How To Groom A Goldendoodle [Step By Step Guide]

The Goldendoodle ticks a lot of boxes. Cute, loyal, athletic, and great for those with dog allergies. These are likely some of the reasons why you got one. Still, despite their lack of shedding, they are a breed that requires a lot of grooming, as you shall soon discover. Today, I am going to be walking you through exactly what needs to be done on a regular basis.

But first, how do you groom a Goldendoodle? Grooming a Goldendoodle requires regular bathing, brushing, and trimming of their hair and nails. You can expect your Goldendoodle to likely need to visit a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks. Brushing your Goldendoodle daily at home is the most important grooming step for every owner. 

In this guide, we will look closely at the Goldendoodle coat and give you the detailed scoop on how to groom your Goldendoodle at home.

What Type Of Coat Do Goldendoodles Have?

When most people use the name Goldendoodle, they are referring to a dog with one Golden Retriever parent and one Poodle parent. This cross can create a dog that has one of three main coat types – wavy, curly, or straight. 

These types are typically the result of the way each particular Goldendoodle takes after their Poodle or Golden Retriever parent in genetics and appearance.

Curly Coat Types

Curly-coated Goldendoodles tend to take after their Poodle parent in appearance.

Their coats are visibly curly across their entire body. The curls can be tightly wound or larger ringlets over the dog’s face, body, and legs. 

Curly coats are the desired coat for those seeking a Goldendoodle that is truly hypoallergenic.

This coat type produces very little pet dander, which is the main source of dog-related allergies.

It also tends to be a no-shed or extremely limited-shedding coat.

While curly coats are more allergy friendly, they do require regular careful grooming.

Curly coats can be prone to tangling and holding in dirt or debris against a dog’s skin unseen.

Tangles can become impossible to brush out, and dirt can irritate a Goldendoodle’s skin.

Wavy Coat Types

Wavy-coated Goldendoodles are a true blend of both parents.

Their coats tend to be thicker and grow longer than curly coat types while also being soft and “plush” in appearance.

Wavy coats give Goldendoodles an eternally youthful look.

They may shed more than a curly coat but are still not likely to shed close to as much as a full-bred Golden Retriever.

Wavy coats have a definite texture to their hair but will not have a set curl pattern over their entire body.

The hair around their face and legs may be curly, while the hair across their backs and sides is looser and forms rippled waves.

Wavy coats can grow quite long and need regular trimming.

While they do not tangle as much as a curly coat, they can get hair matted in clumps below the top layer of fur if not brushed regularly.

Straight Coat

Don’t be fooled by the name; straight-coated Goldendoodles can still have some wave to their hair; however, it will be much less noticeable than with the other two coat types.

Straight-coat Goldendoodles take strongly after their Golden Retriever parent in coat type. They often have thick double coats and usually shed.

Straight-coat Goldendoodles will often still have the fluffier head and tail features of their Poodle parentage but will lack most of the body curl and wave.

Straight-coat Goldendoodles are generally very soft to the touch.

Many people see straight coats as the least desirable of the coat types due to an increase in shedding and the chances the coat will irritate a human’s allergies. 

However, the upside is that while straight coats still require grooming to be healthy and happy – it isn’t as extensive as the other coat types when it comes to trims and professional grooming needs.

Goldendoodles come in a wide variety of colors, but the most common are shades of white, golden yellow, or even peachy apricots with occasional white patches on the chest, face, or legs.

How Often Should You Groom A Goldendoodle?

No matter what coat type your Goldendoodle has, regular body brushing and home care are important. You should plan to brush your Goldendoodle at least every other day, with daily brushing being ideal.

If your Goldendoodle has a curly or wavy coat, they should visit a professional groomer every 6-8 weeks for deep cleaning and hair trims.

A straight-coat Goldendoodle can often go much longer between groomings, with trips 3-4 times per year as long as you are comfortable bathing and nail trimming at home.

Keeping a Goldendoodle properly groomed involves several steps beyond brushing, such as nail trimming, bathing, and trimming of the hair around the face and paws.

Let’s talk about how often you should plan on performing these tasks.

Brushing

Brushing a Goldendoodle should be done at a minimum every other day. If possible, try brushing your Goldendoodle for a short period of time each day.

Brushing on a daily or every other day basis helps keep brushing sessions short and enjoyable.

