Hi Everyone! Really appreciative of this blog and all the suppport here! Hoping to get some opinions for my 4 month-old F2B goldendoodle (though embark DNA shows 55% poodle).

She has shed quite a lot since the day we got her so we know she will probably be a shedder while hoping it is a bit less as she gets older. We have been noticing some areas with very minimal hair and areas that don't look very full. At first it seemed minor and we took her to her vet who told us she was fine and had no hot spots. He only prescribed medication for her itching. She has been scratching a lot since we got her. We thought it was the environment because we first had her in Texas and we are now in California but there's been no improvement. After a couple failed diet transitions (upset stomach), we are now in the process of very slowly transitioning her (much slower than the first 2x) to Open Farm's salmon recipe and hoping to see improvement in her coat and skin.

Her coat just doesn't seem very full and we were wondering if this was normal or not. She also has this patch of dry/coarse haywire-ish type of hair running down her back. The picture with the black t-shirt is me playing with her for a just a few minutes. Am I exaggerating or is this normal shedding? Any feedback will be greatly appreciated. Thanks!




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  •  That looks like shedding.  Shedders shed.

    As for normal coat, there is no "normal" in doodles.  There is a wide range of possible coat types.  Some coats are mixed, curly in parts, wavy on parts, soft in parts, wirey in parts. 

    • Pop quiz: Which one is the doodle?


      I cheated.  They are all doodles. :p  


      • And this is a doodle too.  I think the OP's puppy might have a coat like JD's.

        • Agreed :)  That's one doodle coat type I haven't had myself!  

          I might go hunting for a straight, shaggy-coated breed for my next dog.  Toby's coat is a pain in the butt lol.

          • If you can tolerate the shedding, it's a breeze to maintain. 10 minutes to thoroughly brush, never mats, dries fast after bathing, and no trimming required other than a little clean-up around the face, feet, and sanitary. Even professional grooming is inexpensive. 

            • We originally got a doodle thinking we would maybe prefer a non shedding dog if we got lucky but then Luna was our first dog and it turns out we don't care about shedding if it's moderate.  Riley is a good middle ground I think. Fairly low maintenance in that she only needs brushing a few times a week but she does need regular clipping and undercoat raking every 6 weeks or so.  I imagine a professional groom for her would cost about as much as I paid for my grooming table lol.

              I think we will always have shaggy dogs of some sort :p

  •  Your puppy's coat looks perfectly normal to me!  Some of them are scruffy like that.  She is very cute :)

    Every time I give my shedding bernedoodle a bath I use the undercoat rake on her and get about a football-sized amount of hair.. and that's just her undercoat, her top coat doesn't shed.  They can lose a surprisingly large amount of hair!  After her "de-shedding" Riley just looks slightly less fluffy.  

    As for itchiness... puppies are itchy.  This is her first Spring, everything is new, she is probably just itchy :)  

    Diet transitions in young puppies should be done very slowly and it's not good for their brand new digestive systems to do a lot of changes.  Karen will hopefully chime in with some more specific advice, but when we were investigating diet issues with our aduld dog Riley the vet said you have to try something for at least 3 months in order to be able to tell whether or not it's working.

  • I agree, your puppy's coat looks perfectly normal to me. The coarser, wirier hair down the back is also perfectly nromal, as is the differences in the amount of hair on different parts of the body. You have a mixed breed dog with Poodle and Retriever on both sides; very different coat types. Retriever on both sides also means a good chance of shedding. Rarely does shedding improve as a puppy gets older. :)
    And yes, puppies are itchy. It's normal. 
    I can tell you with absolute certainty that it is very close to impossible for a 4 month old puppy to have any kind of allergy, environmental or otherwise, and definitely to have an allergy to any kind of food. So if that's what you're thinking, put it out of your mind. 
    Regarding food and tummy issues, I need more info. What kind of tummy issues? Has she been treated with metronidazole (Flagyl) for giardia or diarrhea? (That in itself can cause tummy issues after the meds are finished.) 
    Lots of food changes is a huge mistake, especially in young puppies. It sounds like your pup has already been on at least 4 different foods, and that is only going to make any GI issues worse. A salmon based food is a good idea, as the Omega 3 fatty acids will help with dry skin & itching, but for dogs with digestive issues, you also need limited ingredients and a relatively high protein content. I can help with this, but like I said, I need more info. The best thing would be to start a separate discussion in the Food Group forum, but I can help here as well.

  • She looks like a typical scruffy doodle to me.  She is absolutly adorable. And, she is going to continue to shed.

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