As a follow up to our recent popular public service announcement on why professional groomers are starting to hate Doodles and their owners, we thought we’d take this opportunity to provide a little more insight on the subject.

As a Doodle parent, I participate in various Doodle-centric Internet forums. On two separate occasions recently, I came across threads where the Doodle parent expressed their anger and frustration about how their dog got shaved down to the skin by the groomer. They claimed that the groomers said their dogs were so matted that they had no choice but to shave the dog. They also both claimed that they brush their dog everyday, so “there’s absolutely no way” that their dog could be matted to the point of shaving it all off.

I can understand the anger and frustration of picking up a dog from the groomer that looks nothing like what you had asked for.

But often times, we get too caught up in our emotions to hear the other side of the story. One of the posters went so far as to accuse the groomer for shaving the dog on purpose in order to charge more.

Unsure of what to think, I decided to do a little investigating, so that we Doodle parents can collectively better understand the groomer’s side of the story when this “unthinkable” thing that is getting your Doodle “poodled” happens. So, I posted the following in one of the forums:

With all the complaints about people getting their Doodles shaved down at the groomer, I wonder if there’s a way that groomers can prove that they needed to do it, or at least notify the dog owner before they proceed so the owners don’t come back to pick up a “hideous” dog. I’ve also heard people accuse the groomer of doing it so they could make more money. So, I was wondering if the pro groomers here could weigh in here and help us all understand your reasoning better.

Indeed, quite a few professional dog groomers chimed in…

I also appreciated how some groomers mentioned not wanting to create a bad experience for the dog. When they do what’s easiest and the least painful for the dog, they are saving the dog’s lifetime perception of groomers.

Could you just ask your groomer to de-mat your dog?

Do groomers shave dogs in order to charge more?

Humanity Over Vanity

I particularly appreciated how the groomer just above mentioned “humanity over vanity.” There’s no way you can see the following pictures and not wonder how uncomfortable that dog must have been…

Photo courtesy of C&C Grooming (Williamsport, PA)
Photo used with permission
Photo used with permission
Photo used with permission

Now, if your Doodle has fallen victim to getting shaved unsolicitedly, don’t simply rely on this article to excuse your groomer.

Your groomer still needs to be held accountable and provide you an explanation. Ask them to show you the matted hair that came off your dog. Better yet, they should also take the time to educate you on how to maintain your dog’s coat at home so that your Doodle can avoid getting shaved down again in the future.

At the end of the day, you do have the freedom to find that groomer who will fight tooth and nail to save your doodle’s gorgeous coat. (Though, I suspect there probably aren’t very many groomers out there who would spend 11 hours on your dog just to do so…)

We hope that this has been an eye-opening post that gives Doodle owners a better understanding as to why groomers sometimes need to shave dogs all the way down. We also hope that it has helped some of you realize just how important daily coat maintenance is if you have any kind of Doodle.

See Also:

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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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13 thoughts on “Professional Groomers Reveal “Why We Shave Doodles”

Goldendoodle Haircuts and Styles that Will Make You Swoon! Reply

[…] poodle cut is one of the most popular goldendoodle haircuts. (Albeit, sometimes it’s unsolicited!) While they are especially popular on poodles, this cut is appropriate for goldendoodles, too, […]

May 17, 2019 at 9:15 pm
Line Brushing: The Key to Prevent Your Doodle From Being "Poodled" Reply

[…] Pro Groomers Reveal “Why We Shave Doodles” […]

June 17, 2019 at 1:40 pm
Traci Reply

Great article! As a first time doodle puppy owner, I totally missed when she out grew her puppy grooming tools. Her puppy hair started falling out while overall her hair had gotten so much longer. I was happily brushing the top of her hair everyday keeping it so pretty not realizing underneath the puppy hair was forming huge mats. By the time I figured it out too late, she was so matted and I felt horrid. I worked at dematting 3 weeks while we waited for a groomer appointment, and it is true the hair changes. Where I picked out mats one day they were starting again the next. All this to say I get it! She got shaved, we are much happier and I have done a lot of educating myself so we don’t have that happen again – unless we choose a summer cut!

May 10, 2021 at 4:59 am
Robert Reply

Why wouldn’t a groomer pick up the telephone and discuss shaving the dog as opposed to the trimming you had asked for!

July 1, 2021 at 11:13 am