Brush, Comb or Both?
Most of my new clients come to me with a bouquet of grooming tools,
brushes, combs, rakes, dematting tools and tell me none is working as expected
and ask me what should they use on their doodle's coat. Or better yet,
I get this question before they invest in tools for their new puppy.
You'll find my favorite tools for a cooperative
(and comfortable) doodle for an effective brushing,
dematting, detangling and sticker burr removal below.
I categorized them into basic tools and
advanced tools for your convenience.
Doodle Grooming Tools
This tool is going to change not only your life, but also your doodle's for the better. Featuring 1" long pins, a pin cushion to keep the pressure away from the skin, half of the pins so it glides through even the thickest coat without extensive pulling, yet being the most effective in loosening tangles and opening up mats. Let's reveal the name, it's the Big K brush from Chris Christensen (medium size). (The coral has more pins resulting in more pulling and a lot less effective on doodle coat, so go for exactly this one!)
My #1 tool (the brush above) needed a bit of a tune up for me. I have large hands and the coat on the brush though super soft and silky, makes my hands sweat like mad after 3 seconds . So I came up with a DIY solution for getting a thicker handle and a better grip on it. I wrapped it in a leather Gamma tennis grip and it's the most comfortable thing ever! (It's OK the way it comes as well, but I absolutely prefer the wrap on the handle, paws down it's a big difference.) I highly recommend getting this $10ish upgrade. (It takes less than about 5 mins to wrap it.)
Short Pinned comb
The Andis Medium-Coarse comb with 1" long pins is a Great tool for finding tangles and mats in the summer coat. It's very comfortable to use, you most likely going to need the coarse side only. The 1" long pins are thick (they won't bend) and comfortably rounded on the end, I prefer this $10 brush to the $80 ones (thin pins and super sharp pins) on the market! Great for shorter (less than 1") coats.
Long Pinned Comb
The big gun for heavy winter coat. Resco #80 comb. (Recommended for over 1.5 in long/thick coat) 1.5" long pins, coarse comb is great for longer coats. Pins are thick and comfortably rounded. Rounded pins are super important to make sure we are not scratching the skin when keeping the pins on the skin while running it through the coat.
The Earthbath Hypo-allergenic Shampoo is my favorite shampoo of all. Super gentle on the skin, cleanses well and gives a non-sticky finish. It basically has no smell, which will help your doodle feel naturally clean. (Plus they won't feel the urge to use "doggy camouflage" and roll in smelly stuff right after a spa day at home.) I am a label detective (ordered by my functional medicine doctor) so this shampoo's ingredients are approved and gentle enough on doggy and human skin to keep my Hashimoto's in check. (Not many products can do that.) I highly recommend using this shampoo for home spa days after a good brush and comb out! Even bringing it to your groomer along with the conditioner so you won't miss a day of softness! :) And will keep your doodle safe from strong smelling chemicals, nicknames pet shampoos.
My favorite conditioner, also from Earthbath is the Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner. It makes the coat so soft you won't stop cuddling your doodle after a bath. And the cherry on the top is it helps HUGE with brushing and keeping the coat tangle and mat free. The first thing leaving doodle moms' mouths is OMG!! She/he is SO SOFT! It is the richest conditioner I know on the market with the safest ingredient combination I came across so far. I highly recommend using this conditioner for home spa days after a through brush and comb out and the shampoo.
Recipe for a Cooperative Doodle
Highway to Get a Still Doodle
Ready to learn the ins and outs of doodle coat care? Check out the online basic course for doodle moms & dads and let your baby impress you with them cooperating for the puppy pampering at home! The Basic Doodle Grooming course will cover the essentials, like brushing, combing, towel drying and air drying and more!
