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Maintaining a Doodle / Poodle Cross Coat


When we take on a new doodle / poodle cross for grooming, we have no way of knowing what coat type the dog will have, which is why we like to meet you and your dog before any services are provided. Doodle coats vary and include wire-haired, drop coat, sparse, downy type coats and thick woolly coats. Occasionally we see doodles with a double coat.  Doodles also vary in size from toy to standard. Therefore, any advice we provide to the owner, has to be tailored to individual circumstances. Generally, we place doodles on a 4 - 6 week grooming plan, with baths and brush-outs in between.


Matting of a doodle's coat can lead to a variety of problems for the dog. Some of the dangers of matting include:

  1. Skin irritation: Matting can cause skin irritation and itching, leading to redness, flaking, and even infection.

  2. Pain: Matting can pull on the dog's skin, causing pain and discomfort. In severe cases, matting can even cause bruisingsores and ulcers.

  3. Difficulty moving: Matting can restrict the dog's movement, making it difficult for them to walk or run comfortably.

  4. Heat exhaustion: Matting can trap heat close to the dog's skin, making it more difficult for them to regulate their body temperature and increasing the risk of heat exhaustion.

  5. Risk of infection: Matting can trap dirt, debris, and moisture close to the dog's skin, increasing the risk of bacterial and fungal infections.

Regular grooming and line brushing can help prevent matting and keep your doodle's coat healthy and comfortable. If you notice any signs of matting, it's important to address it as soon as possible to avoid any of the above problems.



If you have to bathe your dog at home, ensure you have enough time set aside to complete the task.  


You will need absorbent towels as the coat will hold onto water.  You should squeeze the coat and avoid rubbing, which can cause matting and felting.  Thick coats will take some time to dry, and whilst a hair dryer may help, it is unlikely to be powerful enough to reach the skin.  Bathing should be a last resort and best left to your groomer.  Many owners book interim baths and brush-outs to keep things under control.


If your dog gets muddy, allow the mud to dry and simply brush it out.  

Line Brushing

Do not do line brushing on a matted or wet dog.  It will cause much pain and discomfort and likely cause more problems for your groomer.

Ideally, Doodle coats should be brushed and combed every day.  After all, we brush our own hair every day, and we would look very unkempt if we didn't!  The mistake that most owners make is to brush only the surface of the dog's coat.  (See video above).  The dog will look like it's been brushed, but it is impossible to get a comb through.  The coat needs to be brushed from the skin to the ends of the hair, which can be a time-consuming process.

It is essential to work slowly and carefully when line-brushing a doodle to avoid cutting the dog's skin. Having a professional groomer show you how to line-brush a doodle is also a good idea before attempting to do it yourself.

You will need:

  • slicker brush

  • metal comb (poodle comb)

You do not need any specialist equipment, just time and patience.

  1. Starting at a low position on the dog's body, part the hair in a straight, horizontal line so the skin can be seen.

  2. Holding the hair in an upward direction, use the slicker brush to brush with a downward motion.  Take care not to put too much pressure on the brush.  You should be holding the brush lightly.  The teeth on the brush can cause injury if they come into contact with the skin.

  3. When you are satisfied that the section of hair is knot-free, section another layer just above, and continue as before.

  4. You can test each area before moving on by using the metal comb.  The comb should pass through the coat, from the skin to the ends of the hair, without snagging.

  5. Continue until all areas of the dog have been brushed.

Line-brushing is laborious, but if carried out at least weekly, your dog's coat will stay in good condition.



Misunderstandings arise when the owner insists that they brush their dog and can't understand why a groomer tells them the dog needs to be shaved.  We absolutely do not like having to shave a dog down, as it doesn't look good on us or the business, but sometimes it is the kindest thing to do.  Please note that we will not put a puppy or a nervous dog through a dematting process under any circumstances.  It is more humane to shave the coat and start again; humanity over vanity every time!

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