Doodles Doodles and More Doodles
With the rise in popularity of doodles and the variety of sizes and types, these blended breeds warrant a special mention. Despite popular marketing, talk of generation or type, doodles can come in sizes ranging from tiny to giant and may have curly, wavy, fleecy, wiry coats or some combination of these. They may have undercoats and shed, or they may not. The only thing that is universal among them is that all doodles require a LOT of grooming!
Because of their variety, doodles are difficult to provide price quotes for. Consequently, when you ask for a price for your doodle, we may provide a large range. We will be able to give a more precise quote upon seeing your dog and the condition of its coat. No quote will be final until we have fully groomed your dog and they have reached full size with a full adult coat. Pricing may also change throughout your dog’s life or from visit to visit. Pricing depends on several factors including, but not limited to
Length of coat
Type and texture of coat
Frequency the pup is groomed
Condition of coat and/or presence of matting
Dog’s behavior/temperament and how experienced he/she is with grooming
Start bringing your puppy to the salon and working on at-home brushing as early as possible! We prefer to see most puppies no later than 16 weeks for their first puppy Bath & Tidy appointment and start consistent intervals thereafter. During a Bath & Tidy, we will bathe, blow dry, brush and comb your pup, trim their eyes, paws, and sanitary area. This allows them to get used to us, the grooming salon, and our process and tools. We will not perform a full haircut on puppies until they have had a few Bath and Tidy appointments and we feel they are ready. This ensure that they are not stressed during the grooming process. Rushing a puppy into a haircut can cause them anxiety about the grooming process that may last a lifetime. Grooming should be a regular part of your pet’s life and setting them up on a recurring schedule with us is a great way to start.
Puppies usually have a wonderfully soft, fluffy coat that is easy to manage and doesn’t tangle or mat. Unfortunately, around 4-8 months, their adult coat will start to grow in and is usually a very different texture. This process lasts until the puppy has fully changed to their adult coat, usually around 8-14 months. Because most doodle coats resist shedding, this process results in the puppy coat that is falling out getting tangled in the adult coat and causing severe matting. The coat change process requires diligent and frequent brushing and regular grooming appointments to prevent matting. We strongly recommend a haircut at around 7 months to make the coat easier to brush and manage.
Coat Care and Maintenance
There are 3 factors we can work with to keep your dog mat-free and looking their best:
Frequency of professional grooming
Length of haircut.
We have to find a balance between these factors that suits your budget, schedule, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences.
For example, if you choose a long haircut, your dog will need more frequent grooming appointments and more at-home maintenance. On the other hand, if you want to come less often, we can do a shorter haircut and you can do more at-home maintenance as it grows out to buy more time between visits.
Many doodle owners are partial to a long, shaggy coat, but it’s important to keep in mind that although the hallmark of this look is that they appear “unkempt” and natural, this is actually a very high maintenance style. The longer your pup’s coat, the more grooming they require! Most owners think that longer coats require fewer or less frequent grooming visits, but the opposite is actually true. In order to keep that natural look, most doodles will require brushing and combing at-home at least 1-2 times a day and biweekly, or even weekly, professional grooming. Keep in mind that we don’t have to take length off your dog’s coat at every visit, but professional grooming is an important part of maintaining long, fluffy coats!
Choosing a shorter length may mean that your dog can go longer between haircuts and need less at-home maintenance, but coming in for Bath & Tidy appointments between haircuts helps to stay on top of nail trimming and ear cleaning and lets us check the skin and coat thoroughly for any problems.
Regardless of length, all doodles will require at home brushing. (I recommend this brush!) We can advise you about the ideal frequency of brushing based on your pup’s style and coat type. Your home brushing routine should include a high quality slicker brush and a steel comb. Your dog must be brushed down to the skin, so use the brush to go through the coat layer by layer and then use the comb down to the skin to find any tangles your brush may have missed. If you find tangles or mats that cannot easily be removed with your brush, your pet requires professional attention as soon as possible.
Bathing a tangled or matted coat will make tangles tighter. If you choose to bath your pet at home, choose a high quality pet shampoo and conditioner and be sure to always brush and comb your pet both before and after their bath as well as making sure they are completely dry! A long coated pup left damp CAN cause skin issues like hot spots, yeast, and bacterial infections.
"Blow Outs" and Doodle Curls
With the popularity of the natural, shaggy look for doodles, we find that many owners don’t like the fresh “blow out” look because the coat no longer looks curly. We often get requests that we not blow dry in order to preserve the curls. However, a professional blow out is a very important part of the grooming process as it allows us to thoroughly check the skin and the roots of the coat and find any matting that might be hiding. It is also necessary to have the coat blown out before a haircut to make sure the clip is smooth and precisely cut to your desired length. Rest assured that your pup’s beautiful curls are not lost! The coat will return to its normal curl in a few days. We can mist your pet with a finishing spray after the groom to encourage the curls to tighten more quickly. However, keep in mind that this may encourage the coat to tangle, so you’ll have to be very diligent with your at-home maintenance.
Sometimes, for any number of reasons, your pet’s coat may become matted. Rest assured we understand that life gets in the way and sometimes you may be unable to brush your pet or may have to postpone an appointment. Whether it’s because your pet was boarded, medical issues, you were too busy, or any other reason, we get it! We aren’t judging you! We just want to help. Matting can be uncomfortable and unhealthy for your pet, so if your pet develops mats, please come see us as soon as possible. The sooner we can work on it, the better. We will discuss options for resolving the mats before proceeding and will always do our best to remove the matting by the safest and most comfortable method for your pet.
Dematting is the process of brushing or combing mats from your pet’s coat. We charge $2 per minute of dematting to be added to the regular cost of your pet’s grooming appointment. We use the best professional shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in products on the market as well as the highest quality tools and safest methods to demat the coat. It’s important to remember, that regardless of these precautions, dematting is not comfortable for your pet. Inevitably, the coat that remains after dematting will be thin and damaged. Unfortunately, this damaged coat is likely to mat again and usually worse than it was originally. We can sometimes cut mats out, if they are localized to small areas, and leave the surrounding hair. However, the resulting unevenness of the coat will often also be prone to matting. For these reasons, we will not demat pets repeatedly. If your pet is getting repeatedly matted, we want to work with you to adjust the frequency of grooming, your at-home maintenance, and the length of the haircut to prevent future matting. Your pet’s safety and comfort is our top priority and it is unfair to your pet to subject them to repeated dematting.
If the matting is wide spread, close to the skin, or if your dog is sensitive, we may be unable to brush it out. We take no joy in shaving a matted pet and we know it isn’t the style you want. During times like this, it’s necessary to just start over and grow the coat back out. If we recommend that your dog be cut short or shaved due to matting, it is because we firmly believe it is the safest and kindest option for your dog. We will always stand by the motto of Humanity before Vanity.
We know that taking home a shaved pet from the salon is always disappointing but please try to hide your disappointment from your pet. It’s important that they not connect your negative emotions on the look of their cut and associate that with the grooming salon. This may cause them to develop an aversion or anxiety about grooming. Keep an upbeat demeanor and tell them they look beautiful!
In order to prevent future matting and to get the coat to regrow healthy and fast, regular appointments following a shave down are important! We recommend scheduling your pet’s next appointment when you pick up and even if you don’t think your pet needs a haircut, don’t cancel or postpone the appointment. We don’t have to take length off your pet’s overall coat. We can do a Bath & Tidy appointment to help you stay on top of your pet’s coat care during the regrowth. We can also use products that will help the coat grow! Regular grooming appointments are key to keeping your pet healthy, clean, and mat-free!