Although a doodle can have one of a range of coat types, the desired length is 4 to 6 inches. She has a single coat with hair ranging from straight to loose curls. The curls shouldn’t be tight and the coat shouldn’t be thick or fluffy.
There are three types of texture:
- The Hair coat, which is similar to fur in shedding breeds, is the least popular. Hair coats shed and usually have a normal doggy odor. This coat is seen in first generations, although breeders try to avoid it.
- The second texture, called a Wool coat, is dense and similar in feel to a lamb’s wool, hence its descriptive name. Wool coats hang in loose curls and aren’t dense. Generally, the Wool coat doesn’t have a “doggy” odor and it’s usually nonshedding.
- The Fleece coat has a silky texture often described as an Angora goat texture. This coat ranges from straight to wavy.
Doodles are considered to be non- to low shedders, especially those with a Fleece or Wool coat. Hair coats tend to shed just as they do in other breeds, ranging from very low to average shedding.
The Doodle comes in a wide variety of colors. These can be gold, apricot, caramel, chalk (a chalky white), black, red, café, cream, silver, chocolate, parchment, and blue. They can also have parti-colored coats, which consist of brindles, phantom, patched, or sable colors.
Grooming requirements vary depending on the length and type of coat the dog has. Generally speaking, you can expect to brush a Doodle about once or twice per week. Some can be clipped or trimmed every six to eight weeks to keep the coat easy to maintain. A Doodle should only be bathed when necessary–which isn’t often, as many of the coats don’t have a noticeable doggy odor.
Like Labs, and poodles a doodles can be prone to ear infections, so take a little extra time caring for their ears. Dry and clean them after a swim, and check them once a week for dirt, redness, or a bad odor that can indicate an infection. Then wipe them out weekly with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to prevent problems.
Brush your Labradoodle’s teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.
Trim nails once or twice a month if your dog doesn’t wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they’re too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding–and your dog may not cooperate the next time she sees the nail clippers come out. So, if you’re not experienced trimming dog nails, ask a vet or groomer for pointers.
Begin accustoming your dog to being brushed and examined when she’s a puppy. Handle her paws frequently–dogs are touchy about their feet–and look inside her mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you’ll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he’s an adult.
As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.