Coat Types

Myths and Facts about Groodle Coats

There really is no such thing as a 100% non-shedding, hypoallergenic dog, so if that’s what you’re looking for, please don’t think you’ll find that here. Reality is that groodles have hair, and sometimes the hair falls out. The thing that makes them different is that about 95% of groodles are non- to low-shedding according to a survey being conducted by goldendoodles.com, and most if not all of these shedding groodles will have hair coats. The best indicator of whether a hair coated puppy will be non-shedding or low-shedding is the length of their eyelashes. It seems that the longer the lashes, the less their coats will shed. Unfortunately even with this indicator, it’s not possible to tell if a young puppy is going to be non-shedding or low-shedding as an adult.

The next lot of bad news is that you can’t tell if a person with a dog allergy will have an allergic reaction to a particular groodle or not until they meet up. It’s an individual thing between the person and the dog, and unfortunately there’s no way to know in advance. People are allergic to different things about dogs, and not all groodles are low-allergy. Again, the probablilities say you are less likely to get an allergic reaction to a groodle than to other types of dogs. In addition, you are less likely to be allergic to a fleece- or wool-coat groodle than to a hair coat groodle.

Development of Puppy Coats

The coat a puppy has at birth is some indicator of what their adult coat will be like, but not totally. The more ripples a puppy has within hours after birth, the longer, thicker and shaggier their coat will be. If the pups have a significant amount of golden retriever in their parantage, they are more likely to be born with a very flat coat and have a hair coat with a “shaggy” adult look. A few of those born with the flat coat will look very much like a golden retriever, with or without the characteristic groodle beard, just (hopefully) without the high shedding charactristic of the retriever. If there is a significant amount of poodle in the parentage, they may have a thicker wool type coat that has much tighter curls, and a few will look very much like a poodle. Between these two extremes are a wide variety of coats that differ in texture and amount of curl.

Groodle puppies with hair coats go through different coat phases in their first year. The coat they have at 8 weeks is just a puppy coat and soon it starts changing and the 2nd or top coat grows, which is longer and made up of coarser hair. A groodle puppy may go through a phase of shedding during their first year, but this doesn’t mean puppy will be a high shedding adult – the true adult coat hasn’t arrived yet and this shedding of the puppy coat most likely won’t be repeated in adulthood. If the puppy is going to shed, this starts just prior to or not long after 8 weeks of age and will be a constant steady loss of hair as opposed to a sudden heavy shed.

Fleece and wool coated groodle pups have soft coats as puppy’s that just get longer. Fleece coats tend to be wavy rather than tight curls, and wool coats are primarily tightly curled coats very similar to the poodle coat. Fleece coated groodles can also have the odd long retriever-like strands of hair, usually on their back. Fleece and wool coated groodles shed very little and it comes out as tufts or knots rather than single strands of hair.

Wool or Curly coat

This coat is very similar to that of the poodle, and there are a few different subtypes that differ in hair density and texture. In general it is a dense texture with tight curls.

Tarli, F2 Groodle with wool coat, from Kooroora Bay Groodles, Australia

Tarli, F2 Groodle with wool coat, from Kooroora Bay Groodles, Australia

Appearance and Care

  • Grooming

    Looks best if brushed weekly and cut 3 to 4 times a year. If left long it will eventually stop growing. If brushed it may have an “affro” look.

  • Bathing

    This coat type is very very unlikely to need regular bathing as it has no “doggy smell”. A quick rinse or hose down if grubby should be sufficient. Beach swims give a lovely “seaside” smell to the coat.

  • Allergy status

    This is a very allergy friendly coat, but remember it really comes down to individual combinations.

  • Health tips

    Take care to keep ears clean and free of wax. Ears can be wiped out with cotton wool buds and warm water or olive oil. Keep hair between toes clipped during grass seed seaso and check for seeds after walks. Keep hair shorter around eyes.

Fleece or Wavy coat

This coat is less dense with a long wavy appearance all over, although shorter on the face. Will grow to be between 10cm to 18cm in length if uncut.

Mitzi from Groodles Inc, Waiheke Island

Mitzi, F1B groodle with fleece coat, from Groodles Inc, Waiheke Island

Appearance and Care

  • Grooming

    Can go several weeks between brushes, but better brushed weekly. If left to grow long there is a tendency to develop felt-like knots that are nearly impossible to brush out. Keep hair short around the eyes, rear end under the tail and inside the ears.

  • Bathing

    This coat type is very unlikely to need regular bathing as it has no “doggy smell”. A quick hose or rinse in the bath is recommended to get mud or sand off. Beach swimming gives the coat a lovely fresh smell. They can get cold easily if wet in cool weather, so keep an eye on them, they may want to be bundled into a rug!!

  • Allergy Status

    This is usually an allergy friendly coat, however, it’s important to check out individual people/puppy combinations.

  • Health tips

    Take care to keep ears clean by wiping out with a cotton wool bud and warm water or olive oil. Keep hair between the toes and in armpits short and check for grass seeds in late spring/summer. If felty knots develop cut them out before they get close to the skin.

Hair or Straight/Shaggy coat

This coat type is also soft to the touch. It’s very noticeably hair though, and can have a very shaggy look, or it closely resemble a golden retriever, and can be with or without a beard.

Miesha, F2B Groodle with hair coat, from Groodles Inc, Waiheke Island

Misha, F2B Groodle from Groodles Inc with hair coat

Appearance and care

  • Grooming

    These coats can be very low maintenance, depending on how thick and shaggy the undercoat gets. Those with shaggy undercoats need brushing 1-2 times per week. Retriever-looking hair coats brush fortnightly to remove lose hair. Cut out knots under arms and on the belly and legs. Trim any hair that might poking into or obscure eyes, keep hair in ears short.

  • Bathing

    This coat type may need more regular bathing, you will know whether to and how often to bathe when a doggy smell develops. Some pups with this coat may have a doggy smell, others won’t. Otherwise, just hose or rinse in the bath when grubby. Regular swims in the sea keeps coats clean and fresh smelling naturally.

  • Allergy status

    This type of coat is more likely to cause allergic reactions than the other two, although surprisingly most groodles with this hair type still cause either no or a mild allergic reaction. It is more important with these pups to check individual people/puppy combinations, especially if a reaction determines whether or not you can have the puppy.

  • Health tips

    There is little you need to do with this coat type apart from keeping ears clean with a cotton wool bud and warm water or olive oil. These pups may develop the retriever problem of a dark waxy substance in the ears which necessitates regular ear cleaning. Keep hair between toes short during grass seed season and check for grass seeds after walks. Remove any knots before they get close to the skin.