Shopping list for puppy coat care 101

Grooming Tools for Doodle Puppies

0-4 months of age

Brushing and combing are essentials to get puppies used to their sensations. It is also vital for pawrents to get comfortable preventing mats and getting used to handling doodles for grooming.

Puppy Coat Care Tools List

Essential tools

Double-sided pin brush
for training and recreational brushing

Comb
to check for leftover tangles and mats

Flea comb
for eye booger removal

Shampoo
for clean coat

Conditioner
for a softer coat

Blow-dryer
for training, drying, searching 

Well-being tools

Pre-haircut shear
for a paw hair trim

Thinning shear
for eye area trim

Puppy nail clipper
for shortening nails

Dog nail file
for making nails smooth, fixing minor splits

Essential Puppy Grooming Tools

On the left, you'll find the high-end tools, on the right, there'll be the tools on the budget.

#1. Double-sided Pin Brush

For getting used to brushing, preventing tangles, mats

A petite double-sided pin brush is the best to get your puppy used to the gentle sensation of brushing. This is the magic wand for recreational brushing. It is very handy to keep puppies happy and to loosen up their coat. The main goal here is to get them used to be brushed so they'll love brushing. Rounded, moving pins will make sure your puppy will adjust to the rubbing sensation smoothly. It is for prevention, this tool is not suitable to loosen up tangles and mats. The bristle side is for times when puppies try to get a taste of the brush, to prevent their teeth crack their lips on the wooden/plastic backside. It serves no detangling, dematting purposes.

~$59

Maximilian double-sided pin & bristle brush

Get this pin brush on Amazon.com!

~$17

Paws Pamper Boar Bristle & Pin Brush

Get this pin brush on Amazon.com!

#2. Comb

For finding mats

A medium-coarse comb with one inch long pins is a great tool to find tangles and mats in puppy coat. It will be very helpful to do the same in summer coats, up to one-inch length or thickness. It is very comfortable to use, you most likely going to need the coarse side only. The 1 inch long pins are thick, they won't bend, and are comfortably rounded on the end.

~$59

Maximillian Medium-coarse Comb - 1" pins

Get this comb on Amazon.com!

~$10

Andis Medium-coarse Comb - 1" pins

Get this comb on Amazon.com!

#3. Flea Comb

For scooping out eye discharge

~$22

Bass Flea Comb

Get it on Amazon.com!

Ready to remove the eye boogers within two seconds? Get them out while they are soft, with a flea comb! The fine pins are not really suitable to remove fleas from the thick doodle coat, but they are the perfect tool to get the eye boogers out with ease! (Avoid those that have pins on both sides! You won't be able to get to the eyes and "scoop" that effectively.)

#4. Shampoo

For keeping the coat clean

~$14

Earthbath - Hypoallergenic shampoo

Get it on Amazon.com!

The Earthbath Hypo-allergenic shampoo is my favorite shampoo of all for puppies. Super gentle on the skin, it cleanses outstandingly while keeping the natural oils of the skin on the dog. It gives a non-sticky finish, basically has no smell, which will help your puppy feel naturally clean, and his/her nose in peace. When you use the scent-free shampoo, your puppy won't feel the urge to use "doggy camouflage" and roll in dirt or smelly stuff right after a spa day. This shampoo's ingredients are gentle enough on puppy and human skin, so I highly recommend using it for home spa days after a good brush and comb out! Even bringing it to your groomer along with the conditioner so you won't miss a day of softness! :)

#5. Conditioner

For keeping the coat soft, tangle-free, and easy to brush

~$14

Earthbath - Oatmeal & Aloe Conditioner

Get it on Amazon.com!

My favorite conditioner, also from Earthbath is the Oatmeal and Aloe Conditioner. It makes the coat so soft you won't stop cuddling your doodle after a bath. And the cherry on the top is it helps hugely with brushing and it keeps tangles and mats away for a significantly longer period of time. It is the richest conditioner I know on the market with the safest ingredient combination I came across so far. I highly recommend using this conditioner for home spa days after a thorough brush and comb out and the shampoo.

#6. Hand blow-dryer

For getting used to the sound and sensation of a dryer, drying

~$60

John 2200W Blow-dryer

Get it on Amazon.com!

For puppies, beginners even for adult doodles, face area, and sensitive spots, I highly recommend using a small, hand-held dryer like this. Your own might work as well, or you can get one dedicated to your doodle's spa days. I like this small hand blow-dryer a lot since it has 2 volume settings, low and high. Also cool, warm, and hot settings to make getting dry more pleasant in any season and temperature preferences. It's way less loud and much easier to handle than a high-velocity dryer, but will go through the puppy and even ~1" long adult coat easily. It can be used to search for skin injuries and mats.

