“My Aussiedoodle HATES to be brushed. I love her longer coat, but she always matts because she won’t let me brush her. This has been going on since she was young pup. I just end up shaving her…suggestions?”
Ah, a common complaint from Doodle owners. Does your Doodle hate being brushed, too? If so, here are 13 tips that might help.
Tip 1) Keep the Sessions Short
Try doing very short, very rewarding brushing sessions while your Doodle’s hair is short and unmatted. By keeping the sessions short, it won’t stress him (or you) out as much as a full body brushing session.
Tip 2) Give Treats
Reward him with high-value treats constantly at first. You could have a helper just sit there and give him treats one after another while you brush.
Tip 3) Give Long Lasting Treats
Alternative to regular treats, bully sticks, Kongs filled with yogurt, or lick pads smeared with peanut butter will last longer. These will give him something to focus on so you can brush as long as you need.
Chew toys and long-lasting treats also help with nip-happy puppies who attack hands and brushes.
Tip 4) Reduce Treats Over Time
Slowly reduce the number of treats over time.
Tip 5) Brush in Small Segments
Try brushing in small segments around his body and brush a different section each day, and stop when he gets too worked up.
Tip 6) Put Him on a Short Leash
You may also try putting him on a short leash while brushing. Some dogs just behave better while on a leash during grooming.
Tip 7) Use Detangling Products
Detangling sprays or serums, or cornstarch, can help when his hair gets longer and starts to tangle.
Tip 8) Bathe Him Often
Bathing and conditioning him more often should help too – clean hair is easier to brush and keep tangle-free.
Tip 9) Don’t Wait Until He’s Tangled
Don’t wait until your Doodle is actually tangled or matted to start going at it. If you do this, you’re just reinforcing that brushes and combs are associated with discomfortable and pain.
Tip 10) Use a Good Brush and Comb
On that note, use a high-quality brush and a metal comb.
Tip 11) Line Brush
Learn proper line brushing so that you’re not constantly fighting tangles and mats (and causing your dog pain).
Tip 12) Stay Consistent
Stay consistent with brushing until your Doodle gets to the point where he tolerates (or even enjoys) being brushed!
Tip 13) Don’t Force It
If you just can’t seem to get your pup to tolerate brushing, don’t force it. Brushing just may not work for your Doodle. If that’s the case, a lifetime of shorter cuts or shave downs is probably the best option.
Also, understand that trying to brush through tangles and mats HURTS. (I can attest as someone with long hair.) Therefore, you can’t blame a dog for not liking it.
In short, it’s going to be a training process just like everything else. No dog enjoys any aspect of grooming at first. Just keep working at it and be sure to make the brushing experience fun and rewarding. Definitely bribe your Doodle with treats at first. This way, he will learn a few things: 1) he gets big rewards 2) it doesn’t have to be painful or stressful, and 3) he may even learn to enjoy it!
The information on this page is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional groomer advice. Always seek the advice of your groomer, veterinarian, or other qualified animal health provider with any questions you may have.