Help! Dog HATES Being Brushed! 14 Tips to Help Doodle Owners

“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. So…your dog hates being brushed, too? If so, here are 14 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 them (or you) out as much as a full body brushing session.

Tip 2) Give Treats

Reward them with high-value treats constantly, at first. You could have a helper just sit there and give your pup treats one after another while you brush.

Tip 3) Give Long Lasting Treats

As an 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.

Long-Lasting Treats

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 their body and brush a different section each day, and stop when they get too worked up.

Tip 6) Put Them on a Short Leash

You may also try putting them on a short leash while brushing. Some dogs just behave better while on a leash during grooming.

Tip 7) Prop Them Up on a Grooming Table

Similarly, some dogs just behave better while on a grooming table – better yet, a grooming table with a grooming arm and a safety loop to go around your Doodle’s neck.

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Tip 8) Use Detangling Products

Detangling sprays or serums, or cornstarch, can help when your Doodle’s hair gets longer and starts to tangle.

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Tip 9) Bathe Them Often

Bathing and conditioning your Doodle more often should help too – clean hair is easier to brush and keep tangle-free.

Don’t forget to blow dry after a bath with a high velocity force dryer. Using one can drastically reduce the likelihood of tangles and mats that cause brushing discomfort.

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Tip 10) Don’t Wait Until They’re 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 discomfort and pain.

Tip 11) Use a Good Brush and Comb

On that note, use a high-quality brush and a metal comb.

Tip 12) Line Brush

Learn proper line brushing so that you’re not constantly fighting tangles and mats (and causing your dog pain).

Tip 13) Be Consistent

Stay consistent with brushing until your Doodle gets to the point where they tolerate (or even enjoy) being brushed!

Tip 14) 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, they will learn a few things: 1) they get big rewards 2) it doesn’t have to be painful or stressful, and 3) they may even learn to enjoy it!

Do you have any tips to add? Share with others and leave your comment below!

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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.

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7 thoughts on ““Help! Dog HATES Being Brushed!” 14 Tips to Help Doodle Owners

My petite double doodle dispizes getting combed or brushed. I have bought 4 different brushes and 2 metal combs, and work very gently to brush and comb her along with treating her heavily with treats she loves but she absolutely hates it and runs away whenever she sees any brush or comb in my hand. I try to make it fun and easy her and myself but nothing works. NOTHING! She absolutely hates it so we Lways have to get her shaved down at the groomer but she really seems to be traumatized for 2 weeks each time after that happens. It makes me so very sad to see her so distraught after she gets a shave down … and it always lasts for at least 2 weeks 🙁 we have tried 4 different groomers they have either had to shave her down due to all the matting, or they make her look ridiculous … even when I showed them a picture of what I wanted. No one knows how to groom a doodle! Please give me some details on how to make her like getting groomed at home so I can groom her myself often and keep her hair short. I already tired heavily treating her consistently…. that doesn’t work so well. She runs away when she sees a brush or comb and I really badly hate how she looks and acts after going to the groomer. Please help.

January 20, 2021 at 12:52 am
L

By the way, I try brushing/combing her every single day with generously treating her with high value treats and going slow and gentle but she absolutely hates getting groomed with me and at the groomers where they end up shaving her due to all the matting. I tried all you have suggested in your tips on what to do to get her to like being groomed and I have been doing this for over 1 year but nothing ever works. Please help

January 20, 2021 at 1:24 am

By the way, I try brushing/combing her every single day with generously treating her with high value treats and going slow and gentle but she absolutely hates getting groomed with me and at the groomers where they end up shaving her due to all the matting. I tried all you have suggested in your tips on what to do to get her to like being groomed and I have been doing this for over 1 year but nothing ever works. Please help

January 20, 2021 at 12:57 am
Mary Lehner Reply

My mid-sized goldendoodle, Coco, is a very mellow girl, but I didn’t keep up with her grooming this year, and was worried that the groomer would have to do a shave down, so I worked hard to get rid of the mats, the micro mats in the undercoat, but especially the traditional ones around her jaw and under where her harness goes—and the tail feathers! It got to the point where it seemed she could tell when I was thinking about brushing her and would vanish into her crate. Then she had a short spring clip from the groomer just before Easter, so she was lovely for our first post COVID vaccinations visit to my sister, but then, at home rolled in yukky stuff, so we had an emergency bath, complete with the sad dog suffering through the brush out. The brush that I ordered following the brush review found here arrived the next day. When I pulled it out, it was greeted with the doodle side-eye, naturally! Let me just say, that brush has made an enormous difference in our relationship! It is worth every cent of the price. She was perfectly content to let me go over her entire body, and seemed to enjoy it, even though she’d just had such a long session the day before. Grooming that feels good definitely outweighs all the treats, etc., that I’ve tried! I agree with all of the tips and approaches in this article, but the right equipment is also necessary to make it come together! Spring for the brush!

April 14, 2021 at 8:25 am