The Complete Guide on How to Groom a Bernedoodle
Start grooming your Bernedoodle as soon as you bring them home. An eight-week-old puppy will likely not require much grooming, as they will have little hair. However, starting at this young age will help them get used to the process and keep their coat shiny and smooth.
Puppies are very impressionable. If you start grooming them very early, grooming will be “normal.” It’ll simply be a part of their everyday life.
Your Bernedoodle will be much less likely to react negatively to grooming if you begin as soon as you bring them home.
On top of a daily brushing routine, your Bernedoodle will likely need regular professional grooming. Often, this is required to handle their hair growth, as many take after their Poodle parent in this regard.
You can start these sessions as soon as your puppy is up-to-date on vaccinations. Usually, most groomers will allow the dog to come in after receiving their rabies vaccination at 12 to 16 weeks. Some owners may decide to wait longer – at least until the puppy has received multiple doses of other vaccinations, like canine distemper.
You can speak to your vet about when the best time to start professional grooming sessions is.
The earlier you start taking your puppy to a professional, the better adapted to these sessions. These sessions also provide a great deal of socialization, as your dog will be interacting with the groomer and potentially other dogs.
12 Tools you will Need to Groom your Bernedoodle At Home
Prior to buying your grooming tools, it is important to know the type of coat your Bernedoodle has. This will help you determine which types of brushes and combs are best suited for your dog. If you’re unsure about your dog’s coat type, consult a professional groomer or veterinarian. Here are the 12 essential tools you will need to groom your Bernedoodle at home:
A grooming table will make the grooming process a lot easier since it will keep your dog at a comfortable height. It will also prevent you from bending over for long periods, which can be quite tiring. A grooming arm attached to the table will also help keep your dog steady, allowing you to focus on the grooming process.
A wide-toothed comb is a must-have for all Bernedoodle owners. It’s perfect for detangling the coat and removing any mats or tangles. It’s also great for evenly distributing the dog’s natural oils throughout the coat, giving it a healthy shine.
A slicker brush is a must-have for all Bernedoodle owners. It’s perfect for removing tangles, mats, and loose hair. It’s also gentle on the coat and won’t damage the hair follicles. You can also go for a pin brush which is great for dogs with longer and curly coats, or a bristle brush which is perfect for dogs with shorter coats.
Clippers are essential for keeping your Bernedoodle’s coat short and trimmed. You will need to use them every few weeks to prevent the hair from getting too long. Non-shedding Bernedoodles will require more frequent trimmings since their hair grows faster.
Detangler sprays can be very helpful in making the grooming process a lot easier. They help loosen any mats or tangles, making them easier to brush. They also help to condition the coat and make it softer and more manageable.
Scissors are useful for trimming the hair around the face, ears, anus, and paws. They’re also great for creating different hairstyles, with longer or shorter hair. Select good quality scissors that are comfortable to hold and use.
Thinning shears create a softer look and prevent the coat from looking too bulky. They’re also perfect for blending different hair lengths, creating a natural look. The result is a softer and more natural-looking coat.
Nail Clippers or Nail Grinder
Overgrown nails can be quite uncomfortable for your dog and lead to health problems. It’s important to keep them trimmed regularly, using either nail clippers or a grinder. If you’re uncomfortable doing this yourself, you can always take your dog to a professional groomer.
Good-Quality Shampoo and Conditioner
There are many different dog shampoos and conditioners available on the market for different coat types or skin condition, purpose, and smell. You should avoid using human shampoo and conditioner on your Bernedoodle as it can strip the natural oils from its coat and skin, leaving it dry and irritated.
Towels and Grooming Apron
Towels are essential for drying your dog after a bath or swim. A grooming apron can also be very helpful in keeping you and your clothes clean while you’re grooming your dog.
Ear Cleaner and Cotton Balls
Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly is very important to prevent infection. Ear cleaners help to remove any dirt, wax, or debris that may have built up inside the ear. Cotton balls can be used to gently clean the outer part of the ear.
Last but not least, don’t forget to have some treats on hand to reward your dog for being a good sport during the grooming process! Some dogs may see grooming time as a negative experience, but with patience and treats, you can turn it into a positive one.
Types of Bernedoodle Coats
The first thing you will need to keep in mind when grooming your Bernedoodle is the coat type. Because of the parent dogs of Bernedoodles, there are quite a variety of coats that these dogs can have. Bernedoodles are a hybrid breed consisting of Bernese Mountain Dog and Poodle. These two parent dogs have very different fur. Therefore, their puppies can have similar coats to the parents or unique combinations of both.
Typically Bernedoodle puppies will take after one parent or the other. Therefore, if a puppy takes after its Bernese Mountain Dog parent, it is more likely to have straight hair. If a puppy takes after the Poodle parent more, it is likely to have curly hair. Wavy hair is a great in-between of the two-parent dog coats. Below, you will find a description of each of these different coat types. This will help you identify the coat your dog has, so you can provide it with the grooming that works best.
