When And How To Start Grooming a Goldendoodle Puppy
New doodle families often ask when they should start grooming their goldendoodle puppy. While we’re not grooming experts, we can share what we do with our goldendoodle pups, along with feedback we’ve gotten from our doodle families. If you have any tips that we could share with our Rainfield Goldendoodle family, please contacct us through Rainfield Facebook page or at my email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Note: We are including some links and recommendations for products we use. We are not being paid or compensated to advertise these. These are just items we have research and added to our grooming set up.
What Type of Goldendoodle Do You Have and What Is Their Coat Type?
Here at Rainfield, we have puppies whose coats range from quite curly (our F1bb or some F1b puppies) to shaggy wavy coats (our F1s and some F1bs). Goldendoodles take a couple years to get their full and final coats, so their coats will change and transition during those first two years. They usually start off pretty fluffy with baby fuzz underneath. Gradually the curlier doodles get more of a curly, poodle-like coat, although usually with looser curls that a poodle. The shaggy wavy coated doodles, get a longer, fuller, straighter coat, often with a little curl in it. In our experience, curlier goldendoodles need their first actual grooming experience a little earlier (3-4 monhs old) than the shaggy wavy doodles (5-6 months).
Get Your Puppy Started with Weekly Grooming Maintenance
Regardless of the coat type, before you start full-on grooming a goldendoodle puppy,they need to get used to regular brushings and the sounds of the grooming table (blowers, clippers, etc.). Go ahead and blow dry them a little bit after each bath. If you have clippers or beard trimmers, turn on the clippers and let your goldendoodle get used to the sound. Bring the clippers close to their fur in different places, their head, legs, feet. Don’t overdo it and if they’re nervous, slow down. Give your doodles dog treats while the blower or clippers are going so your doodle develops a positive association with those sounds.
Brushing your goldendoodle puppy at least once a week is very important. Those fuzzy, soft doodle puppy coats tend to get little mats that aren’t always visible, but left alone will grow and get worse and eventually lead to a groomer having to “poodle your doodle” by giving them a short buzz cut or shave. By brushing out those early mats, you can hopefully keep your doodles coat a little longer — if that’s that look you love. We use a steel comb and/or mat raker as needed.
Starting With an Eye, Ear and Sanitary Trim
Goldendoodle puppies are so adorable and funny. Their long hair becomes part of their doodle personality and you don’t want to lose that by grooming them too early. The earliest grooming a goldendoodle puppy needs is often an eye, ear and sanitary trim. When their hair starts getting in their eyes, or fuzzing out their ears, and when poop residue starts clinging to their fur near their butt, your doodle is ready for their first light grooming.
With our puppies that often happens at about 12-16 weeks of age. You can either take them to the groomer to get this done, or, if you are more of a DIYer like we are, you can do this at home. A little trim around the eyes, a light buzz on the inside of the ears with a small trimmer like this one and some scissor clipping around their potty areas might be enough to tide you over until their coat is thick enough for their first official grooming . Just be careful because doodles can be bouncy. You don’t want to injure their eyes. We use safety tip grooming scissors that have rounded ends for the areas around their face.
Time to Schedule Your Doodle’s First Major Grooming
And finally, when your doodle starts looking too messy, it’s time for your doodle’s first grooming experience at the groomers or at your home grooming station. Our doodles seem to need their first grooming at about 5 months old, but puppies with an especially thick, full coat, may need it sooner. Puppies with thinner coats, may be able to go longer than that. It’s your call.
We do most of our own grooming, when possible. We prefer the longer, shaggier look on our goldendoodles, so we prefer to start with scissor clipping when grooming a goldendoodle puppy. If the puppy’s coat has too many mats that can’t be raked out using a mat raker, you may need to be give them a closer cut or shave. If your puppy is very matted, it’s best to get professional help as you can cut or injure your dog if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Caring for Your Goldendoodle Puppy’s Ears
Goldendoodles have long, beautiful, floppy ears. Dogs with long ears can have more ear trouble as the hair grows and gets trapped in their ears. Once this happens, moisture is retained and yeast and other bacteria can become a problem. Excessive yeast in a dog’s ear can lead to ear infections if clean ears are not maintained.
Part of your weekly grooming maintenance should be checking their ears and using an ear wash. We use Zymox Otic and use that for 3 or 4 days. However, if your dogs seems in pain or it doesn’t clear up within a few daus, schedule an appointment with your vet as they may have an ear infection and need some antibiotics.