Labradoodles’ coats may vary greatly but many are high maintenance when it comes to grooming. As a hybrid breed between a poodle and Labrador retriever, labradoodles tend to need frequent grooming so they don’t become matted and unruly looking. As they are not purebreds, there’s no breed standard of grooming.
Types of Labradoodle Coats
Labradoodles can be any combination of labs and poodles. A labradoodle coat will depend on his lineage, especially that of his parents. There are typically three types of coats. The first is wavy and most similar to a Lab. Wavy coats typically are the thinnest and require the least amount of grooming. Other labradoodles have a tight curly coat, most similar to a poodle. This coat requires the most grooming. In between wavy and curly are loose curls. A loose curl coat is sometimes called fleece.
Labradoodles can shed, despite if you’ve heard otherwise. Though they have a reputation as “non-allergenic”, labradoodles cannot be guaranteed not to shed. Because they do shed, though some hardly at all, they require frequent brushing to remove dead hair. Wavy and curly coats are usually the lightest shedders, with the loose curl fleece coat being the heaviest shedder. But every labradoodle is different and you may not know what to expect until you bring your dog home.
Bathing and Brushing
You may decide to leave the actual haircut to a professional groomer but you’ll still likely need to do some at-home grooming. If your labradoodle has a tendency to mat, you should brush him at least weekly. Brushing will not only prevent tangles but will remove any dead hair. Additionally, you may want to trim around your labradoodle's face if he tends to get shaggy. You may also want to bath him once a month and brush his teeth weekly to maintain a clean coat and teeth.
Visiting a Groomer
Before visiting a groomer, look at pictures of other labradoodles who have similar coats to yours. Bring a picture of the haircut that you would like the groomer to replicate. This is the best way to ensure your dog will get the cut you want. Specify the body hair length in inches and the style you want around his face, eyes, nose and ears. Beyond a bath, and upon your request, the groomer will also trim his nails, express his anal gland, and brush his teeth.
Francine Richards is a licensed multi-state insurance agent with years of human resources and insurance industry experience. Her work has appeared on Blue Cross Blue Shield websites and newsletters, the Houston Chronicle and The Nest. Richards holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from the University of Maryland.