COAT CARE-This breed is HIGH MAINTENANCE!
It is very important that your Australian Labradoodle be professionally groomed every
4-6 weeks. The longer the coat the more often grooming is needed. No one likes
a dirty, matted, labradoodle. It is uncomfortable for your labradoodle and worse on
the groomer. If your Labradoodle is not groomed regularly, it can become hard
to work with. Having your labradoodle professionally groomed does not mean
that you do not need to brush daily! Because our Labradoodles DO NOT
SHED, their undercoats will mat quickly. it is the daily brushing that removed
the dead undercoat thus effectively shedding the coat. Your pup, if started young,
will learn to love brushing and grooming if a gentle hand is used. They tend
to show off when well groomed. We start grooming our Labradoodles at 8 to 12
weeks, please try to keep it up. Here is what one of the breeds founders has to say
on the subject:
All dogs go through a coat change from their puppy coat to their
adult coat. This change occurs at different ages from breed to breed and amongst
individuals within a breed. Ordinary dogs, which shed, lose a lot of
their puppy coat by themselves, (usually all over your clothes and furniture!) and
unless there is a long period of neglect, do not mat. Regular brushing keeps
this under control.
On the other hand, dogs which do not shed, have no way of ridding
themselves of their puppy coat, to allow the adult coat to grow through. This means
that if the puppy coat is not stripped out with vigorous brushing using a good slicker
brush, Melorich's Brush sets plus thinning scissors, or razor comb, it will
tangle with the new adult coat coming through from the follicle and this is what produces
The most common mistake made when grooming
is to brush over the top but not get in underneath and close to the skin. It can be
quite a shock to discover that although your dog looks beautiful 'on top' underneath
there is a whole nest of matting you haven't seen.
Below are some photos which show how the
coat looks when it has been thoroughly brushed. Although it 'poofs' up and looks
very fluffy, a light spraying with water will settle it right back down into its tendrils.
If you brush thoroughly first you will save the groomer a lot of time and
yourself a lot of money. Your Doodle is also more likely to come back looking
beautiful instead of shaved like a rabbit! Most busy groomers take the quicker way
out and go for the clippers when it is may not always be necessary if you've done your own
homework first. Always brush 'layer by layer' don't just skim over the top
with the brush.
Clipping Tip: If the coat is already
matted, use a size 15 blade which will slide in underneath the mats. The coat may look quite short for awhile
but will soon grow back some length and look like a soft wooly lamb. If there are no
mats, then groom thoroughly
with a slicker brush and if there are no knots left, use a size 5 or a size 7 blade which
will leave a soft fluffy coat with a little more length.
Short coated dogs are brushed effectively
by running the brush over the top of the coat. But long coated dogs need to have
their coats brushed layer - by - individual layer. Mats begin at the skin, so even if the ends of the
coat are brushed, this will not prevent mats from happening unless the underneath is
brushed as well. Brush against the lay of the coat first and then layer by layer in
the direction it grows. It's really very easy once you see how! Many owners
are shocked when they part the coat to discover a lacework of mats which they think have appeared
overnight. They have actually been forming for quite some time, hidden away close to
the skin where they can be missed if brushing doesn't open up the coat from the skin
Shedding coated dogs help the process by
getting rid of a lot of their old coat which would otherwise Matt and knot, but non shedding coated dogs need
your help by stripping out old or damaged coat, especially during the change from puppy to
adult coat which happens any time between ten and fourteen months of age. How long
this change lasts depends on how thoroughly the stripping and grooming is done, more than
the frequency with which it is done.
Some Australian Labradoodles have
weepy eyes, a poodle trait that almost all poodles have. The weepy eyes are
due to the tear ducts being too small to accommodate the tears the eye produces.
There is a surgery that can correct this, but the cost is prohibitive. Most people
learn to live with it. Cleaning is required to prevent fur staining and to keep odor
down. Cleaning also prevents eye infections like pink eye - conjunctivitis. We
recommend daily cleaning of the eyes with nonalcoholic free baby wipes, a wet cloth, or
pet eye wipes. there are lots of products out on the market that claim to reduce or
eliminate the rust colored stains around the eyes. I have yet to find one that
works. Many Australian Labradoodle breeders and owners swear that by feeding plain
yogurt that these stains are lessened. Most of the time it is the shaving of the
face that removes the stains. That is until the eye starts to weep again. it
seems to be an endless process.
