Which brush does your Doodle REALLY need?

26-04-2021

Size matters!

When it comes to the right ActiVet brush for your Doodle or Water dog, that is!
Those brushes are all the rage, here in Europe. Better then any normal slicker brush you can imagine.
Because they have been manufactured years ago, especially for Doodles and other breeds with tangle sensitive coats. They have teeth that are longer then most brushes and bended, so that they really get into that fur, reaching the skin (where most tangles and mats develop and reside) and the bed is flexible, so that you won’t damage the skin of your Doodle.

Yes, they are expensive and more so then most brushes, BUT you just can’t compare apples to oranges. AND they have proven their worth many times over. I can vouch for having brushed, detangled and demattted many Doodles and Waterdogs and they have never disappointed me. Where other brushes aren’t up to the task, these ones are.
BUT because they come in different colours (each colour having been developed for certain types of coats), and sizes (small and wide) people tend to get confused about which brush to buy and a lot of breeders and grooming professionals advise the wrong ones to Doodle owners.

Like last weekend when AGAIN I read somewhere in a Dutch Doodle Facebook group that it is recommended to purchase the small green ActiVet brush, the brush MOST reccommended for Doodle pups. But I cannot emphasize more clearly that for a coat of 5 months or older that brush does not work adequately (and why wouldn’t you want to let your puppy get used to the correct brush right away? also saving you money?).

Using the wrong brush is reason # 1 why most Doodles and Water Dogs get matted between the ages of 7 and 12 months and yet that brush is still recommended by most breeders, owners and professionals. Why? Probably because it is the softest brush of the three and many first time owners are afraid of hurting their Doodle. Too soft of an approach, I think. Commendable, but not the right approach. Too much short-term thinking and harmful too, to put it plainly.
Because if you keep brushing too superficially for too long with the wrong brush, you will only hurt your dog more in the long run, because he will become completely matted. And also completely untrue, because why would you hurt your dog by using a better quality brush? It's more a matter of using the wrong brushing TECHNIQUE than using the wrong brush.

Because brushing may SEEM easy, but most owners brush the wrong way. Too hard, too fast, strokes that are too long, strokes that are too short, either holding the coat too firmly, or not at all, giving too much pressure, or too little. Brushing against the grain, too hurried, brushing in layers… you name it. When it is actually quite simple. But the right brush isn't all you need. That's where it BEGINS! Because there are a lot more of the wrong tools that are recommended for the high-maintenance Doodle and Oodle coats and if owners buy the wrong stuff en masse and just start improvising, the end is lost.

Currently there are so many Doodles and Oodles being sold (before too, for sure, but during Corona things are really getting out of hand) that a training for basic coat care should be mandatory for everyone. Because improper coat care will inevitably lead to a neglected coat. And as the owner of one of these breeds, you cannot and MUST not leave the entire maintenance of your dog up to a groomer. YOU are responsible for the wellbeing of your dog. YOU brought a puppy into your home. And grooming a Doodle or Oodle simply IS an expensive and complex matter.

It’s also the PERFECT way to build a strong bond with your dog, based on mutual trust, respect, teamwork and your natural leadership. Because the one thing I know about most Doodle owners, is THAT that is precisely the reason why they chose a Doodle. That was a conscious decision. That there is much more to the coat care than they initially estimated, does not have to be a shame. That is precisely the OPPORTUNITY you have been waiting for. And I don't mean that you immediately have to learn the entire grooming process, including shaping the coat (because not every owner has the necessary time and energy for that), but if you learn the skills that help you keep your dog tangle free and fluffy IF you take him to the groomer, the brushing doesn't hurt and he or she doesn't need to be shaved, then you're already doing a great job. Then your Doodle or Oodle is really well off.

At this time a group of almost 50 Dutch Doodle owners is busy teaching themselves those 3 basic skills. This week they will get to work with all the info and instructions I gave them and next Thursday we will go through these skills LIVE step by step. So this Thursday there will be 50 Doodles (including a few Water Dogs) on the grooming table at the same time, in various homes of various owners at different locations in the Netherlands and Belgium. How would you feel about doing the same, where you live, on your time, on 6th Mai, in the online presence of American (and other English speaking) Doodle and Oodle parents?

If you feel like learning these skills too, you are welcome to join. You will learn which brush to use in which way, how to thin the coat with the right tools (so that it becomes lighter, more airy, cooler and less likely to tangle) and detangling / de-matting WITHOUT leaving ugly scissor marks, WITHOUT shaving and WITHOUT using unnatural silicone sprays. This is the first step to a healthy, fluffy coat that you can take. Afterwards you can trim your Doodle in any length and style you want.

Please register HERE.
Let's see if we can start a movement. Owners standing (literally) together to give their Doodle or Oodle the best care THEMSELVES.

I can feel trumpets blaring inside. And the applause of many happy fluffy dogs.

You too?