Shaving your dog by yourself can seem like a daunting task. You don’t know the proper technique, you want to make sure you don’t accidentally hurt it, and you’re just nervous about the whole ordeal.
But here’s the thing. Once you have a proper system in place, shaving your Goldendoodle is not that difficult.
So, get the tools ready to give your Golden doodle the best shave of its life.
Why Should You Shave Your Goldendoodle?
Before you get the tools ready, ask yourself why you want to shave your dog’s hair. Not all dogs take well to trimming.
Their coats serve a lot of functions, such as:
The Goldendoodle has a luxurious and soft coat. Its hair needs regular cuts – made easier if it has been looked after and regularly combed. But forgetting to do so will make the hair so matted that you’ll struggle to get a comb through it.
And then you’d have no option but to shave your Goldendoodle’s hair as it would become too tangled to manage.
What Is the Right Age to Shave Your Goldendoodle?
Goldendoodles have a soft, fluffy, and thin coat when they are pups. Their adult coat is curly and wavy and only starts coming in once the pup is 5 months old. So, this is the ideal time to give your pup its first shave! (We asked the experts when you should start grooming your Goldendoodle puppy – and found out how it effects the Goldendoodle puppy coat)
Grooming Tools for Goldendoodles
People often think Goldendoodles are high maintenance, but in truth, caring for one is super easy once you know what you’re doing. Let’s start with the tools first.
Grooming Comb and Slicker Brush
These Goldendoodle friendly brushes will help you detangle the hair and keep it in a manageable state. The coat is known to get matted; therefore, it is advised to regularly brush their hair to avoid having to give them a haircut. A stainless steel comb and a slicker brush (fancy version of a pin brush) are reccomedned for every Goldendoodle coat.
From curly coat to wavy coat types – you will need that basic combination.
These are hair-trimming devices that work best for large areas of hair. They come with detachable as well as non-detachable blades. Using detachable blades, you can adjust the blade size to get the desired length of the coat. (5 Best Clippers for Goldendoodles reviewed)
A clipper chart can be referred to when you are not familiar with the blade sizes and the corresponding lengths.
Use these if you are trimming your dog’s hair for the first time and want a clean uniform cut. They can be adjusted onto the clipper when required.
This tool will keep clippers cool from all the heating and maintain their sharpness as well.
It helps lubricate the blade and reduce its friction, providing a much smoother experience for your dog.
Keep these in your toolkit as not all hair can be clipped. You may have to do some careful trimming.
They are used to get an even cut and to blend short and long hair.
Nail Clippers and Nail Grinders
Keeping your dog’s nails trimmed is essential to prevent any accidental harm to anyone. Many clippers and electric trimmers are available that can help you out with this.
Wet hair isn’t easy to clip and attracts dirt. Keep your dog’s hair clean by blow-drying it immediately after a bath.
Shampoos, Conditioners, And Sprays
Many products in the market will help you take better care of your pets’ hair. Detangler sprays and conditioners can smoothen out tangles while regular shampooing will keep the coat clean of fleas and dirt.
Goldendoodles thrive with basic, nice smelling, natural dog shampoos. See our picks here.
Grooming Table or Pet Leash
It is not easy to have your dog sit still throughout its grooming process. A leash and grooming table can be immensely useful for making sure you do not accidentally hurt your dog.
How Do You Make Your Goldendoodle Comfortable?
Listen to their cues, be assertive, and guide them through the process patiently. Ensure they are comfortable with the tools and their surroundings before you begin.
Let them familiarize themselves with the grooming table and the tools. A muzzle can also be a useful tool for the first few shaves as there are chances of the dog biting you or the groomer.
The first shave will probably be a lengthy and new experience for your pup so be sure to be patient and careful with them. As they get used to the grooming process and the tools, they’ll be less difficult to handle later on.
How to Shave a Goldendoodle
1. Bathing Your Goldendoodle
First, give your dog a clean bath. Use a gentle curly coat friendly shampoo to clean any dirt in its coat by rinsing it thoroughly yet gently. This will also smoothen the hair and give you a much easier coat to detangle and shave.
You can use any gentle dog shampoo that you like. Just don’t let the product get into their eyes.
Bathing your dog is necessary as a dirty coat will not be easy to trim evenly and can result in you giving your dog a poor haircut.
Bathing may also ease your pup into the shaving process.
2. Brushing the Hair
The next step is to brush your dog’s hair.
By combing your Goldendoodle’s hair, you are making sure the shaving will be neatly done. It will also be easier to maintain the hair length once there are no tangles or knots in it. When combing the hair, smooth out each line from the root. Also, make sure to blow dry your dog’s hair.
