How to Groom a Goldendoodle

Many of you have Goldendoodles who are adorable, friendly, and loyal companions. Their low shedding is awesome but means extra care when it comes to doodle grooming because they combine poodle and retriever traits in their coats, which can vary in texture and length. This aspect alone demands you know how to groom a Goldendoodle.

Goldendoodle have a variety of coats – thick, curly, or wavy – which are prone to become tangled and knotted, leading to messy mats if not brushed and combed regularly. Therefore, regular grooming is important to keep them looking and feeling their best, and it’s an excellent way to bond with your pet.

We have prepared some steps on how to groom a Goldendoodle at home to help you have an enjoyable experience as you care for your furry friend.

(Not sure you want to go through with it yourself? No problem! We have the best groomers in the DFW!)

how to groom a goldendoodle

Essential Tools You’ll Need

  • Slicker Brush: This is essential for removing tangles and mats in the coat.
  • Comb: A fine-toothed comb helps in detangling and smoothing the coat.
  • Clipper Set: Invest in good-quality clippers for trimming.
  • Clipper Blades: Varying blade lengths depending on the desired coat length.
  • Scissors: Blunt-tipped scissors for trimming around sensitive areas.
  • Nail Clippers: To keep their nails at a healthy length.
  • Ear Cleaning Solution: For cleaning their ears.
  • Cotton Balls: To clean ears and remove excess hair.
  • Shampoo and Conditioner: Use a mild, hypoallergenic dog shampoo and conditioner.
  • Mixing Bottle: To prepare a conditioning bath of shampoo and conditioner.
  • Absorbent Towels: To dry your pup after the bath.
  • Hair Dryer: A low-heat setting dryer designed for pets.
  • Treats and Positive Reinforcement: (if needed) To keep your dog calm and cooperative.

If you intend to groom your Goldendoodle at home, a professional bathing tub and a grooming table are handy equipment to have in your kit. They allow you to easily and conveniently restrain your doodle and keep them safe while you’re scissoring, brushing, and trimming. 


Become a guru groomer

Step-by-Step Grooming Process

1. Line Brush

The first thing you have to do with any dog, especially a doodle is thoroughly brush them out before you bathe them and before trimming. Work through any tangles or mats using the slicker brush and comb. This is crucial to avoid pulling or hurting your dog during grooming because water worsens mats and tangles. The slicker brush easily removes the dead hair that needs to come out, so that’s why it is essential to pre-brush them otherwise, you won’t be able to put a nice trim on your doodle. 

Start at the bottom or back and brush one line of fur at a time, going against the grain. Gradually move up the body in sections as you pull the brush through the fur. Ensure you can see the skin with every “line brush”. Be gentle and patient, as Goldendoodles can have dense, curly coats prone to tangling. Pay special attention to areas like behind the ears, under the legs, and around the neck.

2. Bathe the Dog

Doodle can collect a lot of debris in their coat, especially if they’re outdoorsy and active. Begin by wetting your dog thoroughly. Use lukewarm water and apply a mild, dog-specific shampoo. Massage it into the coat and be gentle around the eyes, ears, and face. Have your dog all soaked up, from head to toe. It is important that you let the shampoo sit on your dog for about 3-5 minutes just to release the dirt and grime from the coat. Rinse your pooch with plenty of lukewarm water to remove all shampoo residue.

Using a mixing bottle, apply a dog conditioner to keep the coat soft and manageable. Again, ensure thorough rinsing to prevent residue buildup. 

Always clean the ears after a bath because there might be the slightest chance that some water will get down the ears during the bath. To clean the ears, use a cotton ball and a pet ear cleaning solution, and gently squeeze in and around the crease of the ear flap so that when they shake their head, they release any fluid or water that got down in their ears. 

(Read this article if you’re wondering “How Often Should I Bathe My Dog?“)

3. Dry Your Pet With an Absorbent Towel

Once you’ve finished bathing, pat down your pup with an absorbent towel to remove excess water. An absorbent towel is a pet product that is actually a pretty nice little secret that most pet professionals use. It pulls so much water out of your pet’s coat and really cuts down your drying process.

At this point, you are not using a blow dryer because you still have to brush the entire dog one more time while it’s still wet. This will ensure you remove any dead hair that wants to come out and prepare your dog for trimming and scissoring. 

