12 Tips for Grooming Your Goldendoodle at Home
Goldendoodles are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world and for good reason! They’re friendly, intelligent, hypoallergenic, and look like huggable teddy bears, making them a great choice for families with allergies or young children. But as with any dog, Goldendoodles require regular grooming to stay healthy and happy. And that can get expensive and tedious when going to a professional groomer. However, with patience and time set aside, you can also do it at home! Home grooming saves money!
This guide to grooming your own Goldendoodle will get you ready to start grooming in no time! These steps can also be used when your Goldendoodle only needs a few touch-ups. Is your puppy’s hair too long in the face, or do its ears need to be plucked? These tips and tricks will help with those, too!
This tutorial is going to give you the basics of grooming a Goldendoodle, from brushing and bathing to nail trimming and ear cleaning. We will also provide tips on how to keep your Goldendoodle’s coat looking its best for the longevity of the groom.
1. Preparing the grooming tools for Goldendoodles
Before you even start grooming, you need to have all the best materials and grooming tools. These tools can aid in keeping your dog comfortable in the process. Here is a list with a few links to items that we use here at Fox Creek Farm.
- Nail clippers
Use these for the easiest way to clip your Goldendoodles nails, mini Goldendoodles, and standard alike!
TIP: Clip your dog’s nails at least once a month to keep them from growing too long!
Using shampoo that is specifically made for dogs is a must. Human shampoo may strip the natural oils away from your puppy’s skin, which would make grooming unsafe and uncomfortable for your Goldendoodle. A tear-free shampoo is a must to avoid irritating your puppy’s eyes and giving a bad experience he will likely remember.
- A slicker brush
These brushes have fine wires that will carefully break mats apart and separate individual strands of hair. This is the best brush we have found and love to use: Coastal Pet Safari Dog Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush
- A metal comb
This is the best comb we have found to use when your Goldendoodle has an extra tough mat to get out: Andis Stainless-Steel Comb
- Dog clippers
A set with blade guards and scissors is the most economical: Wahl Deluxe Pro Series.
TIP: Be sure to buy cordless clippers with a detachable blade for different lengths.
- Grooming scissors and thinning shears
These will give you a nice, clean cut when grooming! You will use these in areas where you should not use clippers and those hard-to-get areas. Please be careful when using any scissors or shears on your Goldendoodle, as they can easily injure your dog with the wrong movement. Keep this in mind if deciding to use grooming scissors.
- Detangler spray
Spraying your Goldendoodle with a detangler can make the brushing job easier, just like humans! But remember not to oversoak your dog’s coat when using this, as that may make the brushing process harder. Full-blown mats will not be cured simply by using a detangler spray. Keeping up with regular brushing is the only way to avoid matting.
- Hair dryer
This will be used once you are done with a bath! Air drying is not usually the best idea as you do not want bacteria or other things to grow in areas that cannot completely air dry quickly, such as thick hair under the ear flaps. Also, in colder weather, allowing air to dry the coat may allow your dog to become chilled.
This will, of course, be used post-bath! Before blow drying, you will use a towel to soak up as much water from the coat as possible.
For additional material recommendations after getting your newest puppy, check out our recommended list here.
2. BRUSHING the Goldendoodle Coat
One of the most important and first aspects of grooming a Goldendoodle is brushing. Goldendoodles can have a thick, curly, or wavy coat that may easily become matted and tangled. Ensuring that you brush your Goldendoodle out entirely is crucial before heading to the bathing step, as the water will make the mats tighter and harder to pick out.
- How to brush
To brush your Goldendoodle’s coat, start with a slicker brush. Once that is completed, use a wide-toothed comb and work your way through the coat from the skin to the ends of the hairs. Be sure to brush against the grain of the hair to remove any mats or tangles.
If you find any mats, you can try to work them out with your fingers or a detangling brush. This is also the time to use that detangler spray! If the mats are too tight, don’t fear; you have clippers! However, having to shave areas of the coat short is not ideal, so trying to keep up with the brushing daily is the best way to avoid this issue.
- Using the clippers to defeat those extra mats!
Those clippers on the materials list will come in handy here. You will begin using the clippers in areas that have those tough mats and tangles. If you find you have to shave areas that were matted, make a mental note that these areas need more detailed brushing to avoid the mats in the future.
3. Bathing Your Goldendoodle
Goldendoodles should be bathed every two to four weeks depending on how often they have active play dates or how much time they spend out in the yard. When bathing your Goldendoodle, use a shampoo that is designed for dogs. Be sure to rinse all of the shampoo out of your Goldendoodle’s coat, as any leftover shampoo can irritate their skin.
After bathing, towel dry your Goldendoodle’s coat and then blow dry it in a cool setting. If your Goldendoodle has a long coat, you may need to brush it out again after blow drying. Make sure that their coat is fully dry before moving forward. Like humans, wet hair shrinks, and you may accidentally cut your Goldendoodle’s hair too short if wet. Also, clippers do not work on wet or dirty hair.
Be sure to thoroughly dry out your puppy’s ears! Ear infections can easily develop if you do not pay special attention to them! The added moisture in the ear canal becomes a perfect warm, dark place for bacteria and yeast to grow.
4. General Trimming of Your Dood
This is the part of the makeover that requires the most practice! Here are the steps to trim your Goldendoodle carefully:
Trim the hairs on the ears.
- The fur should sit at about 1 in length in all areas, so they have a standard length!
- Trim around the edge of the ear flap all the way around the ear.
Trim inside the ear (carefully)
- This will unclog the ear canal! Do not put the scissors inside your dog’s ear, or this may result in injury. Instead, pull any hairs out by pinching and plucking the ear hair. Putting ear powder in the ear canal first will help you grip a few hairs at a time and will soothe the ear from having hairs plucked. Never pluck more than 2-3 hairs at a time.
