Like many of our Dogster readers, you may have ventured into at-home grooming during the pandemic, but if you’re a Goldendoodle pet parent, it’s worth putting professional grooming back on your to-do list.
Goldendoodles are very high on the list of breeds that need professional grooming regularly, plus weekly brushing at home, says Jay Spainhour, owner of Chicago’s Tucker Pups Pet Resort.
This is because the Goldendoodle is typically low-shedding — a trait she picks up from her Poodle parent — which means the hair will continue to grow and get matted if not brushed and trimmed regularly. There’s also the influence of the Retriever’s thick coat, which, depending on whether your Goldendoodle has more dominant Poodle or Golden Retriever genes, can alter the texture and grooming style of the dog.
Jay gave Dogster tips on keeping the mats out of a Goldendoodle’s coat, keeping grooming costs down and where to find Goldendoodle grooming inspiration.
Is there a standard for Goldendoodle grooming styles?
No, there’s no standard because the Goldendoodle isn’t an official AKC breed. However, there are common styles that groomers continuously get requests for.
The most popular Goldendoodle grooming styles are:
- Teddy bear cut: The fur on the dog’s body is trimmed a universal length, typically anywhere from a half inch to 2 inches, while the fur on the head is kept a little longer. The face remains soft and rounded.
- Lamb cut: Similar to a teddy bear cut, but the fur on the legs is kept longer than the fur on the body. This is a more balanced look and avoids the possibility of the legs looking too skinny, explains Jay.
- The Poodle cut: There’s a wide range of poodle cuts, but typically this involves shaving the face and feet bare and leaving a full top knot on top of the head. This cut only works on Goldendoodles who have more dominant poodle genes and therefore, a curlier coat, than Golden Retriever genes.
- The Kennel cut: Also known as the Retriever cut, the coat is cut one length, typically less than an inch, all over the body, including the ears. This cut is ideal if the Goldendoodle participates in lots of outdoor or water activities.
How short should I cut my Goldendoodle’s hair?
Dogs who are very active do better with a shorter cut, explains Jay. He doesn’t use the term shaved Goldendoodle because it can scare people off, but instead refers to this trim as a reset cut.
Some people prefer to have their Goldendoodle’s fur reset, or cut very short, if the dog spends a lot of time outside, especially in the water. The short coat is easy to maintain, can help prevent burrs and matting and can help pet parents easily spot ticks, explains Jay.
“Reset coats can still look very attractive and the hair will grow back quickly,” he adds.
Where can I see pictures of different Goldendoodle grooming styles?
A Goldendoodle grooming chart can give you a better idea of what each fur length and style will look like. Some of these grooming guides have samples you can feel.
Groomers have personal styles for each type of cut, so communicate with your groomer about your preferences. Even better, bring a photo of a Goldendoodle into the groomer, so he can emulate the style.
What happens if my Goldendoodle’s hair is matted?
If the Goldendoodle’s hair is extremely matted, it will be necessary to reset the dog’s hair. Matting is more than a bad look. Matted fur can pull the skin, making it painful or uncomfortable when your dog moves, explains Jay. In severe cases, it can block oxygen from reaching your dog’s skin, which can cause skin conditions, such as dryness, lesions or hot spots.
The top grooming issues for Goldendoodles include:
- Matting due to lack of grooming
- Overgrown nails
- Impacted, dirty ears
- Impacted anal glands
How much does Goldendoodle grooming cost?
Prices range based on where you live and the complexity of the cut, but in general Goldendoodles are one of the more expensive types of dogs to groom. “Goldendoodles cost more than most breeds because their coats are often thicker than Poodles and more complex than Golden Retrievers,” says Jay.
At Tucker Pups Pet Resort in Chicago, a mini Goldendoodle haircut costs between $85 and $100. Standard Goldendoodles are $100 to $130. These prices include a bath, haircut, ear cleaning, nail trim and brushout. De-matting services cost extra.
At Posh Paws Salon in Seattle, Washington, prices vary based on Goldendoodle size and hair condition, but in general cost between $80 to $100 for a haircut, which is the highest among their list of breed costs. There’s a $20/half hour charge for de-matting services.
Can I groom my Goldendoodle at home?
Regular home maintenance can sustain the health of your Goldendoodle’s coat and make the groomer’s job easier. However, because the Goldendoodle has higher grooming needs, Jay recommends taking regular trips to a professional groomer every 6 to 8 weeks. Here are our experts’ top home Goldendoodle grooming tips:
- Brush and comb your Goldendoodle at least three times a week. Talk to your groomer about how to properly brush your dog at home
- Bathe your dog once a month, unless your dog is extremely active outside
- Dry and brush your dog immediately after he gets wet.
- If you trim your dog’s nails at home between grooming appointments, find a safe space and a partner to help secure your dog.
- Do your research using Goldendoodle photo searches and Goldendoodle grooming charts to find the exact style you want.
Scheduled trips to the groomer come hand-in-hand with caring for a Goldendoodle. Keeping up with the home maintenance between trips to the groomer ultimately lessens your grooming costs and keeps your dog, and your family, healthy.