Most people choose to have a professional groomer to take care of the bi-monthly grooming for their Goldendoodle, which includes a bath, blow dry and haircut. Most groomers will also clip the nails and may even drain the anal glands if necessary. If you bathe your Goldendoodle a few times in between these visits, it will keep the coat soft and clean as well as helping your dog learn how to behave when being bathed and brushed.
Most groomers are not trainers and they don’t have time to deal with unruly dogs, so it’s your job to ensure your Goldendoodle knows how to behave during a bath and grooming session.
A Goldendoodle will typically need the first haircut at five to six months of age. The hair covering their eyes tends to be the first problem that many owners encounter and often clipping the hair on the bridge of the nose between the eyes is enough to ward off the first professional haircut for another month or two. Carefully using a pair of clippers or a blunt-ended pair of scissors works well, allowing the puppy’s eyes to become visible again.
Don’t forget to gently massage between the toes of all four feet on a daily basis starting as soon as your pup arrives home. This desensitizes the puppy so he or she allows feet and toes to be handled. Hair grows between the toes and pads of the foot and the groomer needs to be able to clip these areas without your dog pulling his or her feet away.
New owners often have a hard time recognizing their Goldendoodle puppies when they pick them up from the groomer’s the first time The newly-revealed adult coat may have a different texture, body or color than what they grew accustomed to when the puppy coat was present.
Sometimes owners are shocked to see their puppy shaved bald as that was not what they requested. However, if the undercoat had mats, the kindest thing the groomer can do is to evenly shave off all the hair. You will then have the job of brushing more thoroughly as the coat grows back so you can avoid having a bald dog after the next haircut!
A Goldendoodle with a coat longer than about one inch requires a full brush out at least every other day. You’ll need to use a slicker brush over the entire body, and follow this up with a combing out with a metal comb.
The slicker brush typically does not have bristles long enough to reach the skin, which is where mats form. The goal is to remove all tangles before they become mats – as the only remedy for a full blown mat is to cut it out. Mats tend to form first behind the ears, under the collar and in the armpits.
It can also be helpful if you print internet photos of Goldendoodles with haircuts you like. A picture will help describe to the groomer how you hope your puppy will look on your return. Keep in mind that you need to select pictures of dogs that have the same coat as your Goldendoodle.
If you do decide a professional groomer is worth the time and money, it is important that your dog is fully vaccinated for everything, including kennel cough, which is basically a severe cold. It is highly contagious, especially when several dogs are kept in small rooms together. Vaccines take up to a week to become effective, so make sure your dog has had his or hers well in advance of the grooming appointment.