- Wavy Coat: Wavy-coated Bernedoodles are sometimes referred to as fleece Bernedoodles. These dogs have wavy hair that is the perfect combination of both parent breeds. This is the most common coat type among Bernedoodles; it also happens to be the easiest to maintain. Wavy coats shed less than straight coats and are less likely to develop knots. Therefore, wavy coats are the most popular Bernedoodle coat.
- Straight Coat: Bernedoodles who take after their Bernese Mountain Dog parent tends to have straight coats. These coats are also sometimes known as simply hair coats. Because this coat is so similar to Bernese Mountain Dogs, it is the most likely to shed. Therefore, this is the least hypoallergenic coat for Bernedoodles, so keep that in mind if you suffer from allergies. The length of a straight coat Bernedoodle varies depending on the length of the parent dogs. This is the least common coat that you will find among Bernedoodles.
- Curly Coat: Curly coated Bernedoodles, also known as wool coated Bernedoodles, are the most hypoallergenic option. This coat is the most similar to a Poodle coat with tight curls that rarely ever shed. Unfortunately, this coat is high maintenance as it requires regular brushing to avoid knots. Brushing curly coats also ensures that your dog has the most minimal shedding possible. Therefore, curly-coated Bernedoodles are recommended for anyone who suffers from pet allergies.
Popular Bernedoodle Haircuts
Now that you know the different types of coats a Bernedoodle can have, it is time to look at the different haircuts among the breed. Of course, these are not the only haircuts your Bernedoodle has to choose from. However, they are the most common (and easiest) cuts for people looking for an accessible and sustainable style that leaves their dog feeling great.
- Summer Cut: The summer cut looks very similar to the winter cut, just with shorter hair. The hair of a summer haircut is less than 1 inch in length across the entire body. This is easy to maintain as less hair means less knotting.
- Winter Cut: This haircut keeps the hair across the entire body length, so your Bernedoodle is well insulated during the cold winter months. Although adorable, this haircut is not recommended for Bernedoodles who live in warmer climates as they can overheat. The hair of a winter cut is typically 1.5-2 inches long.
- Kennel Cut: The shortest option for Bernedoodle haircuts is the kennel cut. The goal of this haircut is to keep the hair from becoming dirty or matted. This requires shaving your dog’s entire body so that it is less than ½ an inch all over. Therefore, if your Bernedoodle has troubles keeping clean, a kennel cut might be the best option.
Steps to Groom a Bernedoodle
After deciding what type of haircut you would like your Bernedoodle to have, it is time to start the grooming process.
Step 1: Prepare
The first step to successfully grooming your Bernedoodle is making sure you are prepared. Ensure the workspace is clean and clear. This will help your dog feel comfortable. Additionally, you should prepare the proper tools at this time. These tools should include:
- Slicker Brush: We highly recommend that you check out our We Love Doodles Slicker Brush.
- Shampoo, Conditioner, and Detangler: We also released an affordable 4-in-1 dog shampoo made exclusively for doodles.
- Hair Clippers
- Nail Clippers
- Dog Safe Toothbrush
- Dog Safe Toothpaste
Step 2: Inspect
Once you are fully prepared, you can bring your dog into the area. Before you begin any grooming, you must inspect your dog. This will give you a good idea of how much grooming your dog needs. For example, you will be able to identify any matted areas, so you know where to pay special attention when brushing. This inspection is also an excellent opportunity to look for any lumps or sores on your dog. If you do find any of these things, you should contact a veterinarian.
Step 3: Bathe
After inspecting your dog, you should then bathe it. However, washing your Bernedoodle too frequently can cause dry and irritated skin. So, if your dog has recently had a bath, skip this step.
Step 4: Clean Sensitive Areas
Even if your dog doesn’t need a full-body wash, you should always ensure clean eyes and ears. These are sensitive areas that need to be treated with care. You can use a warm, moist towel around the eyes and a dog-specific ear solution for the ears.
Step 5: Clip Nails
First, you will have to inspect your Bernedoodle’s nails carefully. You should be extremely careful when clipping and always ensure you know exactly where you will cut. Clipping nails too short can lead to painful sores on your dog’s feet.
Step 6: Brush Teeth
Many dogs are prone to dental problems. Therefore, you should brush your Bernedoodle’s teeth as often as possible. Use a pet-specific toothbrush and toothpaste to brush your dog’s teeth.
Step 7: Trim Hair
You will have to adjust your clippers to the proper length based on the haircut you have chosen for your dog. At first, your dog may be nervous about the clippers; always remember to be patient and give your dog a break if needed. However, after a while, your dog will learn that a haircut isn’t as scary as it seems.
How Often Should You Groom a Bernedoodle?
