Melorich Australian Multigenerational Labradoodles

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GROOMING

COAT CARE-This breed is HIGH MAINTENANCE!

It is very important that your Australian Labradoodle be professionally groomed every 4-6 weeks.  The longer the coat the more often grooming is needed.  No one likes a dirty, matted, labradoodle.  It is uncomfortable for your labradoodle and worse on the groomer.   If your Labradoodle is not groomed regularly, it can become hard to work with.   Having your labradoodle professionally groomed does not mean that you do not need to brush daily!   Because our Labradoodles DO NOT SHED,  their undercoats will mat quickly.  it is the daily brushing that removed the dead undercoat thus effectively shedding the coat.  Your pup, if started young, will learn to love brushing and grooming if a gentle hand is used.   They tend to show off when well groomed.  We start grooming our  Labradoodles at 8 to 12 weeks, please try to keep it up. Here is what one of the breeds founders has to say on the subject:

All dogs go through a coat change from their puppy coat to their adult coat.   This change occurs at different ages from breed to breed and amongst individuals within a breed.    Ordinary dogs, which shed, lose a lot of their puppy coat by themselves, (usually all over your clothes and furniture!)  and unless there is a long period of neglect, do not mat.  Regular brushing  keeps this under control.

 

On the other hand, dogs which do not shed, have no way of ridding themselves of their puppy coat, to allow the adult coat to grow through.  This means that if the puppy coat is not stripped out with vigorous brushing using a good slicker brush,  Les Poochs Brush is recommended   thinning scissors, or razor comb, it will tangle with the new adult coat coming through from the follicle and this is what produces the matting.

 

The most common mistake made when grooming is to brush over the top but not get in underneath and close to the skin.  It can be quite a shock to discover that although your dog looks beautiful 'on top'  underneath there is a whole nest of matting  you haven't seen. 

Below are some photos which show how the coat looks when it has been thoroughly brushed.  Although it 'poofs' up and looks very fluffy, a light spraying with water will settle it right back down into its tendrils.    If you brush thoroughly first you will save the groomer a lot of time and yourself a lot of money.  Your Doodle is also more likely to come back looking beautiful instead of shaved like a rabbit!  Most busy groomers take the quicker way out and go for the clippers when it is may not always be necessary if you've done your own homework first.  Always brush 'layer by layer'  don't just skim over the top with the brush.

Clipping Tip:  If the coat is already matted, use a size 15 blade which will slide in underneath the mats.  The coat may look quite short for awhile but will soon grow back some length and look like a soft wooly lamb.  If there are no mats, then groom thoroughly with a slicker brush and if there are no knots left, use a size 5 or a size 7 blade which will leave a soft fluffy coat with a little more length.

Short coated dogs are brushed effectively by running the brush over the top of the coat.  But long coated dogs need to have their coats brushed layer - by - individual layer.  Mats begin at the skin, so even if the ends of the coat are brushed, this will not prevent mats from happening unless the underneath is brushed as well.  Brush against the lay of the coat first and then layer by layer in the direction it grows.  It's really very easy once you see how!   Many owners are shocked when they part the coat to discover a lacework of mats which they think have appeared overnight.  They have actually been forming for quite some time, hidden away close to the skin where they can be missed if brushing doesn't open up the coat from the skin outwards.

Shedding coated dogs help the process by getting rid of a lot of their old coat which would otherwise Matt and knot, but non shedding coated dogs need your help by stripping out old or damaged coat, especially during the change from puppy to adult coat which happens any time between ten and fourteen months of age.  How long this change lasts depends on how thoroughly the stripping and grooming is done, more than the frequency with which it is done.

 


EYE CARE-
Some Australian Labradoodles have weepy eyes, a poodle trait that almost all poodles have.   The weepy eyes are due to the tear ducts being too small to accommodate the tears the eye produces.  There is a surgery that can correct this, but the cost is prohibitive.  Most people learn to live with it.  Cleaning is required to prevent fur staining and to keep odor down.  Cleaning also prevents eye infections like pink eye - conjunctivitis.  We recommend daily cleaning of the eyes with nonalcoholic free baby wipes, a wet cloth, or pet eye wipes.  there are lots of products out on the market that claim to reduce or eliminate the rust colored stains around the eyes.  I have yet to find one that works.  Many Australian Labradoodle breeders and owners swear that by feeding plain yogurt that these stains are lessened.  Most of the time it is the shaving of the face that removes the stains.  That is until the eye starts to weep again.  it seems to be an endless process. 

