What happens to my doodle at the groomer?

Photo by Andrew Spencer on Unsplash

Have you ever wondered what does your doodle do at the groomer? What are the grooming steps he/she will experience?

I get that question all the time so felt like making a blog post about the details.

In case your doodle will get a full package, a haircut included, here are the steps he/she'll experience in at the Doodle Groomer Chick's salon. I picked to detail this package, because it covers most of the grooming needs of a doodle.

Pee Break

Having doggies and groomers leaving their business cards on the grass and in the restroom makes the spa day a lot more fun. So we'll start with this. :)

Trimming the hair around the eyes

Comfort makes a cooperative doodle. Enabling your doodle to see better will set up ease and trust, which are great help throughout grooming.

Paw hair removal

Keeping doodles still for the spa day is essential. So next up is trimming the hair underneath the paw pads to enable the dog to get a better grip on the grooming table. That results in a more stable dog and they'll be able to stand more comfortable on 4-3-2 legs while getting groomed.

Sanitary trim

It is much easier to detangle a dog without the super sensitive sanitary hair (often times matted) in the way, since we won't accidentally pull on those tricky spots with a brush or comb.
So next up the (chances are) matted hair around the privates gets to be trimmed off. Those spots are the belly, butt area, genitals, armpits and inner thighs so pee won't stuck on the hair and will be removed before brushing and the bath. Poop will not get tangled or dried on the butt area for a good while due to the shorter trim which is a great help cleaning the area at home if necessary.

Detangling, brushing out or de-shedding.

It is important to get rid of all of the tangled hair, especially in case the doodle will get a longer trim (longer than 1/2 in). For shorter blades (less than 1/2 in length), it doesn't really matter. No need for detangling, the clipper blade will go through the hair most likely.

Pre-haircut

The temporary but practical so called "Barking Cactus" hair style. Doggies like the clipper more than getting a bath or getting blow-dried, so in case we have less hair to deal with at those steps, the best and fastest for all of us is getting a pre-haircut. I happens when the desired hair length is significantly shorter than the doodle's coat at the time of arrival. Dealing with less hair in the tub and in front of the blow dryer makes life more fun for all participants.

Nail trimming and filing.

Nail filing can happen before the bath or after the bath. I usually do it after the bath, unless the doggy has super long nails and it is not comfortable to stand with those in the way. Nail filing is recommended after every nail trimming to make the sharp edges nice and smooth. It's important, since doggies can get itchy ears after ear hair removal and we don't want them to scratch themselves (face, skin, eyes, ears, whatever they reach...) with sharp nails. Filing is the best way to prevent injury to skin and on the eyes. With filing we can also eliminate those dark red scratches on our thighs when our doods get excited.

Ear cleaning

Happens before the bath and definitely before nail trimming. (Some doggies with excessive ear hair have a tendency to shake their head for a few minutes/hours so it's best to get done with the nails first then with the ears to get a super still dog for nail trimming.)

Removing ear hair

It is a pretty controversial topic, but I'll try to explain it in a nutshell. Generally speaking the more hair a doodle has on the inside and the more curly it is, the more hair he/she has in the ear canal. In case they have some hair and it does not block the ear canal, it can be left intact and or we can trim some off of the length. In case the doodle has a lot of ear hair and you can't see the skin part of the ear canal when you take a look, I recommend removing the war hair from the ear canal at least partially. Ear hair removal (plucking) can be done the gentle way, when dogs no not show discomfort signs. I highly recommend removing the hair as a way of preventing ear infections. I remove the ear hair with my fingers, using new disposable exam gloves on both ears. I do not use/suggest using ear washes or alcohol as routine ear care. It is when the ear has lots of dirt or wax what is blocking or getting to block the ear canal. Otherwise, it is highly recommended to keep the natural flora in the ear canal and let it work its magic. Let's not fix what is not broken.

Pee break

It happens hourly or as needed. For puppies, elderly, at least once in every hour. Adults, can go longer, but I always ask for specific doggy signs for potty breaks from the owners at the first time and keep a sharp eye out for the signals.

Bath

I like to use lukewarm water, good soak with a hose (no shower head attached - see why in my other blog posts), 1-2 rounds of shampoo -depends on how dirty the doodle is- and some conditioner to keep the hair shafts healthy and soft so brushes and combs will run in the hair easy and comfortably.

Towel drying

and letting the doggy roll and go wild with running around in the grooming area in case they want to. They satisfy their need to do something to get the water off of them so they'll be a lot calmer on the grooming table for drying.

Brushing out

I brush out doodles before, meanwhile and after blow-drying. Yep. With the right equipment, used properly after conditioner it won't pull the hair, but will let it get dry super fast and fluffy and will let the undercoat fly out better, too.

Hand blow-drying

Using a brush while blow-drying makes it much faster and the doggy will become significantly fluffier and the hair will be beautifully straight to get a very precise and even trim. Cages, cage dryers are not recommended at any circumstances.

High velocity blow-drying

I use high velocity blow-dryers when the doodle I am working on has mesmerizing hair amount and several inches long hair. Especially useful for curly doodles, to make sure the coat is tangle free.

Final haircut

Final haircut happens after the doodle's coat is perfectly prepared to get the finest trim all over the body. It is funny that it usually takes about 30-45 minutes out of the 2+ hour grooming appointment. The preparation takes way longer than this part.

Pee break after

to make sure the doodle will be comfortable even in rush hour traffic on the way home. 

Pickup

When doodles are picked up, we talk about how mom and dad like the haircut, wether they have any questions and the payment happens at that time of the spa day. 

That's my take on the grooming steps. Which ones came as a surprise? Which one did you know about? Let me know in the comments!

Belly rubs to your doodle! :)

~Betty