Saturday, June 19, 2010

Myth Busters: Goldendoodle Edition

Here's the Before & After for BeiBei's trip to the groomer to get a "summer cut".

Isn't it drastic!!!
Just kidding, you're not seeing things.  She is exactly the same, just a little cleaner and fluffier. 
Let me start from the beginning.  When we first got our goldendoodle, I asked our vet if she would need to be cut down for the summer.  He said that her fur insulates her from heat, and she won't need to be cut down at all.  I also read this on a website I found online.  So, Chris and I have been holding true to this philosophy and were committed to leaving her hair long for the summer.  (We think it's so cute, and it saves the cost of grooming!). 
But then everywhere I looked I kept seeing goldendoodles & labradoodles that were getting shaved down for the summer months.  One of our neighbors shaved theirs, and said she seemed so much happier.  Well, I started feeling guilty and started to question the wise advice of our vet.  So I made an appointment for her to be groomed.  I was so sad about having to get her cut down, and we were sad about the $90 it was going to cost us!  (See yesterday's post)
I reluctantly dropped her off at the groomer yesterday morning where she would stay all day.  
When I returned to pick her up after work, she had been shampood, conditioned, moisturized, blown dry, brushed, toenails clipped, teeth cleaned, ears cleaned...but not cut.  
They were running behind schedule and so they invited me back to watch her get trimmed.  When I went back, I started chatting with the groomer.  

 Here's how our conversation went:

ME:  I am so sad to get her cut!  I hate it, but she's been so hot, so I feel like I have to.

GROOMER:  Well, if you get her cut, she's gonna be even hotter.  She's cooler with her coat on.  It protects her from the heat.

ME:  Really?  Well, that's what my vet said, but everywhere I go I see doodles with summer haircuts.  Are you sure, cause she has been SO HOT outside!

GROOMER:  Well, of course she has.  It's really hot outside!  Aren't you hot too?

ME:  Well, yeah.  But all she does is pant!

GROOMER:  Yeah, dogs are gonna pant in the summer.  It's just what they do.  She's gonna be hot, but so is every dog.  She will be fine!  She's not gonna overheat.  As long as she has some shade she'll be fine. 
(I was thinking, okay I know I heard this from my vet.  But coming from someone who makes a living giving doggie haircuts, this MUST BE TRUE!)

ME:  Well, is she hotter than other dogs?  Is this breed just really not meant to be outside in hot weather. 

GROOMER:  No, she is fine!  She doesn't have a tight thick coat.  She has a light and airy coat.  It's totally different. 

ME:  Well...why are we cutting her then? 

GROOMER:  I don't know.  She looks good.  I can tell you brush her and take care of her.  The only reason to cut down a goldendoodle is if their fur gets matted, and she doesn't have any mats. 

ME:  Well...I guess, don't cut her!  Or just do the basic stuff to clean her up while we're here. 

They went ahead and trimmed around her eyes, sanitary grooming, trimmed between her paws (she slips and slides all over our hardwood floors), and shaved her belly down (which does help to keep her cool).  
They adjusted my bill from $90 to $45.  
It's hilarious to think, now, that we basically paid $50 for our dog to have a day at the DOGGIE SPA!  
Needless to say, she has never looked so glamorous!  
I decided to have a little photoshoot to make it all worthwhile.    
(Notice the panting...but don't be alarmed.)
(BTW, she has the longest tounge ever!)
Moral of the story:  Trust your vet.  A simple phone call to the breeder will likely suffice to get the info you need for your dog.  Doggie Spa days are an expensive way to get your info.

*The advice I recieved from the groomer was specific to goldendoodles, I don't know anything about other breeds or mixes. 

In the Birmingham, AL area I reccommend Doggie Styles groomers.  Their facility was clean and professional, the groomers were very nice, and they were honest with me about doing what was best for my dog!

