Poodle crosses, like the Goldendoodle, are growing in popularity. While they often don’t shed much, they need regular grooming to maintain a healthy coat. Here’s our guide to choosing the best brush for Goldendoodle grooming.
Goldendoodles are a popular ‘designer’ mixed breed. They have a double coat that can often be long and prone to matting, although it varies in texture depending on which genes are inherited.
A regular grooming process can make a world of difference to a Goldendoodle’s coat. The right dog brushes can prevent mats, spread healthy oils, and keep the coat in a healthy condition.
Let’s take a closer look at the Goldendoodle’s various coat types and why grooming is important. I’ve also listed five of the best dog brushes for Goldendoodles to help you make an informed choice.
Great for grooming a Goldendoodle’s coat
My top pick for a Goldendoodle brush is the Hertzko Self-Cleaning slicker. It’s great for removing tangles and keeping the coat in a good condition. The self-cleaning function also makes it more convenient than other slickers.
Goldendoodles are a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle. This mix of genes means their coat type isn’t as predictable as purebred dogs.
There are three common Goldendoodle coat textures. These vary depending on which curl and length genes the dog has inherited. It’s important to know the type of coat your dog has, as the best pet grooming tools and techniques vary depending on hair texture.
Despite the varying coat textures, all Goldendoodles have a double coat. This consists of a protective topcoat and a soft undercoat to regulate the dog’s temperature. Goldendoodles don’t tend to shed as much as other double-coated breeds, but matting is still a frequent problem.
Here’s an overview of the various types of Goldendoodle coat.
Wavy coats are the most common for Goldendoodles. This coat has a loose and shaggy appearance, giving these dogs the popular “Teddy Bear” appearance.
A wavy coat needs more grooming than straight coats, although these dogs are often easier to maintain than curly coats.
Daily grooming is recommended for a wavy coat Goldendoodle – especially for areas that are prone to matting. You’ll want to focus on behind the ears, the base of the tail, around the neck, and in the ‘armpits’.
Curly Goldendoodles have a coat texture that’s more like a Poodle than Golden Retriever. Even amongst curly coated doodles, however, the tightness of the curls varies a lot depending on the parent dog’s coat.
Goldendoodles with this type of coat require daily brushing. The curly topcoat can easily become entwined with the softer undercoat, so regular grooming is essential.
Be aware that this type of coat is quite dense, which can hide mats and tangles below the surface until they become a big problem.
Straight coated Goldendoodles have a coat that’s similar to a Golden Retriever. This is the least common coat type, and these Goldendoodles don’t have the teddy bear look that is often popular.
Their coats, however, are a lot easier to maintain than those with a wavy or curly coat. They still need regular brushing to avoid mats and tangles though.
Regardless of their coat texture, all Goldendoodles require regular brushing with high-quality dog brushes.
Although they’re light shedders, Goldendoodles have coats that can mat relatively easily. If this isn’t managed, the mats can become painful and even cause issues with skin health and circulation.
In the worst cases, the coat may need to be shaved off. This is a situation that often causes tension between a groomer and doodle owner, but is the only option if the coat has become painful and irreversibly matted.
Brushing also has other benefits, such as improving your dog’s skin health, distributing the coat’s natural oils more evenly, and helping you spot abnormalities or lumps that may need veterinary attention.
When brushing is done in a gentle, patient and positive manner, it’s also a great way to bond with your dog.
There’s no single answer to this question, as it depends on your Goldendoodle’s coat type and lifestyle.
Curly coated Goldendoodles need daily grooming to prevent matting, whereas straight coated doodles can get by with a grooming session once or twice a week.
If you have a wavy coated Goldendoodle, you should expect to give them a good brushing a few times a week – although some dogs with wavy coats may need daily grooming.
Hair length also plays a role. If you allow your dog’s hair to grow longer, be prepared to groom it more frequently to avoid mats and tangles.
Tangles that lead to matting can quickly become a serious issue for Goldendoodles, especially those with a curly coat.
Heavy matting can pull on a dog’s skin, cause pain and bruising, create open wounds, and even lead to circulatory issues. This is why it’s vital to regularly groom your pet’s coat to prevent mats before they start to develop.