You can even divide your dog into two or three parts that allow you to rotate your focus for careful brushing and detangling. 

Daily brushing prevents mats and tangles from forming.

Mats and tangles can be hard to remove if they are not caught early and may require the assistance of a professional groomer to be dealt with.

The other important part of brushing frequently is to help build a routine your dog can rely on.

If you want your dog to enjoy grooming, a predictable routine is key.

When your dog knows to expect daily brushing, the time can become a great opportunity for bonding with your pet.

Begin gentle brushing from a young age to help your dog learn to love it and keep their coat healthy.

I cannot stress enough the importance of getting a good brush. You’re going to be using it a lot.

So I strongly recommend you invest in a good brush. This one from Amazon ticks all the boxes, and it’s a great price too:

PetEd Slicker Brush For Dogs - The Ultimate Dog Brush for Shedding Hair & Fur & Best Slicker Brush for Doodles
  • Comfortable and effective grooming - reduces shedding, detangles, removes dirt & debris, keeps coat looking shiny and healthy
  • Easy and versatile use – great size, shape and weight.
  • Automatic cleaning - Simply retract bristles with the push of a button, then wipe away collected hair
  • Smart Efficient Design - Fine, angled bristles, ergonomic comfort grip, and push-button retraction make it easy to keep your dog looking happy & healthy
  • Ideal for poodle and hybrid dog coats and doodles; Cockapoos, Cavoodles, Maltipoos, Bernedoodles, Goldendoodles, Shih Poos etc.

Bathing

For Goldendoodles who have regular visits to a groomer every 6-8 weeks, a bath will be given at each trip.

If your Goldendoodle doesn’t have a regular professional grooming schedule, you should plan to give a full cleansing bath to your Goldendoodle every six weeks.

If your Goldendoodle rolls in something smelly or gets noticeably dirty between professional grooms, you can give a gentle bath at home.

It is recommended not to fully bathe your Goldendoodle more than once a month.

Overbathing can lead to dry, irritated skin.

Instead of a full bath for a dog with a muddy area, such as on the legs or chest, try spot-washing the dirty area with warm water on a cloth, only using soap if necessary to remove the grime.

Nail Trimming

Nail trimming frequency depends on several factors, such as whether your dog sees a professional groomer, your comfort with giving nail trims, and how quickly your individual dog’s nails grow.

Your Goldendoodle’s nails should be inspected closely by you every three weeks and will likely need some level of trimming every 6-8 weeks.

The frequency of nail trimming may be higher when your Goldendoodle is a puppy.

Puppies have notoriously fast-growing, razor-sharp claws. Trimming them every 3-4 weeks will help keep you and your home from getting unwanted scratches.

Nail trimming is a task that can be done at home with a calm dog and a confident owner.

Special dog nail trimmers are available for purchase online and at most pet stores. 

Even if you do not plan to trim your dog’s nails yourself, look at your Goldendoodle’s nails every 3 weeks or so to check for length, sharpness, and any curling under the nails may be doing that could interfere with your dog walking. 

Many groomers will schedule appointments that are just nail trims for owners who need help with this task.

Face and Paw Hair Trims

Trimming of the hair around the face and paws is needed for many Goldendoodles.

Goldendoodles who need hair trims usually need these every 6-8 weeks at their grooming appointments.

Some Goldendoodles have hair that grows quite fast and may benefit from having a trim done every three to four weeks around the eyes. 

Our own Goldendoodle can go a long period without needing the hair around his paw pads trimmed but will struggle to see well if we don’t trim back his facial hair at least every four weeks.

The reason paws may need to be trimmed is that long hair between the paw pads can become uncomfortably tangled, and it also holds on to mud in the spring and snow clumps in the winter.

The Best Age To Start Grooming Your Goldendoodle

Grooming your Goldendoodle at home with daily brushing should start as early as your first week at home. Setting up this routine quickly gets your Goldendoodle on track for being comfortable with longer grooming sessions as it grows.

If you have a wavy or curly-coated Goldendoodle, you will definitely want to start your Goldendoodle with visits to the groomer as soon as they have had their first round of puppy shots – around 12-14 weeks old.

A dog that is familiar with their groomer and the grooming salon from a young age is a dog that is stress-free on grooming day. This makes them a joy for your groomer to handle.

First grooming appointments will likely include a short, simple bath, an introduction to the grooming table and tools, and some shared fun between your puppy and the groomer.