Doggie Styles
195 West Valley Ave Ste 124
B'ham, AL 35209


  1. sara, she looks FABU! oh and so fluffy! do they do people hair too? liz

  2. What a beauty! I'm so glad she still has her amazing coat!! What a nice groomer!

  3. I'm so confused about this, too! Our Border Collie/Aussie is HOT. She really doesn't want to spend time outside unless we're going on a walk or throwing the ball. But then, neither do I! My mom has Aussies and always shaves them in the summer and they seem to love it. Dad's a vet and insists it won't hurt her, but lots of Border Collie people get all up in arms about shaving them. All I know is, girlfriend has A LOT of hair! I keep her pretty brushed, but sheesh. I've been thinking of just having her stomach done, so it's good to know that they will actually do that.

    Sorry for the crazy long comment! Your Bei Bei is a doll and I keep telling my husband that I want our next dog to be a Golden Doodle -- he's not yet convinced, sadly. Maybe they should meet :)

  4. I have a mini golden doodle, black/ I guess I don't have to shave him much happier.

  5. I'm so glad I stumbled across this blog! We have a doodle as well, Cooper, and he seems to be pretty warm but we love the way he looks with long hair! He's adorable, and I can't imagine having him shaved. I'm glad I read this before I took him to the vet and had them chop all his precious hair off!

  6. Thank you for this article. I am a new doggy parent to a 3 month old golden doodle. I was thinking I needed to shave him because of the heat and was sad to lose his fluffy coat! I do have a question, what brush do you use? I have a wire one and he Hates it.

  7. My wife and I are in the exact same situation with our goldendoodle, (who looks like an smaller replica of yours). Thanks for your advice and hilarious account of the conversation. We also have hardwoods, so did the foot hair trim help with the sliding? Don't get me wrong, we love watching him literally fall all over himself, but if it helps the little guy out, we'd be willing to deal.

  8. This is great! I just adopted a 5 month old goldendoodle that looks just like BeiBei. I was dreading the shaved look that I see on all these other goldendoodle sites. Yay for the long haired pup!

  9. She looks just like my Macy! I'm so glad I read this article - we have been going back and forth on shaving as we are getting ready for the summer heat... We do brush her daily and her hair is light and airy so there should be no reason to shave her down! We'll do the under belly and a good trimming :)

  10. Our mini Golden Doodle, Ranger, is 8 mos. old. I swear the dog in your pics is my dog, they look that much alike. Oh, and your "tongue" comments......well, we just share too much in common, here.
    We, too, are getting him groomed for the first time this Tuesday & I'm on the internet trying to find a decent pic to take to the groomer----and I'M SCARED! He's so absolutely adorable right now & I don't want him to come out looking like a poodle.
    I'm so glad I just read your blog. After reading, I'm not going to get as much trimmed/cut off of him. Knowing that his fur makes him no hotter than anyone else is good to know. We did keep up with his brushing better when his fur was shorter, though, and his underside has some matting on him so I do think a trip to the groomer is in order, regardless. He does get regular baths at home----I think I need to get a better shampoo that provides a bit more conditioning as I think that will help us at home with the matting issues going forward.
    Regarding his upcoming trip to the groomer, I just don't want to change his appearance so much so that he doesn't look like our Ranger any more. Thanks for all your info!

    1. Buy some mane and tail conditioner. You can apply it as a leave in to damp hair or I usually apply and do a quick rinse. I use it sparingly but it makes my boys fur so soft and I have yet to have mats. I don't brush him very often.

  11. I took my 7 month old goldendoodle Maddie to groomer yesterday and had her shaved down for summer. I thought I was doing the right thing, 90 dollars later I was so shocked. She looks exactly like a poodle. Everyone used to say she is so cute she looks just like a teddy bear. I wish I would have read your comments yesterday. I know I will never have her shaved like this again. I hope it grows back to her original look.

  12. I do get my Goldendoodle cut (not shaved!) just before the 4th of July each year The only reason I do it is because we live on a lake during the summer and he lives in the water. It takes forever for him to dry off and he does get a bit stinky. Otherwise he just gets a bath and a trim the rest of the year. I like the longer hair too and I know he does as well - He always seems sad when he gets a summer cut. Basically he gets the summer cut for my sake not his!



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