Our mini Goldendoodle girl, Lexie, is now four years old and one of the biggest differences between our prior Golden Retriever and our Goldendoodle is grooming. I have wasted so much money on brushes, detangler sprays, and other junk that just did not work that well. As a result of my experience and waste of money, I thought I would share with you what I have found works to prevent matting. I will also give you three dog brush recommendations you need to prevent your Goldendoodle from getting matted.
So, how do you prevent Goldendoodle matting? You brush them. You brush them a lot. You need to brush out tangles from the skin out to the tip of the hair. Many brushes only touch the outer surfaces of the hair and your dog might look nice, but still could have painful mats sitting close to the skin.
Why Do Dogs Get Matted Fur?
Goldendoodles have a topcoat and undercoat to their fur. A Mat in the fur occurs when the topcoat, undercoat and any lose hair get tangles up.
Sometimes mats occur near the collar where it is easy to trap moisture and there is frequent movement. Playing and wrestling with other pups and kids can cause hair to tangle too.
My Goldendoodle is a real water dog. She loves to swim and romp in the water which is a big cause of getting mats to form.
It does not require something as dramatic as swimming at the lake to cause mats to occur. Something as routine as going outside to go potty in the rain cans get mats started.
Even petting your dog can get mats started! The oils in our skin can stay on our dogs and it can start the process of a mat forming.
Before you get too stressed out and never want to pet your dog again, don’t worry. I’m going to tell you how to handle it. You just need to know what you are dealing with when it comes to matted fur on a dog.
Are Mats Painful For Dogs?
Yes, mats can be extremely painful for dogs. As a dog parent, you need to do everything you can to prevent mats before they form.
If a small mat is not properly addressed, it can turn a small issue into a much bigger one for your doodle.
Mats have the ability to lock down against a dog’s skin. With every move your dog makes these knots get tighter and harder.
If these mats are left untreated, they can be a great place for fleas and other unwanted parasites to hide and live. While nobody likes dealing with mats on a dog, a little preventative maintenance will go a long way in having a happy healthy Goldendoodle.
What Are Common Placed On A Dogs Where Fur Gets Matted?
Matting on a dog can occur anywhere fur grows, but these are some of the most common areas you should check your dog for matting:
- Behind the ears – This is one of the most common areas for fur to get matted. It can trap moisture, stay damp longer and it also a place that is frequently touched by humans so the oil from our skin can build up on the fur. Not to mention dogs will scratch their ears causing fur to get moved around often.
- Hips / Outer Thigs – My Goldendoodle almost always gets a mat on her hips or lower back legs. I don’t know if it’s from the way she sleeps or what, but this is a very popular place for mats to form.
- Sides Just Before The Stomach – Run your hand from your dogs hip along its side and down towards its stomach. You will probably feel a flap of loose skin where the side transitions into the belly area. This is a common area for matting.
- The Base of The Tail – Where the tail meets the body is another spot that you need to check for mats. This is an area that you can usually tell might be forming a mat based on the smoothness of the top coat. If your dog is licking or digging at its tale the moisture is likely to cause a mat.
- Joints and Arm Pits – Do dogs have armpits? Not sure what you would call them. LOL
With this said, my dog gets mats where her front arm pits rub her fur and it gets matted. This also hold true for the joints along her from and rear legs. I assume these areas get matted due to frequent moving and also the moisture from going outside to go potty. Regardless of the cause, these are areas you need to frequently check your dog for mats forming. They are also likely to be areas that would be painful for your dog if it gets a mat.
Should I give my dog a bath to help remove mats?
No, you should not bathe your dog if your dog has mats in their fur. If your pup already has mats, water will only make the problem worse. Mats can be painful to your Goldendoodle and you do not want to make the problem worse.
If you can get a comb or brush through your dogs fur without much issue, by all means, give your Doodle a bath.
How Should I Groom My Doodle To Prevent Matting?
Having a regular grooming schedule is critical to keeping your Goldendoodle mat free. With a doodle, an occasional bath and brush at home just does not cut it for preventing mats. How you have your dog groomed will impact how easily your pup gets mats.
Letting your Doodles hair grow long is absolutely adorable. It feels great to run your hands through their long-soft fur. Well, it feels great until you start feeling those terrible mats in your pups fur.
This is why many Doodle parents decide to have have their pups fur cut short during warm summer months. It allows for more frequent bathing, swimming and less matting.
Is A Longer or Shorter Grooming Cut Better For Preventing Mats?
So, Is A Longer or Shorter Grooming Cut Better For Preventing Mats? Shorter fur is much easier to keep mat free than longer fur. Longer fur requires much more effort on your part to keep your Doodle mat free.
How Often Should I Have My Goldendoodle Groomed?
In general, you should have your Goldendoodle groomed every four to six weeks. There are many factors that impact how often you have your doodle groomed.
I would suggest meeting with your groomer and setting a regular schedule. A groomer will go over your dogs fur and discuss what all needs to be done to keep fur in top condition.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself when determining how often your Goldendoodle will require professional grooming:
- How long (length) do you plan to keep your dogs fur? Longer fur requires more frequent grooming.
- Are you willing to brush your doodle frequently? Daily or frequent brushing will help prevent mats from forming and will allow you to stretch out the time between grooming sessions.
- Is your dog a water dog? Will you make frequent trips to a lake, pond, creek or ocean? If so, how do you plan to get rid of mats when your dog dries out from being in the water?
As we have discussed, mats can be painful for your dog. Now let’s discuss what you can do yourself (DIY) to prevent and remove mats from your dog’s fur.
