The Best Brush For Goldendoodle Grooming (Plus Tips and Tricks)
Are you noodling over which is the best brush for Goldendoodle grooming? Are you about to pull your own hair out looking through the maze of dog brushes and grooming tools available? Or maybe you have a pile of brushes tossed in a drawer because they just didn’t work for your Goldendoodle’s hair type. If any of these scenarios sound familiar, we’re glad you’re here.
At Happy-Go-Doodle, our goal is to make every Goldendoodle adventure even happier and more joyful—including Doodle care routines such as brushing, learning how to trim your Goldendoodle’s face, and DIY dog nail care.
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Why Goldendoodles benefit from a brushing and grooming routine
For many Doodle dog moms and dads, maintaining a Goldendoodle’s lovely locks can be a bit of a surprise as well as a challenge. Depending on the Doodle’s hair type, mats can be a menace. However, with a brushing routine in place and with the right grooming tool for the job, it can be a positive experience for both of you. In fact, many Doodle owners have shared that it is one of their favorite routines and an enjoyable bonding experience for the Doodle and human team.
Why the best Goldendoodle brush helps combat those menacing mats
As adorable as the Doodle dog is, many Goldendoodle coats require diligent maintenance. Brushing keeps the hair clean, mat-free, gets rid of loose hairs, and is an important part of keeping our Doods healthy and happy.
If you’ve been researching Goldendoodle grooming, you may have heard about cases where the Doodle parent picks up their little Dood from the groomer and their fur baby is all nakey because mean old mats were hiding underneath all that fluff. While nakey Doodles are so adorable too, it’s better to get to choose the “nakey look” as a fun and carefree hairstyle rather than due to matting, which can be uncomfortable for any dog.
By the way, routine maintenance isn’t isolated to Goldendoodles. All dogs need brushing and many other breeds of dogs require significant upkeep and maintenance. However, since Goldendoodles are a mixed breed, there is a wide range of variation between coats: from curly coated to wavy to woolly. With that wide variety, comes a wide range of upkeep.
Ask one Doodle mom and she may say that her dog’s coat is hard to manage so she keeps it short. Ask another Doodle mom and she may say that her Doodle’s coat is very low maintenance. But regardless of coat type, Goldendoodles need brushing along with either DIY hair trims or trips to the groomer for haircuts.
How I found the best brush for Goldendoodle grooming
So how do you achieve the Goldendoodle grooming dream?
It starts with having the right tools for the job! After trying a pile of other brushes that have ended up in the back of my junk drawer, I did more research. I reached out to other Goldendoodle owners and checked in with a professional groomer to get the 4-1-1 on what is THE BEST brush for Goldendoodle grooming that helps keep the coat mat-free and healthy.
The Chris Christensen Slicker Brush was the clear winner hands down, so I decided to buy it and try it. I’ve been using it for over a year now. Honestly, it’s one of my “best finds” for grooming my Goldendoodle.
My personal pick for the best Goldendoodle brush for at-home grooming: Chris Christensen Slicker Brush
If you’re part of a Goldendoodle Facebook community or a Doodle playgroup, you’ve probably heard of the Chris Christensen Slicker Brush. Other Doodle moms sing its praises. Initially, I was skeptical about spending that kind of money on a brush.
However, my parents instilled in me the belief that having the right tool for the job was the first step in learning how to do anything. So, if I was going to maintain Chloe’s hair, keep those menacing mats at bay, and make brushing a happier experience for both of us, I needed a high-quality product. Honestly, it’s been the best brush for Goldendoodle grooming that I’ve found that works—and is comfortable for Chloe too.
- The fine pins glide through her hair smoothly.
- The pins are long so I can brush through the hair and not just on top of it.
- Each pin has “give” or a little spring action to it—making it gentler on Chloe as I brush her.
- The handle is ergonomic. It’s easy for me to hold and fits comfortably in my hand.
- I use it for de-matting and detangling as well as fluffing the fur.
- Sticker shock. The brush seemed pricey, but it turns out that it is a great value. It has easily stood up to all of our brushing over 52 weeks of happier grooming and looks like it can handle quite a few more years. (I’ll keep you posted.)
Putting it all together: Brush, comb, and detangler
In addition to the Chris Christensen Slicker Brush, I have two other tools in my “toodlekit” (doodle toolkit 😉 ) that I specifically rely on when brushing Chloe.
