Labradoodles are known as “designer dogs. These cute puppies, a combination of two breeds, sell for a hefty price tag! It’s important to know that most Labradoodle breeders are in it for the money, not the health or well-being of the dogs. For this reason, breeders will lie and create many myths about this breed.
One big myth propagated by breeders is that Labradoodles don’t shed. Breeders claim these puppies are hypoallergenic and low-maintenance. Many will even encourage owners not to see a groomer for the first year, causing puppies to become painfully matted and making grooming a painful and negative experience.
Labradoodles aren’t hypoallergenic. The truth is, Labradoodles can shed heavily, just like their Labrador parents! Some do take after Poodles and shed less. At the same time, many have a combination of the two coats, which causes the coat to tangle more regularly and makes it more challenging to groom.
Below, we’ll talk more about Labradoodles and how much they shed. Let’s dispel some myths about their coats!
There isn’t a Standard Doodle Coat
First, it’s important to know that there’s no standard coat that all Labradoodles share. Some will have Poodle-like coats, while others will look more like Labradors.
Often, their coat will fall somewhere in the middle. This means it’ll shed heavily, like a Labrador. In addition, the fur may get trapped in the coat—causing it to mat if not brushed out daily.
This is because Labradors have short, double coats that shed heavily, while Poodles have long, single coats that shed very infrequently.
The breeding of these two breeds causes different coat types and gives unpredictable results. These results often aren’t ideal. The truth is certainly more complex than what backyard breeders selling Doodles promote.
Are Labradoodles Hypoallergenic?
Although Doodle breeders advertise hypoallergenic features, this is not true. It’s simply a lie to sell puppies; these breeders don’t care if the dogs end up rehomed after they’ve gotten their money.
As discussed above, Labradoodles don’t have a standard coat. They could have a low-shedding Poodle coat, or a high-shedding Labrador coat that triggers allergy symptoms. Perhaps even a mix of the two!
Are Labradoodles High-Maintenance?
Yes! Labradoodles are high-maintenance in every way you can imagine. Their coats require daily grooming and frequent haircuts. In addition, owners must bathe them regularly.
Labradoodles are also incredibly smart and need a lot of mental stimulation. Having active parent breeds, they need tons of exercise. It is suggested to aim for at least a few miles per day, plus extra playtime at home.
Unfortunately, these pups are sometimes marketed as low-maintenance—especially when it comes to their coats. In truth, Labradoodles have diverse coats with different maintenance needs.
You are, however, likely to get a mix of both, with a shedding double coat that requires daily maintenance.
How to Groom a Labradoodle
Here’s how to groom your Labradoodle:
- Brush and comb them daily
- Trim the coat as needed or desired (typically every 4-6 weeks)
- Bathe them every 4-6 weeks
- Trim their nails monthly
- Clean the ears at least once monthly
- Brush their teeth daily
We’ll go into more detail below on each step.
Brush and Comb Your Labradoodle Daily
While some Labradoodle coats are easier to maintain, you should plan to deal with their coat every day and continue to do so unless a groomer instructs otherwise.
Labradoodles have a mixture of fur types that can cause heavy matting, which is painful. When the fur mats close to the skin, it begins to pull on the dog’s skin every time they move. This can be excruciating, especially if the mats form near joints like the armpits or hips.
Start by going over your Doodle’s coat with a slicker brush, then use a metal comb to brush down to the skin. Brushing them all over and combing the entire coat length to prevent matting is essential.
Many groomers refuse to see Doodles or won’t see them unless they’re brought in on a schedule because their coats tend to be matted and take a lot of time and effort to fix. Don’t be the person who neglects their pup!
See a Groomer Once Every 4-6 Weeks
Your groomer can give you a more precise timeframe depending on your dog’s coat and preferences. Generally, your dog should go in for a bath, nail trim, ear cleaning, and haircut once every 4-6 weeks.
You can do all of these things at home as well, though a groomer will give you a more professional cut. Keep in mind that dogs don’t care if their coat is a little uneven, as long as it’s cared for!
Here are some tips if you’d like to groom your dog at home:
- For baths, always use dog shampoo. Human shampoos and dish soaps can dry and irritate your dog’s skin.
- Before trimming nails, learn where the quick is located so you can avoid cutting into it. The quick nail is filled with blood. Your dog will experience pain and bleed if you cut into it.
- If you do cut the quick, use flour or cornstarch to stop the bleeding. See a veterinarian if the bleeding doesn’t stop after a few minutes.
- Only clean your dog’s outer ear—never stick anything into the ear canal. This can injure your dog and cause permanent damage.
Lastly, even if you allow a groomer to do everything listed above, get acquainted with your dog’s body. examine your dog’s coat, skin, paws, face, and ears on a regular basis.
Knowing what’s normal for your pup is super important, as it allows you to notice abnormalities. You’ll also notice any early symptoms of pests or illness, which could save your pet from discomfort, pain, or even death!
Brush Your Labradoodle’s Teeth Daily
Dental health is just as important for our dogs as it is for us. That’s why it’s recommended that you brush your Labradoodle’s teeth daily and bring them in yearly for a dental cleaning (or as frequently as your vet recommends).
Brushing your Labradoodle’s teeth may seem daunting, but it’s pretty easy once the two of you get the hang of it!
- First, get your Labradoodle used to you handling their mouth. Take this slowly and reward them frequently for being good! This will also help for vet visits and in case of an emergency.
- Then, introduce a toothbrush and dog toothpaste. Any toothbrush will work, but it’s vital to use dog toothpaste only. Human toothpaste is toxic to dogs.
Introduce the toothbrush slowly, in short, positive training sessions. At first, you’re unlikely to begin brushing—but even them sniffing the toothbrush or licking the toothpaste is progress that should be praised and rewarded!
- Finally, brush the teeth a little at a time. Don’t stress either of you by trying to do the whole mouth at first. Build up to that over time and with training.
Suppose your Labradoodle won’t collaborate; some alternatives exist for teeth-cleaning treats or toys. These won’t clean the teeth as well as a toothbrush, but they are better than nothing!
As we discussed before, it’s also important to see your veterinarian for routine dental cleanings whether you brush your Labradoodles teeth or not. Like humans, we still go to the dentist despite brushing our teeth daily!
It’s imperative to get routine dental work done if you can’t check your dog’s mouth for signs of dental disease, including red, swollen gums, tooth decay, and bad breath. Check for these symptoms while brushing your pup’s teeth if you can.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © gatien.a/Shutterstock.com
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- VCA, Available here: https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/ear-infections-in-dogs-otitis-externa
- American Kennel Club, Available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/ear-mites-in-dogs/
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