How to Trim a Labradoodle

"I see those grooming tools coming out."

"I see those grooming tools coming out."

Labradoodles hardly shed, which make them an ideal dog for owners with allergies. This cross of the Labrador retriever and poodle can be hairy, though. Starting at around 7 months old, a Labradoodle needs regular trims to keep matting and tangles at bay, and his eyesight unobstructed.

Put your Labradoodle on a surface that is higher than your waist. Starting at the back near the tail, lift the hair near the skin. Using the mat splitter, gently comb the hair downward using small strokes. Repeat this around the Labradoodle's body, especially near the legs and chin where the hair is longer. The head, ears and feet do not have as much hair; still, thoroughly comb these areas.

Locate, lift and hold taut any clump of matted hair. Cut the hair with the straight-trimming scissors while being careful not to touch the dog's skin. Continue cutting tangled areas around the coat. Pay particular attention to the tush area, and behind the ears and legs.

Pull the ears forward toward the nose. Feel for where the dog's skin ends and the hair grows longer. Slide your fingers along this area until the hair reaches between the nose and the canine. Lift the ear to the top of the head. Cut along along your fingers for a consistent 2-inch length. For a classic Labradoodle look, layer the hair on a slant. Otherwise, your Doodle might resemble a cocker spaniel.

Brush the hair up on the muzzle. Slid your fingers between the hair at about 2 inches. Cut the hair slowly on an angle toward the head. Lift the hair on the forehead straight up. Trim at about 3 inches and leave the hair behind it longer.

Brush the hair downward at the lip line. Slide your fingers between the hair and trim to about 1 inch below the lip.

Have your Labradoodle lie down and hold a footpad in your hand. Pull the hair out between the pads using your fingers. Place the rounded-tip safety scissors parallel to the tops of the pads. Cut the hair extending out from the pad. It is not necessary to cut in between the pads. Repeat on the other paws. Brush the top of the dog's paws downward using the matt splitter. Cut around the toe line to about 1 inch. Repeat on the other three feet.

Drape your right arm over the dog’s shoulders as it continues to lie down. Wrap your left arm around the head and gently push the earflap back. Examine the ear's inner surface. Pull hair out of the ears with a hemostat. Cut the hair close to the skin. Labradoodles are prone to ear infections, so it's crucial to keep this area free from bacteria and debris.

Items you will need

  • Mat splitter
  • Straight-trimming scissors
  • Rounded-tip safety scissors
  • Hemostat


  • Reassure your Labradoodle throughout the process. Provide treats if necessary.
  • Take the Labradoodle to the groomer for eye trimming, nail clipping and ear shaving.

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About the Author

Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.

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