After I brush her with the slicker brush, I follow up with the Andis Steel Comb. It’s great for finding those hidden mats and also for fluffing up the hair. The pins on the comb are strong and the tips are rounded, making it gentler on Chloe. For those stubborn mats, I use a little Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine. Finally, keeping in the “cowboy” theme, Chloe loves Merrick Cowboy Cookout Treats as a little reward along the way.
Happy-Go-Doodle’s fave four…
Tips for brushing your Goldendoodle
Since grooming and Goldendoodles go together, in addition to sharing what I think is the best brush for Goldendoodle grooming, I’ve created some brushing strategies that have worked for me. Here are are few “Hints for Happy Hair from Happy-Go-Doodle.”
Happy-Go-Doodle’s 4 hints for happier hair brushing
If you have a Goldendoodle puppy, anticipate that brushing will be an important part your fur baby’s care—from puppyhood through grey-muzzled years.
As a Goldendoodle puppy grows, the Goldendoodle puppy coat transitions at around six months and changes from puppy hair to an adult coat. (Chloe’s Goldendoodle puppy hairs started “popping” up. I noticed that her coat went from a straighter puppy coat to curlier coat at around six months of age.)
Depending on whether your Goldendoodle dog leans more to the Golden Retriever side of the family or the Poodle side of the family will impact the adult coat type—wavy, curly, woolly, or maybe even a bit of a combination. (Some sections of Chloe’s coat are curlier than other sections.)
If you start early and acclimate your puppy to the idea of grooming simply by finger grooming, you’ll be well on your way to helping make the grooming experience a positive one for years to come. Additionally, by gently handling those little puppy paws, you will help your furry pal get used to having the paws handled for happier nail trims too. (If you’d like to get a head start, check out my blog post about taking an online course to learn DIY dog nail clipping for all types of nails including puppy nails: Searching for How to Cut Black Nails? I Tried This.)
If you have an adult Goldendoodle and brushing has been sporadic, anticipate how you can put a plan in place for both you and your dog that fits into your lifestyle. Setting both you and your dog up for success begins with a little preparation.
Also, whenever I a buy a new dog product, in this case, the Chris Christensen brush, I first let Chloe get accustomed to it, by letting her sniff it and approach it on her own terms. When I got the new Chris Christensen dog brush, I placed it on the coffee table and let her check it out.
Have a plan and get prepped before you begin brushing. That way, you can focus all your efforts on the actual act of brushing while you have your dog’s attention. Here are some things that I do that might work for you too:
- Choose a location that’s comfortable for your Goldendoodle. I have three areas where I brush my red Goldendoodle dog: outside on the deck on nice days, on the couch in the evenings, or on the dog grooming table.
- Gather the tools you need before beginning. I have a basket with my essential tools: pin brush, comb, round-tipped scissors, Cowboy Magic, high-value treats, and a large towel for Chloe to lay/sit on. Once I’ve brushed her, if there are loose hairs, they are on the towel and not on the floor.
- Set a time for daily brushing. Chloe, like most dogs, loves routines. Also, this may seem obvious, but when you brush your Goldendoodle, you’ll find plenty of loose hair in your brush. This is what Chloe’s brush looks like after brushing…
3. Brushing with affirmation
Grooming truly is a way to bond with and enjoy more time with Chloe. I keep it positive and affirm her every step of the way as I brush her curly mop of hair. Here are some things that I do:
- As I brush, I reward with lots of positive praise (spoken in a high voice) and some treats too. Additionally, I take breaks from brushing and massage her ears as another form of praise and love.
- Legs, behind the ears, and in the “armpits” tend to be the spots where Chloe gets more knots and mats. Also, her collar rubs and can start mats around her neck. Sometimes I choose to tackle one problem area and focus on it for that sitting
- I keep brushing sessions short and positive. I know that any tug at a mat can hurt, so I give her plenty of praise.
Celebrate that you’re giving your Goldendoodle excellent care and that the two of you make a great team. And if your Goldendoodle gets restless, end on a positive note. You can even jot down where you left off so that you’re prepped for the next brushing. Finally, here are some other thoughts:
- While no one else that I know has brought this up, I think Doodle mom guilt is a thing. If your Goldendoodle has mats, give yourself some grace.
- And if life gets crazy and you get behind on brushing, see the bullet point above.
- Finally, when you take your Goldendoodle to the groomer, ask if they can share any tips or recommendations specific to brushing your Goldendoodle’s coat type.
With a little time, effort, positivity, and the best dog brush for the job, you and your Goldendoodle can enjoy the brushing routine. Plus, mats will stay to a minimum and won’t grow into menacing monsters.
What tips do you have for brushing your dog?
We’d love to hear. Please comment below.