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Grooming The Labradoodle

The Labradoodle is a well-known dog type in the UK, consisting of the crossing of a poodle and a Labrador retriever to produce a hybrid or mixed breed dog, which, while they are not recognised as a pedigree breed, are nevertheless very popular here and across the world.

One of the main reasons for the popularity of the Labradoodle is the type of coat that they have, which generally falls somewhere between that of the poodle and the Labrador, being curly and wavy while not as tightly curled as the pedigree poodle coat. The Labradoodle coat sheds hair at a much slower rate than that of most other breeds, which means that the dog is rather less likely to produce an allergic reaction in people who are often allergic to dog dander, making them a viable option even for some people that would otherwise probably not be able to own a dog at all.

However, the fairly unique coat of the Labradoodle does mean that they need regular brushing, grooming and general care, and in this article, we will look at how to best groom and care for the coat of the Labradoodle in more detail. Read on to learn more.

Working with the Labradoodle puppy coat

Like most breeds and types of dog, the coat of the juvenile Labradoodle is rather different to the coat that they grow in when they are adult, and in between these stages is the transition phase while the puppy coat grows out, and the adult coat comes in. The Labradoodle will tend to retain their puppy coat up until the age of around one or two, and until their full adult coat comes in, you will need to brush and comb out your dog’s fur daily, to help to remove the shed fur that would otherwise become tangled up in the coat, or shed around the house.

Adult grooming

Even adult Labradoodles with their full adult coat should ideally be brushed and groomed daily, and this process is not usually particularly onerous if you keep on top of it, and should take just a few minutes at a time. It is wise to begin getting your dog used to daily brushing while they are still young, so that they get comfortable with being brushed early on, and begin to see it as an enjoyable part of their daily routine. As the Labradoodle’s fur is curly, shed hair that is not brushed out will often remain trapped within the coat, leading to matting and knots that can be a pain to work out later!

Grooming equipment

You should keep a range of tools at your disposal to groom your dog, in order to have the right equipment to tackle different problems and areas of the coat that have different textures. You will need a comb with wide, blunt teeth, a soft brush, and a metal slicker brush too, as well as possibly other bits and bobs as well that you find useful through trial and error.

Using the comb carefully and gently to work right down to the roots of the hair should be your first step, as otherwise, using a brush will tend to simply untangle the top layers of the coat, leaving knots and mats underneath. You should then work the metal slicker brush through the coat gently, before finishing off by grooming the top layer of the coat with the soft brush. While grooming a dog the size of a Labradoodle thoroughly all over their bodies can be time consuming, provided that you stay on top of things and don’t skip a few days, giving knots time to develop, it should just take a couple of minutes each day.

You may also want to keep a set of basic, small clippers for clipping off any areas of the coat that are tangled or matted to the point that you cannot work the comb through them, although regular grooming should render this unnecessary. Avoid using scissors to cut at mats and knots, as it is all too easy to inadvertently cut the dog’s skin.

Bathing

The Labradoodle is one breed of dog that benefits from regular bathing, and ideally, the dog should have a full bath every few weeks in order to keep them smelling fresh and to work out any loose hairs. You may wish to have this taken care of for you at the grooming parlour, but you can of course also wash your dog at home, if you are up for the challenge!

Choose the shampoo that you use carefully and ensure that it is not so harsh that it strips the coat of its natural oils, and consider using a conditioner too to replace lost moisture. Always dry the dog off thoroughly after a bath, and try to make it fun and enjoyable for them rather than a stressful challenge!


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