Backstory. My little guy is 6 months old and quite the fuzz ball. His cury adult coat seems to be coming in pretty well over is rump and moving it's way up to his shoulders. Most of the research I have read seems to say to wait was long as possible before doing the first full body clip. Originally I was planning on doing it in the spring right before he gets neutered but he just seems so hot and uncomfortable all the time. He is constantly getting up and moving while he tries to sleep, even just a foot. He wants to cuddle but can't sit with us for long before he is panting hard and goes off to the tile floor to cool down.

We keep our house around 68 during the day and his crate is in our room at night. We have little kids so we can't go much cooler during the day. We like it cold in our room too so all of our vents are closed and it is chilly but I still hear him panting at night. I have started pointing a small fan at the front of his crate which helps. I got out his summer cool mat I have and I'm considering getting him a cot for Christmas. Even my husband noticed how uncomfortable he is and he is not a dog person. 

So my question is, will it cause more issues in the long run to clip him now since he still has a lot of puppy fur or should we just push through and wait? Also, he is an indoor dog so staying warm outside is not a big concern.


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  • I've never heard you shouldn't clip puppy fact I've heard that its best to get them used to clippers early if you plan to groom them like that later on because it helps desensitize them.  

    I'm not very knowledgeable about curly puppy coats but I've seen plenty of clipped pups whose adult coats seem to have turned out just fine.

    If you are unsure about the clipping you could get a scissor cut instead.  More expensive but may be a good option.  The option I choose is to just go to town with scissors myself but I know that isn't for everyone :p

    • Thanks. I have never had a non shedding breed before and I don't know anyone with a doodle to ask. I am just concerned about this transition and if clipping early affects how well the puppy coat sheds out. I am not worried about him around clippers since I started working with him as soon as he came home and I regularly clip his paws and potty areas. When he see me getting the folding table out he tries to jump up there on his own because he knows he gets treats haha.

  • I'm not sure what research says to wait as long as possible before doing a full grooming, but there's absolutely no basis for that, at least not from a physiological standpoint. It's important that puppies with non-shedding orPoodle-like coats be groomed often and as early as possible. 

    However, shorter coats don't keep them any cooler than long coats, despite what many people believe. Dogs don't sweat, and their bodies aren't cooled through their skin, like ours. Their coats act as insulation against both cold and heat.

    That said, you must keep them thoroughly brushed and combed to the skin in order for them to be comfortable. Matted fur near the skin will cause them to be feel hot, along with other unpleasant issues. Have you been keeping up with brushing? Can you get a comb through your pup's coat easily? If not, that could be the reason he seems hot. But dogs run hotter than we do, and it's not unusual for many of our dogs to prefer sleeping on a cool tile floor'

    At six months, your pup does need a full grooming. That will not affect his puppy coat or his adult coat in any way. And if he is going through the coat change, chances are he's pretty matted near the skin. 



  • I've heard people say this before - that you should wait a certain amount of time before grooming a puppy and as far as I can tell it's a myth - at least with a doodle. I think this comes from, and correct me if I'm wrong, there are double coated dogs that you're not supposed to shave because it messes up their coat. I would have to do a little more googling but I think it has to do with removing the guard hairs of the outer coat and it takes a long time for the guard hairs to grow back. I remember having a conversation about shaving a Sheltie once and it was impressed upon me that you should never ever shave a sheltie. But the doodle coat that we're talking about needing to be cut every 6 weeks is different. I don't think that cutting that type of hair in any way impacts the overall quality of the coat. People start grooming poodles before they even leave their mom. Almost everything I've read says that the sooner you get them started and used to routine grooming the better it is. 

    • You're right. 
      I know that wire coated breeds like Schnauzers should never have their coats shaved because it supposedly ruins the texture of the coat (makes it too soft), they ideally need to be hand stripped. 
      But Poodles and related breeds need grooming from a very early age. Good Poodle breeders start shaving feet & faces at 4-5 weeks. When you have a breed that is going to need a lot of brushing, combing, ear cleaning, and overall grooming for its entire life, you need to get them used to all that from an early age. It's astounding to me how many non-shedding dogs have to be muzzled at the groomer's. 
      My DD was brushing Jasper the other night while she watched TV, and he fell asleep. I said a silent "thank you" to his breeder, lol. 

      • I think it's a common misconception of doodle people - they don't like the look of a clean face, and they see these 4 week old puppies and don't realize that the breeder is shaving them. They're really doing us a huge favor by getting them ready for a lifetime of grooming. It would be good to remind people that poodle faces don't grow that way by themselves.

        I'm watching a youtube video of a groomer shaving down a standard poodle. Her hair was relatively short, but the dog was still matted. They have to be brushed. Even if they're kept short they need to be brushed regularly so their coat doesn't pelt. Willow is really long right now, and I brush her almost daily but I still struggle with behind her ears. It's just hard to get in there and she's wiggly. I'm waiting for my grooming tools to get here and I'm going to try to take her down to 1" (that's why I'm watching grooming videos) I think her coat is lower maintenance than Maggie's, but I think there are very few doodles who have truly low maintenance coats. There might be a few, but for the most part they all need consistent work.

        • Jackdoodle was about as low maintenance as they get. He had the furnishings and the adorable Disney dog look but he never matted, never needed a haircut, and could be brushed out in 10 minutes or less. If only he didn't shed like a german Shepherd, he would have the ideal coat. 

          • I can tell from the pictures that his coat was different than my girls. None of them really shed and it's so thick. Ava shed some and she was a little easier. She never got a haircut. Just her face trimmed up. I would like the hair on Willow's head to part in the middle and lay like Ava's did, but it just doesn't do that. It just seems to get taller.

            • I would LOVE to find a dog with a coat like Moxie's.  He had a lot of hair so in that sense it was thick, but it separated easily, on his body at least.  It wasn't the kind that was going to matt an hour after brushing. it really stayed separated, you could easily see his skin.  His top of head hair was so silky and shiny and bouncy and also had an easily separateable quality. 

              I wish I knew how to spot a coat in a puppy that would turn into a coat like his.  

              • So he had a single coat then?

                Riley's top coat sounds like what you describe and doesn't mat.  Her undercoat is a different story, very dense and mats easily especially when wet... but it's really not *that* bad as far as matting goes.  It's mostly just her tummy and joint areas that are prone to it.

                Looking at Moxie's pictures his coat looks a lot like Riley's.  If her coat were shorter maybe it would behave more like Moxie's but we just love it long.


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