Along with haircuts it is necessary to make sure your groomer trims nails & plucks hair from the ear canal to prevent ear hair from lodging in the canal and causing infections. Plucking is not as painful as it sounds and when done properly Doodles normally do not react. Regular brushing of teeth is necessary for the overall health of your pet and should not be overlooked.
Here are some simple tips for basic maintenance when grooming your doodle at home.
Eyes: Your Labradoodle should be able to see well and not have hair obstructing vision or growing up into the eyes from the bridge of the nose! Using blunt tipped scissors, trim the hair over the bridge of nose and in between eyes so vision is clear. Hair that hangs over the eyes should be trimmed neatly across the brow blending down into the sides of the face. If your dog gets eye gunk, you can keep them clean with eye wipes.
Ears: Hair on ears should be 1/2 to 1” below the end of the ear leather...NO LONGER. Shape the ears and blend hair neatly into the top of the head. To prevent ear infections, keep the hair just under the ear canal and beneath the ear flap clipped no longer than 1/2” to provide good air flow. You can use a clipper with #10 blade in this area.
*If the ear canal has a lot of hair inside, you will need to pluck it out in very small amounts to prevent irritation. Hair that grows in the canal can “ball up” and become a source of wax and bacteria buildup. If you are not comfortable pulling the hair yourself, please make sure to have a professional groomer do it regularly. Clean ear canal with solution and then use ear powder to eliminate moisture.
Paws: Trim paws into a nicely rounded shape so that hair does not hang over the paw and cannot be walked on. Completely clip hair from in between pads on bottom of feet. This is most easily done with an electric clipper and a #30 blade. Keeping the paws shaped nicely will aid in less debris being drug into your home from outside.
Muzzle: The hair on the underside of the muzzle should be trimmed so it does not hang more than 1” below the jawbone, and rounded along the jaw line up towards the neck. Long muzzle hair results in beards that drip with water every time your dog gets a drink. The hair on the sides of the muzzle should be even with the bottom of the lower jaw.
Inside Legs & Hind End: Clip hair on inside of legs and the hind end under tail to 1/2” length to prevent matting and urine or feces build up on the coat when your dog uses the bathroom.
*For Puppies it is important to establish a routine to accustom them to grooming at an early age. Weekly brushing, checking for matted fur, nail trimming and ear cleaning are a part of a doodle's life.
*If you are unable to maintain basic brushing and grooming on your own find a trusted groomer and still try to brush your doodle at least once a week.
So as with any dog, there is maintenance that comes with owning a doodle, but they are so worth it!