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Breeder showed me how to groom my Labradoodles

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  • Breeder showed me how to groom my Labradoodles

    I got my first 2 Labradoodles in, in September.
    The first time I groomed them..1 dog took me almost the whole day. It was a nightmare. The other doodle I just shaved down. I managed to get a 4 through her.

    After alot of research and and bit of trial and error, I finally called the breeder and asked if she could give me some tips. She brought one of her doodles over to teach me a different way to groom them out while maintaining there long coat.

    I never bath these guys before the full brush and comb out. It will matt them up like crazy.

    The first thing, is if they are matted, I won't even bother again dematting! They need to start fresh.


    If the dog is still has puppy coat, it needs to be in every 3 weeks for a brush out until its all gone and nothing is hardly coming out in the comb.

    When the dogs come in, I lay them down on my table and use my Blaster to blow out the coat. It gets all the dust and dirt out and separates the hair. Then I can see if there is any matts or problem areas.
    Then I start line brushing the entire dog. I comb the dog out after, pulling straight up away from the skin. while the dog is laying down I clip the pads and edge the feet close to the nails.
    I clip the inside of the ear leather with a 10 blade. I clip a 2 inch channel directly from under the ear opening, going around to the other ear, to make a break from the head and chest, carefully pulling skin taut in throat area.
    Then I do sanitary areas.
    After I blow the coat up once more and then scissor in my shape with a pair of 'hacking scissors' that I use on unwashed coats.
    They are more of a straight boxy shape with less curves, than you would do on a poodle.
    the top not can be pulled up like in fountain, with an elastic, and cut straight across the top to allow it to fall over ears and face. I just thin a bit here and there so it can see.
    They like it to have the hair to part and grow over the muzzle and trimmed underneath to keep it clean. There should be some thinning at the base of the muzzle to prevent the face looking too much like a Bichon head. (sorry its hard to explain).
    the ear length should be aprox a inch or two and the same length as the muzzle.
    The tail is left long and natural.

    I do all my scissor work and clipping before the bath. Everything is done before the bath.
    After I bath the dog, I towel dry really really well and sometime wrap them to draw out extra moisture. Then I blast the dog lightly to 'spin' the coat. The 'dread lock' look is the most desirable. I scrunch up the hair with more spray conditioner and let it air dry or cage dry. Thats it!

    This usually takes me about 3.5 hours to do now, on each doodle (Not including cage drying time.) The owner is happy to come pick even if they are not completely dry.
    I charge aprox my shop hourly rate, not including the time cage drying.
    My doodles were both very well trained and a pleasure to groom and lay down on the table nicely for me.
    I tried to upload the pics.. but it wouldn't work... I will try again later. They look a lot like the pic of that white doodle on the boat but a little shorter, because they are still growing out from the shave down. They are maybe 3 inchs long.


    I hope this helps a bit. My customer is very happy with the grooms now.

  • #2
    NO WAY would I ever do that to my equipment, but glad its working for you. You cannot get a good finish on dirty hair, nor is it good for your equipment, and you are breathing in that dirt and dander you are blowing out.......whatever works, but not in my salon!
    <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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    • #3
      I get the idea that these clients do NOT want a nice scissor finish. They are going for that "I've been rolling in the field" look. I had one that I though looked great...until the owner told me that they wanted it left curly. I misted it an scrunched...got rid of all that nice fluff drying and they were quite happy. Grrrrr....

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      • #4
        You ARE joking, right?

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        • #5
          I'll print this for my daughter who does all the big dogs, but honestly, I don't do them anymore because every one of them is over 110 lbs, untrainned and the owners have unrealistic expectations. Plus in orde to make it worth my while t do these behemouths, I have to charge more than most doodle owners are willing to pay. Thanks for offering the help, it's really what this board is all about, groomers sharing ideas and helping each other.

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          • #6
            Wouldn't happen in my shop either. I pay to much money for my equipment to have it ruined because somebody chose to neglect brushing their dog. Sure, I could charge them an arm and a leg so that I'm able to replace the equipment that was ruined..... but what about the wear and tear on my OWN body after spending hours dematting the mess the owner created?

            I don't mean to sound negative - whatever works best for YOU is all that matters. It all just sounds like alot of extra work and there's a 99.99999% probability that the owner is going to show up in 6 months with the same dog in the same condition. Not worth it, IMO.

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            • #7
              I am glad you found something that works for you. I suppose it depends on what the owner wants the dog to look like though. It sounds kind of like the breeder was telling you to basically tidy up the dog so that overall they just look natural...is that what you got from it?