Trim hairs around the face.
- This is also a place where you have to be careful when using scissors because you do not want your puppy to move and accidentally hurt themselves.
- You may find that scissors with a rounded tip will be safer when clipping near the eyes.
- Open up the vision for your puppy by trimming the hair just between the eyes on the bridge of the nose.
Trim the hair on the muzzle.
- The muzzle can get messy and matted easily when your dog drinks or plays. Take care to allow the length of the hair to extend below the lips to keep the cute Goldendoodle look. Keep in mind that you don’t want the sides to be too long and get in your puppy’s mouth, but the hair should extend downward to cover the lips.
Trim the tail hair.
- Tails can have mats, too, unfortunately. So, pay special attention to brushing the hair out for tail mat removal before trimming. This part of the body can be longer if brushed appropriately; this is based on preference!
5. Clipper Trimming:
Clip the back of the puppy’s head, starting at the base of the neck.
- This is where those 1-inch clippers come in use! Be sure to keep the guard on the clippers as you begin to clip the fur. Carefully move the ears out of the way to ensure you don’t accidentally clip hair on them.
Clip the whole body.
- Repeat the last step all over the body, taking care to cover all areas. The clipper will help keep all of the hair the same length as long as you keep your pup calm!
- Remember to also clip the belly and pay special attention to the groin area. You may need to use scissors if this is a sensitive area.
- Once you have clipped the body, you will want to brush the hair backward with the comb, and you will find areas that did not get clipped evenly. Use the clippers a second time on the entire body.
6. Scissor Trimming:
- Grab those scissors again and begin to clip the legs after brushing the hair upward. Always point the scissors down towards the floor when scissoring the leg hair.
- Then, scissor the top of the feet and between the toes. Also, trim all the hair on the bottom of the feet so it is even with the pads. This is the last step before nail trimming!
7. Nail Trimming
Goldendoodles’ nails should be trimmed every two to four weeks. If your Goldendoodle’s nails are too long, they can curl and grow into the pads of their feet, which can be painful. Also, trimming nails infrequently allows them to grow too long. To trim the nails, use a nail clipper that is designed for dogs like the one we use linked above! You should cut the nails straight across and avoid cutting into the quick, which is the pink part of the nail that contains blood vessels. However, dogs with black nails have black quicks, making it difficult to know where the quick ends and the excess nail begin. You will feel where the nail starts to curve, and always cut just below that curve to avoid the quick. If you accidentally cut into the blood vessel inside the nail, apply pressure to the area to stop any bleeding. It is also good to have styptic powder on hand for any accidental cuts into the quick as it helps the blood to clot quickly.
8. Teeth Brushing
Goldendoodles should have their teeth brushed at least once a week. Brushing your Goldendoodle’s teeth will help to remove plaque and tartar buildup, which can lead to gum disease. To brush your Goldendoodle’s teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Be sure to brush all of the surfaces of your Goldendoodle’s teeth, including the back teeth. This will be mildly uncomfortable, but eventually, they will get accustomed!
9. Ear Cleaning
Goldendoodles’ ears should be cleaned once a week. To clean your Goldendoodle’s ears, use a cotton ball or a soft cloth to wipe out the inside of the ear canal. Cleansing wipes are a great option. If your puppy has any redness or foul smell in the ears, address it with a gentle and natural ear wash and dry product.
10. Eye Cleaning
Goldendoodles’ eyes should be cleaned daily. To clean your Goldendoodle’s eyes, use a cotton ball or a soft cloth to wipe away any dirt or debris from around the eyes. Be sure to avoid getting any cleaning solution into your Goldendoodle’s eyes, as this can cause irritation.
11. Anal Gland Expression
Goldendoodles’ anal glands should not need to be expressed manually. Anal glands are located on either side of the anus and contain a foul-smelling fluid that is released when the dog passes stool. The anal glands are expressed naturally as long as the dog has firm stools. If loose stools are common and gland expression isn’t happening, the anal glands can become impacted, which can be painful for the dog. It is important that you feed a high-quality kibble and probiotic to keep firm stools.
If your puppy needs its anal glands to be expressed, it can be done at home. Here is a step-by-step process for expression:
- Put your puppy on an elevated surface with a towel under it.
- Put on gloves and rub petroleum jelly on your fingers.
- Have someone help you hold your dog during the process.
- Use your pinching fingers to press up against your dog’s anus horizontally (at the 8 and 4 o’clock positions).
- Squeeze both glands together once you have put a paper towel under the anus, and allow the liquid to flow.
- Once done, gently use a wet paper towel with lukewarm water and clean the outside of the area.
Although the smell is foul, this process is incredibly important to your Goldendoodle’s health. If you are not keen on doing this procedure on your own, your vet will be able to take care of this for you.
12. Tips for Keeping Your Goldendoodle’s Coat Looking Its Best
Here are a few tips for keeping your Goldendoodle’s coat looking its best:
- Brush your Goldendoodle’s coat regularly.
- Bathe your Goldendoodle every two to four weeks.
- Trim your Goldendoodle’s nails every two to four weeks.
- Clean your Goldendoodle’s ears once a week.
- Brush your Goldendoodle’s teeth at least once a week, but daily is preferred.
- Clean your Goldendoodle’s eyes daily.
- When grooming, remember to give your dog breaks.
By following these tips, you can help to keep your goldendoodle looking and feeling their best.
This is your step-by-step guide to grooming your Goldendoodle at home! Whether you want to go longer in between professional grooms, skip professional grooms altogether, or trim your puppy up a bit, this is the perfect spot to start. Keep in mind that the size of your Goldendoodle will, in part, determine the amount of time it takes to groom your own dog. The process takes patience and practice, but it can be cheaper done at home!