Poodle mixed breeds have become super popular this last few years; the obvious reason being they are adorable little balls of fluff! Another factor that weighs in massively when people choose to have a poodle mix is that they don’t shed their coat at all. This is hugely appealing of course; not having to hoover up after them every day is definitely a plus! However, they may not moult at all but that doesn’t mean their coat is an easy one to maintain.
I have been told by a few of my customers that the breeder said to them as they were picking out their new puppy ‘Oh you needn’t get them groomed until at least a year old! This is the beauty of the breed, you hardly ever need to get them groomed!’
Now I’m not about to bash the breeder here and say they know nothing at all, but telling new owners of a poodle mix something like that is really irresponsible. They are effectively setting you up for a huge shock when you eventually do book in with a groomer, and are told that the poor dog is matted to the skin and will need to have their entire coat clipped off.
This will be upsetting for both you and the dog, as your cuddly bear will end up looking completely different for a few months whilst it grows back and also that is not a very nice first experience of grooming for your dog to go through at such an early stage in their lives. Clipping off felted matts can result in the dog’s skin becoming irritated, sore and itchy.
So, how can you start off on the right track with your new puppy? One of the very first things you can do as an owner is get your dog used to being brushed, even if you just lightly skim it over their bodies – not actually thoroughly brushing but getting them used to the sensation even when they are tiny babies. As they get a bit older (15 weeks +) you can start bringing them to Puppy Pampers at Hello Pets. It is an hour long session which involves a gentle bath in puppy shampoo, towel dry and cuddles basically! It’s all about getting them acquainted with being high up on the grooming table, showing them the sounds and feel of the various equipment, and most importantly giving the groomer chance to gain the dogs trust – assure them that there is nothing to be scared of. If you do own a poodle cross breed, they will have a lifetime of regular grooming ahead of them, so these early sessions are absolutely vital. A Puppy Pamper session is £7.50 and you get your second one free! You can come as many times as you like, each time getting every other visit for free. They will also receive a certificate of achievement for completing their first ever grooming session (it is a big deal!) and a bag of puppy treats to take away with them.
Poodle mixes such as Cockapoos, Labradoodles, Yorkipoos etc need to be professionally groomed every 4-8 weeks (dependant on how long you have the coat). This applies to other mixes too such as Cavachons, Shichons etc. Regular grooming at home is also hugely important, brushing out their coats thoroughly every day (using a Slicker Brush) getting right down to the skin – not just skimming along the top of the coat, will prevent knots from turning into solid, thick matts.
If you’re finding your dog is very fidgety during a brush out session, or is beginning to particularly hate the whole thing, it’s important to turn that thought process around and make them actually enjoy it. General positive reinforcement training (like you will have been doing when potty training your pup) is all it takes. If they sit still and allow you to brush for a few minutes, give them lots of praise and a tasty treat, this will hopefully make them even look forward to their daily groom!
I understand life can get in the way of making time to groom your dog every single day, that’s why we offer a quick bath and brush out service at Hello Pets. Price is dependent on the size of the dog of course, but we make it as affordable as possible to help you maintain the quality of your dog’s lovely coat. This is appealing to lots of our customers as they can relax knowing that they are keeping on top of it all and not letting knots the build-up.
Lastly, don’t feel overwhelmed! Managing a coat like this is very doable and once you get into the routine (whether you are brushing at home or bringing them into us between appointments) it will all fall in to place. And most importantly, I don’t want you to feel like you can’t let your dog in the sea or on the beach because you don’t want them to get all knotted up – you’ve got to let them be dogs and have fun! But just be aware that ignoring their coats and letting them become matted will only result in an uncomfortable clipping off session for the dog, and a few weeks of you looking at them and thinking that they’re bald!
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me (Kirsty) or another member of the Hello Pets team if you have any more questions. Thanks for reading!