Families all over the world are falling in love with these shabby chic crossbreeds we collectively call “Oodles”. And how can you not! They are some of the most affectionate dogs, with many owners calling them”almost human.” With coats that can be anywhere from coarse and wiry to tightly curled, your imagination is endless with these charmingly fluffy dogs!
There’s a huge issue groomers have been facing ever since these breeds have reached popularity as low or non-shedding , hypoallergenic, low maintenance dogs with long locks for days… And that’s just it. The above statement is just not true. They are not an easy dog to maintain – in fact from dog to dog, their coats are all unique. Some are easier than others, but, all require consistent grooming for their coats to remain comfortable, matt free & hydrated. Just as any other breed needs.
Due to this misconception, many Oodle owners become frustrated with their groomers advising them that their beautiful ball of fluff is, in fact, matted beneath their fluff and must be shaved. Lucky for you, you’re reading up on how to prevent this from happening, so you can keep your Oodle as cuddly as you see fit.
Rant over! 🤭
So, how do you look after an Oodle’s coat?
Quite frankly, it depends on the type of coat your Oodle has, which, is not always easy to determine. It depends on the particular mix of breeds and their genetic traits. And then, of course, genetics from their Grand-Pups. ☺️ Determining the two breeds of which your dog consists of, can help give you an idea of the type of hair you might be dealing with. For example: if your Oodle is a mix with a Schnauzer, there’s a good chance they’ll have a more wiry texture.
Cavoodle – Cavalier x Poodle
Groodle – Golden Retriever x Poodle (AKA Golden Doodle in the USA)
Labradoodle – Labrador x Poodle
Schnoodle – Schnauzer x Poodle
Moodle – Maltese Terrier x Poodle
Spoodle – Cocker Spaniel x Poodle
Bernedoodle – Bernese Mountain Dog x Poodle
And many more…
And, any mention of Miniature or Toy Oodles means that they are crossed with Mini/Toy Poodles. However, their size would be very hard to ensure until many litters are consistently bred.
Every dog sheds hair and every dog, also, has its own hair life cycle. That is, from the time it grows to the time it falls out. The fact that Oodles are all mixed with Poodles (whose hair grows continuously and with a long growth cycle) means that many Oodles shed slower. Not less, slower. Their hair is often shed when it is already quite long and can become entangled with other long hairs if not removed. Oodles (& Poodles), thus require more help to remove dead/shedding hair than short-haired breeds whose hair sheds frequently and due to its length and density, simply falls off the dog. A Golden Retriever or German Shepherd who sheds ~twice a year has a slow hair growth cycle and will seasonally shed their undercoat, which, if not properly removed, would also become matted.
Fewf! That’s a lot of hairy words! 🙇🏻♀️
You also may have noticed, that means there is no such thing as non-shedding, hypoallergenic dogs?
Common Oodle Coat Types & How to Maintain Them
In general, a slicker brush/Acti-Vet Brush & comb is all that’s needed. Thoroughly brush and comb your dog twice a week all over and send them in for grooming every 4-6 weeks. If you’re clipping your dog yourself, invest in good gear and training. If your Oodle is well maintained, you can keep them longer by requesting a Hygiene Trim or a longer style with an all over clip. You’ll be able to have any length you like!
- Curly/Poodle Coat
– Brush daily with a slicker brush, finish by combing through the coat. Be careful here, if you’re not thoroughly brushing and combing right to the hairs roots, you’ll likely find that they’re matted underneath the top coat.
- Coarse/Wirey Hair
– Start with a Pin brush to remove knots and follow with a bristle brush to distribute the natural coat oils. Weekly brushing is usually enough.
- Wavey Hair
– Comb through the entire coat to remove tangles every couple of days and/or whenever you see or feel a knot forming. Do to the thin texture of this coat type, it can be hard to stay on top of the tangles.
Your dog may require more or less coat care. Start with daily brushing, if you aren’t finding any knots, you can leave it for another day. Although, it is easier the more often you do it.
Brushing a few minutes every day means that if you miss one spot today, you can get it the following day. This can work extremely well with dogs who don’t particularly like brushing.
Washing Your Oodle
Washing an Oodle with long hair must be done in a very particular way as to avoid creating or encouraging knots & tangles, frizzy hair and breakage. The same goes for most other long-haired breeds, however, Oodle coats are less forgiving…
- Lather the shampoo by massaging it through the coat right to the skin. Do not excessively scrub.
- You will need to lather up the dog’s face and muzzle to prevent or remove any tear or food staining as the hair is generally long on an Oodles face and can trap dirt.
- Don’t forget to wash their private parts! 😅
- When towel drying, do NOT vigorously rub dry your dog. Always, scrunch/dab/pat dry.
- If you choose to allow your dog to dry naturally, just note: the coat will be kinkier & harder to scissor evenly, if there is little sun/wind and it takes too long for the coat to dry naturally, the coat can develop a mouldy-wet dog smell, the coat may dry in strands or ‘stuck together’ making brushing more difficult.
- You must wait for your Oodle to be dry prior to any brushing.
- If using a pet drier, there are a few methods. 1 is fluff drying which involves brushing the coat out straight whilst drying the hair so that it stands out or down depending on the direction of the air flow. The other is to dry the dog with the drier nozzle only, using the air flow to lift and dry the coat – this can, however, result in ‘whip knots’*.
I personally use a mixture of these 2 methods. Semi-dry the dog**, spritz the coat with conditioning spray and/or lightly massage coat oil into the coat then continue to dry the dog whilst brushing.
- Only use conditioner on areas that are knotted and may require extra moisture to aid knot removal. Applying conditioner all over increases rinsing and drying time, it can cause excess grease and weighs down the coat. If your shampoo brand recommends using the matching conditioner there’s a good chance the shampoo will dry out the coat. A good shampoo will not strip the coat of natural oils.
*Whip knots are a type of knot caused by the air flow of the drier threading the hair into a loop. A bit like tying a knot in a piece of string.
** Spit Drying or Semi-Drying, is a quick way to rid the dogs coat of the excess water using a pet drier. Once the dog is no longer dripping wet you can begin to style the coat.
Speak with your groomer
If you have an Oodle that you like to keep in a long coat, it’ll be well worth it to have a good conversation with your groomer. They can show you the right tools for your Oodle, explain how to brush them properly and how to get those hard to reach spots. They may even advise some products for use at home to ease brushing and washing. Many groomers offer packages or plans for regular grooming. It’s usually a discounted rate for coming in frequently which makes the groomers job easier and it is easier on the dog.
After all, what’s an Oodle without their cute & cuddly hair-do? 😊