              I would personally rather brush it all out after using a good shampoo and detangler, like The Stuff. If you dry them gently rather than blasting, I imagine any loooong hair would not create whip mats. I do like the idea of blowing them out before the bath to loosen packed hair. I do this with chow chow type coat, in fact I did it just yesterday on a 17 yr old Am Eskimo and it worked wonders. It was messy, sure, but I was able to brush out every last packed spot GENTLY for this very old little guy. I shaved two golf ball sized mats from behind the ears the rest all brushed right out. Then it was shop-vac city!

              After reading this, it would be SO great if other groomers would ask their nearby doodle breeders the same thing and see what we learn...I wonder how different it would be?

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              • #8
                I can kinda understand the idea from the "Breeder's" point of view, but I can get the same look in half the time and saving my equipment and stress on the dog by bathing the dog first, HV drying, grooming, then misting and let air dry for a few. Give it a shot, you may like it better. My scissors never touch a dirty dog!

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                • #9
                  Same look... half the time

                  I prep all my dogs, pads, sanitary, nails, ears, then in the tub.

                  I wash my doddles, and brush with shampoo... this gets that loose dirt and hair out, without it blowing all over. I dont' worry too much about the minor matts and tangles at this point. Once they are clean and rinses I use a leave in conditioner, or a rinse out on the matted areas (As long as there aren't too many) I will force dry the worst of the water out of the coat, towel dry, and then I put them on my table, get all the matts and tangles out. Clip to a desired length, or scissor. I will trim above eyes, around bums, feet, etc, while wet. then when they are trimmed and combed, they go into a kennel dryer. Once dried I pull them out, comb them out with a wide tooth comb, so they still look wavy, tidy up any hairs that I missed while wet, spritz them with a light coat conditioner and DONE.

                  Most take me 1-1.5 hours, plus kennel drying time.

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                  • #10
                    I like your ending..."that's it!" (yeah right)

                    I am over Doodles. I groom a bunch of them...they are nice dogs but....exhausting. The dog is exhausting, their people are exhausting.. I am just over the whole fad. I heard this dog guy on Sirius mention that they had crossed Poodles with wolves. I turned the channel.

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                    • #11
                      Wow, that sounds like a lot of work.

                      I have two doodles that I do. One is brushed regularly so not bad at all. The other is a little more work, but I don't prebrush or blow out pre-bath. On my guys I take them to the tub, bathe them, condition real well, rinse and blow out the coat. Then start a dematting process while wet.... very much like de-shedding in the tub. I use Quicker Slicker heavily if necessary to demat and undercoat rake, demat tools, whatever works to get them out. It really doesn't take me too long and I enjoy working on them. I finish with a s/o comb. They are great dogs and I get paid better than the little guys in the same amount of time.
                      A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Integrity36 View Post
                        When the dogs come in, I lay them down on my table and use my Blaster to blow out the coat. It gets all the dust and dirt out and separates the hair.
                        Please. please, please,...tell me (and the others reading this) that you WEAR A MASK if this is indeed your preferred way of grooming Doodles. IMO, (and I have been grooming Doodles since conception of the breed) you are putting your lungs at serious risk, unless you;
                        A. protect them w/ use of a mask if you feel compelled to HV before bathing and rinsing.
                        B. same as A.

                        Other than that...whatever works for you...works.
                        What works for me is all my Doodles are on a very regular schedule, and everyone gets what they want and is happy w/ the final result.
                        Sure...a little "trial and error" in the beginning (#7 AO)....but then we settle into a routine that never necessitates most of the steps you have outlined.
                        Please take care of your lungs, as you are breathing all that airborne crp in.
                        Last edited by 4Sibes; 01-16-10, 04:38 PM. Reason: added "most of", cuz a doodle is a doodle, after all.
                        Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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                        • #13
                          Ya know, this has bugged me a bit all day, but I have ONE dog that takes me over an hour to do, not including the cage drying, and its a standard poodle in a long scissored lamb. My show cockers take about 2, after drying, but I don't do them for a client.....I cannot see spending that much time on a dog and my clients would never pay me enough to make it worth my time to do that either....and I am with Sibes...WEAR a mask!
                          <a href="http://www.groomwise.typepad.com/grooming_smarter" target="_blank">My Blog</a> The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

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                          • #14
                            UGHHH

                            I'm old and out of shape. I don't demat doodles. If it's matted shave it down is my motto. A yorkie or a poodle, maybe a bichon, but never a doodle.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Poodlestar View Post
                              I prep all my dogs, pads, sanitary, nails, ears, then in the tub.

                              Most take me 1-1.5 hours, plus kennel drying time.
                              I do almost exactly the same thing.
                              I do not want to breath in dust and dandruff or dull my blades.

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