“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.
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.
Tip 8) Use Detangling Products
Detangling sprays or serums, or cornstarch, can help when your Doodle’s hair gets longer and starts to tangle.
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.
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!
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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.