Which grooming tools do you need?
All though you can buy all kinds of brushes and other grooming equipment at the local petstore, these are often not suitable for fluffy Labradoodle, Goldendoodle or Poodle mix coats.
Also, sometimes Labradoodle breeders advise or give the wrong grooming tools, as breeders are not always (good) groomers and get their information from the wrong source (often other breeders)
Not only have I been grooming Labradoodles and giving grooming courses to Labradoodle owners for 7 years now, I have learned the cutting part of the grooming trade from my mother (who has been a groomer for 50 years now) on French Waterdogs (the ancesters of the Poodle, which my mother introduced in the Netherlands and breeded for several years, making me not only grow up in the grooming salon, grooming all types of dogs since I was a kid, but also learning to detangle and thin coats from early on) which are groomed in a natural, fluffy way, very different from the stylish way Poodles are groomed in.
Because customers loved the fluffy look of the Waterdogs, our grooming salon attracted a lot of Labradoodle (and all kinds of Doodles) owners. I decided to start a business giving Labradoodle grooming courses, because owners wanted my to teach them to groom their Labradoodle in the same fluffy way.
This being said it's obvious that I spend years searching, testing and discovering which grooming tools work best on the high maintenance coats of Labradoodles and Waterdogs (which share the same tangle prone coat types that no other breed has!)
Off course not every Doodle has the same type of coat and Doodles with course, flat and perhaps even shedding coats need different grooming tools, but those kinds of coats don't get tangled, so they don't need that much grooming. Please read my book if you want to learn more on that topic.
The right, effective grooming tools for thick, fluffy Labradoodle coats
The coat of a Labradoodle, Goldendoodle or other Poodle mix dog needs a brush with long pins, so that you are able to reach the skin while brushing and do not brush over the tangles. The only brushes that have long pins are the Activet (former Les Poochs) brushes. These are hard to get (import product) and because of the patent very expensive. But well worth the money, because undefeated by any other brand. Use the wide red brush for your fluffy (curly or fleece) Labradoodle. No other brush works as effectively in removing tangles, knots and felt spots.
Read my FREE ebook to learn how to use the brush and the other grooming tools.
To check if the coat is truly tangle free, you comb the coat after brushing with a wide-toothed comb. When you get through the coat smoothly, your Labradoodle is tangle free and you can start shaping the coat. De wide-toothed comb is also used for combing-up the coat in preparation of cutting.
Small straight scissors:
To clip between the paws, to shape them like bear paws, to cut the eyes free, the anus and penis/vulva free, to shape the ears or to cut any other small detail for which the thinning scissors aren't suited.
After trimming with the clipper with ad-on combs, you use these scissors to shape the coat. Not all thinning scissors are sharp and strong enough to cut the coat of your Labradoodle. The ones that I use and sell have proved their value and quality. They work nice and subtle, give a tight blended finishing and when you by accident cut wrong, it's easier to fix the cut marks.
Clipper with ad-on combs:
This is an essential tool for fluffy Labradoodle coats; it works fast and efficient (as long as the coat is tangle free) and with the ad-on combs you can decide the length of the coat for yourself. Besides, this tool is much cheaper than the kind of clippers where in addition you have to purchase all the shaving heads separately PLUS it leaves the coat looking far more natural and fuffy in stead of shaved.
The Doodle blaster will become your best buddy (besides your Labradoodle)! Not only ideal in saving time when drying your dog after washing, also handy when your dog has wet legs, has been swimming or is too dirty to enter the house. You use the Doodle blaster to clean and dry the hair in no time at all. Also ideal to use in between bathing sessions to blow the coat clean (watch where you do this; the dirt and skin oils will literally splatter from the coat).
Your second best buddy! A clever tool to quickly, easy and painlessly remove loose tangles. I love it!
When you choose to groom your dog yourself, a good, adjustable grooming table is crucial. It guarantees that your Labradoodle stays put, enables you to reach every part without having to force your body. If you have room for it: it is an essential tool!
Dog shampoo with conditioner:
Because the skin of a dog has a different pH-value than humans, it is important to wash your Labradoodle with special dog shampoo. After many years of trying out different brands, I now use a good, nice foaming shampoo, suitable for every kind of coat with a nice smell that's not too strong. And most important of all: all natural ingredients, so gentle to your Labradoodles often sensitive skin. I recommend Earth Bath, available in the bigger Pet stores in the US and on Christies Direct in the UK.
To learn more about grooming tools and how to use them: download my FREE ebook HERE or even better: buy my book on Amazon.com