Mats form quickest in areas that are subject to friction. These include behind the ears, in the armpits, around the collar line, and at the base of the tail. Make sure you pay extra attention to these areas when grooming.
Light mats can sometimes be teased out with a grooming brush or comb, but only if the hair hasn’t knotted into a tight ball close to the dog’s skin. You can also use a spritz of detangling spray to help the grooming tool pass through the hair more easily.
When heavy matting occurs, the entire coat may need to be shaved by a professional groomer. Don’t try to remove heavy mats yourself, as this can cause your dog pain and discomfort.
There are lots of different brush types for dogs – but you don’t need them all. For a Goldendoodle, a high quality slicker brush and comb are usually the most important grooming tools.
Goldendoodles have a wide variety of coat types though, so you may need to experiment with a few different brushes to work out what suits your dog’s coat type.
Note: A Goldendoodle’s coat texture can change radically from puppy to adult. Puppies need a gentler brush, but you may need a different option once they gain their adult coat.
A slicker is a versatile dog brush that most Goldendoodle owners should have in their grooming toolkit.
Slicker brushes penetrate the undercoat to remove tangles and embedded dirt, while leaving a soft finish. A slicker is also great for locating loose mats that can be teased out with a comb.
When choosing a slicker brush, some tips to consider include:
Slicker brushes are generally safe, but you need to be careful when using them. Avoid using too much pressure or focusing on one area for too long. Overgrooming, especially in delicate areas with a thinner covering of hair, can lead to sore and irritated skin (often referred to as brush burn.)
A stainless steel comb is invaluable for teasing out knots or light mats that you’ve located with a slicker brush. Combs are also useful for finishing off areas that are awkward to access, like around the ears.
Metal combs are the most durable option, and selecting one with two choices of teeth spacing offers more versatility.
While a slicker brush and comb are most important, a pin and bristle brush can be a useful grooming tool for a Goldendoodle.
The bristle brush side is particularly useful for Goldendoodles with a straight or wavy coat.
A bristle brush won’t untangle knotted hair, but they are great for removing dirt and debris from the topcoat. Bristles also promote a nice shine when grooming a straighter doodle coat. As a general rule, the longer your Goldendoodle’s coat, the wider spaced the bristles on a bristle brush should be.
If your Goldendoodle has long hair, then the pin brush side can help to aerate the coat and remove light tangles. They also remove dead hair and debris from within your dog’s coat. A pin brush won’t untangle more serious knots though.
When choosing a bristle and pin brush, look for one with an ergonomic handle, as you may need to hold it for extended periods. The best brushes for Goldendoodles should also have rounded pins to prevent skin discomfort.
Goldendoodles are light shedders, so you probably don’t need to invest in a deshedding tool, like the FURminator. In fact, using a deshedding tool on a dog’s coat that isn’t shedding could damage or break healthy hair.
Dematting combs, sometimes referred to as dematting or undercoat rakes, can be useful for gently breaking up thick mats that can’t be teased out with a normal comb.
Great care must be taken when using these tools, however, as they have a sharp blade that can cause damage to the skin and coat if they aren’t used correctly. If in doubt, seek advice or assistance from a reputable professional groomer.
Listed below are five of the best brushes for a Goldendoodle. Of course, the right choice depends on the type of coat your Goldendoodle has, so make sure you read each review carefully.
The Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is my top pick for the best brush for Goldendoodle dogs. It has flexible bristles that are perfect for penetrating the breed’s coat, plus it has a self-cleaning function and a comfortable handle.
As you would expect from a slicker brush, the Hertzko is great for reducing tangles and removing loose hair. While the bristles on the Hertzko are strong enough to groom the Goldendoodle’s double coat, they still provide flexibility to avoid discomfort – as long as you don’t press too hard.
The Hertzko Self-Cleaning also has a retractable pin button to quickly remove caught hair. This saves you struggling to pluck loose hair out of the brush, and stops the bristles from getting damaged or warped while not in use.
To make the brush more comfortable to use, the handle is covered in non-slip rubber. This makes the Hertzko easier to use when grooming a Goldendoodle’s double coat, although the rubber isn’t quite as durable as I would like.
