Do Groomers hate Australian Labradoodles?
As an Australian Labradoodle breeder, I take pride in the breed, their health, temperament, and how they represent the breed in public. Unfortunately, doodles as a whole tend to get a bad rap in the groomer world. I am a part of several online forums where I can observe the lament of many groomers over the state in which doodle owners bring their dog or puppy into the groomer. One way in which owners of ALD dogs can positively impact our communities with our delightful breed is to maintain their coats with routine grooming and outstanding behavior when they do need to be groomed. It is imperative that all ALD owners educate themselves on the importance of maintaining their dog's coat as well as help them to have a positive experience at the groomer. In this post we will explore several ways to make your groomer fall in love with you and your Australian Labradoodle.
Establish a Regular Grooming Routine:
Consistency is key when it comes to grooming your Australian Labradoodle. Set a regular professional grooming schedule with your groomer and stick to it. By maintaining a routine, you keep your Labradoodle's coat in good condition, reducing the likelihood of matting. A groomer will appreciate your commitment to the well-being of your furry friend.
Practice Basic Coat Maintenance at home: Getting down to the skin
Between grooming sessions, dedicate time to brush and comb your Australian Labradoodle's coat. This breed's luxurious coat requires regular attention to prevent tangles and maintain its soft and non-shedding qualities. If you would like to keep your ALD's coat on the longer side (longer than 3/4-1"), check out the plethora of combing and brushing videos and articles the internet has to offer and enter "Line Combing' or "Line Brushing" in the search bar. This style of combing/brushing gets down to the skin level as unfortunately, you can run a comb our brush easily through the top layer of your ALD's coat and not realize you are missing mats at the skin level where they most commonly form. Pay special attention to any areas which come into contact with items such as the neck (collars), under their legs, (harnesses). We have found that our dogs legs in general require the most combing and brushing. Regular brushing also helps distribute natural oils and promotes a healthy coat and skin. Your groomer will be delighted to see a well-groomed and well-maintained Labradoodle.
Maintain Good Hygiene:
Regular bathing is essential to keep your Australian Labradoodle clean and fresh. Use high-quality, dog-friendly shampoos and conditioners that suit your Labradoodle's coat type. Be sure to rinse thoroughly to avoid any residue. Proper hygiene not only makes your dog more pleasant to groom but also promotes overall health and well-being. We utilize an organic shampoo named 4 Legger and have found it to clean well and leave our dogs sparkling clean. After bathing, it is imperative to throughly dry your ALD as damp coats have a higher tendency to mat. We would recommend bathing about once a month in addition to your dog's professional grooming session.
Keep Nails Trimmed:
Regular nail trims are crucial for your Australian Labradoodle's comfort and mobility. Get your Labradoodle accustomed to nail trimming from a young age, or seek professional assistance if needed. By keeping your dog's nails at an appropriate length, you ensure their paws remain healthy and reduce the risk of discomfort during grooming sessions. We utilize two tools while trimming nails. A basic nail trimmer and a dremmel type tool you can either purchase at a pet supply store or at a home improvement store. The one we especially find easy to use can be found at Harbor Freight tools.
Maintain Ear Health:
Pay attention to your Australian Labradoodle's ears and teeth. Take a quick look at their ears and when performing your usual brushing tasks. Look to see if the ear hair is dense and possibly matted. We do not pull 100% of our dog's ear hair, but we do maintain air flow to the ear canal by keeping the hair shaved on the side of the ear which touches the face (pinna) and we pull enough hair around the ear canal as to allow air flow. In addition, we do not routinely clean our dogs ears with solutions as we have found it can lead to unintentional ear infections. What we do do, however, is carefully inspect their ears for any redness, swelling, brown gunk, or odor. These signs can indicate an infection but are not necessarily proof of one. If you suspect your ALD has an ear infection make an appointment with your veterinarian.
Socialize Your Australian Labradoodle and Teach Basic Manners:
Socialization is crucial for Australian Labradoodles, as they are known for their friendly and social nature. Expose your Labradoodle to various environments, people, and other animals to promote their confidence and adaptability. A well-socialized Labradoodle will make the grooming experience smoother and enjoyable for everyone involved. Basic obedience training is essential for any dog, including Australian Labradoodles. Teach your Labradoodle basic commands such as "sit," "stay," and "down." These commands will help maintain control and cooperation during grooming sessions, making it easier and safer for both your Labradoodle and the groomer.
Provide a Grooming-Friendly Environment:
While your puppy is young, routinely brushing, combing, handling of paws/nails, looking in their ears, and having them lie down when inspecting their sanitary area can greatly increase your chances of a positive experience at the groomer. If you only focus on these areas at the groomer your puppy will have a higher chance of resisting any grooming he/she needs while at the groomer. Create a grooming-friendly space at home for your Australian Labradoodle. We usually sit on the couch or on a conformable rug and go through their coats with a comb and slicker brush in the evenings.
By following these top tips, you can foster a strong and positive relationship with your groomer and make them fall in love with you and your Australian Labradoodle. Remember, consistency, maintenance grooming, good hygiene, socialization, and basic obedience training are key factors in creating a delightful grooming experience for both your Labradoodle and the groomer. Communication, a grooming-friendly environment, and showing appreciation further strengthen the bond with your groomer. Together, you can ensure that your Australian Labradoodle receives exceptional care and looks forward to every grooming session with joy and excitement.