. You can also pat them to act as a positive reinforcement that they did a good job. If this continues then they will behave properly while they are being groomed.
- If your Labradoodle gets muddy, it’s best to wash them thoroughly first and then have them dried. Then, you can shampoo them or apply conditioner.
- Using peanut butter to help your Labradoodle get accustomed to brushing will help them get used to the sensation of their teeth being brushed.
Here are some interesting FAQs regarding Labradoodle grooming:
My Labradoodle licks paws after grooming! What should I do?
Razor rash or clipper burn is the most common reason why your Labradoodle constantly licks their paws. To prevent this from happening, you should get your dog to a professional groomer.
With that said, clipping their hair too close is a common reason so you just need to be very careful. Talk to your vet on ways how to address razor burn on your dog, if that’s the case.
How do I groom a very anxious Labradoodle?
To groom your dog properly if they are anxious, you can try adding treats or grooming them when they feel sleepy. This will cause them to get less erratic behavior, which is dangerous for them while they are being groomed.
You can also get them used to groom tools at a young age. Have them see and sniff out different tools such as scissors, clippers, and the like. This will give them less anxiety over these new tools.
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