Most goldendoodles are hypoallergenic and low-shedding, and this is because they carry traits from their poodle parent. Because of these genes, you’ll need to be mindful of your dog’s hair type as you consider goldendoodle grooming. Obviously, brushing and washing your dog are important steps. But what about beyond that?
Consistency is the key with goldendoodles and their grooming. Your dog will develop tangles and mats if you don’t keep up with brushing, and conditioning your dog’s hair is essential to a healthy coat, too! Regular upkeep of your dog’s grooming can prevent you from having to shave your goldendoodle if his hair gets too matted, and of course it’ll keep your dog looking his best, too!
We’re here to help! We’ve developed a how-to guide for those of you who would like to take a hands on approach to grooming. Just interested in learning about goldendoodle haircut styles? We have a guide for that too.
Let’s get started!
Goldendoodle Grooming Tools
Goldendoodle grooming can be difficult – even intimidating – if you don’t have the right equipment. Before we start our step by step guide, make sure you have the following items on hand.
Must-Have Goldendoodle Grooming Tools
- Slicker Brush: This is a must-have for every Goldendoodle owner. A slicker brush is a great everyday brush that gets deep into your dog’s coat to remove mats and tangles.
- Shampoo & Conditioner: The We Love Doodles shampoo, conditioner, and detangler is some of the best shampoo and conditioner on the market. It smells amazing, conditions your dog’s hair, and rinses very easily.
- Dog Hair Clippers: The most popular and widely used goldendoodle hair clippers are the Andis Proclip 2. These are a great investment and will save you money in the long term.
- Andis Steel Comb: This is used for brushing out mats. These are affordable and we think every goldendoodle owner should have one!
- Grooming Scissors – Use ballpoint scissors or blunt-tipped scissors only. The We Love Doodles Dog Grooming Scissors are our personal favorite. Sharpen them appropriately for your dog’s safety.
- Cutting Shears: These are used to shape hair that clippers can’t access and put the finishing touches on your dog’s hairdo.
- Dog Nail Grinder or Dog Nail Clipper: Low-noise nail grinders work the best and can help ensure you don’t cut too much nail off your dog and make them bleed.
- Grooming Table or Pet Leash: Some goldendoodles simply refuse to be groomed. This means you’ll have to invest in a grooming table or pet leash to keep them stationary while you work.
Optional Goldendoodle Grooming Tools
- Blade Coolant and Lubricant: Most dog hair clippers will come with a small bottle. You will need more after your first goldendoodle grooming session.
- Thinning Shears: These are super useful because thinning shears blend short and long hair together.
- Detangler: Detangler is highly recommended if your goldendoodle is prone to mats or tangles. Just spray and brush.
- Quick Dry Dog Towel: Quick-drying towels are the best so you don’t have to wait forever after you bathe your goldendoodle. Alternatively, some dogs may tolerate a blow dryer.
- Pet Grooming Gloves: These are great for bathing and grooming.
- Bully sticks: Bully sticks are great because they buy you a lot of time and provide a great distraction for your dog.
How to Groom a Goldendoodle
Let’s get started grooming your goldendoodle! If this is your first time, allocate at least a couple of hours to fully groom your goldendoodle from bathing to grooming to nail trimming. The more you practice, the quicker you’ll finish!
Tips Before Your Goldendoodle Grooming
- Let your goldendoodle observe and smell the equipment. If your dog isn’t accustomed to your grooming tools, he’s more likely to wiggle, squirm, or even bite.
- Have lots of treats ready. Give your dog lots of treats as positive reinforcement. A bully stick will provide the perfect distraction for up to 45 minutes.
- Lots of patience. The first time grooming your goldendoodle will be hard. Don’t worry, it gets easier!
Goldendoodle Bathing (Step 1)
The first step in goldendoodle grooming is the bath. Some doodles will love the splashes while others may not be so tickled. Use a leash if you must, and speak calmly to your dog.
