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How to Brush a Goldendoodle

How to Brush a Goldendoodle

Goldendoodles are the BEST!

Okay, so we’re a little biased. But we genuinely love Goldendoodles. They make the perfect addition to your fur family.

But before you jet off to get one for yourself, it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into. Your new Goldendoodle requires quite a bit of work in the brushing department.

So, we’re looking at how to brush your Goldendoodle, including shedding schedules, brush types, grooming areas, and how to keep your Goldendoodle puppy looking its best.

Brushes at the ready! Let’s get into it.


Understanding Your Goldendoodle’s Coat

The Goldendoodle coat varies considerably. It all comes down to the type of Goldendoodle you have and whether they have more Poodle or Golden Retriever traits.

We won’t go into all the details on types of Goldendoodle, but you should know that it affects how you brush and groom your pup.

For instance, the Poodle coat has a lot more curl. Curls and brushing are pretty much a nightmare if you don’t know what you’re doing. The last thing you want to do is hurt your pooch.

On the other hand, Golden Retrievers have smooth but thick coats that can make brushing an absolute breeze. However, it could mean a lot more fur, so getting to the undercoat is essential.

At the end of the day, whichever Goldendoodle you have, the important thing is finding a brushing routine that works for your pooch.


Shedding Frequency and Brushing

Goldendoodle dogs are considered quite hypoallergenic, that’s one of the main reasons it’s such a popular breed.

However, don’t be fooled. Your Goldendoodle will shed from time to time depending on the type of coat they have.

If your Doodle gets its coat from the Golden Retriever, you can bet your socks that brushing that double coat is going to take some time. During heavy shedding periods, a brush once a day is essential!

If you’ve got allergies it’s best to look for a Goldendoodle with more Poodle features. Their coat very rarely sheds. However, since it’s curly you’ll need your brush at the ready daily to prevent any matting.

A good rule of thumb? Monitor your dog’s shedding to figure out when brushing is needed. Every doggo is different, but here are a few things that tell you it’s time for a brush:

  • Clumps of hair around the house.
  • Knots in the fur.
  • Matted areas on the chest.
  • Fur losing shine.


When to Start Brushing Your Goldendoodle

Your Goldendoodle is likely to need a good brush at least three times a week. That’s a lot of brushing if you think of all the weeks your Doodle pup is going to be around!

With that in mind, it’s best to get your Goldendoodle used to a brush as early as possible. While we don’t recommend brushing brand-new Goldendoodle puppies, there are other things you can try.

One of the easiest things is having the brush around. So, keep the brush within sight and try holding the brush while giving your puppy some love. It helps them associate the presence of the brush with positive feelings rather than being scared.

After all, your Goldendoodle doesn’t know what a brush truly does, so why do they get scared, to begin with?

Well…sorry to say but it’s because owners generally make a big song and dance about dog grooming. If you’re stressed running after your dog with a brush every time it needs grooming your dog will be frightened.

So, why not skip all that and get your Goldendoodle calm around a brush from the get-go?

Here’s a guide on what to do:

  • Grab your little Golden floof and give them a good cuddle, while having the brush next to you. Make sure it’s within sight so your doggo can identify the object.
  • Once you’ve done that a few times, pick the brush up and simply have it in your hand while showing your dog some love.
  • When your dog is used to the brush being around, you can start brushing your dog with part of the brush without bristles. Remember, it’s a totally new feeling which can be scary. So, the first touch from the brush should feel smooth.
  • After a while, add in a few strokes with the bristles. You don’t have to give your Goldendoodle puppy a full hairstyle. But just enough so they feel the brushing sensation.

In no time, your pup will be a brushing champion!


Types of Brushes for the Goldendoodle Coat

There are thousands of dog brushes on the market, it’s tough to know which one is right for your dog’s fur type.

Have no fear, we’ve broken down the types of brushes to give you a heads-up.