Doodle Grooming Tools
This guy is the tank or the dandelion of the shears. This Con-Air PRO Pre-haircut Shear will go through mud, sticker burrs, mats, has rounded tips for comfort and safety, sharp enough to work well and not sharp enough to cut the skin easily and it costs like $7 bucks. Now that's a badass deal there you get for that kind of money. I use it for eye area trim (just for the inner corners, because it leaves a line - I touch up the area with thinning shears after the bath), ear hair trim, paw hair trim, sanitary trim and removing/opening up mats. Highly recommend it for basic-advanced home grooming! Check out the Advanced Doodle Grooming course to get the confidence and the tricks to do a stunning Face, Feet, Fanny trim for your doodle at home!
If the previous shear was the dandelion of shears, this guy (Swivl SpeedCut™ 35 Tooth) here is the orchid. Leaves breathtakingly natural look, features a swivel thumb ring, so your hands will not hurt after using it, it will leave no lines, the learning curve with these guys is cut at least in half, so perfect tool for beginners. I use it for eye area trim, around the paws to get a natural look, I trim the bangs shorter with this one and finish the ears with this shear to get that natural yet shaggy look. It comes in a pretty case, has a different price range, needs deep cleaning and oiling after each use. Check out the Advanced Doodle Grooming course to get the confidence and the tricks to do a stunning Face, Feet, Fanny trim for your doodle at home!
For puppies I highly recommend using your own hair dryer or getting one designated for your new puppy. Also recommended for doodles with dryer sensitivity for the first steps of the desensitization. I like this Small hand blow-dryer a lot, since it is powerful enough but has 2 settings, low and high, it's less loud than a high velocity dryer but will go through the puppy coat easily, and even most of the adult coat with some help from the brush.
High Velocity Blow-dryer
I suggest a high velocity blow-dryer for doodles who have tremendous hair on their bodies and especially for the ones with super curly hair. It'll be much easier to get your doodle dry after towel drying with a HV blow-dryer and you can even replace the brushing brushing of the body, legs (except for tail, head and sanitary) to 1-2 minutes. (For loosening up mild tangles only, not suitable method for even the slightest mats.) How cool is that?
Learn to Do the Face, Feet, Fanny Trims!
Take it to the next level!
Being able to see your doodle's eyes and having him/her able to see yours and other doodle friends on a play date ;-) will make their days 24/7. No more extra drives to the groomer and no more waiting for an opening to get it done!
You will learn to do it fast and will know how to keep your doodle still and cooperative for you in the Advanced Doodle Grooming Course!
Best Nail File
If you followed me around just a bit, you probably can tell already that I am a nail nerd. Gentle nail care is super important, because it is one of the easiest ways to hurt dogs and make them hate grooming as a whole. And us. And we want them to love us, the pawdicure sessions as well, right? So, I developed a bulletproof technique which is 100% safe, pain and discomfort free. Before I'd start explaining you everything about nails like my beloved grandmother would in a never ending story (love you granny!!), I'll cut to the chase. The best nail file I came across is the Safari Nail file on the right. It is comfortable and effective, won't catch hair on the feet and tear it out like an electric nail grinder does with the drum and it is the safest nail filing tool there is on the market. Dogs love it since it's quiet, small and is not vibrating. So, if you had enough of sharp nails and want to save a ride to the groomer, looking for an easy to use and effective tool, to shorten and round up dog nails, here is a nail file I use every day which puts a smile not just on my doodle client's face, but on mine, too how cooperative the are for the pawdicure session.
Joyful Nail Trimming!
It's a Thing!
Ever wondered about a nail care session that put a smile on every participant's face on either end of the nail clipper? It can be done! Let it be your pup is not too comfy around nails or feet or straight up hates everything about it (maybe you, too) I'd like to offer you the solution. There was a time I was sweating/almost wetting myself when I was trimming/filing nails. After developing a bulletproof method, nails are one of my favorite things among grooming steps. Knowledge gave me confidence and I want you to experience the joy of giving a pawdicure session to your pup or your clients' doggies. And having him/her enjoy it to the fullest. Check out the Nail it! course and get the confidence you need to do nails the fun way, safely.