4. Scissoring and Trimming

Before trimming, be sure to brush the coat again with a slicker brush. This is important for two main reasons:

  1. It removes the dead hair that will cause your clipper to snug and not to go through your dog’s coat when you’re giving them a haircut. 
  2. It will allow you to see any tangles or clumps that must be removed before trimming around them. 

The hair is very pliable when it’s wet, so it is much less likely to damage the coat. Secondly, it is natural for the coat to look a bit uneven when it’s wet. But after it dries, it will have a much more even finish. 

Now, use the blow dryer on a low heat setting to dry the coat before trimming. If you don’t have the means to dry your dog, let them completely air dry. After, you can get a comb through your dog and be ready to trim.

Using a pair of clippers, attach the appropriate blade size according to your desired trim length. Start with the hindquarters and then move to the neck, chest, legs, and feet. As you work through each area, use scissors around sensitive areas. Work in small sections for a more even look and use the scissors to snip away any excess fur. Ensure you are careful not to go too close to your dog’s skin.

how to groom a doodle puppy

Trim the Face

This is the most difficult part for some groomers. If you have not done this before, please seek professional help or advice from a dog groomer to avoid any hurt to your pup. 

For Goldendoodles, you can trim around the ears and eyes using thinning shears or scissors. You may also use a fine-toothed comb with the scissors to make the trim neat around the face. If uncertain, avoid trimming around these sensitive areas and leave it to a professional groomer. 

Trim the private areas

To do the sanitary trim around the anus and the genital area, you can use a number 10 detachable blade. This is a very short blade and should be used with extreme caution as you don’t want to nick your pup. 

Start by trimming around the anus area first in all four directions and come up the tail a little just to clean it up. Then, come straight across the genitals. This will make your dog look much neater and cleaner, all while ensuring they are comfortable and safe. 

Trim the Ears

Doodles’ ears are usually quite long, with signature fluff at the tips. Nicely done, trimmed ears define a good groom. To get the right shape for the doodles’ ears:

  1. Pull up one of your doodle’s ears and hold it between your fingers.
  2. Use the scissors or thinning shears to cut off any long hairs growing on the bottom half of the ear, creating a neat, even look.
  3. Repeat this with the other ear. 

Trim the Nails

This is not to be taken lightly. It’s very important to trim your Goldendoodle nails otherwise, they can easily get caught on something and snap off, leading to an incredibly painful experience for your pup. Use good-quality clippers with a nail guard so you don’t cut too close to the quick of their nails. 

Ideally, you will need to trim the nails every 4-6 weeks. If you’re not sure of how to do this, seek advice from a professional groomer or vet first.

5. Brush Your Doodle’s Teeth

Just like humans, dogs need dental care, too. Brushing your pup’s teeth daily is one of the best ways to keep their gums and teeth healthy. Start by getting an appropriate doggie toothbrush – soft bristles work best – along with dog-safe toothpaste. Place a small amount of the paste on the brush, introduce the brush to your pup’s mouth, and start brushing in circular motions. Keep the brush at a 45-degree angle to ensure you are reaching the gum line. 

Be sure to also check for any signs of dental issues like excessive tartar buildup or bad breath. If you notice any of these symptoms, take them to the vet as soon as possible. 

Dogs should also have their teeth professionally cleaned by the vet every 6-12 months to maintain good oral health. 

6. Finish Up

When you’re done with the cleaning and trimming, use a finishing spray for an even sheen throughout the coat. The spray will make your doodle smell great, prevent mating and tangles, and condition the hair. Finally, brush the coat out again and then give your pup a good rub down to help distribute natural oils in their fur. This will leave your doodle feeling softer and shinier than ever before.

Read our tips on grooming aggressive dogs here!

how to cut goldendoodle hair

Final thoughts…

Giving your pup a proper bath and groom is not only important for their hygiene, but it’s also an opportunity for bonding and caregiving. Having the right grooming kit and following the tips above will make it easier for you to groom your pup with confidence. Plus, who doesn’t love a freshly groomed doggie? Enjoy grooming time with your furry friend! 

Be sure to also check out professional dog grooming services if you feel uncomfortable grooming at home. A professional groomer can give your pup a much-needed trim and make sure they are healthy. This is especially important if you have a doodle with long or curly hair that requires more care than other breeds. Keeping your pup’s coat neat, clean, and well-groomed will make them look their best!