Teddy Bear Doodles
A Poodle’s coat and that of an Old English Sheepdog are quite different as you examine the two breeds. Respectively, both the coat of the Poodle and the Old English Sheepdog require different grooming techniques. As Sheepadoodles rise in popularity, being a newer breed of dog. You may find yourself wondering what grooming requirements this phenomenal hybrid dog requires throughout his life with you.
Sheepadoodles tend to be a non-shedding crossbreed. They are famous for their hypoallergenic coat’s and tend to shed very little or in some cases, not at all. The grooming requirements for a Sheepadoodle are similar to its parent breed; the Poodle. Sheepadoodles need their coats clipped on a regular basis averaging every 4-6 weeks to keep that long and fluffy teddy bear look and feel.
In addition to regular hair cuts, your Sheepadoodle will need routine brushing; about 3-4 times per week to keep the coat free from dirt and debris. Brushing out your dog's coat will not only help him look his best, but it will also reduce the chance of your Sheepadoodle developing mats in his fur. These can be painful for your dog and will have to be shaved if they are unable to be brushed through. Which could then leave your dog with a shorter cut than you may have wanted. Brushing frequently also has the added benefit of improving circulation and building a strong foundational bond with your dog. During the first few grooming sessions be sure to take it one step at a time so as to not overwhelm your new Sheepadoodle. Using grooming as a training opportunity, offering treats and making it a positive experience will pay off in the long run as you build confidence and strengthen the trust between you and your new family member.
Using an oil based conditioner when bathing your Sheepadoodle (or requesting that your groomer use one) can aid in detangling the hair while also keeping the coat more manageable between haircuts. When bathing your Sheepadoodle yourself, scrub to remove as much dead skin and dirt as possible during each bath. Do this without ruffling the fur as ruffling can promote tangles that will be difficult to sort out with the brush later on. Use the same energy you would use when training your dog for other grooming techniques, aiming to reassure him that he is safe in a calm controlled environment.
Some Sheepadoodles do experience light shedding. Blowing your dog out after a bath with a high velocity blow dryer can aid in the deshedding process and further reduce matting of the fur. The groomer will do this for you. If you have chosen to take grooming into your own hands however, this is a handy tool that you can generally purchase online.
Feeding your Sheepadoodle a high quality diet can also aid the grooming process. Helping your dog produce natural oils that protect his coat from the elements as he goes about his daily life by your side.
The eyes of your Sheepadoodle should be bright and alert. Caring for the eyes of your Sheepadoodle is minimal, there’s nothing that needs to be done on a regular basis for the eyes of a healthy Sheepadoodle. However, if you notice your Sheepadoodle has a foreign object in their eyes causing irritation, you can use a dog safe eye wash and flush any dirt or debris out of the eyes. If problems persist it would be best to seek veterinary assistance.
Cleaning of the ears is relatively simple, wiping out the ear canal with a warm wet rag when excessive wax is present is usually all that is necessary. As you push down into the ear canal be careful not to push too deeply as this can hurt your Sheepadoodle and potentially damage his ear.
Sheepadoodles have inherited a continuously growing coat from their Poodle parent breed. For this reason the hair in their ears also continues to grow. This may or may not cause a problem for your dog, but occasionally the increasing amount of hair in the ear canal can trap moisture causing ear infections. Some vets will recommend “ear plucking” to help the ears receive proper circulation. To do this, an ear powder is sprinkled into the ear drying the area and reducing the oily residue. The powder prevents the hair from slipping during the plucking process. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, your groomer can generally remove the hair for you.
Because ear plucking is likely uncomfortable for the dog, it can be a bit of a controversial subject. However when the hair is plucked in small sections most dogs don’t show any signs of stress or discomfort. If you're unsure about whether ear plucking is the right thing for your Sheepadoodle, be sure to consult your veterinarian.
Sheepadoodles, like all dogs, have paw pads made of fatty insulating tissue to protect their feet. It’s important to check your dog’s paw pads regularly, spreading their toes to check for any foregn objects or injuries. Walking your dog on hot pavement in the summer or ice and salt in the winter can cause your dogs paw pads to crack, dry out and burn. Paw balms can be used to hydrate the paws of your Shepadoodle or create a wax barrier between your dog’s feet and the surface of the ground. Ideally poor walking conditions should be avoided whenever possible, or alternatively you can employ boots for additional protection to your dogs feet.
Often overlooked, nail trimming is actually quite an important part of grooming your Sheepadoodle. A dog with overgrown nails can develop arthritis, as it shifts the way the dog naturally carries himself. This can lead to joint problems later in life if not addressed. Luckily, trimming your Sheepadoodles nails is one of the simpler tasks to add into your grooming routine, or to request from your groomer.
When trimming your Sheepadoodles nails yourself, remember to:
Take your time, resting and rewarding your dog between paws or as needed. It can be a stressful experience for both the dog and the handler when rushed.
Don’t cut the quick! Underneath the hard outer coating of your dog’s nail is a fleshy center that will bleed if cut. Shining a flashlight under the nail can help you locate and avoid the quick as you trim your Sheepadoodles nails.
Come prepared with styptic powder or cornstarch. If you cut the quick of your dog's nail, dipping the affected nail in either powder will slow and stop the bleeding.
Praise your dog when he does well, many dogs feel uncomfortable with having their paws handled and nails trimmed, use this opportunity to show him you appreciate his cooperation.
If you find nail trimming to be overwhelming for you or your dog, it might be time to enlist a professional grooming service. Groomers often have special tools that can make the nail clipping process easier and less stressful for your Sheepadoodle, such as head wraps to reduce anxiety, a head loop to keep finicky dogs still, or silent nail clippers, all of which they can employ to help your dog have a better nail trimming experience.
Dental care for a Sheepadoodle is similar to how you would care for your own teeth. These days there is a wide variety of toothbrushes to choose from, as well as toothpaste formulated with safety in mind, should your Sheepadoodle ingest some of it during the brushing process.
While brushing your dog's teeth is a vital component of your pet's oral hygiene. There are alternatives that can be used to supplement brushing your dog’s teeth. Water additives can be used to remove plaque from your Sheepadoodles teeth, this works similarly to a dental gel, but it isn't applied to the teeth directly. You simply add it into your dog’s water bowl. Dental wipes designed for dogs can be used to rub plaque off the teeth between brushing sessions. Even with the use of these other products It's important to note that brushing is still necessary to get into those hard to reach crevices between the teeth.
Giving your dog things to chew on frequently does help remove plaque from the teeth as your dog chews. However, if you feel your dog’s oral hygiene needs some extra help, you can always contact your veterinarian and schedule a professional cleaning.