Straight-coat Goldendoodles, like any breed of dog, can still benefit from trips to the groomer!

No matter your Goldendoodle’s coat type, plan on several visits during the first year of life. 

Puppy coats on Goldendoodles can be quite different from their adult coats, so making sure they are prepared for any necessary grooming down the road is a good idea.

How To Groom A Goldendoodle

Grooming a Goldendoodle involves brushing, bathing, drying, nail trimming, and occasional hair trimming. 

At first, these steps can seem overwhelming, but if you follow our tips below, you’ll be a Goldendoodle grooming pro in no time.

Start By Brushing Your Goldendoodle From Head To Tail

For those who get in the habit of brushing their Goldendoodle every day, this step becomes a happy part of daily life with their dog. 

The best brush for Goldendoodles is a fine pinned slicker brush.

These brushes have a slightly angled brushing surface with many fine pin-type teeth.

They are great at gently loosening tangles and won’t get stuck in a Goldendoodle’s curly or wavy hair.

Here is the slicker brush to get from Amazon.

PetEd Slicker Brush For Dogs - The Ultimate Dog Brush for Shedding Hair & Fur & Best Slicker Brush for Doodles
  • Comfortable and effective grooming - reduces shedding, detangles, removes dirt & debris, keeps coat looking shiny and healthy
  • Easy and versatile use – great size, shape and weight.
  • Automatic cleaning - Simply retract bristles with the push of a button, then wipe away collected hair
  • Smart Efficient Design - Fine, angled bristles, ergonomic comfort grip, and push-button retraction make it easy to keep your dog looking happy & healthy
  • Ideal for poodle and hybrid dog coats and doodles; Cockapoos, Cavoodles, Maltipoos, Bernedoodles, Goldendoodles, Shih Poos etc.

You may also want a metal single-tooth comb for gently combing out areas across the chest, tail, or legs of a fluffier Goldendoodle.

Some owners also enjoy a soft bristle brush for a finishing sweep to smooth any wild hairs.

Using a slicker brush, brush your Goldendoodle, starting with their neck just behind the ears.

Brush in the direction the fur lies for wavy and straight coats. For curly coats, simply brushing from the neck in motions toward the tail or feet is a good move.

For Goldendoodles with thick coats, make sure to brush all the way down to the base of the dog’s coat.

Using a single-tooth comb to separate sections of hair can help you keep track of where and how deep you are brushing your dog’s fur.

To make sure you are using the right pressure when brushing, try running the brush over your own arm.

You should feel the pins of the brush against your skin without feeling any pain or leaving a lasting mark.

Continue slicker brushing from the neck, down the chest and front legs, then across the body and over the back legs and hind end.

Be careful but thorough around a dog’s rear/hygiene area. This area is often sensitive but is also a spot where fur can become extra dirty or matted if not carefully brushed.

When brushing your Goldendoodle’s tail, brush along the tailbone and then out across the tail’s feathering or hanging hair.

After using the slicker brush, you can follow the same pattern with a soft bristle brush if desired.

After brushing the body, you can focus on your dog’s face. Use slow motions and brush the face starting with the top of the head, between the eyes, and gently across the muzzle.

Some Goldendoodles get a bit of a “beard,” where the hair around the mouth and nose grows long. This area is prone to tangles.

Brush this area gently each day and then allow your groomer to trim and carefully comb this spot at each visit.

Remember, daily or every other day brushing is key to a positive brushing experience. 

Brushing should also be performed directly before and directly after bathing. Brushing before bathing removes tangles before they get wet and tighten in your dog’s coat.

Bathe Your Goldendoodle In Warm Water

First baths with young puppies are learning experiences for everyone involved. Your puppy may splash, bark, or try to escape the water.

With time and patience, your Goldendoodle will learn to settle into bath time with ease.

Goldendoodles are large dogs. It is often easiest to wash them at home in a shower with a detachable shower head.

If you have a bathtub, you can add some water to the tub for a soak if desired.

To help your Goldendoodle hold still for bathing, consider having treats or another distraction handy.

Many people even put a bit of spray cheese or peanut butter on the wall of the shower to entertain their pup while they scrub them down.

Use water that is warm but not scalding.

Cold water is just as uncomfortable for dogs as it is for people. Water that is too hot can leave burns even on dogs with full coats. 