3. Get the Tools Ready
Get them onto the grooming table and make sure all the tools are ready. Be sure to also keep treats handy. Goldendoodle clippers, grooming comb, slicker brush, and grooming scissors.
Doodle haircuts are about 20% skill, 30% how the puppy is feeling and 50% how prepared you are.
4. Adjust the Blades
Be clear about which part you need to trim the hair from and use the appropriate blade. Refer to the clipper chart to be sure. If you have a style in mind for your furry friend, then you need to be more careful about the coat length.
It is easier to first get the bigger area trimmed and then move on to the smaller body parts.
The large areas of the Goldendoodle dog’s body can be trimmed with clippers, whereas the smaller parts will need scissors.
Use a one-inch clipper guard to ensure a nice uniform cut.
Now you can get started.
5. Shave the Back
The biggest body part is the back of the doodle coat. It will be easy to start with as your Goldendoodle dog will also get used to sitting still.
Get your dog in a sitting position for this. You can now trim the hair starting from the top of their back and make your way downwards. Then, move on to their belly.
6. Shave the Belly
The belly region is also easy to access. Just get your pup to stand up and patiently trim the belly hair. Once these large body parts are done, you can move on to the smaller body parts in whichever order you find comfortable.
7. Shave the Legs and Paws
A dog stand is a good option to use to get to certain body parts like the paws.
The hair on the legs will be easier to trim using a bigger blade. First, comb the hair upwards so the hair will stand and will be easier to clip.
The paws and toes will need a smaller blade size of 8 or less. While clipping is used often, try to switch between a clipper and a scissor to get to the hair near the paws.
8. Shave/Pluck/Trim Ears
The hair under the ear and inside it is smaller than the rest of the body, so use scissors or shears if needed. Blades under size 5 can also work.
With all the ear flapping, you may feel like skipping this part. But overgrown hair in the ear can lead to infections.
Ear cleaners made for dogs are also a good option to clean the insides safely.
9. Focus on the Face
Look at a few styles for face cuts that are easy to do for a Goldendoodle. Use brush size 9 to get most of the hair, then work with what tools are comfortable for you. Be slow and calm as the face is a delicate area.
Usually, a downward motion will be better while trimming. The key areas are the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Trimming the fur in front of the eyes to prevent the hair from poking the dog’s eyes is a good start.
You will also find food particles that get stuck into your dog’s hair while eating, so it’s better to get the hair around this area neatly trimmed.
10. Finish with the Tail
Trim or clip the tail first, and then you can trim the hair under it. Trimming the hair under your dog’s tail helps keep any feces from sticking to it.
11. Grand Finale: Shave the Goldendoodle Armpits
This region should be saved for the last as it is sensitive and will be most matted.
Remember to clean it during the shower and then trim the hair to a comfortable length for the dog.
BONUS: Don’t forget. Nails
It is best to trim the nails manually with a nail clipper to ensure you don’t cut them too short as dog nails bleed when they are cut too short. You might also want to keep corn starch or styptic powder handy to stop any accidental bleeding. An ice pack or a clean cloth should also be kept nearby.
This is too common in dogs and usually not life-threatening. But if the cut is too deep or the bleeding doesn’t stop, visit the vet.
Alternatively, you can also use a dog nail grinder. It is an electric nail trimmer that doesn’t clip nails and instead grinds at them to shorten them without cutting away too much. Here are the best dog nail grinders on the market – and they don’t need to bust the budget.
Brush once more as the actual Final Step
Brush the coat once again after the trimming is done. You might want to gently wipe off your dog using a soft cloth with warm water to soothe them. Also, give your dog a good blow-dry to remove any loose hair from their body.
How Often Do I Need to Shave My Goldendoodle?
The duration between grooming sessions can vary depending on the length of the coat. A shorter coat requires a trim once every 10 weeks, while a longer coat requires a trim once every 6 weeks.
Grooming your dog at home can be a fun bonding session for you and your pet. However, if you want to be careful and are not confident enough about your skills, then it is best to get a professional to do it. A professional groomer will be trained to deal with any possible scenarios, including having your dog squirm around or try to move.
But there are also many concerns about taking your dog to the groomer. You may not trust them, you may not like their methods, or maybe they don’t treat your pup very well. This will make you want to pick up the clipper and groom your dog by yourself.
If you do end up deciding to shave your Goldendoodle at home, be fully prepared. Get the emergency safety kit and be ready in case you need to visit the vet.
And lastly, remember that for your dog to be calm, you need to stay calm too!