Doodles EVERYWHERE 😳 Are they a groomer’s nightmare?

Expert Tips On How To Effectively Groom A Doodle

So many groomers don’t take doodles. Don’t blame em!

But we think the Doodle hate is a little overblown… so we dove DEEP to create an all encompassing guide on how to make doodle grooming just a little bit more fun. 🤩

For starters: “Doodles” are considered a mix of one breed of dog with a purebred poodle. This creates a dog with that signature curly hair we’ve all come to know and love. And that signature curly hair comes with that signature grooming price tag (hopefully!)

So are they a groomer’s worst nightmare or are these curly hair, thick coat friends just another challenge we can tackle?

Before we dive into this answer, we’ve got to try to figure out why are there so many “doodle” dogs everywhere… and I mean EVERYWHERE!

🤷 Doodle Popularity Is Outpacing That of Purebred Parents

Does it feel like you’re seeing more Goldendoodles, Labradoodles, Cockapoo, Bernedoodles, Schnoodles, Sheepadoodles, Aussiedoodles, Yorkipoos, Whoodles, Maltipoos, Bordoodles, Cavapoos and other poodle-cross dogs these days?

Well you are…
recently shared a report that the number of people who own doodles has doubled in the United States since 2016.

Going deeper, according to an analyses of policy and claims for 1.61 million dogs by Nationwide pet health insurance, doodle popularity has more than tripled their percentage among Nationwide’s policies while the percentage of purebreds has dropped by nearly a third.

These “designer dogs” are going to continue to grow in popularity and the price dog owners are willing to pay speaks to another part of shifts in attitudes around pet ownership.

Do these “designer dogs” require “designer groomers”… or really just those willing to take them on as clients?

Doodles require specific attention from a groomer due to their coats, pet owner demands, and those cheeky toe mats!!

We know these guys are challenging but that doesn’t mean you should turn them away. There are a few simple things you can do to make your life as a doodle-groomer easier.

🚀 The Doodle Playbook

Educate your doodle owner clients.

  1. The most important thing about doodle grooming is to establish a schedule (2,3,4 weeks max). The doodle owners can have a perfectly groomed pooch at all times where the groomers can just focus on maintaining the dog. Any time there’s an issue with doodles, it’s because of their schedule or lack there of!
  2. Educate the owner on preventative maintenance by telling them to brush every day or two with a slicker brush, make sure it goes to the skin. Make sure they spend extra time on those ears and tails! Afterwards, they should go over these with a comb to check for tangles. Ultimately. you win when you are communicating properly with your clientele about the recommended grooming schedule!

Charge more!

  1. If customers ask about why doodles are priced differently, you can explain that it’s for a variety of reasons but ultimately it’s a difficult breed to groom, its considered one of the highest maintenance breed ever because groomers don’t know how the coat will come out on the dog. Its basically a custom haircut every time. So many factors play into this. They need to know this a luxury dog and they are getting a luxury service. Maybe the owner doesn’t know they own a high maintenance dog (it’s the truth!) Reiterate this to the pet parent and they won’t be as surprised with you charging more. The owner needs to know what they are getting - a custom, luxury service!

Brush up on Doodle specific tips!

  1. There is not a breed standard haircut, it’s a freestyle groom (so don’t stress!). Grooming a doodle forces you to think outside the box so let your creativity shine.
  2. Remember doodles come in a variety of coats. You’ll even see a variety of different coat types on a single dog (super curly or wavy, curly and wavy together, curly / wavy / wiry, etc.) Due to all the combinations of coat types, the grooming possibilities are endless. Looking at this in a positive way since it allows you to hone in on your skills and tap into your creative side to assess the coat and do what’s best for the dog, owner and groomer.

Get these tools of the (doodle) trade to make the job easier.

  1. The Chris Christensen Big K Slicker Brushes
  2. LePooch Concentrated Pre-Wash Detangling Spray
  3. Botaniqa Avocado Scissoring Spray
  4. Utsumi Carbon Comb #298

Misc. Tips

Fluffing and combing is a big part of the process!
When you are not blowing the coat out or the curls out of the dog and brushing properly, you’ll end up with a subpar doodle groom. Use these tools to nail the drying and fluffing process!

When you are able to adapt a groom that is best for everyone then you win! With doodles you can do what you want, its literally up to you so don’t overwork yourself… this is all too common - we see many groomers overwork themselves on a daily basis.

With these tips you can excel on your next (stressless) doodle groom because doodles are actually one of the most fun dogs to groom!

P.S - one groomer’s “trash” is another groomer’s treasure… check out this van in LA 🤣

Alex Martin
Top story
January 12, 2024

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