Although the Australian Labradoodle has a low to non-shedding coat, they still require regular grooming and brushing. Start brushing your puppy when you bring them home with a soft brush and lots of treats. By making brushing an enjoyable experience as a puppy will ensure you have a calm and content adult dog during all your grooming sessions.
The amount of brushing will depend on whether your Labradoodle spends most of their time indoors or outdoors, though brushing on a regular basis will help towards avoiding and limiting matting that can occur with a fleece, wool or hair coat. Brush to the skin and in the direction of the hair. It is recommended to give your Labradoodle a thorough brushing out before a wash and then follow up with a blow dry, this ensures no water is trapped in the coat and again lessens the risks of matting.
Between the ages of 9 to 15 months your Labradoodle’s coat will change. The puppy's undercoat at this time will need to be stripped out with regular brushing using a slicker brush or shedding rake, to avoid matting caused by loose hairs being caught in the adult coat. Your puppy's softer puppy coat may change in texture as the adult coat comes in and can lighten in colour. This is often a good time for a full clip. Normal grooming and brushing will result in removal of hair from the coat and this is not considered shedding.
We clip our dogs every 8-12 weeks, because a shorter coat is easier to maintain and to identify any Paralysis Ticks. We do recommend clipping if you live in a high risk area for Paralysis Ticks as an addition to your preventative treatment. You can invest in good quality clippers and attempt this yourself (YouTube have some great tutorials on dog clipping) or contact a professional groomer.
With a wool or fleece coat comes the advantage of having a dog with low ‘doggy odour’. Depending on if you have an indoor dog or an outdoor dog who plays in the grass, dirt and swims may dictate how often you wash your Labradoodle. Again, start young with treats and make bath time enjoyable and offer lots of praise for good puppies.
Nail clipping is a regular practice when you find your dog tired out. Again start early and just clip the nails on one paw. Your puppy will quickly learn it is not something to be frightened of. Ask your Vet for a demonstration during your first visit for the correct clipping method.
Monitor your Labradoodles' ears and keep the ear canal as free of hair as possible. The hair inside the ear and the long floppy ears can trap moisture and cause ear infections in any dog breed. Your Vet can recommend an ear solution to use to gently clean any waxy deposits from the ear canal.