What Can I Do At Home To Remove or Prevent Matted Fur?
Regular brushing of your dog’s fur is the greatest way to prevent matted fur from occurring.Unfortunately, there is a lot of advice on the internet that might work, but it will be really painful for your dog and not nearly as effective as what I am going to share with you.
I have found the combination of three different brushes to prevent, remove and eliminate matted fur on my Goldendoodle, and I think it will work for you too.
See Brush Recommendations below!
3 Dog Brushes You Must Own To Prevent Matted Dog Fur!
Most often, professional groomers will suggest a metal combo like this one. Buy on Amazon
From my experience, these combs work great in the hands of a professional groomer, but as a DIYer at home, it caused my Doodle to cryout when I tried to remove several small mats.
Using the metal comb made her not want to come near me when I had it in my hand.
As far as I am concerned, this brush is hands down the best brush for painlessly removing matted fur that I have ever seen!
#1 De-Matting Comb
As I said, this is hands down the best way to remove matted fur without making your dog cry in pain.
This is the de-matting comb I bought and recommend you try. I was really amazed at how cheap it was on Amazon. [Buy on Amazon]
Lexie, my Goldendoodle, is a bit of a wimp when it comes to grooming. She will whine just at the idea something may hurt. Once I purchased this de-matting comb, I can spend thirty minutes going through her fur and she will just sit there and let me work.
My favorite way to use this de-matting comb if it is just for routine maintenance is to get Lexie up on my lap. She will usually settle down and let me rake through her fur for five or six minutes. Much more than that and she will get restless and jump down. I take a 10 or 15-minute break and then come back for another session of raking through her fur.
Have you ever seen a dog so calm and still while having their fur raked with a de-matting comb?
How Do I Use This De-Matting Comb?
There are several ways to use the de-matting comb. You can use it all over to remove small tangles before they become full-blown mats. However, some groomers may not recommend this because it could cut or break the ends of the fur. At least this is what some groomers have said.
From my experience and as a dog owner who just wants something easy that works and does not cause a lot of pain for my dog, I have not had any issues using this de-matting comb.
Here’s how I use this de-matting comb…
In the photo above I am actually brushing against the grain of her fur. Typically I run with the fur. This is especially true if I know she has mats that need attention.
Then, once I find a mat, I will lift up and then gently work the comb front to back allowing the serrated blades to cut through the matted fur.
If the mat is really bad, I will hold the mat with my fingers and put the blade of the comb at the base of the mat. Then pull the mat over the comb to be able to cut the entire mat out of the fur without removing surrounding fur.
Sometimes I will use scissors, but I have found that scissors often take out healthy fur when the de-matting comb can get lower without getting the health fur.
#2 A Slicker Brush
After you get done removing mats with the de-matting comb many people might think I would suggest one of the metal combs… but I don’t.
Why? My Goldendoodle just doesn’t like it when I use a metal comb. It still pulls her fur too much for her to let me use it enough to make a difference.
This is why my next go-to brush for removing mats is a slicker brush.
What Is A Slicker Brush Used For?
A slicker brush is usually a rectangularly shaped brush that is used to remove loose fur and mats from dogs, cats and other pets that frequently get mats.
By itself, a slicker brush will mostly only take care of your dog’s topcoat, but it will remove loose undercoat fur that is sitting on your dog’s body that helps mats form.
I am not brand loyal to any particular slicker brush. You can pick one up at Walmart, your local pet store, or you can simply order a slicker brush similar to this 4.5 Star Amazon bestseller — [Buy on Amazon]
Okay, the de-matting comb gets most mats out of our dogs fur. Then the slicker brush is used to remove loose undercoat and to smooth out the topcoat. It also may pull out any remaining parts of mats that we did not get out with the de-matting comb.
So, what is the 3rd must have comb for preventing mats in a your dog’s fur?
#3 A Wet Brush
Do you know what a wet brush is? If you have daughters you probably do. A wet brush is this magical brush that detangles hair like nothing I have ever see! I am not exaggerating.
My daughters kept asking for us to buy then a wet brush. Once we finally got one for them, we completely see what all the hype is about. The brushes truly work as advertised.
So What Does A Wet Brush Do?
It allows you to brush out tangles from hair or fur without it hurting. It looks and acts just like any other store bought brush, only it is different. I really do not know why or how it does it, but it does. It just works.
While a wet brush is marketed and sold for human use, this is the very best dog brush you can buy for daily brushing of your fur baby! I’m serious. Just buy one.
Wet Brush may be the brand name, but there are a few others that work just the same that are less expensive.
My daughters and my Goldendoodle all use this version. It’s so inexpensive on Amazon it just wasn’t worth shopping around. [Buy on Amazon]
Closing Thoughts On Preventing Matted Fur
Preventing matted fur on your Goldendoodle or other breed dog that mats easily can become a full-time job, but don’t stress about it too much.
With the use of these three brushes, you should be able to address most if not all mats your pup gets in its fur.
If there are mats you cannot fix yourself, that is why there are professional groomers. Even with the tips and techniques, I share above, we still get our Goldendoodle groomed every five weeks or so.
Bonus Tip: If I have a really difficult mat that I cannot easily cut out, I still use my trusty de-matting comb, but I will add plenty of this gel to help the mat come loose. Buy on Amazon
UPDATED BONUS TIP: As much as I like the Cowboy Magic for helping to get out tangles, I have published my new favorite solution. This is a DIY solution you can make yourself. You can read more about it here: “Better Than Cowboy Magic? A DIY Detangler Spray That Actually Works“