Brushing Your Doodle
Thank you Lisette and Lucy for sharing with the Mitten Doodles Family!
Tools: When brushing out your doodle, it is important to have the right tools. Below are a few examples of products which could be used for the daily / weekly maintenance of your doodle’s coat/ nails:
Slicker Brush or Pin Brush
Dremel or Nail File
Tip: Your choice of products and the way in which you brush the coat will make a big difference in overall coat health. Remember to brush gently, use conditioning / detangling spray whenever possible and choose the highest quality brush you can afford. Overall conditioning is essential for minimizing coat damage and protecting the cuticle.
Matting: Pay attention to key areas where matting is likely to occur. While each dog will be different, see below for an example of where to start:
Red = High priority (to be brushed first). Examples include: armpits, between the toes, ear flaps etc. In these zones, mats develop quickly
Yellow = Medium priority due to friction from the collar or harness
Green = Low priority (to brush last)
Tip: Your doodle’s coat length and overall lifestyle will influence where you brush first. For example, if you tend to do lots of outdoor activities, you may focus on high friction areas that brush up against trees or shrubs e.g., your doodle’s legs or tail. If your doodle loves to swim, you might start on the back area first due to friction from a life jacket.
Brushing: When grooming your doodle, the most important thing to remember is to brush down to the skin. Line brushing is the best way to do this. To get started, begin by parting the hair into small sections. Start to brush out each section, working your way in a straight line. Once complete, be sure to follow up with a greyhound comb to check your work! Don’t forget to allocate extra time to areas that are prone to matting such as ear flaps, legs and paw pads etc.
Tip: There are varying opinions in the grooming community on the best brush to use (slicker vs. pin brush). See below for two examples on line brushing using each brush type:
Note: Without the use of line brushing, you risk only reaching the top layer of hair. This leaves your pup at risk of developing painful mats and/or a pelted coat. If after trying to brush out your dog, you realize that you can’t get to the skin either via line brushing or with your fingers, be sure to set up an appointment with a qualified groomer so they can help! In this case, your dog’s coat may be pelted and the best course of action is to have them cut short and to start from scratch. It is important to catch matting early as it can be painful for your pup. Matting when left untreated can lead to things such as hematomas due to loss of blood flow to those areas. If you have ever taken your dog to the groomer and they have “poodled your doodle”, this is why in 99% of cases, they were too matted to save the coat.
Duration: Grooming requirements will be entirely dependent on coat length. If you prefer a fuller coat, be prepared to spend additional time brushing each night. If you prefer to keep grooming to a minimum, consider a shorter hair cut! On average, doodles require professional grooming every 4-6 weeks. Be sure to choose a coat length that works best for your lifestyle.