  • Bristle brushes: These have tightly packed bristles that are usually made with synthetic materials. They are good for removing any loose fur or dirt from the coat.
  • Pin brushes: Similar to the bristle brush above, pin brushes use long pins rather than bristles. They are great for removing tangles deep within the fur – a must for curly coats.
  • Undercoat rakes: These are essential for double coats like with the Golden Retriever. They have long teeth that get deep into the coat, reaching the undercoat. Loose hair, dirt, and debris can sit in the undercoat making it uncomfortable. This is only for long-haired Goldendoodles!
  • Slicker brushes: Designed specifically to remove tangles, slicker brushes are a great option for fur that mats easily, like the Poodle’s coat. The brush has fine wire bristles that get right into the knot while still being gentle on the skin.
  • Dematting combs: As the name suggests, these combs are a good fit for pup fur that mats easily. They have long teeth that go through the tangles. We’d recommend this one for Goldendoodle dogs with a longer coat.

There are plenty of other brushes on the market, but they don’t fit with the Goldendoodle coat, so we won’t mention them.

It’s important to find the right type of brush for your dog. Using an undercoat rake for a Goldendoodle with thinner hair isn’t really going to work.

Also, look at some other essentials. We highly recommend a good detangling spray to help get through those thickest matted areas. A good option is Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Detangling Spray With Lemon and Linseed. It uses all-natural ingredients and does wonders for keeping the coat silky smooth.


Preparing to Brush your Goldendoodle

Before you get to work on brushing your Goldendoodle puppy there are a few things to take note of.

Grooming areas

Like us humans, your Goldendoodle won’t have the same amount of hair everywhere. Some areas of the body have very little hair, like the groin.

It should go without saying that putting a hard wire brush in these areas could end up doing more harm than good.

So, before you get brushing, take a good look at your Goldendoodle. Look for areas on the body that have more dense fur and where you might need to focus a bit more.

It’s always best to go into the grooming process with a game plan. Know which areas are an absolute must to get to and get those done first.

Here are a few areas prone to some serious fur accumulation:

  • Chest: have you seen a Golden Retriever’s chest? It’s like the hair gods poured all their power into one species. But it’s for a good reason: the chest protects vital organs that keep your doggo warm.
  • Tail: The Goldendoodle tail is pretty famous for its shape, but it can also come with dense fur, depending on the type.
  • Back: Whether you’ve got a curly coat cutie or a long-hair beauty, a Goldendoodle’s back always has a lot of fur. But it’s great for keeping in heat, so don’t hate on it too much (save that for your husband’s hairy back).
  • Ears: One of the cutest spots on a Goldendoodle by far, but look out for lots of little hairs. Poodles and Golden Retrievers are known to have thick fur on and in the ear which needs regular grooming.

Check for problem areas

Once you get to know your Goldendoodle’s fur, you’ll know which areas are more prone to knots and matting.

But, if this is your first proper brush session you won’t know where to start.

That’s why you need to note areas that might need a little more detangling work. Now, you don’t need to wrestle your dog to the floor to get a good look. Simply feel around the fur while giving them their daily cuddles.

Matting can also be seen, so if you notice knots by just looking at your dog, then try to get to those first.

Grooming tools at the ready

It’s essential to keep your grooming tools within arm’s reach while brushing your Goldendoodle. Any sudden movements and you might be in for a wild goose…well dog, chase.

So, grab all the essentials before you begin brushing so that you’re prepared. For example, if you start with the de-shedder, be sure the bristle brush isn’t too far. This might be a little overwhelming at first when you’re still getting used to the different brushes. But you’ll get the hang of it in no time.

Top tip: Keep everything in one place, whether it be a cute dog grooming basket or bag, and pack all the essentials. Don’t forget your other grooming tools like scissors, dog clippers, conditioning spray, and a fun toy for your doggo to keep busy.

Keep things calm, cool, and collected

As you and your Goldendoodle bond, there is no doubt that they begin feeling what you feel. Goldendoodle dogs are very intuitive.

If you know brush time is on the horizon and start to panic, your dog will feel this and likely get a little stressed too.

To avoid this, keep things as calm as possible. Don’t try to brush your dog when they’re running after the cat or jumping through the plants. Pick a time when your dog is chilled and wants a good cuddle session. If they have a general nap schedule, you’ll pick up on their chill times pretty quickly.

Now, calmly go sit with your dog while they’re lying down and get as close as possible without them thinking it’s playtime.

Do you see why it’s important to slowly build your dog up to the brush session? It’s not just about getting the brush through there as quickly as possible, but getting your dog used to the idea of you being with them in a calm space with the brush.

Gently pull the brush through the fur for a few minutes to let your dog know everything is okay and the brush session can genuinely feel quite nice.

