This is our second installment of how to groom a Doodle at home. This month we will focus on the face. How to not only trim the face, but to also trim up pesky hairs in between groomings.
Eye fur seems to grow faster than almost any other part on the body. Before you know it, you can’t see their beautiful eyes & your grooming appointment isn’t for another 2-weeks! What you’ll want is blunt ended, curved scissor. If you are unsure what kind to purchase, you can see last months post on grooming supplies found here. You want to imagine there is an upside down “V” on the dogs face. The point of the V is above the eyes & between them. You want to cut along this V-access with the hair being cut at this angle. However, before trimming you’ll want to comb or brush that hair back along the face. As it lays back down then cut down these V-lines. When you cut along these lines you leave their beautiful eyelashes at a normal length while cleaning up their eyes & allowing them to see.
Australian Labradoodles are meant to look like a teddy bear. However, the ears can change the look of your Doodle if they aren’t shaped correctly. Long ears on a Doodle makes them look more like a Cocker Spaniel. Short puffy ears makes them look more like a Poodle. Shaved ears make them look more like a Lab. The first step you want to do is to brush the ear straight down. Then locate the ear leather with your fingers. Take your blunt end, straight scissors. You want to cut along the ear leather leaving about a half-inch between the hair & ear leather. Follow the shape of the ear leather for your cut all the way around. Then you’ll want to re-brush the ear back down. Then take your thinning shears & thin out the whole ear all around to add texture & shorten the length. If your Doodles ears are long when you started, then you may need to trim some of the higher up hair with your straight scissors to cut it shorter. Thinning shears will always help even out the ears & thin them so they aren’t so thick & bushy. Never shave your Doodles ears.
** Pro Tip ** Always flip the ear leather up & cut the inside of the ear. The inside of the ear leather can be shaved. This helps keep air flow to the ear canal & minimizes ear infections!
Beards can get long & can create a wet mess when your Australian Labradoodle goes to drink water. Beard length is based on comfort level. A true Teddy Bear look for the Australian Labradoodle is the beard still visible, but not long. Cutting all the way up to the chin is too short & leaving it long & growing more then about 2″ to 4″ is too long. When cutting the beard you want to comb from the top of the snout to the bottom of the beard. Make sure as you pass the bottom lip you push the comb or brush into the fur to ensure you get the fur under the chin. Do this to both sides straight down. You then want to take your straight line scissors and cut from front to back on each side in a straight line. To stay away from a “bob cut” look you want to angle your scissors with the outer edge being higher than the inside. After cutting both sides, take your thinning shears to thin out under the chin as well as along the cut line you just made. This will even out the cut line & thin out the beard area. You can also use the thinning shears on the muzzle area if your Doodle has thick fur there. Always make sure to check the muzzle & beard for mats.
4.) Top of Head
Brush from the eyes straight back to the back of the neck. After brushing, allow the hair to lay flat. Then use the rounded scissors to cut any stray long pieces on the top of the head. Then use thinning shears lightly to thin out & cut the top of the head. You never want to do straight cuts on the top of the head or the hair will be left too long, too short, or look funny. You also never want to shave the top of the head.
The head of an Australian Labradoodle is what makes the entire look. Their body can be cut to perfection, but a poorly shaped face can make a Doodle’s look change dramatically. Similarly, long haired Australian Labradoodles sometimes can be very cute, but remember…if you can’t see their eyes then they can’t see much either! So sometimes a quick eye trim is needed in between groomings to keep their beautiful faces visible.
Assistant Breeder/Lead Groomer
Mountain View Doodles