Some breeds like the Labradoodle and Bernedoodle require a bit more attention when it comes to grooming, while others like the Vizsla and Frenchie are much more hassle-free. Regardless of your dog’s breed, caring for their coat, skin, and nails is important to their overall health and happiness.
We’ve spent a great deal of time compiling the information and grooming recommendations you find here. These are products and tools we personally use with our pups, and in many cases, were recommended to us by breeders, groomers, and other canine experts.
Shampoo & Conditioner
I can’t stress the importance of quality shampoo and conditioner enough. Not only will it help keep your pups coat healthy a shiny, but it will also help keep their skin from becoming dry and irritated.
The quality of the shampoo you use is important but becomes exponentially more important the more frequently you bathe your pup.
It was recommended to us early on to use a soap-free and alcohol-free shampoo that also contained natural conditioners. After much research and comparison, we decided on earthbath’s line of shampoos. Their ingredients are simple, non-harsh, and use cleaners derived from coconut. Have a look below at the ingredients of their Oatmeal & Aloe Shampoo.
Sample Ingredients: Purified water, renewable plant-derived and coconut-based cleansers, organic aloe vera, vitamins A, B, D & E, glycerin, eucalyptus & peppermint oils, preservative.
These cruelty-free shampoos won’t include:
- Synthetic dyes
When it comes to a conditioner, we decided on a de-tangler that also acts as a conditioner. It was actually recommended to us by a fellow Labradoodle owner we got in contact with through social media. Cowboy Magic Detangler and Shine was developed for use on show horses to keep their manes and tails healthy and tangle-free. You can use it on either wet or dry fur, but we like to apply it right after the bath because it makes brushing him out much, much easier.
Now it is concentrated, so a little goes a long way. They recommend starting with a small amount about the size of a nickel.
Brushes and Combs
As we talk about in our grooming basics article, regular brushing and combing of a Labradoodle is essential to maintaining a healthy coat and skin. You’ll want to get your pup used to brushing and grooming, so introducing them to it early and often will help a lot.
TIP: You’ll want to comb/brush your pup before you bathe them each time. Getting any tangles and mats out before getting them wet will make brushing them out after the bath much easier. Water only makes mats and tangles worse.
Here are 3 basic grooming tools you’ll want to have on hand…
We use the Furminator® soft slicker brush in combination with our stainless steel comb. Because it’s a little larger, it works best on the larger and open areas of your pup.
The brush flexes and is split down the middle which makes it glide more smoothly over their skin. It has 2 sides with different bristles on each. The bent side is good for getting deeper tangles and mats closer to the skin, while the straight side is good for finishing and smoothing the coat when you’re finished.
Stainless Steel Comb
We’ve been using this dual-sided comb which works great! I usually start with the wide side to loosen things up, then finish with the narrow side. The narrow side is also good for around the face.
We might use the stainless steel comb more than the slicker brush. I know we did when Oliver was a puppy, for sure. It just seemed to be more manageable and able to get in the smaller, more sensitive spots like around the face, feet, legs, and butt. It’s also more durable than a plastic comb and doesn’t create the static they do.
Mats and tangles are bound to happen at some point and your comb and brush won’t always do the job. This is where the de-matting comb comes in.
A de-matting comb (like the Safari De-Matting Comb we use) has a comb on it with a smooth side and a sharpened ‘cutting’ side. When you work the comb through your pups mats, it cuts through the tangles and loosens the fur. You’ll want to make sure you read the instructions and be careful as to not hurt your dog.
Professional Grade Clippers & Scissors
Depending on the breed of dog you have, trimming or clipping your pup might not be something for you to worry about. But for those with longer-haired dogs like Labradoodles (me!), Goldendoodles, Bernedoodles, or even Schnauzers, a good set of clippers and shears can definitely come in handy.
If you don’t want to read any further, here’s exactly what I use:
- Clippers: Andis ProClip AGC Super 2-Speed Plus Detachable Blade Clipper (see on Amazon)
- Clipper Guards: Universal Clipper Guards (see on Amazon)
- Clipper Cleaner: Andis Cool Care Plus Clipper Lube (see on Amazon)
- Scissors & Thinning Shears: Dog Grooming Scissor Kit (see on Amazon)
As I said, I have a Labradoodle. Anyone with a dog that needs grooming can relate…the grooming expenses add up quickly. When Oliver was a puppy, I took him in every 4-6 weeks for a simple trim around his face, feet, and private areas. $35? No problem.
When he was about 7 months old he got his first full grooming. $75 plus a tip. And to keep up with it, I’d still need to go back every 4-6 weeks. So it got me thinking. I starting doing some research and asked his brother’s owners what they were doing. They’re response…
Learn how to groom Oliver at home and it will save you a ton of money.
I decided on the Andis ProClip AGC clippers and bought them on Amazon. They came highly reviewed, they’re professional-grade and have a detachable blade which you can replace if they wear out. I never thought I’d spend that kind of money on clippers, but they’ve already paid for themselves after just 3 uses.
I didn’t know I needed guards for the clippers until after I bought the clippers. I went through 3 other ‘universal’ guard sets before finding a set that actually fit the Andis ProClip AGC clippers properly. Here they are on Amazon; I’ve done the hard work for you. ????
This is a must if you want to keep your clippers running smooth. Not only does it lube and sanitize the clippers, but it also helps them run cooler. They have this 2-pack on Amazon (the best deal I’ve found).
Scissor & Thinning Shear Set
If you plan on doing grooming at home, you’ll want to have a set of scissors. I like this set on Amazon because they’re rounded on the ends which is much safer. It comes with straight scissors, curved scissors, thinning shears, and a comb. Be very careful with the comb. I threw my comb away because the tips were sharp.