Use a shampoo and conditioner combo that’s approved for your dog breed. A good shampoo will lather nicely and rinse easily, cleaning and conditioning in the process. Take your time with your dog’s bath! Make sure the water is a comfortable temperature, and have fun!
Of course, you’ll want to make sure you avoid getting soap in your dog’s eyes! Give your puppy a little massage while you lather, if you like, then rinse the cleanser thoroughly.
Set Up Goldendoodle Grooming Equipment (Step 2)
If you haven’t yet set up your grooming station, it’s time to do that. We do recommend that you have your equipment in place before bath time, but this isn’t critical. Here’s what you need to do:
- Attach your goldendoodle to the grooming table or pet leash. An elevated surface can be helpful, as it discourages a hesitant goldendoodle’s escape! An elevated table is also easier on your back.
- Place your equipment on the table so your goldendoodle can see it. Once she starts recognizing the equipment, she’ll gradually become more cooperative.
- Give your dog some long-lasting treats like a bully stick or horn if they aren’t cooperating.
Sometimes goldendoodles don’t cooperate too well and you’ll have to use a muzzle to prevent them from biting you. We believe in positive reinforcement, though, so you may want to use treats as encouragement first.
Goldendoodle Brushing (Step 3)
Next, brush your goldendoodle and dry her thoroughly. This is critical to the goldendoodle grooming process! Attempting to use clippers on a dog with mats or tangles can pull her hair and cause a great deal of pain – you may even injure your dog. Use a blow dryer or a quick-dry towel to remove water from your pup’s coat, then use a comb and slicker brush to remove all mats and tangles.
Grooming a Goldendoodle (Step 4)
It’s time to begin to clip your dog’s hair! First, attach the guard of your choice to your clippers. It’s best to begin with a longer length – try #10 – and then work your way to a shorter length. If you’re still noticing mats and tangles, you may need to use your scissors to remove them.
When you’re ready, ask your goldendoodle to sit. This is the easiest position to groom your dog’s back.
Grooming a Goldendoodles Back (Step 5)
Once your goldendoodle is in the seated position, begin at the shoulders and work your way down to your pup’s butt. Clip as much as you’re able to access while your dog is seated – you’ll use the same blade guard over your dog’s entire back. If your pup is being cooperative, you can try to access her legs and other body parts, too! Take advantage of her calm behavior as best you can.
Goldendoodle Belly Grooming (Step 6)
Next, you’ll want to move your goldendoodle to a standing position so you can access her belly. You may have to place your hand under her belly and gently push upward. As always, be calm with your dog and use a soothing tone while you speak to her.
Most people choose to trim belly hair to be very short! This prevents dirt, sticks, and other debris from collecting as your pup plays outside. It will also prevent mats from forming, and can help keep your dog cool in the warmer months. A #5 blade guard should do the trick!
Trim as much hair as you’re able to trim, and use caution around your dog’s teats and genitals. Your dog may be a little more sensitive to the goldendoodle grooming process in this area, as the vibration from the clippers will feel stronger. Take your time as you trim your dog’s belly – use it as bonding time between you and your pet!
Goldendoodle Leg Grooming (Step 7)
You may have already begun to trim your goldendoodle’s legs while she was seated. Now it’s time to clean them up and make them look great!
Most goldendoodle owners choose to keep leg hair short for the same reasons they keep belly hair short. Sticks, dirt, mud, debris, and burs can collect on your doggy’s legs when the hair isn’t kept short. A #5 or #7 guard is typically sufficient.
To begin, make sure your pup is secured in a standing position. A dog saddle or dog stand will help if your pup is super wiggly. Once your dog is secure, begin to trim! Always begin from the top of your dog’s leg and work your way down to the paw. This will help prevent hair pulling and discomfort.
