You’ll realize, pretty soon after getting a Goldendoodle, that a) they are the most adorable example of the phrase ‘the best of both worlds’, combining the fluffy cuteness of poodles with the warm affectionate loyalty of golden retrievers for the maximum ‘awww’ factor, and b) they’re going to need more haircuts than you do, probably. Goldendoodles’ hair can grow ridiculously fast, and leave your pup looking like a shaggy mop of moving hair laboring to move around and see where it’s going.
Gorgeous though some of their curls and waves look, they’re also at risk of getting horribly tangled and matted, trapping dirt and – gross as this is – your dog’s own poop, if not properly trimmed down. Inevitable as the frequent haircuts are, though, this does not mean you’ll need to resign to forking up ludicruous amounts of money for monthly trips to your pooch’s groomer – with the right equipment and know-how, you can do it yourself. The thickness of a doodle’s coat often means only clippers with blades of #10 length (built for close-cut and full body trims) can get through the mop to get any work done. Here are our picks for the best clippers you can use to groom your Goldendoodle.
Andis UltraEdge Super 2-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper
No products found.
A universal favorite amongst amateur dog groomers, this heavy-duty, intuitive machine gives you the best bang for your buck, hitting all our requirements for the ideal clippers for a Goldendoodle needing a haircut. With #10 blades to really work into all that long, thick hair, especially when it comes to removing matted fur, this clipper blade length is also recommended for use around your pup’s private parts and areas like the face (though if you are nervous about using clippers around your pup’s eyes and ears, you could switch out for scissors instead). The blades are inherently designed to keep them sharpened, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them or risk them getting dulled and tugging on your pup’s fur and causing them discomfort. The chrome finish keeps the blades from rusting up to improve longevity and safety of use.
Another brilliant feature of this clipper is its smart, cool-running design sans the vents and fans often responsible for clippers jamming, the exclusion of the typical magnetic motor design also keeping the clippers cool and quiet during operation, so you don’t risk alarming your pup as you set about grooming him or her. The 14 inch cord gives you plenty of room to use the clipper without having to risk getting yourself or your pup tangled up with it. Used in conjunction with a #7 comb, these clippers can give your Goldendoodle just the right amount of trim while still leaving their fur a bit on the flattering longer side that suits doodles so well. Two adjustable speeds let you choose the pace you’re most comfortable with, letting you go slow, steady and careful to avoid accidents and mistakes.
KEN’S BUDGET PICK
Wahl Lithium Ion Rechargeable Clipper Kit
A cordless, battery operated option handy for taking all that messy grooming outdoors, a single fully charged round gives you enough juice to run two hour sessions at a stretch with your pup. By setting down the guard, you get to run the clippers through your doodle’s fur without risking snagging or cutting into their skin, guide combs included to give you control over the length you want your pup’s coat rather than risk leaving the poor thing with an unflattering dog variant of a crew cut. Self-sharpening blades and the small bottle of oil included to keep them lubricated ensure your blades don’t dull out too quickly and risk tugging on your pup’s fur or leaving uneven trails. The clippers come with a grooming kit of other essentials including the aforementioned guide combs, scissors, blade oil and a brush to clean up the mess you’ll inevitably be making.
With the guard down, the blades aren’t going to be too warm for contact with your pet’s skin, but since the plastic housing of the clippers can get hot after steady use over a prolonged period of time, we recommend, as with most clippers, regular cool-off periods or the use of a coolant against the blades as safety precautions, to make the process that much easier for yourself and your pup.
Oster A5 Turbo 2-Speed Professional Animal Clipper
The #10 blade of these clippers come with Oster’s patented cryogenic treatment technology, hardening them such that they resist dulling and damage over use, a coolant or blade oil keeping them in tip-top shape performance-wise for years to come. Add in one of Oster’s (separately sold) guide combs to get your preferred length and you can give your pup a professional-degree trim from the comfort of your home. This unit comes with two available speeds, the lower speed allowing for meticulous precision cutting as well as being convenient for clipper noobs attempting to groom our pups for the first time, while the higher speed is ideal for pulling off full-body trims. As with most clippers, these can heat up over use, so we recommend using a coolant to keep the heat of the blades under control so you don’t end up accidentally hurting your pooch, and taking breaks in between to let the clippers cool down so you can hold it without experiencing discomfort yourself.
Andis Power Groom+ 5-Speed Detachable Blade Clipper
Get optimum control over the grooming process with this 5-speed set of clippers, letting you keep them from overheating as you work through the thickest of Goldendoodle coats at a pace comfortable for you. The #10 UltraEdge blades are perfect for full-body clipping through thick, long coats, the rotary motor over a magnetic one ensuring the device does a better job at staying cool compared to several other alternatives, allowing both you and your pup to go through the process without getting overheated or worse, accidentally scalded. Just in case, to prevent an overheating eventuality, we still recommend being mindful with coolants and properly spaced breaks for the clipper, your pup, and yourself.
