Doodles can vary in their coat types so each one must be taken on an individual basis when it comes to grooming but, as a general rule, Scruffy Doodles will just need a good brush and comb once a week whereas Doodles with fleece/wool coats will need an intensive grooming regime to avoid having to be clipped short.
Good grooming will help your dog look and feel his best. Routine grooming sessions also allow you to examine your dog's coat, teeth, eyes, ears, and nails for signs of problems. How often you need to groom your dog depends on his type of coat.
Brushing & Combing
Several brushing and combing sessions a week will keep the average Doodle neat and clean; daily attention is even better. Brush all the way down to the skin, letting the massaging action stimulate blood circulation and loosen and remove flakes of dandruff. Then go through the coat with a comb to make sure you have no mats or knots anywhere.
The kind of equipment you need depends on your Doodle's coat texture and length.
Scruffy Doodles need pin brushes, which have long, round-ended stainless steel or chrome-plated pins and a steel comb. Short and medium-coated Doodles will need bristle brushes and a comb. For the fleece/wool coated Doodles, you will need a slicker brush for removing mats and dead hair. In addition, a steel pinned comb to make sure that there are no tangles left. There are also rubber currycombs to polish smooth coats and remove dead hair; clippers, stripping knives, rakes, hair dryers, and other grooming tools.
When brushing, always check for burrs and other stubborn plant material; mats, which most frequently form behind the ears and under the legs; and any cuts or scrapes on the skin itself.
All Doodles shed, though some definitely shed more than others. Regular brushing will help keep shedding under control.
Your dog should have regular, but not frequent, baths. Too frequent washing removes natural oils and causes the coat to become dry and harsh.
When necessary, use a mild shampoo formulated for dogs. Stand your dog in a tub or basin, and put cotton balls in his. Wet your dog with warm water and apply shampoo from the neck back. Put a small amount of shampoo on your hands and work it into his ears, face and head, making sure that you don’t get any in his eyes. After lathering and washing, rinse your dog thoroughly with warm water. Make sure you rinse down the dog's nose, to back towards the eyes. A dampened flannel over his eyes will help to keep the soap out. Rub dry with a towel (he'll help you with vigorous shaking!), and then blow-dry if necessary. Comb or brush as required.
Nails must be kept short for the feet to remain healthy. Long nails interfere with the dog's gait, making walking awkward or painful. They can also break easily. This usually happens at the base of the nail, where blood vessels and nerves are located and will require a trip to the vets. If you can hear the nails clicking on the floor, they're too long. To trim your dog's nails, use a specially designed clipper. Most have safety guards to prevent you from cutting the nails too short. You want to trim only the ends, before the "quick" which is a blood vessel inside the nail. (You can see where the quick ends on a white nail, but not on a dark nail.) Clip only the hook-like part of the nail that turns down.
Many dogs dislike having their nails trimmed. You can make it a painless procedure by getting your dog used to having his feet handled in puppyhood. Start trimming gently, a nail or two at a time, and your dog will learn that you're not going to hurt him.
If you accidentally cut the quick, stop the bleeding with some styptic powder. If you find it impossible to clip your dog's nails, or you are at all worried about doing it, take him to a vet or a groomer.
You should clean your dog's ears once a month, more if he's prone to ear problems. Clean the outer part of the ear only, using a damp cloth or a cotton swab soaked in ear cleaner. Never force anything into the ear. Most Doodles need the hair plucked just inside the ear to keep air circulating. If you are unsure of how to do this, ask your vet or groomer to show you.
Clean slight discharges with a moist cotton ball. Do not put anything irritating in your dog's eyes.
You can clean your dog's teeth with special toothbrushes and toothpaste designed for dogs. If your dog baulks at having his teeth brushed, get him used to it by rubbing his teeth and gums with your finger. Then put a little of the toothpaste on your finger and let him sniff and lick it; do the same with the toothbrush. You can also provide chew toys and bones that will help clean his teeth. As your dog gets older, he may have a build-up of tartar that requires special cleaning by a vet.
Anal glands are located on each side of your dog's anus; they are glands that exude scent when your dog has a bowel movement. If you notice your dog scooting along on his rear, or licking or scratching his anus, he may have impacted anal glands. Ask your vet, or a good groomer, how to treat an anal gland problem.