Grooming will be a very big part of your puppy's life. We introduce them to all aspects of grooming while they are with us but you need to continue to acclimate them whether you are planning on grooming yourself or taking them to a professional groomer. Any Doodle, Poodle or non-shedding breed will require regular brushing to keep their coat matt-free. As a puppy their coat will be relatively easy to maintain and not matt as easily but, you still need to do it a few times a week even if you don't find matts or tangles. When their adult coat comes it- depending on what type of coat they have- you will need to line- bush daily or several times a week.
We recommend their 1st grooming appointment be after all puppy vaccinations are completed. Let the groomer know this will be their 1st trip and they will schedule you for a bath and blow dry as well as trimming the face, fanny and feet. This helps ease them into professional grooming. As long as your puppy does well the next grooming appointment can be a full bath, blow out and trim. Communication between you and your groomer is ESSENTIAL.
*Groomers don't want to shave your doodle- they aren't lazy either- but they will shave them if your dog is matted. Its less painful for the dog this way and they do it for the sake of their comfort. So, if you don't want a shaved down dog PLEASE brush your pup!*
From week one we clip their nails each week- Momma thanks us for this! At 4 weeks they are able to regulate their own body temperature so that is when we introduce them to baths. After a bath we introduce each puppy to a blow dryer- not the high velocity dryer yet since its pretty strong and loud- just a normal hair dryer. We also brush them with a curved pin slicker brush and greyhound comb as well as use an electric toothbrush to simulate what clippers will feel and sound like. When they leave us they have a great foundation laid to be comfortable with all aspects of grooming.
Line brushing is crucial to learn how to do properly. This is the only method that works to make sure you are brushing all the way to the skin. If you are only using a brush its easy to brush the top part of the hair but not touch the bottom and the hair will get matted.
There is a video below that shows you how to line brush. There is also a Face Book group called DIY Doodle Grooming that I highly recommend you join to learn about proper coat maintenance even if you are planning on having your puppy professionally groomed. There are also hundreds of You Tube videos you can watch for help.
You need to especially mindful of their neck, under their ears, elbows, etc. Those places matt the easiest. A rolled leather collar can help with neck matting if that is an issue. When you are brushing your pup it is ok to have them lay down and be comfortable, but make sure they also are comfortable standing up as this is how they will be groomed at the groomers.
Puppies are super wiggly and either want to run off and play or bite the brush! If you have a hard time keeping your wiggle worm still, invest in an adjustable grooming arm. You can attach it to most any table and this will help keep your pup in place without fear of falling or hurting itself and its the same the groomer will use (link below).
This is a great video to learn how to line brush correctly.
Below are some grooming supplies that we suggest if you want to groom your own Doodle at home!
Great starter set if you are planning on grooming your Dood yourself or for touchups in between grooming visits. The metal greyhound comb is a must have! The rounded are for the head and legs.