The detachable blade system lets you remove, clean and replace blades with ease, also compatible with other UltraEdge, CeramicEdge and ShowEdge blades by Andis as well as Oster A5 blades, in case you’re looking to use the same set of clippers with animals of different coats or for more diverse uses. Unobtrusive but effective in operation with its quiet, innately cooling performance, separately sold guide combs can also add to the improved control of your grooming experience.
Your Guide to Goldendoodle Grooming
Their curls and waves may be gorgeous, but at the end of the day one of the facts you’re going to have to accept as a Goldendoodle parent is that your pup is going to need more haircuts than you do. Lovely as their ringlets are, too long and your doodle may find him or herself lumbering around your home unable to see, the over-long hair risking turning inward and hurting your pup’s eye. The excessive hair may also weigh your puppy down, make them generally slower and clumsier – and as a non-shedding breed, risk an uptick in mats and tangles. Excessive or severe matting can be painful for your pup, but even milder cases can be problematic in the long-run since they can grow to restrict your dog’s movements, cut off their blood circulation, and turn into breeding grounds for disease and infection because they trap and hold fecal matter and urine, and any dirt your pup may have found themselves rolling about in.
Dematting and close-shaves can make for uneven and unattractive finishes, not to mention the risk of potentially hurting your pup with over-heating clippers moving too close to your doodle’s skin, and can be too painful and difficult (not to mention costly) to tackle. The simplest, easiest and best solution is essentially preventing these problems from happening in the first place, by keeping your doodle’s hair properly trimmed, their coat healthy and clean with regular brushing sessions to keep them mat- and tangle-free.
Fortunately, it’s nothing too complicated, as long as you have familiarized yourself with the following steps.
No products found.
Regular brushing sessions are the ideal solution to tackling smaller mats and pre-emptively avoiding larger ones which might later become tougher to tackle. Starting the combing and brushing process with your puppy as early as possible is recommended – you’ll only need daily sessions with a slicker brush for young pups, but getting them used to the process helps familiarize both yourself and your doodle to brushing sessions and minimizes discomfort and restlessness, and can even become a type of bonding activity for you and your pup. Regular brushing keeps your pup’s coat clean, removes dead hairs and material, and helps encourage healthy blood circulation and healthy skin.
Brush your pup in the direction of the hair growth, gently working out tangles from the ends closer to the skin. Move from the bottom to the top, using a slicker brush and tackling any mats refusing to cooperate, and tough tangles with grooming scissors or your dog clippers. After a thorough brushing session, comb through the coat again so you get rid of any new or missed tangles, to prevent the likelihood of future matting – make sure you give your pup a good grooming from head to toe, including the tail, head, neck and legs.
It’s important for us to emphasize here, especially for first-time Goldendoodle pup parents, that because of the natural curl and length of doodle hair, it’s important to keep areas like your pup’s genitals and anus smooth and free of hair. The hair might otherwise be trapping a lot of unhygienic matter which is both difficult and troublesome to clean out, and likely to cause irritation and possibly infection and disease when festering right against your pup’s skin. Using a good pair of dog clippers, ensure these areas are kept free of hair.
Ears and teeth
Another area where excessive hair might cause unfortunate infections is your pup’s ears. Goldendoodles grow hair in their ears, which need to be plucked out before they become breeding grounds for bacteria. This is especially imperative before bath-time, since the moisture captured there might potentially aggravate your pup and increase risk of infection too. Don’t attempt to remove too much at once – imagine you’re yanking out a huge chunk of your own hair, and that’s pretty much the same type of pain your pup will experience if you tried to do so. As the clever little animals they are, dogs can learn to associate certain experiences with negative emotions and sensations like pain, so you want to avoid the negative reinforcement with the action and gently pluck out the hair using your thumb and forefinger. Then you can roll up a small ball of cotton wool for each of your doodle’s ears, to keep the water out during bath-time, but remember to take them out immediately after they’re out of the water.
Keeping your pup’s teeth clean is also of the utmost importance. Just like humans, if dogs don’t have their teeth regularly cleaned out they can begin experiencing a multitude of problems, including tartar build-up and excessive plaque build-up leading to periodontal disease which can in turn lead to gum disease and harmful bacteria entering the bloodstream and harming other organs. It’s important to brush your pup’s teeth a couple of times a week to keep these risks at bay, using toothpaste especially formulated for dogs, because toothpaste for humans contains xylitol, which is toxic for dogs. You can purchase flavored toothpastes specifically for dogs, or you can concoct a homemade recipe of baking soda, salt and water, used along with a dog toothbrush.
That’s not all, though. While your dog’s dental health is partially reliant on their diet – like humans, too much carbs can spell bad news for the teeth – your pup will also benefit from gnawing on beef marrow bones or knucklebones, which essentially works to scrape their teeth clean the way hunting and preying in the wild would do.
Once you’ve brushed your doodle’s hair free of tangles – this is a crucial first step, since you won’t be able to clean your pup thoroughly if the hair is matted – get prepped for the bathing process. You’ll want everything you’re going to use on hand to make the experience as efficient and even enjoyable as possible for both you and your doodle. Fortunately, Goldendoodles love to play in water, and if you approach the bathing process with an upbeat attitude, your doodle will sense your emotional wavelength and adapt to it too. Since dogs in general tend to be sensitive to their humans’ emotions, the calmer and more relaxed you are, the more likely your doodle will be to follow suit.
