How to Remove Burrs, Foxtails, and Stickies From Your Dog's Coat

In this post, we’re going to demonstrate how to remove burrs, foxtails, and other stickies from your Doodle’s coat. You can also follow along by watching this video:

YouTube video

Chloe recently took a day trip with us to the mountains where we set up for the day at a lovely little campsite. She was ecstatic! She got to roam around off leash and explore to her little heart’s content.

Unfortunately for her (and me), by the end of it she was absolutely covered in stickies. I’m not sure exactly what they were, but either way, they were in there and in there good. As much fun as we were having, It meant that someone (me) would be spending a lot of time getting them out, and I really wasn’t looking forward to that.

Sure enough, when we arrived home, Chloe started to gnaw at the ones on her legs and feet. I knew then that we needed to get them all removed NOW, so I grabbed a few key items and we headed for the totally awesome, free self-service pet grooming room provided to the residents of our old apartment community.

Chloe getting groomed at the community grooming salon.

I had read previously that cornstarch was great for removing burrs from the coat. I only recently discovered the magic of cornstarch for detangling and dematting, and the last time Chloe was this badly covered in stickies was before my daughter was born, so I was eager to try it out.

I propped Chloe up on a grooming table and we got started.

I started with the legs and feet since they were bothering her before. I quickly realized that there were way more stickies in her coat than I could actually see, and I wondered if it was even worth trying to comb them out.

I had to make a decision: should I try to save her coat, or should I just shave her down?

Now, my passion is to try and share as much information as I can with fellow Doodle owners. And I know that many of you would absolutely die if your Doodle ever had to get shaved down, so I decided to invest my time and save her coat (and document it along the way, of course!).

It took me a few minutes to really understand what I was doing, but eventually I came to realize exactly what was most effective at getting these buggers out of Chloe’s coat. Here is the process.

What You’ll Need

How to Remove Stickies From a Doodle’s Coat

First and foremost, I should let you know that this process needs to be done when your Doodle is completely dry. Trying to get these things out of a wet coat will NOT work and will only cause a lot of frustration.

Now, following line brushing logic, start at the bottom of your dog so you don’t have to fight through tangles and stickies. For example, start at the feet and work your way up the leg.

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  • Grab a generous handful of cornstarch and rub it in to the coat at the target area.
  • Take your metal comb and get it all the way to the skin at the target area. Comb and watch as the stickies slide right out!
  • Keep working at it and use your hands and fingers to feel for hidden stickies.

It’s really not that difficult, but it can be tedious. It took me about an hour to comb through the entirety of Chloe’s body (40 lb. medium Doodle).

Then, since I had access to a force dryer, I used that after I thought I had got them all. The dryer helped blow out the excess cornstarch and also helped me to see some stickies that I had missed.

For good measure, I gave Chloe a nice, thorough bath afterward. At this time, I was able to see yet more stickies that were lodged in her coat. There was even one poking into her skin (ouch!), so I’m glad I found that.

After her bath was over and she shook off, I found a few more straggling stickies in her coat. I really couldn’t believe that there were still more in there!

As mentioned earlier, make sure your Doodle is completely dry when trying to get stickies out. As I was bathing Chloe and kept finding them in her coat, they were very hard to pull out. Luckily there were only a handful left in her coat at that time.

After her bath, we blow dried again and now she’s looking spic and span!

So there you have it!

I should also take this time to promote the idea that a shorter haircut on an active Doodle could save you a lot of time, energy, and frustration. Back when Chloe was an “only child” we kept her short all year round for this very reason. We were always going out hiking and camping and Chloe’s perpetual short haircut was a life saver.

See Also:

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Let us know in the comments below if your Dood ever gets into stickies like this and what you’ve done to remedy the situation.

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