Ears need to be kept clean and free
of hair. If you detect foul odor from the ears this means TROUBLE!!!! The hair
needs to be plucked. Make sure your groomer cares for the ears properly. Be
sure to keep water out of the ears when bathing your pet. If you Australian
Labradoodle scratches its ears a lot and cries then you may have a problem. Always
check the ears for Ticks and Mites.
Ear mites are microscopic pests that take up residence in your labradoodles ears.
the ears become inflamed, sore, and itchy. You may see your labradoodle shaking his
head a lot as well as the scratching. This problem is very easy to pass from one
labradoodle to another, but is also easy to clear up with insecticide ear drops. If
unsure whether your labradoodle has ear mites, check with your vet or groomer. Ear
mites can also be detected by swabbing the ear canal with a Q-tip (do not worry you ca not
hit the ear drum) and then rubbing the swab on a piece of black paper. the mites
will appear as tiny white moving dots. Do not panic! You can obtain ear mite
drops at most any store that carries labradoodle supplies.
Gum disease is a problem in all
labradoodles. All Australian Labradoodles are susceptible to gingivitis just like
people. The gums become ulcerated and inflamed. This causes the gums to
recede, bacterial infection, and bad breath. To prevent this it is important to feed
your labradoodle proper hard (not soft) labradoodle food, give toys for chewing (to aid in
removing tarter build-up), and regular tooth brushing. We have found that the
battery powered tooth brushes for humans with soft to medium bristles work great on
labradoodles. DO NOT use human tooth paste - this is not made to swallow. Use
only labradoodle tooth paste. You can find this at most store that carry pet
supplies. *REMEMBER* - The younger you start your puppy on a tooth brushing regime
the easier it will be on both of you!
Please note: Most of my puppies have a habit of retaining their baby
teeth. The adult teeth typically erupt at 5-6 months. If the baby teeth
do not fall out by the time the adult teeth have fully come in, they need to be pulled,
whether by you or your vet. If not pulled they can become encrusted in plaque and
rot. They can also cause bad breath. Also if the baby teeth are not pulled in
a timely manner then the new adult teeth can be pushed out of alignment and cause bite
problems in your puppy. Please make sure that you remember to have these retained
teeth pulled for both the sake of you and your new puppy.
ANAL HYGIENE -
Excessive licking or dragging of
the hindquarters is a sign that your labradoodles anal glands are blocked and need
to be expressed. Please make sure that your groomer empties the
anal glands every grooming. If not done the blockage can lead to infection.
Larger labradoodles usually can express their own anal glands and do not need to have this
done. This does not hurt your labradoodle. but be sure to tell your groomer if
your labradoodle has had a problem with his anal glands in the past or if you have had
your labradoodles anal glands removed.
Cutting the nails is very
important. If the nails are not cut, they can grow and curl around into the pads of
the feet causing pain and sores. It is also painful for your labradoodle to walk
like this. Long toe nails can be caught in fences or in carpet. Please
remember to tell your groomer if your labradoodle has dew claws. These are thumb
like nails higher up on the inside of the foot. Most Australian Labradoodle have
- TO BATHE OR NOT TO BATHE
- It was once believed that
labradoodles should be bathed only when dirty, but that was back when shampoos for
labradoodles were much harsher than they are today. If a gentle shampoo is used, a
labradoodle can be bathed weekly without drying out its coat. Frequent bathing can
improve coat condition and ease the concern of parents whose kids enjoy sleeping with
Brush your labradoodle thoroughly before bathing to remove dead hair and mats that will
otherwise tangle when wet. Gather everything you need for the bath - shampoo,
towels, cotton balls to place in the ears so water will not run into them - then get your
pup. A walk-in shower is ideal for large breeds, but smaller labradoodles can be
bathed in a large sink. Bending over the tub can be backbreaking, but sometimes it
is the only alternative. Some labradoodles are bathed outside during warm weather,
but it is best if you have access to warm water.
Place your pup in the tub (or wherever you are going to bathe him), and wet him to the
skin with warm water. (It is very important to rinse out every bit of
soap.) To help in combing out. Afterward, some people apply a small amount of
conditioner, which is rinsed out as well.
Squeeze as much water as you can out of the coat, the absorb more water with a
towel. Brush your pup dry, using a blow dryer set on warm, gentle setting to speed
the process. Hold the dryer at least a foot away from your pup so you do not burn
his skin. Keep him in a warm place until he is completely dry.
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