When Do Goldendoodle Puppies Need Their First Haircuts? +5 Tips to A Better Grooming Experience

When Do Goldendoodle Puppies Need Their First Haircuts? +5 Tips to A Better Grooming Experience

One great thing about Goldendoodles is that they typically don’t shed much. However, their continually growing coats need lots of brushing and regular haircuts to avoid severe matting that can hurt your dog. Let’s talk about everything you need to know to get your Goldendoodle puppy ready for a lifetime of grooming.

When Do Goldendoodle Puppies Need Haircuts?

When do Goldendoodle puppies need haircuts? You should take your Goldendoodle puppy to the groomer as soon as possible to get their face, feet, and potty area trimmed so they can start to get used to the grooming process. As long as they aren’t matted, your Goldendoodle puppy will likely have their first full haircut sometime between 6 months and 1 year old.

Even if you plan to save money by grooming your Goldendoodle yourself in the future, you should take advantage of puppy pricing and take your baby to the groomer every month or two for the first year of their life. That’s the best way to set them up for a lifetime of success with grooming, either by you or in a professional setting.

5 Tips to Start Your Goldendoodle Puppy on a Path of Great Grooming Experiences

Here are tips straight from a professional dog groomer with more than a decade of experience to get your Goldendoodle puppy set up for a lifetime of success.

#1 – Introduce Your Puppy to Brushing Immediately

Goldendoodle puppy hair is pretty forgiving for the first few months of their life. You could get away with not brushing your puppy for a little while. HOWEVER, your adult Goldendoodle will need daily brushing (unless you plan on keeping them shaved all the time). The best thing you can do is introduce your Goldendoodle puppy to daily brushing as soon as you bring them home.

Start with a slicker brush, like this one. Let your puppy sniff it and play with it; let them nibble on it if they try. Then start to brush them with it, gently, while giving your puppy treats. Your Goldendoodle puppy needs to learn that brushing is a good thing. Feed small treats while brushing your puppy and deliver something really high value at the end of the brushing session.

Don’t stop brushing if your puppy tries to bite you or the brush! If you do, your puppy learns that biting makes things they don’t like stop.

That’s NOT a lesson you want your Goldendoodle puppy to learn! So keep brushing, even as they nom on the brush. Eventually, your puppy will learn that biting is pointless.

#2 – Learn Proper Brushing Technique

All the brushing in the world won’t do your Goldendoodle any good if you’re doing it wrong. The essential technique for brushing your Goldendoodle is called line brushing. When you brush one “line” of fur at a time, it’s easier to make sure you’re brushing all the way down to your dog’s skin.

What Is Line Brushing For Grooming A Dog?

What’s line brushing? Start somewhere low on your dog, like down by a foot. Use one hand to pick up most of your Goldendoodle’s fur in one area, then use your other hand to brush the area UNDERNEATH that line of hair.

By lifting the hair, it’s easier to brush near the skin instead of brushing over the top of mats right next to the skin.

Using line brushing, brush from your dog’s feet up to his head, continually lifting excess hair out of the way as you go.

#3 – A comb Will Be Your New Best Friend

Line brushing is the best way to make sure you’re brushing ALL of your Goldendoodle’s fur, but it’s still easy to miss tangles and mats. That’s why you need to run a metal comb through every inch of your dog after brushing them. A metal comb like this one is perfect.

A comb is crucial if you want to wash your Goldendoodle puppy at home. You want to make sure you can get the side of the comb with the teeth closer together through every inch of your Goldendoodle’s coat, all the way down to the skin, BEFORE washing your dog.

That’s because water makes mats worse, especially if you don’t use a high-velocity professional dog dryer after the bath.

When you find mats with the comb, you can use the slicker brush or a dematting tool like this one to brush out the mats. Be careful not to irritate, scrape, or cut your dog’s skin when trying to remove mats.

Best Dog Brush For Removing Matted Fur

Editor’s Bonus Comment: This dematting rake works really well for beginners and is very forgiving!

#4 – Make Brushing Part of Your Daily Routine

The best way to make sure your Goldendoodle puppy gets used to brushing and avoids painful mats is to incorporate brushing into your daily routine. That way, your puppy knows to expect it, and you don’t accidentally go several days between brushing sessions.

Goldendoodle fur mats very easily, and those mats can pull on your dog’s skin and be very painful. Daily brushing is the best way to prevent painful mats from forming.

#5 – Find a Groomer Early and Stick with Them

There’s a lot involved with the full grooming process that can be scary, so it’s crucial to take your Goldendoodle puppy to a groomer as young as possible. Younger puppies are more adaptable than older puppies, so it’s easier to ensure a lifetime of happy grooming experiences when you can start your puppy as early as two to four months old.

