Salty Doodles!

With the meteoric rise in “Doodle” popularity and the variety of sizes and types of Doodles, these blended breeds warrant a special mention. Despite popular marketing, regardless of generation or type, Doodles can come in sizes ranging from small to giant and may have curly, wavy, fleecy, or wirey coats or some combination thereof. They may have undercoats and shed, or may not. The only thing that is universal among them is that all Doodles require some grooming and many require a LOT of grooming! 

This page discusses the proper care of doodle coats and our recommendations and procedures for grooming them. Most of these same principles apply to a wide variety of breeds, mixes, and coat types including Havanese, Coton de Tulear, Sheepdogs, Cock-a-poos, Malti-poos, and many other blended breeds, including scruffy pound puppies! 

Pricing

Because of this variety, Doodles are difficult to provide price quotes for. Consequently, when you ask for a price for your Doodle, we may provide a large range. We will be able to give a more precise quote upon seeing your dog but no quote will be final until we have fully groomed your dog and they have reached full size with a full adult coat. Pricing may also change throughout your dog’s life or from visit to visit. Pricing depends on several factors including, but not limited to

  • Dog’s size
  • Length of coat
  • Type and texture of coat
  • Frequency dog is groomed
  • Desired style
  • Condition of coat and/or presence of matting
  • Dog’s behavior/temperament and how experienced he/she is with grooming

Puppies

Start bringing your puppy to the salon and working on at-home brushing as early as possible! We prefer to see most puppies no later than 16 weeks for their first puppy Bath & Tidy appointment and at consistent intervals thereafter. During a Bath & Tidy, we will bathe, blow dry, and brush and comb your pup, trim their eyes, paws, and sanitary area. This allows them to get used to us, the grooming salon, and our process and tools. We will not perform a full haircut on puppies until they have had a few Bath and Tidy appointments and we feel they are ready to ensure that they are not stressed during the groom. Rushing a puppy into a haircut can cause them anxiety about the grooming process that may last a lifetime. Grooming should be a regular part of your pet’s life and setting them up on a recurring schedule with us is a great way to start. We want to set your puppy up for a lifetime of positive grooming experiences!

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Puppies usually have a wonderfully soft, fluffy coat that is  easy to manage and doesn’t tangle or mat. Unfortunately, around 4-8 months, their adult coat will start to grow in and is usually a very different texture. This process lasts until the puppy has fully changed to their adult coat, usually around 8-14 months. Because most Doodle coats resist shedding, this process results in the puppy coat that is falling out getting tangled in the adult coat and often causes severe matting. The coat change process requires diligent and frequent brushing and regular grooming appointments to prevent matting. We strongly recommend a haircut at around 7 months to make the coat easier to brush and manage.

Coat Care and Maintenance

There are 3 factors we can work with to keep your dog mat-free and looking their best:

  • Frequency of professional grooming
  • At-home maintenance
  • Length of haircut. 

We have to find a balance between these factors that suits your budget, schedule, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences.

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For example, if you choose a long haircut, your dog will need more frequent grooming appointments and more at-home maintenance. On the other hand, if you want to come less often, we can do a shorter haircut and you can do more at-home maintenance as it grows out to buy more time between visits.


Many Doodle owners are partial to a long, shaggy coat, but it’s important to keep in mind that although the hallmark of this look is that they appear “unkempt” and natural, this is actually a very high maintenance style. The longer your pup’s coat, the more grooming they require! Most owners think that longer coats require fewer or less frequent grooming visits, but the opposite is actually true. In order to keep that natural look, most Doodles will require brushing and combing at-home at least 1-2 times a day and biweekly, or even weekly, professional grooming. Keep in mind that we don’t have to take length of your dog’s coat at every visit, but professional grooming is an important part of maintaining long, fluffy coats!


Choosing a shorter length may mean that your dog can go longer between haircuts and need less at-home maintenance, but coming in for Bath & Tidy appointments between haircuts helps to stay on top of nail trimming and ear cleaning and lets us check the skin and coat thoroughly for any problems.


Regardless of length, all Doodles will require some home brushing. We can advise you about the ideal frequency of brushing based on your pup’s style and coat type. Your home brushing routine should include a high quality slicker brush and a steel comb. Your dog must be brushed down to the skin, so use the brush to go through the coat layer by layer and then use the comb down to the skin to find any tangles your brush may have missed. If you find tangles or mats that cannot easily be removed with your brush, your pet requires professional attention as soon as possible.


Bathing a tangled or matted coat will make tangles tighter. If you choose to bath your pet at-home, choose a high quality pet shampoo and conditioner and be sure to always brush and comb your pet both before the bath and after they are completely dry!

