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The Goldendoodle Puppy Coat Transition: What You Need to Know

“Oh, fluff! My Goldendoodle puppy’s coat has always been so easy to manage! What’s happening? Is this the Goldendoodle puppy coat transition? Where are all these dog mats coming from?”

This is a common frustration for many new Goldendoodle parents. The surprising transition from puppy coat to adult coat can sneak up on any unsuspecting dog mom.

Plus, there’s just not a lot of press about how Goldendoodles shed their puppy coats. But the subject of the Goldendoodle coat transition deserves just as much attention as all the other Goldendoodle pros and cons.

The puppy coat change shouldn’t be a secret

So let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the Goldendoodle puppy’s coat change. I can imagine if you’re reading this post, you may be in the midst of a coat change and wondering what the floof is going on. Or maybe you’re bringing home a new Goldendoodle puppy and trying to hone up on what to expect and how to prepare.

No matter where you are on your Golden journey, Chloe (my red Goldendoodle sidekick) and I happy you’re here.

By the end of this post, you’ll have a better idea of what to expect when your Goldendoodle starts shedding the puppy coat…from the perspective of a Goldendoodle mom who’s been there.

Welcome to Doodlehood

First, let’s set the stage about Doodlehood. I liken Goldendoodles more to unwrapping a box of chocolates than unwrapping a Hershey’s candy bar. Like a box of chocolates, with a Goldendoodle you’re never quite sure what you’re going to get!

This is especially true for the coat type because Goldendoodle’s are a cross between two breeds —the Poodle and Golden Retriever—that have very different coats.

However, one thing is true for all Goldendoodle puppies. At some point, the Goldendoodle puppy coat will change and the adult coat will come in.

Matting can take over quickly

Kind of like the month of March, the coat transition may enter like a lion! You may be surprised how quickly the mats coming roaring onto the scene.

When my Goldendoodle sidekick Chloe was a pup, her puppy coat was soft and silky and there was not a mat to be found, even in the crevices like the armpits!

inset photo of Goldendoodle puppy named Chloe on pink background
Meet Chloe. Her puppy coat was silky soft.

But then, Chloe’s hair started transitioning from her puppy coat to her adult coat. That’s when mats started sneaking up on us. First under the ears. Then the armpits. Brushing became our thing.

Expect hair to slough off when brushing

Oh, and that’s another thing. If you’re a first time Goldendoodle parent, you may be surprised by the amount of hair that’s in your brush as you groom your maturing Goldendoodle.

Brushing removes dead hair that would otherwise cause mats.

Like hair on our human heads, dog hair has to go somewhere. Since Doodles tend to shed less, Goldendoodle grooming is part of keeping the hair from tangling and matting.

It’s really a trade off. There will always be hair to manage with any dog, whether low-shedding or high-shedding. With a low-shedding dog, there is a greater amount of grooming. With a high-shedding dog, there is a greater amount of time spent cleaning hair off floors. Either way, you have the joy of being a dog parent!

For more about shedding, read my article: Do Goldendoodles Shed?

BTW…I’ve tried a lot of brushes and found what I think is the best brush for Goldendoodle grooming. I’ve used it for several years and it’s one of my most trusted tools along with a metal grooming comb.

Frequently asked questions about the Goldendoodle puppy coat

So, now that we’ve established some basics, let’s uncover what’s going on when your Goldendoodle puppy’s coat transitions to an adult coat so you have an idea of what you can expect.

What’s a Goldendoodle puppy coat?

A Goldendoodle puppy’s coat is soft and silky. The first few months of a Goldendoodle’s life the hair is deceivingly easy to care for. It may make you feel overly confident. Please don’t let your guard down. When the Goldendoodle puppy coat starts transitioning, be ready.

When do Goldendoodle puppies shed their coat?

The time when the puppy coat sheds is called a “coat change.” You may have also heard of it referred to as “blowing their puppy coat.”

There’s not one set age when a Goldendoodle puppy transitions from puppy coat to adult coat. However, as a rule of thumb, Goldendoodle parents say anywhere between four to eight months and may even be up to two years.

What happens during a Goldendoodle puppy coat transition?

When the Goldendoodle adult coat begins to grow in, the puppy coat begins to shed. Rather than simply sloughing off and dropping to the floor, the puppy coat can get caught in the adult coat that’s growing in. This creates tangles. If not groomed early, the tangles turn into mats. Since there are so many Goldendoodle coat types, there is not one set example. Some parents will hardly notice the change while other Goldendoodle parents will find what feels like an explosion of mats.

What areas are the biggest matting culprits?

Typically, areas of high friction are where you’ll find mats cropping up. Pay particular attention to these spots:

  • Under the “armpits”
  • Under the ears
  • Base of tail
  • The back of the legs/haunches/elbows

Recently, I tried using cornstarch for matted dog hair.

When is it time to brush a Goldendoodle puppy?

Now is the best time to start getting your Goldendoodle puppy acclimated to grooming and brushing.

Tips for helping your Goldendoodle puppy enjoy grooming

  • Take grooming one step at a time. Make each step fun and positive. Use lots of sweet talk, plenty of praise, and a high-value treat.
  • Handle your puppy’s paws. Gently massage them. By doing this, you’re setting the stage for a future of happier grooming and even happier dog nail trims. especially if your dog has hard-to-trim dark nails.
  • Visit your professional groomer for a consult. If your puppy is cleared by the vet for socialization (i.e. has had the necessary shots to protect from diseases), bring your pup along.
  • Let your puppy explore the grooming tools you plan to use. Sit them at ground level so your puppy can sniff them. Then give praise and rewards.
  • Begin introducing your puppy to simple at-home grooming routines. Start with gently finger combing and move up to gentle brushing.
  • Even if you plan to groom your Goldendoodle at home, it’s wise to give your puppy the experience of a professional groomer. Find a groomer you trust and who enjoys grooming Goldendoodles.
  • Rather than jumping into a complete professional grooming, give your puppy the chance to get acclimated to the situation. A face and fanny trim makes for a good first step.
  • Whether you plan to learn complete at-home grooming or simply plan to keep up between professional grooms, you may want to invest in a dog grooming table.
Red Goldendoodle puppy with longer coat type, photo
When Chloe’s adult coat came in, curls started “springing” up.

Summary: What to expect and how to prep for the Goldendoodle coat change

Up to about 4 monthsSoft, silky, easy to manage coatPlay with paws. Gather grooming supplies. Visit groomer. Introduce at-home grooming keeping sessions short and positive.
Between 4 months & up to 2 yearsPuppy coat begins to transition,
adult coat comes in
Create a daily at-home grooming plan. Brush or comb daily. Focus on one section of the coat at a time. Inspect the coat. Watch for coat change and signs of matting, especially in high friction areas like the armpits.
Adulthood Coat may continue to change over timeRefine your grooming plan based on your Goldendoodle’s adult coat.
Senior GoldendoodleFace and muzzle may lighten in colorConsider modifications to your grooming routine such as switching to a simple comfort cut. Use a soft touch when handling arthritic paws. Consider steps and ramps for at-home grooming tables or purchase a hydraulic lift grooming table.

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Is your Goldendoodle’s coat changing?

We’d love to hear! Please comment below.

dog with head lying between fluffy paws, photo
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Elaine Nolt

Tuesday 21st of September 2021

Thanks for your help


Sunday 26th of September 2021

P'awww, thanks! Always happy to help! Doodle hugs! 🐾🐾

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