When your dog looks up at you and you’ve got a calm smile with a gentle touch on the brush handle your Goldendoodle may very well fall asleep.


Goldendoodle Grooming Techniques

So you’ve set the scene and you’re ready to go, but how do you actually brush the dog’s coat?

Like this!

Brushing the topcoat

Whatever type of Goldendoodle you have, the topcoat is an essential part of the brushing session. Let’s investigate it.

Step-by-step guide for brushing the topcoat

  • Grab your supplies: we recommend a comb, slicker brush, and possibly a detangling spray.
  • Start at the neck: Start brushing at the neck with the slicker brush using gentle long strokes. Try your best to brush in the direction of the hair growth.
  • Brush the back: Move from the neck down to the back and along the sides of your Goldendoodle. You might hit some tangles, so grab a comb and the detangling spray. Gently maneuver the comb through the tangle, don’t tug! Then continue down the back with the slicker brush.
  • Move to the legs: Use the slicker brush to make your way down your Goldendoodle’s legs. Pay special attention to the fur around the joints, like at the top of the leg. Tangles get deep in there, so if you feel one, use the detangling spray with the comb again.
  • How to brush Goldendoodle tails: You might be tempted to leave this out, but don’t. Starting from the lower back, move the slicker brush down to the tail tip, using long brush strokes. But be gentle; the tail can be a little sensitive.
  • Give your doggo a treat: That was a lot of hard work, job well-done Doodle (and paw-rent)!

Tips for dealing with mats and tangles

Look, each coat is different, so we can’t say 100% what brush is going to work for your Goldendoodle.

What we do know is that a comb can be an absolute gem!

Think about it, when you find a knot in your hair, can you think of anything worse than dragging a coarse hard bristle brush through it?

It’s the same for your dog’s hair. A comb with long teeth can get to the middle of the knot, working from the inside out.

While a detangling spray is the most convenient, if you don’t have any on hand there are other options.

  • Coconut oil: This is a fantastic option if your Goldendoodle has sensitive skin.
  • Olive oil: You heard that right, it’s not only beneficial for us two-legged dog lovers on pasta night. Olive oil is great for greasing up a tangle before using a comb.
  • Cornstarch: While not the first thing you’d think to grab, rubbing a little cornstarch into the tangle can help release some of the knots.

Additionally, it should go without saying that you should NEVER force a brush through your dog’s fur. You can cause serious damage to your dog’s coat and skin.

Try holding the base of the fur with the tangle with your fingers before brushing. A tight grip should keep the knot from pulling at the skin.

The best brushes for detangling

As we know, a good comb and slicker brush are your detangling besties. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Chris Christensen Big G Dog Slicker Brush: This is a super popular option for detangling. With over 5,000 reviews and a 4.7-star rating, we know it’s a favorite. This brush uses comfort glide pins to ensure your dog stays comfortable throughout the brushing process. Making its way deep into the tangles, this is a good find!
  • Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush for Dogs: The mac daddy of detangling, this brush is a tried-and-true detangling bestie. It doesn’t have over 84,999 reviews and a 4.5-star rating for nothing. It uses fine-angled bristles, along with an ergonomic handle to make your job a bit easier. Plus, it’s a self-cleaning slicker brush, how cool is that?
  • Detangling Pet Comb with Long & Short Stainless Steel Teeth: Combs should be simple but effective, and we’ve found just that. This comb has long and short teeth to get through all different lengths of Goldendoodle hair. The anti-slip handle is a big plus too.

Brushing the undercoat

The undercoat is a different story. Usually seen in Goldendoodle dogs with more Golden Retriever genes, brushing the undercoat is vital to maintaining your dog’s coat.

Importance of undercoat brushing

The undercoat is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a short coat that lies underneath the top coat. This fur can become matted if you don’t brush your dog’s hair enough.

Additionally, dirt and debris can get right up in the undercoat, making your dog itch. Nobody wants an itchy Doodle; it’s not fun for anyone.

To get to the undercoat, you need a brush that can penetrate deep into the coat. That’s why we recommend the slicker brush; it works on the top and undercoat simultaneously.

Now that you know the undercoat matting situation, it comes as no surprise that a detangling spray should make a very big appearance here.