Goldendoodle Paw Grooming (Step 8)
Goldendoodle grooming won’t be complete unless you clean up your pup’s paw pads. Mats are very common in this area, and most goldendoodle owners don’t brush their dog’s paws regularly! You can use sharp scissors for the task, or you can use a #1 blade guard on your clippers. Note that your pup may be ticklish! The vibration of the clippers may make him more apt to squirm. Again, take your time during the process.
Goldendoodle Ear Grooming (Step 9)
If your dog’s ears aren’t trimmed and cleaned regularly, he’ll be more likely to get an ear infection. Keep in mind, as you groom, that your pup’s ears are sensitive and prone to injury! If you don’t feel comfortable with this portion of the goldendoodle grooming process, that’s okay! Better to be safe than sorry – you can enlist the help of a professional groomer.
If you want to DIY, we recommend a #5 blade guard on the top of your dog’s ears. This, of course, will depend on the goldendoodle haircut you’ve chosen. Begin at the crown of your dog’s head and work your way down to the tips of the ears.
Once your dog’s ears are uniform in length, use your scissors to clip the hair around your dog’s ears. It is absolutely critical that you exercise caution – damage to your dog’s ears if you accidentally poke him can cause irreparable damage.
Once you’ve cleaned up your dog’s ears, take a step back to ensure that the cut is even. Use your scissors to shape the hair around your pup’s ears in the way you’d like it to look.
Goldendoodle Face Grooming (Step 10)
It’s time for the next step in goldendoodle grooming: your pup’s face! Choose the length you’d like the cut to be, then use your clippers in a downward direction from nose to jowls. We like leaving facial hair a little longer – it gives dogs a cute, puppy-like appearance – but the choice is yours!
If you need to, you can use your scissors to trim and shape your pup’s eyebrows, mustache, and snout. It goes without saying that you should be extra careful around your dog’s eyes to prevent injury.
Goldendoodle Tail Grooming (Step 11)
Next up: your goldendoodle’s tail! You can leave your pup’s tail longer if you like – just trim it up with scissors or a long blade guard. Begin at your dog’s butt and trim toward the tail tip.
As you’re well aware, dogs’ tails are wiggly-waggly! If you’re having trouble keeping your dog’s tail still for the process, that’s okay. You can take your time, take a break, or trim it in “installments.” Just use your good judgment and you’ll be fine.
Goldendoodle Nail Trimming (Step 12)
Now that you’ve trimmed the hair around your dog’s paws, it’ll be easier to see – and trim – his nails. Again, if you don’t feel comfortable doing so you can recruit a groomer. Cutting your pup’s nails too short can cause discomfort and bleeding, so take your time.
Goldendoodle Grooming: Finishing Touches (Step 13)
Now that your dog is looking like a brand new pup, it’s time to complete the finishing touches of your goldendoodle grooming. This is the easy part! Just blow dry the loos hair off your dog, if he’ll tolerate it. Brush your dog with a slicker brush once more. Finally, comb your goldendoodle!
That’s it – you did it! You’ve groomed your goldendoodle on your own, creating bonding moments with your dog and saving money in the process!
Conclusion for Goldendoodle Grooming Guide
If you’re new to goldendoodle grooming, the process may take a while. The tools and the wiggly dog can be intimidating, and you (and your dog) may be hesitant to begin the process.
Don’t worry! Goldendoodle grooming may take a little time in the beginning, but as you get comfortable with it, you’ll complete the steps in no time at all! In fact, we think you’ll find that the process is fun, and it provides a great opportunity to spend time with your dog. Of course, it doesn’t help that you’ll save a lot of money in the process!
For a full video on Goldendoodle Grooming, watch this:
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Dr. Sabrina Kong graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in England in 2016 and has been working at a small animal clinic in Northern California since then. She grew up in the Bay Area and got her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She also became a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner through a program at the University of Tennessee.
When she isn’t in the clinic taking care of her four-legged patients, she enjoys traveling and trying new foods with her friends and her three-legged dog, Apollo. She adopted Apollo from her clinic when he was a puppy with numerous health issues. Dr. Kong truly cares about taking care of animals.