Spray your dog from the neck and shoulder area back towards their tail. Use your hands to help the water soak through all of the layers of their fur. 

Do not spray your dog’s ears or face.

This is scary for your dog, and water that gets trapped inside your dog’s ears can cause ear infections.

Use a wet cloth to wash around your Goldendoodle’s ears, eyes, and mouth.

Many times, a bath with warm water alone will do the trick of cleaning up your Goldendoodle at home.

If you can get mud and dirt off your dog without overusing shampoos, your dog’s skin will thank you for it. 

If your dog is very dirty or not seeing a groomer often, then using a shampoo designed for dogs is a good idea.

Dog shampoos do not contain the same chemicals as human shampoos and do a great job of gently cleaning Goldendoodles without irritating their skin and eyes.

Shampoo should be squirted into your hand and then massaged into your dog’s coat using gentle circular finger motions.

Following shampoo, you will want to do a careful rinsing off your dog’s entire body. 

Rinse from top to bottom to help the soap and dirt slide down your dog and off into the drain.

Rinse your dog until the water runs clear. If soap is left behind, it can build up on your Goldendoodle’s skin and make them itchy and flaky.

Towel Dry Your Goldendoodle

It can be tempting to use a hair dryer or other appliance to quickly dry your Goldendoodle’s coat, but towels are both effective and safe.

Hairdryers often scare dogs, and the hot air could accidentally burn your dog’s skin.

Plan on using at least two towels to fully dry a full-sized Goldendoodle.

Dry your Goldendoodle with a gentle back-and-forth rubbing motions from head to tail and down their legs. 

Be prepared for your Goldendoodle to shake their hair after a bath. This is a natural behavior that your dog would use in the wild to rid their coat of water.

Don’t take your Goldendoodle anywhere you wouldn’t want some water to spread until after a few shakes and at least one swipe down with the towel.

After drying your Goldendoodle with one towel, you will want to use a second towel to spend more time drying their back and paws.

Wipe Off Your Goldendoodles’ Ears and Eyes

Wiping away eye residue with a damp cloth prevents infection and keeps our dog’s faces looking clean and adorable. 

Goldendoodles are prone to having sensitive inner ears and getting ear infections. Grooming time is the perfect time to lift their ear flap and take a look inside their ear.

If you lift your Goldendoodle’s ear and notice the area is red, excessively dirty, or oily, or has a bad smell, give your veterinarian a call to have, your dog checked for an ear infection.

Many veterinarians can provide you with a special ear wash that will get rid of and help prevent future ear infections.

Washing the inner ear of a dog can be done with a damp cloth and some cotton balls.

Gently wipe down the skin of the ear and then use the cotton ball to make a shallow wipe along the edges of the ear canal.

Do not use q-tips or other items to reach deeply into your dog’s ears or near their eyes and eyelids – you could accidentally injure your dog.

Assess Your Goldendoodle’s Nails

At home, you will want to look at your dog’s nails every 3-4 weeks to check for excessively sharp points or nails that are overly long.

Puppies often need nail trims more frequently than older dogs, as their nails are fine but sharp and grow quickly.

If you notice that your Goldendoodle’s nails are very sharp or long, you can choose to trim them at home.

Trimming can be done with nail clippers bought at a pet store and designed for use on dogs. The clippers should include instructions for their use.

Small trims will make a big difference in the sharpness of your dog’s nails.

A simple clip or filing of the endpoint will help tide your dog over until their next grooming session. 

Do not trim back too far, or you may hit the sensitive quick of the nail, which will become sore and bleed.

If your dog bleeds during a nail trim, apply pressure to the nail with a cotton ball or paper towel.

Dipping the nail in baking powder or cornstarch can also slow bleeding.

If your dog continues bleeding for more than 5-10 minutes, check in with your veterinarian over the phone.

Give Your Goldendoodle A Final Brush

Once your Goldendoodle is fairly dry, it is time for one last brushing. 

This brushing helps to remove any tangles that happen during bathing and fluffs out their coat for that super soft appearance that Goldendoodle owners love.

Repeat the same process as earlier by brushing from head to tail and giving your Goldendoodle plenty of praise during the process.

How Do You Groom A Goldendoodle Face?

To groom your Goldendoodle’s face, you will want a pair of blunt-tipped scissors designed for hair trimming, a small comb, and a healthy dose of patience. Being slow and gentle is key for a safe and happy face grooming. 