Generally, Bernedoodles should have a full groom every 6 to 12 weeks. This is to ensure your dog’s hair remains clean and does not become too long. However, there is essential grooming that needs to be done between these more substantial groomings, such as brushing. Below we will explain the frequency of different grooming procedures your dog will need based on its coat type.
The amount of brushing your dog requires on the length of their coat, as well as the texture. Straight-haired Bernedoodles require the least daily maintenance as they only need brushing 2 to 3 times a week. Wavy-haired Bernedoodles need to be brushed a little more frequently than straight-haired Bernedoodles. You should brush these dogs every couple of days to avoid matting. Curly-haired Bernedoodles require the most maintenance. You will have to brush this type of Bernedoodle every day, or it will become highly matted.
- It is essential to avoid bathing your Bernedoodle too frequently. If Bernedoodles are washed too often, their skin becomes stripped of natural oils resulting in dryness and irritation. Ideally, Bernedoodles should only be bathed every 6 to 12 weeks when receiving full grooming. However, many Bernedoodles love being outdoors, and sometimes that can lead to them becoming dirty. If this is the case, there are a couple of things you can do.
- First, brushing your Bernedoodle will help clean your Bernedoodle. If you find your dog covered in wet mud, allow it to dry and then brush it out. Obviously, this is not an ideal solution for all cases, so if you find you cannot just brush your dog clean, you can bathe it. The key to washing your Bernedoodle is using dog-specific, skin-sensitive shampoo and conditioner. These products are specially formulated to reduce dryness and will leave your dog feeling and looking great.
You should brush your Bernedoodle’s teeth whenever possible. Some people do this every day while others only do this once a month. The more frequently you do this, the less likely your dog is to develop dental problems.
The frequency of Bernedoodle haircuts depends on a couple of factors. First, you need to decide how short you want your dog’s hair to be. The shorter you prefer, the more frequently it will need to be cut. The coat type also makes a difference. Straight-haired Bernedoodles naturally shed some hair, so they require haircuts less often. The typical time between trimmings for a straight-haired Bernedoodle is approximately 8 to 12 weeks. If you have a wavy-haired Bernedoodle, you will have to get it trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks, depending on how much your dog sheds. Wavy-haired Bernedoodles differ slightly between each dog, so this is the most variable of the options. Lastly, curly-haired Bernedoodles will need grooming every 6 weeks to keep their hair looking beautiful and healthy.
Regardless of the length of your Bernedoodle’s coat, you need to clip its nails every 4 to 6 weeks. This procedure requires precision. If you feel uncomfortable doing this yourself contact your veterinarian or groomer as they are professionals who are happy to help you.
When Should You Start Grooming Your Bernedoodle Puppy?
- We recommend that you start grooming your puppy at home as soon as possible.
- Grooming a Bernedoodle can be a bit complicated. They are a mixed breed, so their coat is not as standardized as other breeds. They may inherit genes from either of their parents, which will affect their coat.
- You’ll likely need to adjust your dog’s grooming to match their particular coat type. You can speak to a professional groomer about this, as they will have firsthand experience with your pet’s coat.
- In general, Bernedoodle will need to be brushed two to three times a week. These sessions will help keep their fur sleek and free from tangles. With the right brush, you can often remove much of the dirt and debris during these brushing sessions, which will elongate the time they need between baths.
- You can start these at-home sessions as soon as you bring your puppy home. They may not need them quite as much as this young age. But starting new will make them more accepting of the brush later. Puppies are very adaptable and will become used to whatever they are around, including grooming.
- You should also get your puppy used to having their feet handled, as this is important for nail clipping. You don’t need to clip their nails every time you groom them, but do make a point to touch their feet and check their nails.
- Do the same with their ears, as they will likely need to be cleaned every few months or so.
- Most Bernedoodles will need professional grooming and a haircut every two to three months. Many of them do not shed, so this haircut is essential to their overall wellbeing. Otherwise, their coat will keep getting longer.
- However, you often can’t start these ASAP like at-home grooming sessions. Most groomers will not allow your puppy to be groomed until they have received their rabies vaccination. Usually, this occurs between 16 to 18 weeks. But you can sometimes request it as early as 12.
- Some owners prefer to wait until their dog is wholly vaccinated at 16 weeks anyway. Waiting to get their rabies vaccination at this time often makes the most sense.
- We recommend getting your puppy to a groomer as soon as their vaccinations are complete. The earlier they start going to a groomer, the more comfortable they will be.
- Even if they don’t need a haircut, getting them into a groomer as quickly as possible will help them socialize and get used to the process. Many of the puppy’s first grooming sessions will be to help them adapt to being groomed.
As you can see, there are many things to consider when grooming your Bernedoodle. From coat type to haircut preferences, there is much to be learned about grooming these dogs. However, the most important thing to keep in mind when grooming any dog is patience. Dogs may be uncomfortable when being groomed for the first time. But, after a couple of good experiences, they will be less nervous.