Labradoodles are an interesting mix of Labrador retriever and poodle. This unique mix makes for a variety of coat types, although most labradoodles have thick, curly coats. These jovial dogs need frequent grooming to keep that coat clean, healthy and free of mats.
Brush your dog with a slicker brush once a week until her adult coat comes in. Fleece-coated labradoodle puppies have thin, curly hair that requires very little maintenance. They will shed this puppy coat between 4 and 8 months of age and will grow a thicker, wooly coat. Brush the puppy coat with a slicker brush, paying special attention to the mat-prone areas along her hindquarters and under her ears.
Strip away dead puppy coat with a shedding rake. Shedding rakes capture dead hair against the skin and pull it out before it forms painful mats. Hold the rake as parallel to the skin as possible to prevent the sharp teeth from puncturing your dog’s skin.
Comb the dog’s entire body with a double-toothed comb. This special type of comb has one long row of teeth and one short row of teeth that simultaneously pull dead hair from the outer coat and the under coat, cutting down on grooming time. Start at the base of the ears, and comb back toward the dog's tail with the direction of the hair growth. Labradoodles have very thick coats, and daily brushing will cut down on mats.
Comb the dog's face and ears. Brush the hair on the muzzle straight down over the chin to remove tangles. Loosen tangles in the ear hair with your fingers, and comb the hair flat with the slicker brush. If the hair on the muzzle or along the ears is extremely long, ask your groomer to give the dog a quick trim. This prevents the hair from falling in the dog's food while he eats.
Cut the long hair around the edge of the foot and between the dog’s toes. Spread the paw with one hand, and snip away long hairs in the middle of the pads. Trim the hair around the outer edge of the foot in a circular shape to give the foot an even, rounded appearance.
- If your labradoodle is extremely matted or dirty, schedule her for an appointment with a professional groomer. Many mats lie very close to the skin, and you can injure your dog if you try and cut them away with scissors.
- Don’t skip out on routine grooming. It may seem repetitive, but frequent grooming is necessary for your labradoodle’s comfort and health.
Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.