All About The Coat
Coat Care & Grooming
by Stacy Tejel
Is there really such a thing as a dog that doesn't shed? The honest, and correct answer is, "No." However, there are dogs that have fur that is more like hair which means that when they do shed, we really don't notice it at all. It's kind of like human hair, we brush our hair and some might come of in the brush, or you might find a few strands of your long hair in the sink or shower once in a while but you certainly don't sit on the couch and get up with hair all over your clothes. Poodles have this kind of coat, so you will not have to worry about finding hair all over your furniture, house, or anywhere else. When we breed Poodles to dogs that do shed more frequently what we are trying to do is to reduce the shedding and get the coat to be more like the Poodle coat which, in essence, is non-shedding.
Hypoallergenic does not mean allergy-proof. No dog is allergy-proof. What it does mean is that a hypoallergenic dog is less likely to cause allergies or causes less allergic reactions. The dog fur or hair is not what causes allergies in the first place, it is the proteins the dogs carry in their saliva and urine that bring on the allergic reactions humans have to them. What happens when you have a low or non-shedding dog is that it will transmit less allergens because the proteins that would normally be released in the fur that is shed and spread everywhere, does not occur in the low or non-shedding dog breeds.
What all of this equates to is that Doodle Dogs fall squarely in the hypoallergenic, non or low-shed category of canines. Therefore, if you or anyone in your family suffer from dog allergies it is very likely that you may be able to have a Doodle Dog in your future!
Ears, Paws & "Potty"
Keeping these three areas clean is critical. You need to make sure there is no excess hair around the eyes that might poke or irritate the eye. The paws of Doodle Dogs can grow lots of hair between the feet pads and you want to keep those trimmed up too so that moisture and dirt are not trapped, creating an infection.
Likewise, the ears need to be kept clean and hair plucked. Ears need to be kept as dry as possible and plucking hairs out of the ear canal should occur every 6 to 8 weeks. If you take your dog to a groomer this is part of their job so be sure and ask if they do this. It is mildly uncomfortable for the dog but they toughen up. If you use powder in the canal first, it will be easier to pluck the hair. After plucking, clean the ear with a soft cotton ball and, if it looks dirty you may use some ear cleaner and a cotton ball and Q-tip. Don't worry, the ear canal is "L" shape with the ear drum at the very end of the curve. Unless you use a curved cleaning tool you won't be in danger of hitting the ear drum. You definitely want to avoid doing so, but the shape of the canine ear makes this extremely unlikely. Check the ears periodically for dampness and dry them out, especially after each bath.
"Potty" areas need to be washed in between baths if the areas seem particularly crusty and gross, otherwise, wash when the regular bath day comes. You will also need to keep the hair trimmed short around the "potty" areas so as to avoid unpleasant smells, infections, or filth.
Doodle Dogs come in a variety of coat colors and textures. Bernese Mountain Dogs are a double coated breed and can have straight or wavy fur. They have a flatter, straighter coat while the Poodle has a curly coat that, depending on the dog, can have curls that range from very tight and compact to looser curls. Poodles are not a double coated breed.
You will need to pay attention to coat type more than which breed you have. If your Doodle has a coat that is wavy and fluffy, with more of an undercoat like the Bernese Mountain dog, then you will be able to brush your dog a few times a week, maybe even once a week, and keep the coat looking nice and not matted. Of course, you will be able to evaluate how quickly the coat tangles between brushings and adjust your grooming schedule as needed.
If your Doodle has a curlier coat you will need to brush more often. However, if you choose, you can also allow your Doodle hair to be "au naturel." In this case you would bathe as usual; however, you must pay attention when you pet your Doodle to make sure there are no heavily matted areas that need to be picked out, keep eyes trimmed so no hair is bugging them, and keep paws and potty areas trimmed, as well as checking ears. Other than that, you would not need to do anything else in between shaving time. Of course, you need to keep a close eye on the coat in case there are any problem areas with matting and attend to them accordingly. And you would be shaving your dog down to the skin every 8 weeks or so depending on how fast the coat grows.
Do not bathe your Doodle too often. All canines have natural oils and that protect their skin and coats, bathing too often can disrupt the natural balance of these oils and lead to skin irritation and can in some cases, cause your dog to smell worse. Of course, if your dog gets dirty between bathing you can always spot bathe, and just get the dirt and unwanted substance out of that area of fur by bathing carefully so as not to wash the entire dog. Bathing twice a month is a good goal; however, you may need to bathe once a week depending on how dirty your pet gets. Try to avoid bathing any more often than once a week because it can lead to issues with your Doodle's skin and natural oils.
Your Mt. Rainier Doodle Dog will come with its Dew Claws removed but you will still need to check its nails every 3 to 4 weeks. Depending on how often they are outside and what kind of terrain they play in you may not always need to trim them as often. You can also have your groomer trim them at each grooming or you can clip the tips off yourself when they start to curl over a bit at the ends. It is easier to clip a tiny bit often, than to try and clip a lot because you didn't keep up on it. There is a vein in the nail and if you cut too close it will hurt a little and bleed a lot. If you do cut a bit too close use styptic powder and cake it on thick, then hold the nail for a few minutes. Monitor the nail to make sure it doesn't continue to bleed. If it continues to bleed, repeat this process and head to your veterinarian.
The information contained in this website is solely for informational purposes, and DOES NOT replace licensed professional veterinary care. The information contained within this pamphlet or on our website is subject to interpretation and an evaluation of an animal's medical condition should be performed by a trained professional before any medical decisions are implemented. We shall not be liable to any person whatsoever for any damages, or equivalencies, or by reason of any misstatement or error, negligent or otherwise obtained in any communication from Mr. Rainier Doodle Dogs.