Hair Types & Grooming for a Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles are a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle.
Image Credit: Brandy Dykes / EyeEm/EyeEm/GettyImages

Your goldendoodle loops in beige-colored waves. But the goldendoodle down the street has apricot-hued fur that curls into ringlets. With golden retriever and poodle parentage, goldendoodle fur runs the spectrum from straight to tight curls in an assortment of colors. Despite this wide variety of coats, there's one constant: With a goldendoogle, long hair requires vigilant grooming to keep them looking their best.

Goldendoodle hair types

The breed was developed in the early 1990s, resulting in a dog that has the pleasant temperament of the golden retriever and a hair structure similar to the poodle. Goldendoodles have three basic hair types: wavy, curly, and straight. Each of these coat types has its own distinct characteristics and the goldendoodle haircuts you choose should enhance that natural style.

Wavy coats, sometimes referred to as shaggy coats, have a hair-like texture according to Blue Ridge Goldendoodle Puppies. They are very low maintenance, but the amount of shedding varies from dog to dog. Goldendoodles with straight coats most resemble golden retrievers. While their flat, shiny fur is the easiest to groom, it also sheds more than other goldendoodle fur types.

Dogs with curly coats, also called woolly coats, resemble poodles in that they have very tight curls. When these coats are long, they require at least a half-hour of grooming per day. However, they don't shed and are allergy-friendly. If the hair is kept short, it's easily manageable.

A rainbow of colors

Goldendoodle coats come in a range of 10 colors, according to the Goldendoodle Association of North America: chalk (white), cream (gold), apricot, red, cafe (brown), lavender, parchment, black, chocolate, and silver. A puppy born with a cafe coat may later fade to a milk chocolate color.

Lavender dogs are usually born with chocolate coats that fade, so it's not until they have finished growing their adult coats that they're identified as lavender. A chocolate coat is always dark, but can be sprinkled with white hairs.

Basics of grooming

Grooming goldendoodles requires regular brushing and combing, says I Love Goldendoodles. If goldendoodle long hair isn't clipped, it will grow to between 4 and 8 inches long. The hair on the face is generally slightly shorter.

Periodic maintenance grooming should be performed several times a year and includes trimming the hair around the eyes and the beard, brushing the teeth, cleaning and removing excess hair from the ears, clipping the nails and trimming hair between the foot pads, and a "sanitary trim," which consists of trimming the hair under the tail and the belly.

Bathing and shampooing

A goldendoodle's coat should be shampooed about once a month. A standard bathtub or even a shower will work for bathing, although a raised tub and and a long shower hose are helpful. Although manufacturers produce shampoo specifically for dogs, many of these products tend to dry out goldendoodles' skin. Instead of these, use a mild baby shampoo or a 2-in-1 shampoo with conditioner included.

When bathing a goldendoodle, start by washing her face with a wet washcloth at the head and work toward the tail. Throughout the process, avoid getting shampoo in your dog's eyes. Start lathering at the top of her head and as you go, massage her neck, back, chest, belly and legs. Comb through her hair with a fine-toothed comb while she's lathered.

Hair drying do's and don'ts

Gently rinse the dog several times, starting with the head. Shampoo residue left in the hair may cause dry skin, irritation, and scratching. You may towel-dry to remove dripping water, but don't rub the towel against the grain of his coat, as this will cause tangles.

Use a blow-dryer to finish the drying process. Start with the dryer on low so that you don't frighten the dog. While blow-drying, use a slicker brush to brush the coat. In warm weather, it's okay to let the coat air-dry.

Giving goldendoodle haircuts

When giving goldendoogle haircuts, keep in mind that a goldendoodle's coat should never be completely shaved. The coat should be clipped to 1 1/2 to 2 inches long. Clipping with electric dog clippers is recommended if possible. Make sure the clippers are sharp, and always bathe a dog before using electric clippers. If clippers aren't available, a sharp pair of scissors or sewing shears will work as well.

Trim the dog's facial hair to resemble an upside-down "V" to maintain the characteristic goldendoodle face. Always check for mats behind the dog's elbows and ears, and carefully snip these out with small, sharp scissors.

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