Goldendoodles are some of the most popular and sought-after dog breeds. These are designer dogs, specially bred for their appearance and personality. Goldendoodles are the product of mixing Golden Retriever and Poodle parents, resulting in an adorable puppy with fluffy hair like a Poodle.
However, these dogs have the size and playfulness of a Golden Retriever. If you have a Goldendoodle or are considering adopting one into your family, you need to know how to properly groom them.
Grooming a Goldendoodle consists of bathing, brushing, ear plucking, and trimming. Goldendoodles usually have curly or wavy hair which makes them more prone to matting and ear infections than many other dog breeds. As a result, Goldendoodles can be challenging to groom and maintain properly.
Grooming A Goldendoodle: Step by Step
Goldendoodles are known for their hypoallergenic and low shedding hair, but Goldendoodles need a great deal of grooming and upkeep. However, Ignoring regular grooming can lead to a tangled and matted coat.
So how do you groom a Goldendoodle?
- Prepare your workspace
- Give Your Goldendoodle A Sanitary Trim
- Pluck your Goldendoodle’s ears
- Bathe Your Goldendoodle Thoroughly
- Comb Once More and Trim Your Goldendoodle
- Brush Your Goldendoodle’s Hair
Grooming your Goldendoodle at home may seem a little intimidating, especially when attempting it for the first time. However, following these simple steps will help make grooming your Goldendoodle a breeze!
If you’re more of a visual person, consider viewing this video first to gain a better perspective on the Goldendoodle grooming process before you begin.
While a Goldendoodle’s curly or wavy hair can look stunning, without proper grooming, the coat can quickly become unmanageable. Read on to find specific grooming techniques you should be using to keep your Goldendoodle happy and clean.
1. Prepare your workspace
Since Goldendoodles are medium to large-sized dogs, trimming them on the kitchen counter, or ideally, a foldable dog grooming table tend to be the best options for your dog’s grooming session.
You should keep your Goldendoodle comfortable with blankets and towels, so they know they’re allowed to settle in and stay awhile. If your dog has to lay on a cold metal table, he will be miserable, so find a safe, secure spot to groom him properly.
I recommend the Flying Pig 38″ Medium Size Foldable Dog Pet Grooming Table. I like that this product is extremely well made and folds up to conserve space when not in use. To see more information and the current price, check it out on Amazon at the link above.
2. Brush Your Goldendoodle’s Hair
Keeping your Goldendoodle’s Hair brushed is one of the most important steps in the grooming process. Brushing prevents knots that may have to be cut out if they get too knotted up and tangled. Dogs cannot brush the tangles and the mats out of their hair, so they are depending on their owners to care for them.
Gathering the required Tools
Begin the brushing process by gathering the right tools for the job. You will need to get a brush that can properly brush out your dog’s hair. Having the right brush is essential to keeping your Goldendoodle looking its best and saving you valuable time down the road.
If you are looking for a great brush to purchase to groom your Goldendoodle, consider the YIRU Large Slicker Brush, found on Amazon. This brush is specifically designed for thicker hair found in your Goldendoodle’s coat.
Check out the article I wrote on the best hair brushes for Poodles. In it, you’ll find exactly what brush you should be using for your Poodle or Doodle to get professional grooming results from home.
Brushing Your Goldendoodle
Begin by brushing your dog by pushing the bristles down to the skin, and lifting up. By brushing this way, you can be sure no mats or knots are hiding in your dog’s hair. You’ll want to be able to see the skin when you gently brush to ensure you are brushing the whole length of their hair. Do not forget to brush their tail and armpits.
If you find a matted spot or a knot, it’s okay to cut it out. This can prevent the matting from growing worse. While cutting out the matted section of hair, make sure your Goldendoodle is calm, feels safe, and will be able to sit still long enough for you to successfully and safely cut the matted area out.
Brushing your Goldendoodle daily will help to prevent matting and knots from appearing and getting worse. If you only have time to thoroughly brush your Goldendoodle once or twice a week, make sure that while your dog is laying on the couch by you, that you are either brushing through their hair with your hands or a nearby brush.