It also helps your Goldendoodle if they see the same person every time they go in for grooming. That makes it feel like going in to see a friend for a familiar experience.

You see, every groomer, even at the same grooming salon, has their own routine and way of doing things. If your dog always sees someone different, it’s harder for them to know what to expect.

If you can find a good groomer and stick with them, that groomer will get to see your Goldendoodle grow into an adult and can report physical or behavioral changes.

If you find a groomer who stays in business long enough, they might report lumps and bumps you hadn’t noticed, or sensitivity around their mouth that could indicate tooth problems, or fussiness around their face that could indicate vision loss.

If you see a different groomer every time, it’s easier for them to assume those behaviors or bumps are normal for your dog rather than new indications of an underlying problem.

There are so many reasons to try to stay with the same groomer. It really is the best thing for your Goldendoodle.

A Guide to Goldendoodle Haircuts

Since Goldendoodles are a hybrid rather than a purebred dog, they don’t have a “standard” haircut. The fun thing is that you can make your Goldendoodle look however you want without going against the “norm.”

The downside is that you can’t just walk into the groomer and tell them you want “a Goldendoodle cut,” because such a thing doesn’t exist.

Before we talk about the different haircut styles and lengths available for Goldendoodles, we need to talk about their different hair types.

Goldendoodle Hair Types

Since Goldendoodles are hybrids, they can have one of three different coat types depending on their genetic lottery. The 3 Goldendoodle hair types are:

  • Straight (like a Golden Retriever) – more likely to shed, less likely to form mats
  • Curly (like a Poodle) – least likely coat type to shed, but hardest to keep brushed out to avoid mats
  • Wavy – may shed some and is also somewhat prone to forming mats

The “Puppy Cut” or “Teddy Bear Cut” for Goldendoodles

People often use the terms “puppy cut” or “teddy bear cut” to mean that they want one length all over on their Goldendoodle. Those terms aren’t especially useful for a groomer, though, because they don’t specify any lengths.

Most people opt for lengths between half an inch and an inch. That’s a length that most people find they can maintain at home while going 6 to 8 weeks between haircuts. Remember, the longer you keep your Goldendoodle’s hair, the more critical it is to brush it daily. Still, a “puppy cut” could technically be anything between 1/8” or 3” long all over the body.

Also, the terms “puppy cut” and “teddy bear cut” don’t tell the groomer what you want to be done with the face, head, ears, and tail. We’ll go over those separately.

The Lamb Cut for Goldendoodles

With the lamb cut, your Goldendoodle’s legs are left longer than the body. Like the terms “puppy cut” or “teddy bear cut,” though, there is no set length to the lamb cut on a Goldendoodle. Commonly, the body is left with ½” to 1,” and the legs are left 1”-2” long. Talk to your groomer about what length you think you can manage.

“Poodle Cuts” for Goldendoodles

Most people tell the groomer, “Don’t make my Goldendoodle look like a Poodle.” However, some people do like Poodle cuts on their Goldendoodle. Mostly, when people talk about wanting a “Poodle cut” on their Goldendoodle, they are referring to a clean (shaved) face or feet.

Kennel Clip for Goldendoodles

If you or your dog hate the brushing process, or your Goldendoodle just loves to spend time in the woods, in a lake, in the mud, or anywhere except indoors, a kennel clip may be your best bet. A kennel clip means your dog is shaved short; usually 1/8” to ¼”.

A kennel clip often includes shaving your dog’s head, face, tail, and ears, so make sure you’re clear with the groomer what you’re looking for.

Heads, Faces, Ears, and Tails

There is no standard length for the hair on your Goldendoodle’s head, face, ears, or tail. It all comes down to your personal preference (and whether those areas are matted when you take your dog to the groomer). Make sure you discuss these areas in detail with the groomer at drop-off.

Final Thoughts

The best thing you can do for your Goldendoodle puppy is to start brushing them as soon as you bring them home and take them to the groomer early and often so they can get used to the process. You can eventually start grooming your dog at home, but your puppy should get used to the whole grooming experience when they’re young enough not to be afraid.

Kern

I'm a life long lover of dogs. Since I was 2 years old I've had retrievers, mixes, and currently, a Mini Goldendoodle named Lexie. I converted my wife into a dog lover and my two daughters are as well. Our doodle Lexie was the inspiration for this website because after we got her everyone wanted to know more. There is a ton of information on the web, but I feel most of it was not from the perspective of a Goldendoodle owner.

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