When you’re picking your shampoo or conditioner, make sure you choose a brand that does not include any harsh chemicals that might ultimately be harmful to your doodle. Some pup parents even prefer to use baby shampoo thanks to its gentle cleansing properties (though you’ll need more specialized products if you’re looking to eliminate fleas and ticks). With your shampoo and conditioner in hand, get your pup inside the tub – this keeps the water off your floors so you avoid making a mess – and lather him up well, making sure to avoid the eyes as you go. Some owners prefer to run a comb through the lathered hair to catch and remove any dirt which might have gotten caught in the hair, as well as to work out the tangles which might occur during lathering. Thoroughly work the shampoo all over your pup, and ensure that you rinse everything out completely, since the soapy residue left behind can later cause irritation or dry out your pet’s skin; in fact, the dried out skin might be why your pup’s been scratching themselves even if they don’t have fleas. Several rinses are recommended, ideally using a long hose with decent water pressure. Some groomers and owners recommend a final rinse using a cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water, making sure to avoid the head.
Because frequent bathing and contact with the chemicals in your pet’s shampoo can dry the skin out, it’s recommended to bathe your pup about once a month or every couple of weeks, unless he or she has made a mess and is in urgent need of a wash. Regular brushing sessions and a liquid detangler can keep their hair cleaner, sleeker and with a healthy sheen.
If you’re bathing your pup in the winter-time, or if it’s just generally chilly around your home, heat the place up before you get into it. Switch off the air conditioner in warmer months and amp up the indoor heating during cooler months before you give your pup a bath, to minimize the risk of them catching chills.
Drying and post-bath combing
To avoid tangles, don’t ruffle your pup’s hair as you dry them up, using your fingers to comb in the direction of the hair growth to wring out the residual moisture. When using a towel, pat it in place to soak the water in, rather than rubbing or scrubbing in a manner likely to cause knots and tangles. You can also use a pet blow dryer, ensuring that the temperature is not too hot to hurt your doodle or cause him or her discomfort. If you’re uncertain, test the blow dryer out on various settings against your own skin. If it’s too hot for you, it’s too hot for your dog.
As you move the blow dryer over your pup’s hair, work your fingers through it, fluffing it up and combing out any tangles you encounter, gently. Remember, again, to move in the direction of hair growth, and keep going until the undercoat is dry. This is very important, since your doodle might otherwise get cold and sick if left wet for too long.
Clipping and grooming
Before you begin clipping your doodle, make sure that the hair is completely dry and repeat the brushing and combing process described earlier. Use grooming scissors to remove some of the hair hanging over your pup’s eyes, not only to prevent abrasions but also to reveal the loveable, soulful eyes of your pup. Don’t chop off too much though – you want it to fit with the rest of his head, which you can also more carefully trim using your scissors, being mindful to work it out such that the head blends naturally with the neck.
For the neck, back, chest and belly, use your dog clippers (keep some cooling spray handy to keep them from overheating and accidentally hurting your pup) with the one-inch comb attachment, stopping about half an inch above the elbow of the front legs (dogs, like, humans, have two elbows and two knees) and similarly for the hips around the back legs.
To clip the hair of the legs, use your clippers with the one-inch comb and a #30 blade, using single passes to clip the hair while moving from top to bottom. For any unevenness, you can use grooming scissors to correct inconsistencies, and afterwards comb away any loose hair that might otherwise encourage matting in your pup’s fur.
To get your pup used to the process, and to get them to associate positively to it, keep some treats handy when you sit down to clip your pup’s nails. Hold their paw down gently, and reward them with a treat for each nail you’ve clipped successfully to build positive reinforcement. Gradually, you can wean into more spaced out intervals with the treats – if you’re taking on the challenge for the first time with your pup, getting them used to and comfortable with the process is the first priority.
It’s important to go slowly when you’re clipping your pup’s nails to avoid cutting to the quick – a blood vessel that naturally would lead to bleeding and pain for your pup if your clippers got to it. Ensure your clippers are sharpened, so you aren’t working with a blunt tool likely to hurt your pup or increase the chances of mistakes, and begin slowly, shaving a thin segment of the nail at a go rather than trying to clip too much off at once. One trick to gauging if you’re closer to the quick is to note the texture of the nail. The nail will feel softer closer to the quick, so be mindful of the transition to avoid any accidents. To be safe, also ensure you have styptic powder (or flour or corn starch, though this will not work as efficiently) in case you accidentally nip the quick – applying it to the cut will help the blood to clot faster and reduce bleeding.
- Revival Animal Health: http://www.revivalanimal.com/pet-health/clipper-blade-chart/learning-center
- Goldendoodles.com: http://goldendoodles.com/groom/groomingdoods.htm
- Pet Helpful: https://pethelpful.com/dogs/Grooming-Lessons-from-a-Real-Groomer-Lesson-6-Clipper-tips-and-tricks