How to Groom a Long Fleece Coated Labradoodle

Deciding to keep your Labradoodle coat long is a big commitment in both time and money, if you do it yourself.


  1. 1
    Hopefully you've conditioned your Doodle from puppy-hood to enjoy being brushed. Always make it pleasant by providing treats as you work. Work slowly, a thorough grooming takes about 2 to 3 hours. A nice brushing from skin outward is done every other day.
    • There are many long coated Doodles who look gorgeous and the coat flows when they run, however, it's what's underneath that counts. Long top coats hide mats. If your Doodle is matted right to the skin, shaving is the only salvation.
  2. 2
    Work in sections and hold the coat up and use whatever tool you prefer to brush/comb downwards until that section is clear of snags and mats. If you encounter a mat, use blunt tipped scissors, gently pinch the skin and cut from the skin, outward through the mat. Test that area with a comb and gently work out the chunks of mats. When you see the little snarly things left over, use the Les Pooches brush over them and they'll disappear like magic. Run your fingers through the area from the skin outwards. Don't use talcum powder as it can get into their lungs (and yours) and cause serious problems. Cowboy Magic makes a Detangler Gel that you can rub into a difficult mat and it really does work!
  3. 3
    Continue with the sections, until the entire body is done. With the tail, hold the bone of the tail and work carefully since this area is sensitive, and more so to some dogs.
  4. 4
    Work on each leg down to the foot area. Behind each front leg, between the elbow and paw is a pad that is often not noticed and is VERY sensitive. Put your finger or thumb on it while you brush over it.
  5. 5
    For the feet, this is where the scissors and clippers come out. It's more comfortable by this time to ask your dog to lie on her side. Use a knee high stocking with the foot cut out, to hold back the coat while you work on her feet. Shave them carefully and between the paw pads and around each nail. Then sand her nails, coat them with Nail and Hoof Lacquer then condition her paw pads.
  6. 6
    Do the face, last. You can make the muzzle and beard the same length or let it grow longer than it currently is and then shape it to your liking. You can chop the muzzle very even and one length, or comb the side of the muzzle forward toward the nose, and carefully cut it in a rounded shape from the nose backwards. Then bring a further back portion of the muzzle hair forward and do the same. Anything that looks choppy, even it up with thinning shears. Across the bridge of the nose, bring the coat straight up, and use the thinning shears and let it fall.
  7. 7
    Do the head in sections depending on the way the coat falls naturally. Bring up thin sections between your two fingers and trim with thinning shears. Around the eyes, work with 5.5" scissors at a diagonal angle AWAY from her eyes. You need good eye contact for training but you may not care for the 'umbrella' or 'veranda' look, with the area above the eyes trimmed in a concave curve.
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    Ears: Shave the inner ear flap and outward toward the edges of the ear leather to thin out some coat. This allows for more airflow underneath the ears, helping to prevent moisture buildup and ear infections.
  9. 9
    Let her go and have a good shake, rub against the couch and during the day, you might notice areas that need a touch up.


  • If you bring your dog to a professional groomer, collect pictures of coats that you like. Ask questions of friends who have Doodles cuts that you like. Even so, bring along a side view photo of YOUR Doodle, face shot, feet, etc and use a black Sharpie pen to outline the 'shape' you want to maintain. Explain in writing and discuss, face to face with the groomer. Ask if they have a lot of Doodle clients. Remind them verbally and in writing what you expect and provide them with a phone number and to call you BEFORE they start chopping or shaving.
  • Clean ears once a week or as needed. Learn to know the healthy smell of your Doodle's ears and smell them every day. An ear infection can come on before you know it. Soak a cotton ball in ZAP and stick it far down the ear canal. Using your hand at the base of the ear bulb, massage for about 45 seconds and can hear a squish squish sound. Shake out the cotton ball and then I continue to use dampened (ZAP), make-up pads around your finger and use a fresh one each time until it comes out clean. If there are any little nooks and crannies with wax, use long medical grade Q-Tips (CAREFULLY). You must train and KNOW that your dog will be very still for this procedure. Never put a cotton swab into the ear canal. A perforated eardrum is worse than childbirth! Finally, a Stri-Dex medicated pad (alcohol free) pad is used to clean out the ear area one more time. You can pin the ear up on the head to let it dry out, or give her a blast of R7 Powder in the ear. Shave the inner ear flap and around the ear opening and only about 1" below the ear opening. It's a personal preference not to shave a channel from ear to ear under the chin for air flow. It might not be necessary.
  • As the quick grows, if you keep up at shortening the nail, the quick will recede etc. A short, rounded, smooth nail is ideal. You may want to try the "PetiCure" which is basically a tricked out Dremel Drill with a dust guard over the grinding wheel. To introduce your Doodle to this tool, rub some peanut butter on it (turned off) and let her sniff and lick off the peanut butter. While feeding her some little pieces of cheese, turn the drill on to the lowest setting and lay the handle against her side so she can feel the vibration. IF SHE SHOULD PROTEST: STOP. Keep introducing it while it's off. Additionally, use a human nail file after the Peticure, filing each nail until the tips are rounded and very smooth. Be extremely gentle. Then coat each nail with "Nail and Hoof Lacquer". If your dog has had torn or irritated paw pads in the past, rub Shaw's Paw Wax on her feet regularly. It protects the pads and helps with traction on smooth floors.

Things You'll Need

  • Chris Christensen pin brushes
  • Les Pooches (green, both a wide and a narrow one) with bent bristles on both sides
  • Rotating tooth combs
  • CC Butter Comb...your 'final test' comb. When that comb goes through the coat with no 'clicks', meaning you hit a snarl, that area of the coat is pronounced 'done'
  • Mars Coat King mat strippers (size 6)
  • CC Scissors: 1. 8" shears; 2. 5.5" shears with filtered tips; *3. Thinning shears
  • Double Duck 4" blunt tip scissors
  • Shears are Andis AGCL Ultra Speed. The "L" means it has a light and if you've never used clippers with a light
  • Blades in sizes: 7FC; 10; 15; 5/8" wide for paws and have two of each. Try Ceramic blades. After use, use canned air and or your vacuum cleaner to get the hair out, then immerse the blade, while attached and running, in liquid "Extend A Life" clipper blade cleaner. Each blade used, is then wiped with small pieces of Sham Wows
  • small pair of Andis clippers with a 1" wide blade for ears and paws

Article Info

Categories: Dog Grooming