Well-being Puppy Grooming Tools

For Face, Feet, Fanny Trims at Home

Puppies need about 4 Face, Feet, Fanny trims before they're done with all the puppy shots, by around about four months of age. Below you find the Face, Feet, Fanny trim, and nail care tools in case you can't find a groomer you trust and instead want to do it yourself.

#1. Pre-haircut Shear

For the eye area, paw hair, and sanitary trims

Pre-haircut shears are the tank of shears. They are suitable to trim dirty coats, last long enough, yet are cheap enough for the job. My favorite is the Con-Air PRO Pre-haircut shear. I use it for trimming paw hair, eye area, and privates. You can get the 5-inch or 6-inch version. For more petite breeds, go with the 5-inch one. That has smaller tips and you can maneuver easier among the pads. The heart-shaped tips make it safe to work among the paw pads and between the toes. It's sharp enough to trim hair with it easily anywhere on the puppy's body, let it be paw hair, eye area, ear hair, privates, etc. It's very hard to hurt the dog with it. Goes through mats, mud, eye boogers, and poop. You can perform an eye area trim with this shear only but makes the smoothest look when combined with thinning shear is not a must.

~$15

Con-Air Pro Shear

Get the 5" on Amazon.com!
Get the 6" on Amazon.com!

Works on a clean or dirty coat.

~$20

Laazar Pro Dog Grooming Scissors

Get it on Amazon.com!

For a clean coat only.

#2. Thinning Shear

For line-free eye area trims

The coat has to be absolutely clean, freshly bathed, and dried, otherwise, the shears below will get dull very fast. Frequent sharpening costs money and it shortens the life span of shears. If you get a longer shear, it'll be a tad trickier to get used to it, but you'll be able to use it for other body parts, too.

~$180

Sensei - Swivl SpeedCut™ 35 Tooth

This is my favorite gear to do spectacular, line-free eye area trim easily and fast. By investing in a tool like this, you are not only buying the tool but also buying experience with it, too.

Get it from SenseiShears.com!

Top tip: Before you would jump in and get one, I encourage you to learn more about the thinning shear types so you will buy only the type(s) you need. Not more, not less.

~$90

Kenchii - Five Star 26-tooth 4.5" Thinner

Great for beginners to work around the eyes.

Get it from KenchiiGrooming.com!
Check out other thinning shears from Kenchii.

~$11

ULG - Texturizing shear

Get it from Amazon.com!

#3. Small Nail Clipper

For shortening nails safely and effectively

Small pet nail clippers are the best type of nail clippers on the market for doodle puppies. These two below have comfortable finger holes and finger rest to make your grip secure. They have super sharp jaws to make the trimming smooth and pressure-free. (Dull clippers put pressure on the nails instead of cutting them smoothly, it squeezes the soft tissue, and dogs freak out of this sensation.)

~$38

Maximilian Premium Pet Nail Clipper

Get it from Amazon.com!

~$6

The Boots and Barkley/Up and Up Nail Clippers

Get it from Target.com!

#4. Nail File

For scratch-free pawdicures

~$11

Safari Dog nail file

Get it on Amazon.com!

My favorite nail file of all time is the Stainless Steel Safari Diamond Dog Nail File. So much so, that I don't use any machine type grinders. The size is perfect for puppies and adults as well. A comfortable handle puts a smile on your face, and the proper grit size puts one on your doodle's face. You will work effectively and comfortably. It works fast, makes the nails rounded and smooth, no edges to plow up your thigh or scratch your dog's cornea. A great alternative to machine grinders.

Miscellaneous Gadgets for Coat Care

for doodle grooming

RoyalCare Silicone Dog Treat Pouch

Get it on Amazon.com!

Treat Bag

Made of food-grade silicone, BPA free, safe, and healthy. Easy to Use--The magnet makes it easy to put and take treats out, automatic close after feeding. Lightweight attaches to waist belts, pants, or packages, with a clip. Easy to Clean through a large opening, allows you to wash the pet pouch inner side easily for keeping sanitary. Perfect for super yummy and moist treats, like baked chicken liver. Since it is water-resistant, even moist treats won't stain your clothes.

Doggie Language

A Dog Lover's Guide to Understanding Your Best Friend

book by Lili Chin

Great book illustrating how dogs feel in different situations, so we can adjust the environment to meet their comfort level.

Lick pad

A very efficient tool to keep food motivated doodles occupied in the tub for baths and quick rinses.

Get it on Amazon.com!

Showerhead with hose

This is a great transformation to make your bathroom suitable to effectively soak and rinse your doodle. A regular garden hose or a quiet showerhead is a guardian angel of cooperative behavior in the tub.

Get it on Amazon.com!

Want to master the essential coat care for your puppy?

Join us over at Puppy Coat Care 101 course and prepare for a report card from your groomer that you will frame!

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