EAR CARE-
Ears need to be kept clean and free of hair.  If you detect foul odor from the ears this means TROUBLE!!!!  The hair needs to be plucked.  Make sure your groomer cares for the ears properly.  Be sure to keep water out of the ears when bathing your pet.  If you Australian Labradoodle scratches its ears a lot and cries then you may have a problem.  Always check the ears for Ticks and Mites.
Ear mites are microscopic pests that take up residence in your labradoodles ears.  the ears become inflamed, sore, and itchy.  You may see your labradoodle shaking his head a lot as well as the scratching.  This problem is very easy to pass from one labradoodle to another, but is also easy to clear up with insecticide ear drops.  If unsure whether your labradoodle has ear mites, check with your vet or groomer.  Ear mites can also be detected by swabbing the ear canal with a Q-tip (do not worry you ca not hit the ear drum) and then rubbing the swab on a piece of black paper.  the mites will appear as tiny white moving dots.  Do not panic!  You can obtain ear mite drops at most any store that carries labradoodle supplies.

TEETH -
Gum disease is a problem in all labradoodles.  All Australian Labradoodles are susceptible to gingivitis just like people.  The gums become ulcerated and inflamed.  This causes the gums to recede, bacterial infection, and bad breath.  To prevent this it is important to feed your labradoodle proper hard (not soft) labradoodle food, give toys for chewing (to aid in removing tarter build-up), and regular tooth brushing.  We have found that the battery powered tooth brushes for humans with soft to medium bristles work great on labradoodles.  DO NOT use human tooth paste - this is not made to swallow.  Use only labradoodle tooth paste.  You can find this at most store that carry pet supplies.  *REMEMBER* - The younger you start your puppy on a tooth brushing regime the easier it will be on both of you!
Please note: Most  of my  puppies have a habit of retaining their baby teeth.   The adult teeth typically erupt at 5-6 months.  If the baby teeth do not fall out by the time the adult teeth have fully come in, they need to be pulled, whether by you or your vet.  If not pulled they can become encrusted in plaque and rot.  They can also cause bad breath.  Also if the baby teeth are not pulled in a timely manner then the new adult teeth can be pushed out of alignment and cause bite problems in your puppy.  Please make sure that you remember to have these retained teeth pulled for both the sake of you and your new puppy.

ANAL HYGIENE -
Excessive licking or dragging of the hindquarters is a sign that your labradoodle’s anal glands are blocked and need to be expressed.  Please make sure that your groomer empties the
anal glands every grooming.  If not done the blockage can lead to infection.  Larger labradoodles usually can express their own anal glands and do not need to have this done.  This does not hurt your labradoodle.  but be sure to tell your groomer if your labradoodle has had a problem with his anal glands in the past or if you have had your labradoodles anal glands removed.

NAILS
Cutting the nails is very important.  If the nails are not cut, they can grow and curl around into the pads of the feet causing pain and sores.  It is also painful for your labradoodle to walk like this.  Long toe nails can be caught in fences or in carpet.  Please remember to tell your groomer if your labradoodle has dew claws.  These are thumb like nails higher up on the inside of the foot.  Most Australian Labradoodle have these.
 
TO BATHE OR NOT TO BATHE
 
It was once believed that labradoodles should be bathed only when dirty, but that was back when shampoos for labradoodles were much harsher than they are today.  If a gentle shampoo is used, a labradoodle can be bathed weekly without drying out its coat.  Frequent bathing can improve coat condition and ease the concern of parents whose kids enjoy sleeping with their labradoodles.
Brush your labradoodle thoroughly before bathing to remove dead hair and mats that will otherwise tangle when wet.  Gather everything you need for the bath - shampoo, towels, cotton balls to place in the ears so water will not run into them - then get your pup.  A walk-in shower is ideal for large breeds, but smaller labradoodles can be bathed in a large sink.  Bending over the tub can be backbreaking, but sometimes it is the only alternative.  Some labradoodles are bathed outside during warm weather, but it is best if you have access to warm water.
Place your pup in the tub (or wherever you are going to bathe him), and wet him to the skin with warm water.  (It is very important to rinse out every bit of soap.)  To help in combing out. Afterward, some people apply a small amount of conditioner, which is rinsed out as well.
Squeeze as much water as you can out of the coat, the absorb more water with a towel.  Brush your pup dry, using a blow dryer set on warm, gentle setting to speed the process.  Hold the dryer at least a foot away from your pup so you do not burn his skin.  Keep him in a warm place until he is completely dry.
 
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