TIP: Begin brushing your puppy’s hair regularly as soon as you adopt him into your family. This will help him get used to the grooming process and he may even learn to enjoy the experience
3. Give Your Goldendoodle A Sanitary Trim
Goldendoodles have curly or wavy hair (some Goldendoodles can have straight hair) inherited from their Poodle parent. The curly and wavy hair makes your dog prone to matting or even infections. Even if you are planning to let your Goldendoodle’s hair grow out, you should still give your dog a sanitary trim.
A proper sanitary trim for Goldendoodles should include trimming::
- The corner of the eyes
- The ears
- The pads of the feet
- The groin and anus
- The abdomin or underbelly area
Your Goldendoodle’s belly and the genital area should be trimmed or shaved clean. This will help keep your dog in a happy and clean state.
Ensure no hair is covering the inside of the ears as this can result in ear infections or other issues in your dog. Additionally, be sure to trim the hair surrounding the ears properly to prevent problems.
It’s important to remove hair around the eyes and on the pads of the feet as well. Excess hair around the eyes can result in eye irritation or infection down the road if not removed. Similarly, trimming the pad of the feet can reduce the risk of injury or painful sores.
When cutting out mats and knots, you should make sure your Goldendoodle is calm and feels safe. While you are shaving his sensitive areas, you will want to make sure you are being very careful and your Goldendoodle remains very still.
Watch this video to learn the correct way to give your Goldendoodle a sanitary trim:
4. Pluck your Goldendoodle’s Ears
Dogs can grow hair in their ears which traps moisture and can cause infections. When plucking their your dog’s ear hair, make sure that you do it before the bath. You do not want your dog’s hair to be wet while attempting to pluck it out. Plucking ear hair can be accomplished by simply grabbing the hair with your pointer and thumb finger. Be gentle, but pull fast and hard to get it out smoothly. Only pull out the inner ear hair.
If you are planning on bathing your Goldendoodle directly after plucking their ear hair, you will want to put dry cotton balls in their ear canals to prevent water from going in. Remove the cotton balls directly after bathing time is done.
5. Bathe Your Goldendoodle Thoroughly
Bath time can either be a relaxing bonding experience or a scary and horrible experience for your Goldendoodle. Make sure you take the time to show your Goldendoodle love and care before, during, and after bath time. This will ensure a better, more positive experience for both you and your pet.
You will want to begin by making the necessary preparations for your dog’s bath. Being prepared will help things run smoother and cause less stress for both you and your dog.
You should gather these materials for your Goldendoodle’s bath:
- Dog shampoo/conditioner
- A rinsing cup
- A comb
- An ample supply of towels
- A blow dryer
Part of the preparation is prepping your pup for the experience. Make sure that you have followed the previous steps to make sure your pup is thoroughly groomed and ready for his bath. This will likely be a smoother bath experience if your pup has previously been brushed and groomed.
While preparing for bath time, try to promote a positive bonding experience for you and your dog. Make sure you are using a positive and excited tone throughout the bathing process. This will ensure your dog is excited and ready for bath time.
Now you are ready to wash that pup! Make sure while washing his hair to thoroughly wash out all the shampoo from the hair. Any leftover shampoo in a Goldendoodle’s hair can cause skin problems such as irritation or skin allergies.
Make sure you are maintaining that positive tone in your voice during bath time to remind your dog that everything is alright. The good news for you is that Goldendoodles come from parent breeds that both are at home in the water. Hopefully, your pup has inherited this trait and will enjoy bath time from day one.
If you want to use the blow dryer to help dry your dog’s hair faster, make sure the blow dryer is 12 to 18 inches from your dog’s body. You also want to adjust the heat setting to “warm” not “hot” or “high”. You do not want to accidentally burn your dog. Test the heat with your hand to ensure the dryer will not burn your dog.
Move the blow dryer in a quick motion across your dog’s body while your other hand is fluffing and combing through their hair. This will help prevent knots that the blow dryer may cause while also efficiently drying the hair. When completely dry, you can turn the blow dryer on cool to chill your dog’s coat.