It’s worth noting that this slicker will likely be too harsh for a Goldendoodle puppy, due to their sensitive skin and softer hair. It’s a great addition to your adult dog’s grooming kit though.VIEW PRICE
The Shiny Pet Dog Comb is great for teasing out knots and light mats that can form around the neck, ears, armpits and tail of your Goldendoodle. It’s also a durable option that’s brilliant for everyday grooming.
Like many of the best dog combs, the Shiny Pet has dual teeth spacing. With both wide and narrow spacings, you can experiment to see what works best for your Goldendoodle.
Although the Shiny Pet comb has metal teeth, the non-slip rubber handle makes it easier to hold. This is especially useful when grooming those awkward areas. It’s also a decent size, making it a good choice for grooming a medium-large breed like a Goldendoodle.
Tip: You may want to use a detangling spray when combing out knots and small matts. These sprays help the comb pass through knots and tangles with less friction.VIEW PRICE
The Oster Combo Brush is a versatile tool that’s great for daily grooming. It’s particularly useful for active dogs who are mud magnets, or for long haired Goldendoodles who could benefit from a pin brush.
The bristle side works well for brushing off dried-in dirt from the top of the coat and helping to give it a healthy shine. Because it’s gentler than a slicker, it’s also a good choice if you have a Goldendoodle puppy with a delicate coat and sensitive skin.
If you have a dog that is nervous about being groomed, starting off with this gentle option while you work on building up positive associations with yummy treats, can be a good choice.
The pin brush side has rounded tips meaning it won’t be too uncomfortable, and these penetrate a little deeper into the coat and can help work through light tangles.
It also has an easy-grip handle that’s comfortable to hold, which is perfect if you’re using it on a bigger dog, like a Goldendoodle.
If your Goldendoodle has a dense, thick coat, you may find that the pins start to bend or even fall out with a lot of use. You should get plenty of use out of it before this becomes an issue though.VIEW PRICE
The FURminator Slicker Brush is an interesting option, as it has two sides – one with straight pins and the other with angled pins. This allows you to experiment to see which pin heads are most effective for resolving light mats in your Goldendoodle’s coat.
Considering Goldendoodle coats can vary a lot in terms of texture, it’s great to have this versatility. It’s also an excellent choice if you have multiple dogs with different coat types.
Of course, even having two sides doesn’t mean this is the only brush you’ll need. A comb is still an essential purchase, and you might need a dematting rake if your dog has thicker tangles or mats.
The Furminator slicker brush also has a flexible head, which reduces pressure and potential discomfort for your dog. Despite the flexible design, it still penetrates down into the undercoat and is effective for tackling mild knots and tangles.
Unlike the Hertzko brush, this doesn’t have the option to self-clean. You’ll need to work harder to clean the hairs from the bristles of this brush.VIEW PRICE
The AtEase double-sided bristle and pin brush is made from sustainable bamboo wood, making it a great brush if you’re trying to minimise your dog’s impact on the environment. The two-sided design also makes it a versatile dog brush for your collection.
Like the Oster brush, the AtEase is effective for removing dirt and debris from the topcoat of straight or wavy coat types. It’s less useful on curly hair Goldendoodles though.
A downside of the bamboo handle is the lack of non-slip grip. This is more environmentally friendly, but can make the brush more difficult to use for long periods. It’s still relatively comfortable to hold though.
Just make sure you keep this bristle and pin brush out of reach of enthusiastic chewers, as the wooden material may prove too tempting for some dogs!VIEW PRICE
It’s important to choose the right Goldendoodle brush. Regardless of the type of coat, tangles and mats form easily if Goldendoodles aren’t groomed regularly.
Slicker brushes are effective at penetrating double coats and resolving mild tangles. My top pick is the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush which is durable, flexible and has a self-cleaning function to prevent a build up of hairs.
Using this in combination with a good quality metal comb, like the Shiny Pet Dog Comb, will help keep your Goldendoodle mat free.
I hope this article has answered your questions and helped you choose the best brush for Goldendoodle grooming. If you have any questions or feedback, please get in touch using the comments section below.