Yes, it’s great to have a Goldendoodle that looks the part, but what happens underneath the topcoat is just as important. Tangles will eventually affect the topcoat if you don’t brush your Goldendoodle with the right brush.

So, once you’ve got the right brush and detangling solution ready, it’s time to get to it.

Step-by-step guide for brushing the undercoat

  • Start with the mats: You can’t simply go in guns blazing, you’ll hurt your dog. Feel the undercoat with your fingers and remove any noticeable knots and tangles first. A metal comb and detangle spray here are good. Take your time; rushing can pull your dog’s skin.
  • Grab the slicker brush: Once the knots are out, the slicker brush goes through the topcoat into the undercoat to begin the de-shedding process. Pull the brush right through the fur down to the skin. You don’t have to press hard, but enough that the bristles reach the bottom of the undercoat.
  • Back to the metal comb: After de-shedding there will likely be quite a lot of loose hair sitting in the undercoat. You need to get these out to prevent further matting. Glide the metal comb through the fur, removing any fur build-up in the comb as you go.

Brushing the ears and face

Your Goldendoodle’s face and ears are quite sensitive, and there can be a collection of fur that mats easily, making brushing a challenge.

The curled fur on the face is also prone to dirt collection, so it’s best to wipe down your Golden pup’s face every three or four days. You get doggie wipes like the Earth Rated Dog Wipes that are 99% plant-based. They are free of parabens and alcohol, so they’re suitable for all areas of the body.

Dog wipes are super convenient to have on hand when you’re out and your Groodle gets into the mud. Getting dirt off while it’s wet is a lot easier than waiting for it to dry!

If you don’t have wipes on hand, you can use warm water on a cloth when you get home. Wet the cloth with warm water and wipe the face down, away from the eyes.

Now, when it comes to brushing the face, it’s best to use a soft brush that won’t dig into your dog’s skin. A soft bristle brush is a good option. We like Burt’s Bees for Dogs Palm Brush with Hemp Bristles; it’s incredibly gentle and great for keeping the fur soft.

Once you’ve got your pup, brush the face fur in the direction it grows naturally. It’s always best to pull away from the eyes. So, if you’re on the cheek, pull sideways. If you’re on the beard, pull downwards, but not too hard.

Brushing Goldendoodle ears can be a little tricky to begin with. Their hair can grow in the ear canal which is not very pleasant to get out. It also leaves your pooch open to ear infections.

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Inflamed skin.
  • Scratching.
  • Weeping.
  • Odor.
  • Head shaking.
  • Crusting or scabs.

If you see anything like this, it’s time to head to the vet. At the very first sign, you should not do anything grooming-wise near your dog’s ears.

That’s why we wouldn’t recommend brushing your Goldendoodle’s ears to begin with. Your pup needs a good groomer pal that they can visit every 4-6 weeks. Groomers are professionally trained and know how to work with Goldendoodle ears without causing more of a problem.

Those pesky ear hairs can be a little sore to remove, so it’s best to leave it to the professionals.



Should I brush my Goldendoodle wet or dry? 

Brushing your dog’s hair in the bath is okay, but it’s not the best. Wet fur breaks a lot more easily. So, it’s best to brush your dog out once they’re warm and dry. If you choose to brush your dog while they’re wet, be gentle, and use a wide-toothed comb.

Do I brush or comb my Goldendoodle first? 

It’s best to get a brush through your dog’s coat first to get out any tangles. However, if there is a knot, you’ll need to get the comb and detangle spray to work on it without hurting your dog’s skin.

How do I prevent my Goldendoodle from matting?

There is one simple answer – keep up with the brushing routine. If you brush your dog enough, there isn’t time for knots to start, let alone develop into a mat.

What do I do if there is a very bad mat in my Goldendoodle’s fur? 

If the knot is really bad, you may have to cut it out. Trying to brush a massive knot can hurt your dog and the surrounding skin. It’s better to take them to the groomer for this to maintain as much of your Goldendoodle’s coat as possible.


Wrap Up

A Goldendoodle is one of the best dog breeds to bring into the family. They are gorgeous and have a sweet nature that is hard to match.

The only downside is the grooming process. You’ll need to be ready, brush in hand, to keep the knots at bay. But it’s all worth it to have a happy and healthy Golden pooch to cuddle.

We hope you learned something about brushing your Doodle, we sure did. For more insight into everything dog-related, visit our homepage.