TIP: When beginning the drying experience, drain the bath and keep your dog in the tub. You can then begin drying your Goldendoodle in the tub with a towel to prevent water from soaking onto the bathroom floor.
Once dry, you can now brush through your dog’s freshly bathed hair. Make sure you only brush their hair in the direction of the growth. While brushing through his hair, feel for any damp spots. You will need to thoroughly dry all damp spots to prevent any matting. Damp areas will quickly become matted and it will become difficult to brush out.
Do not let your dog dry naturally as he will get cold and uncomfortable. A negative drying experience can prevent him from wanting to bathe at all in the future.
If you choose to dry your Goldendoodle with a towel instead of a blow dryer, make sure you are not ruffling your dog’s hair. You do not want to rub with the towel as this can cause damage and knots in your dog’s hair. Instead, you should firmly pat the hair to dry him.
6. Comb Once More and Trim Your Goldendoodle
Once your Goldendoodle is completely dry, comb through his hair by again brushing from the bottom to the top and making sure the brush is going through all the hair.
After brushing them thoroughly, you should start trimming your dog’s hair, starting at the head. You should trim all of your dogs hair. Make sure that you are using proper dog grooming clippers to cut your dog’s hair to get them trimmed down and clean. Keeping your dog’s hair neatly trimmed will prevent matting and knots.
While you are already trimming your dog’s hair, you should groom your dog’s nails as well. Grinding the tips or simply clipping them off (not too close to the root) should be done regularly to prevent any accidental scratches your Goldendoodle may cause.
Check out this video to learn how to properly trim your Goldendoodle:
Caring For Different Goldendoodle Hair Types
As previously mentioned, Goldendoodles can come in three different hair types curly, wavy, or straight. Knowing how to properly care for your Goldendoodle’s hair type can make your life easier, and your dog’s life more enjoyable.
Curly Coat Types in Goldendoodles
The curly hair type mostly results from genes from the Goldendoodle’s Poodle parent. These curls in your dog’s hair could either be tight kinks or loose ringlets. A curly coat is a fairly common hair type in Goldendoodles.
Grooming a Goldendoodle with curly hair can be very demanding and needs constant care. Brushing your dog’s hair once a day is a minimum to keep them fully groomed and free of matting and knots.
Although this coat type is very demanding and will need to be thoroughly brushed at least once a day, curly hair is low shedding. This is a huge benefit and a must-have for many dog owners. If you require a non-shedding dog and you have the time and commitment to brush your dog at least once a day, a curly Goldendoodle is the right dog for you!
Wavy Coats Types in Goldendoodles
Goldendoodles with wavy hair are the most common. This hair type is often referred to as a wavy or shaggy coat. This is one of the easiest coats to care for and takes less work to keep looking nice and groomed.
If your dog has wavy hair, you need to groom him at least once a week. This is a lot less frequently than in Goldendoodles with curly coats. When you groom your Goldendoodle, ensure that you are properly brushing them as explained above. Due to the low frequency of grooming, you want to make sure that when you do brush your dog, you are fully brushing out all mats and knots.
Wavy-haired Goldendoodles are often very low-shedding dogs. Some may not even shed at all.
When deciding to adopt a dog into your family, it can be difficult to choose the right one. If you do not think you will be able to 100% commit to thoroughly brushing your dog each day, having a lower maintenance hair type like a wavy-haired Goldendoodle is the right dog for you!
Straight Coat Types in Goldendoodles
Straight-haired Goldendoodles are the most unique kind. These dogs get their straight coats from their Golden Retriever parent. Without a Goldendoodles typically curly or wavy hair, these dogs look very similar to Golden Retrievers and show little resemblance to their Poodle side.
One of the great things about straight hair is the extremely low maintenance required to keep them properly groomed. Straight-haired Goldendoodles only require minimal brushing, plan on brushing this dog thoroughly about once every two weeks.
Although these dogs are so easy to groom, you do not get the commonly sought-after “teddy bear look” that curly or wavy Goldendoodles have. On top of this, straight coats on Goldendoodles will mildly shed.