Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
A couple of things - 1) you need a really good slicker brush designed for poodle type coats - the one I have is made by Activet and has bent tines on each side and a flexible head. There is a cheaper on made by MGT that also has a flexible head but the bent times are only on one side (the straight side is useless). 2) you need a comb - you can get one called a a plain metal one or get a bit fancier - one with a handle or at least a covering over the metal (makes it easier to hold) and/or rotating teeth. To groom a doodle you do what is called line brushing. Here is a video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxloLu6CnTg
The de-matting spray I use is called Horse Mane 'N Tail Detangler spray. for tough mats like the ones you will encounter, especially during this coat change, I use Cowboy Magic (it is a Vaseline looking goo) that I rub into the mat, wait a bit, then try to brush and comb. If the mat is just not coming out I use curved fingernail scissors (there are better and specific ones I am sure but this is what I have) to slice several times through the mat from the skin outward going the way the hair grows. Then brush and comb again and you will brush the mat clumps out but will not get a divot that shows. Not knowing your groomer or the amount of patience she has, or the amount of matting, this is a technique that can be used to save the overall look of the coat.
You might also find that he mats a bunch around his collar. If so you need to use one that doesn't rub against the coat. A simple rolled leather collar works well as does water collars. Rolled leather can be purchased at the big box pet stores as well as ordered on-line. Just remember that if dyed leather gets wet, it will bleed the dye onto the dog's coat and I see that Tofu is a light color. I purchase water collars - called hydro collars on the website I use. I purchase mine from a company in Canada called Hot Dogs All Dressed. You can personalize them. They last for years and years. Here is a link to that company if you are interested. https://hotdogsalldressed.com/products/hydro-collars/
If you use a harness on Tofu that could be why he is matted on the side - perhaps it rubs.
Many have been there. When I first saw your photo above of your Mom fixing his hair my first thought when I saw his long coat was I hope you are staying on top of the brushing or he will be shaved down. Then I saw this post. A coat that long is really hard to maintain even for a seasoned owner. What Nancy said below is exactly what you need. It won't take that long to grow out and I'm guessing you will find a nice medium length that you will find manageable.
If Tofu's coat is wavy and not curly I'd recommend (recommended to me by Karen) the Chris Christensen big pin brush. It works great on Riley's long, thick wavy coat. You do have to work in sections, moving hair aside with your hand and brushing from the roots. That applies regardless of the tool you use though.
We keep Riley's coat long but I absolutely have to brush it every day (I skip a day sometimes but rarely) and get any small mats out that I find before they grow larger. I use a straight comb like the one Nancy showed for de matting.
I also have this CC brush. I like it a lot and the dogs like it more than the slicker brush. However, I always end back with the Activet slicker brush, especially for Ned’s coat which is very high maintenance.
Exact same situation with our one year old doodle. My son brushes him daily but there were two areas on his side that he just couldn't get untangled. It's been three and a half weeks and although it's grown, he's not anywhere near back to his fluffy self. I would say more fuzzy at this point. We've watched lots of youtube videos and bought a comb to go along with the slicker brush so we can hopefully keep him a little longer.
Hold everything! This is the transition period and doodles mat because the puppy coat is actually coming out and tangles into the adult coat--matting is MUCH worse at this time than any other--so do not be dismayed--shaving is the only option at this time if you have not had him groomed very frequently over the last few months---and now you will have a clean slate as the adult coat continues to come in! Its OK!!
Riley's puppy coat transition got confusing because it may or may not have happened during a seasonal coat change... we will see what happens next fall/spring! All I know is I struggled to keep up with the matting for about a month!