Regular grooming is important to keep a Labradoodle looking beautiful and feeling great. Labradoodles, like poodles, don't shed their undercoats. When grooming is neglected, the undercoat gets thick and matted with dead hair. Regular bathing is an important part of good grooming as well, but it's important to note that the wrong soap can leave the dog feeling itchy and miserable. Basic coat care is only the beginning — ears, nails and eyes also require regular care.
When grooming a Labradoodle, one of the best tips is to make sure the under coat is well brushed and all the dead hair is removed. A metal grooming comb can be used to get down past the top coat to thoroughly detangle the undercoat. A soft brush is not suitable when grooming a Labradoodle, as it only smooths out the top coat, leaving the bottom coat untouched. When grooming a Labradoodle, it is best to give it a thorough combing at least once a week.
Labradoodles have sensitive skin and are prone to skin problems and allergies. They should be bathed once every three to six months with a mild anti-allergenic shampoo formulated for dogs. Dogs and people have different skin pH. Shampoo designed for people can create a pH imbalance in Labradoodles and other dog breeds. When bathing a Labradoodle, the best way to keep water out of its ears is to gently insert cotton wool in each ear before the bath.
If fur around the eyes is left untrimmed, it will eventually become overgrown, leaving the dog peering out from under excessive fur. When grooming a Labradoodle, the hair around the eyes can be carefully trimmed back using a pair of blunt-ended scissors. Care is critical when grooming around the eyes. Fussy or resistant Labradoodles should have their face areas trimmed by a professional groomer.
Because the hair grows all the time, Labradoodles can be shaved every six months. When grooming a Labradoodle, the hair can be cut back to 1 inch (about 2.5 cm) from the skin using dog clippers. In cold climates, the dogs should be shaved only once a year in spring. The hair around the ears can be cut to 1/4 inch (about 6 mm) from the ear to maintain a neat appearance. The hair around each paw should be trimmed close to the nail and pads.
Nail care is tricky with all dog breeds, particularly dogs with black nails. Cut too close and the vein can be severed, making for a guilt ridden groomer and a howling dog. Grooming professionals have the expertise to trim nails without cutting too close. Additionally, teeth should be thoroughly brushed once a month to keep the teeth and gums healthy.