The first step is to use your comb to gently detangle the hair around your Goldendoodle’s muzzle (mouth and nose) and between their eyes.

Many Goldendoodles have hair that grows quite long in these areas.

Remember, this is a very sensitive spot. So gentle detangling instead of forced pulling is important. 

After you have the muzzle and hair around the eyes tangle-free, you can use your blunt-tipped scissors to cut back hair that has grown too long for your taste. 

Trimming the hair around the muzzle closer to the chin keeps Goldendoodles from getting soaking wet faces every time they drink or drool.

I find it best to simply trim along the jawline, using my hand to smooth the hair for even trimming if necessary.

Trimming hair around the eyes helps Goldendoodles be able to see well when they romp and play around the yard and house.

To trim the hair near the eyes, it is recommended that you cover your Goldendoodle’s eyes with your pinky and ring finger while lifting the hair out from their face between your middle and index finger.

Slide your fingers along the hair to the desired length and trim off any still sticking out. 

Your groomer should be happy to show you this step in person if you ask!

Shaping the top of the head can be done using a similar procedure to eye hair trimming.

Use one hand to gently pull the hair straight and the other to trim extra away in a rounded shape over the head.

The last area some people trim at home is their Goldendoodle’s ears.

If your Goldendoodle has very long ear hair, you can slowly and carefully trim it back closer to the “ear leather” or skin that gives the ear shape. 

Be very careful not to cut this sensitive skin with your scissors. You are better off leaving the hair a little long and detangling it with a comb than cutting it into your dog’s ear by mistake.

If you are struggling with the appearance of your dog’s face between grooming appointments, make sure to touch base with your groomer.

They should be happy to give you tips for maintaining your unique dog’s look.

What Is The Best Cut For A Goldendoodle?

The cut you most commonly see on Goldendoodles depends on their coat type and age. Young Goldendoodles are often cut into what is appropriately named a ‘puppy cut.’ Wavy-coated Goldendoodles may also sport a ‘lamb cut.’ Curly coated Goldendoodles lean more commonly towards a ‘poodle cut’ or ‘kennel cut.’ Straight coats may not require a specific cut but more of a general trim and shaping similar to their Golden Retriever parents.

Puppy Cut

Puppy cuts leave Goldendoodle hair one length over most of the body and tend to be a bit longer than the other cut styles.

This cut type is soft and cuddly and works well with the often fine and fluffy texture of a Goldendoodle puppy’s coat. 

As Goldendoodles age, this cut does require a good amount of at-home care to prevent tangles and mats.

Goldendoodles with very curly hair may not grow out as nicely into puppy cuts as those with wavy or straighter coats.

Lamb Cut

Lamb cuts are popular with wavy coats and some curly coats.

This coat keeps the hair just slightly shorter than a puppy cut and one length over the body, which makes brushing a bit easier.

Along the legs, the hair is a bit longer and puffier for a soft rounded appearance and cute fluffy feet.

Kennel Cut

In the summer, many Goldendoodles, especially those with curly coats, receive a kennel cut. A kennel cut is the shortest of the popular Goldendoodle cuts. 

We love the kennel cut in the summer for our Goldendoodle farm dog because he loves to swim and frolic.

This cut gives him nice soft fur that is easy to wash off if he gets dirty and is short enough that it doesn’t tangle easily. Plus, he dries fast after a swim in the pond.

Poodle Cut

It wouldn’t be a complete list of Goldendoodle cuts without the classic Poodle cut.

This is a cut that owners either love or loathe, but it serves a great purpose for those who have Goldendoodles that frequently experience mats and tangles. 

The Poodle cut gives a “neat” or very close cut to the muzzle and paws, and underbelly leaving behind little hair.

The hair over the body will be cut to one short but soft length that is easier to keep matt-free than many other cuts.

Finally

Grooming a Goldendoodle takes some time and patience, but it is an act of love and bonding that can be shared between you and your special family member. 

With each grooming session, you will grow more confident in your skills, and your dog will be happy to have an owner who cares about their health and appearance.

Related Questions

Do Goldendoodles have a single or double coat?

Goldendoodles can have either a double coat, or a single coat, though most do not typically have a double coat.

Do Goldendoodles have hair or fur?

Goldendoodles have hair, not fur. This is what makes them a hypoallergenic breed.

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