Grooming your DragonRam Labradoodle Puppy
Grooming includes brushing, nail clipping, ear care, bathing, and haircuts. You should buy a brush with rounded plastic tips, a slicker brush (wire), a rounded tip scissors, a nail clipper and some mild puppy shampoo.
You should get your Australian Labradoodle puppy used to being brushed and groomed while still a puppy. Daily gentle touching all over will help it to be prepared for later grooming demands. Get it used to lying on its side and back, and to having its tail, bum, paws, tummy and face touched.
Brush your Australian Labradoodle puppy at least weekly to keep the coat clean and free of dirt and foreign objects (burrs, twigs, grass, etc.). To brush, sit on the floor with your dog lying on its side. To brush the tummy and clip its claws, have it lie on its back between your legs. It’s important to make sure you are brushing through the whole coat, and not just the top layer. Part the fur so you can see your dog’s skin and make sure you brush all the way down to the skin. If you brush only the top layer, your Australian Labradoodle will develop matts next to its skin. Give lots of treats! This can be a bonding time between you and your dog. Trim around the bum area as neededto keep it clean, and around the eyes and ears so it can see and to prevent matting.
Clip your puppy’s claws once every week or two. If you can hear the claws click on cement or a tile floor, they are too long. Don’t forget the dew claw on the front paws! You can also trim the hair between the paw pads to help prevent slipping on smooth floors (or collecting tons of snow and ice in winter). Trim just to the height of the pads; don’t go in between or you could snip the webbing.
You shouldn’t need to bathe your Australian Labradoodle puppy unless it gets very dirty – otherwise regular, good brushing should be enough to keep it clean. When you do bathe it, DON’T use human shampoos – they remove the natural oils that help to keep your dog’s coat clean.
Your Australian Labradoodle puppy will probably need a first haircut at three or four onths of age. You may choose to do this yourself or to take your puppy to a dog groomer. After that, grooming every two to four months is advisable, especially in summer if your dog plays outside in areas where it can get burrs, grasses, or other foreign bodies caught in its fur and if it starts to matt. DragonRam Doodles offers grooming services to our Australian Labradoodle puppy families at about half the cost of a grooming salon.
When your Australian Labradoodle puppy is eight to ten months old its adult coat will begin to come in, and you will need to do some extra brushing for a few months to remove the dead puppy hairs. (This is the only time you should experience shedding.) Or you can have your puppy’s coat shaved very short so the adult Labradoodle coat can grow in without you needing to do any extra brushing.
In time you will come to know the areas that your Australian Labradoodle tends to matt – usually under the ears, around the collar, and the paws and butt. We recommend that your groomer thin these areas with thinning shears. It may be necessary for you to purchase a good pair of thinning shears and when a matt comes along to cut it out. Cut at an angle and simply pull the matt out. If it is a large area thin the entire area and brush it with a wire brush, then wet the area and let dry naturally.
Directions for your Groomer
Grooming at least every three monthsis recommended. Use a personal groomer who will get to know you and your Australian Labradoodle. Tell them to groom the dog like a sheepdog, NOT a poodle. Some dogs will matt at the collar and may need to have a small track cut at the collar line. Other areas that mat must be determined on a dog-by-dog basis.