"Blow Outs" and Doodle Curls

With the popularity of the natural, shaggy look for Doodles, we find that many owners don’t like the fresh “blow out” look because the coat no longer looks curly. We often get requests that we not blow dry in order to preserve the curls. However, a professional blow out is a very important part of the grooming process as it allows us to thoroughly check the skin and the roots of the coat and find any matting that might be hiding. It is also necessary to have the coat blown out before a haircut to make sure the cut is smooth and precisely cut to your desired length. Rest assured that your pup’s beautiful curls are not lost! The coat will return to its normal curl in a few days. We can mist your pet with a finishing spray after the groom to encourage the curls to tighten more quickly, however, keep in mind that this may encourage the coat to tangle, so you’ll have to be very diligent with your at-home maintenance. 

Doodle Styles

We will work with you and communicate with you to groom your dog in a style you love. We love photos that help show us what you're looking for. Keep in mind that since doodle coats vary widely some looks may not be possible on your pups coat type. Try to find photos that match your dog's coat type. Developing a relationship with a groomer, like any other relationship, takes time and good communication. It may take a few visits for us to get your dog's style just right. Just let us know what you'd like to tweak and we'll work with you to achieve your grooming goals. Unfortunately, a lot of styles popularized on the internet aren't always realistic and there is no "official" doodle standard cut. The great thing about this is that you have lots of options! We recommend keeping an open mind and trying new things. After all, hair always grows back! 


One of the popular styles for doodles is long shaggy "bangs" and leaving the hair on the bridge of the nose (the "stop"). On some coats this results in a lot of hair around the eyes and can cause irritation and eye discharge collecting on the hair which can cause skin problems and contribute to unsightly staining. This also often means that the hair around the face is going to need to be trimmed more often or it will soon fall in your dog's eyes. Sometimes we may have to find a compromise between the look you love and a practical style you can live with.

Matting

Sometimes, for any number of reasons, your pet’s coat may become matted. Rest assured we understand that life gets in the way and sometimes you may be unable to brush your pet or you may have to postpone an appointment. Whether because your pet was boarded, had a medical problem, you were busy, or any other reason, we get it! We aren’t judging you! We just want to help. Matting can be uncomfortable and unhealthy for your pet, so if your pet develops mats, please come see us as soon as possible. The sooner we can work on it, the better. We will discuss options for resolving the mats before proceeding and will always do our best to remove the matting by the safest and most comfortable method for your pet.

Dematting

Dematting is the process of brushing or combing mats from your pet’s coat. We charge $1-2 per minute of dematting to be added to the regular cost of your pet’s grooming appointment. We use the best professional shampoos, conditioners, and leave-in products on the market and the highest quality tools and safest methods to demat the coat. It’s important to remember, that regardless of these precautions, dematting is not comfortable for your pet. Inevitably, the coat that remains after dematting will be thin and damaged. Unfortunately, this damaged coat is likely to mat again and usually worse than it was originally. 

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We can sometimes cut mats out, if they are localized to small areas, and leave the surrounding hair, however, the resulting unevenness of the coat will often also be prone to matting. For these reasons, we will not demat pets repeatedly. If your pet is getting repeatedly matted, we want to work with you to adjust the frequency of grooming, your at-home maintenance, and the length of the haircut to prevent future matting. Your pet’s safety and comfort is our top priority and it is unfair to your pet to subject them to repeated dematting.

Shaving

If the matting is wide spread or close to the skin or if your dog is sensitive, we may be unable to brush it out. We take no joy in shaving a matted pet, and we know it isn’t the style you want, but sometimes it’s necessary to just start over and the great thing about hair is that it grows! If we recommend that your dog be cut short or shaved due to matting, it is because we firmly believe it is the safest and kindest option for your dog. 

After Shaving

We know that taking home a shaved pet from the salon is disappointing but please try to hide your disappointment from your pet. It’s important that they not connect your negative emotions to the salon or to them or they may develop an aversion or anxiety about grooming. Keep an upbeat demeanor and tell them they look beautiful!


In order to prevent future matting and to get the coat to regrow healthy and fast, regular appointments following a shave down are important! We recommend scheduling your pet’s next appointment when you pick up and even if you don’t think your pet needs a haircut, don’t cancel or postpone the appointment. We don’t have to take length off your pet’s overall coat. We can do a Bath & Tidy appointment to help you stay on top of your pet’s coat care during the regrowth. We can also use products that will help the coat grow! We highly recommend our Fortifying MudPak to help regrow healthy coat! Regular grooming appointments are key to keeping your pet healthy, clean, and mat-free!

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 We look forward to helping you keep your Doodle clean and beautiful for years to come.