Labradoodle & Goldendoodle Forum
It sounds like you're doing a good job getting her used to grooming. I waited until Katie was 8 months old to go to the groomer and it was a mistake. She was something of a wild child. I don't regret leaving her hair long, but I wish I had taken her in so they could bathe, blow-dry, and maybe trim her a little before that. I think how you get it groomed is a matter of personal preference. Look at lots of pictures and take in your favorite to see if it's possible. I feel like sometimes the hair the dog has doesn't lend itself to all haircuts, but a groomer should be the one who knows these things.
I'm sort of waiting to see how Riley's coat ends up before taking her to a groomer. I always groomed Luna myself (she was a flat coat so just nails, sanitary, tail, bum and paw scissor cuts plus de-shedding). I'm trying to figure out if I ever want to have Riley shaved or just stick to scissor cutting which I can do myself. I can do the shaving too if I buy clippers which I would since grooming a large doodle is about half the price of a pair of clippers!
In the meantime I'm doing regular brushing, nail trimming, ear cleaning and minor spot trimming to get her used to it.
If her coat ends up being really tricky I might take her to the groomer once a year then do my own maintenance in between.
We got Ned at 4 months and had him groomed pretty quickly. My groomer, who is wonderful, shaved the hair between the eyes at Ned's first hair cut. On the left is the day we got him. You can see that the groomer didn't do much at 4 months (below R) but she did shave the area between his eyes (didn't know that wasn't a doodle thing).
2nd haircut 5 1/2 months (below L). Notice that shaved between the eyes part is still growing out. Then his 3rd haircut at about 8 months (below R).
4th haircut was when he was 11 months old. You can see the gradual shaping of his coat over the months. He started matting at about 9 months. Ned has only ever had scissor cuts.
I never think of Ned as curly but in actuality his coat is very much like my son's poodle. So.... that must be curly. Scissoring curlier is easier than straight.