Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum

My F1b mini golden doodle definitely has a poodle coat and I am really having a hard time with her coat. She is 21 months and seems to be getting harder to keep combed out or maybe it’s just the humidity making it harder. I have read so many comments as to which type of shampoos and conditioners to use in between grooming appointments. She has to be bathed frequently because she is a therapy dog and visits weekly but she I s also a country dog who loves to swim in the pool and jump in the pond. I’ve been using  4 legged dog shampoo with aloe Vera and lemongrass and Bodhi Dog conditioner with aloe Vera and jojoba oil. I even made a natural detangler with rosemary water and coconut oil/aloe Vera. I’m wondering now if I need to quit focusing on the all natural products. I’ve read some people using human shampoo but need to make sure it is alkaline. Then I read someone said the make sure it is below 4 ph which is acidic!  I’m really confused on what to do!  I could give her a REALLY short summer cut but I want her to look cute and fluffy for visits!  Any comments or suggestions?

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Never use human hair products on dogs. This article was recently posted in the Grooming Group (where you might get some good suggestions on what you should use.)

Maggie has a really challenging coat. The groomer said so. Or she was just trying to make me feel better about my grooming incompetence... But she told me not to condition when I bathe her between grooming appointments. She said the conditioner just made it worse. 

I keep them short in the summer. Not bald, but probably a half inch. When they're consistently getting wet and muddy during the summer I can't figure out how to keep them clean and brushed out when they're long. People still think they're adorable, and we focus more on long and fluffy in the winter.

I'm planning on a shorter cut with her next appointment but I can't cut her hair on and around her ears much shorter and that's where the biggest challenge is. Also, I wonder why conditioning between grooming makes it worse? I'll definitely ask when she goes. Thanks for the tip!

I think.... and I'm definitely not a groomer, but the impression that I got was that the conditioner leaves residue that attracts dirt and then just makes the tangling worse later. I know that dogs with allergies aren't supposed to use conditioner either, and I think it's for the same reasons. The allergens are attracted to the conditioner and it makes things worse. 

This time I have resolved to brush/comb ears/head/tail daily. Maggie especially hates having her tail combed, but I feel like the more I comb her when she doesn't have tangles the better it will ultimately be. 


You're correct about the allergies...the conditioners cause pollens to cling to the coat, along with dirt, dust, etc and that all gets brought into the house, (and subsequently the beds, furniture, carpets, etc) which exacerbates allergy symptoms for anyone in the house who suffers from pollen, dust or mold allergies. 

I too have decided to brush/comb her ears/head/tail daily. I've spent probably an hour on each ear yesterday and today. I'm separating her hair into layers as I've seen long wavy coats being groomed. I feel bad that I've not been doing it right. But I'm learning. She is so patient, but she also knows she is getting a treat afterwards....Which she deserves! So when she jumps in the pool, the groomer told me to rinse her and apply conditioner. Should I just rinse her only? I have to bath her every monday because of her scheduled therapy work.
Update....I took sky to her groomer and she agreed about not using conditioner in between grooming appointments. She also said rinse with clear water only, no conditioner when she goes swimming until her weekly bath.

Thanks for the update! I always find grooming hints helpful. I can barely do my own hair, but I do my best to keep the girls looking good.

Me too, Stacy!

It helps to pre-dilute the shampoo and conditioners. Be sure to use dog-appropriate products. This enables you to use less and rinse more thoroughly. I like Cowboy Magic products. Get tangles out before washing and don’t rub too briskly when drying. 

I have not been combing her out before her bath so that is probably a big factor. No one told me but my common sense should have kicked in on that one!

Dinah (17 mo) and I are struggling along with you.  I recently had an aha moment when I decided to brush her while she waited at the back door to go out in the yard to play frisbee.  It has an even stronger appeal for her than a treat.  I'm doing an "all over" light brushing with a human round tipped tine brush 3x a day (because that's how often we play). She wiggles when I do the legs, but I'm hoping just the routine will get the leg touching to be no big deal.  I realize it's not a deep brushing, but she likes it more than anything that really pulls.  She's pretty tender.

I can't be certain, but I think these guys have a heavier shed in spring and fall like I do!  That's why she goes from no mats to super mats so quickly.  Also the rain coat (worn a lot this spring) is a mixed blessing as it causes trouble where it rubs.  So having deeper brushing once a week will alert me to when this happens.

Her puppy coat was beautiful and a lot easier to take care of with no matting.  I was sooo happy, only to later get the more difficult coat that even Cowboy Magic can't touch.  So you see why I perked up when you asked for advice on possible conditioners, especially after swimming.  How do you folks with chlorine in your pools deal with the drying out from chlorine?  I've already learned the Potomac has a way of promoting itchyness after a swim (she jumped off the kayak).  Well, this is a bit longer than I expected, but it has definitely cleared my thinking as to what I want to do next.  I'm going to find a mountain lake!



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