Are Doodles Double Coated? A Complete Guide

You’ve finally decided the doodle breed is for you – congratulations! These dogs are such popular dogs, not least of all because of their sheer uniqueness. Not only have you got different breeds and different generations, but you also have the appearance to consider – color, height, furnishings, and coat type. You may not have even realized coat types could vary so much. They do, and in this article we get down to the nitty-gritty of the Doodle coats. In particular, understanding the double coat.

Poodles have just one coat layer and it very much depends on what they are crossed with as to whether your doodle will be double-coated or not. However, a quick brush of your doodle can give you the answer quickly and accurately.

This is such an exciting topic to explore with so much to talk about. Let’s investigate what a double coat is, and how we know it is a double coat. Let’s also throw in some example breeds and examine their coats.

What Exactly is a Double Coat?

You are forgiven if this is a new term for you. It’s a bit of a minefield so let’s break it down into easy terms. Some dog breeds have just one single layer while some breeds have two. A double coat consists of an undercoat and an overcoat. The undercoat will be lighter in color and also soft to touch. The outer coat will be coarser and comprises of longer hair which hides what lies underneath. The outer coat can shed all year round whereas the undercoat will shed seasonally.

The undercoat is there simply to keep your dog insulated. It protects your dog against the harsh winter cool temperatures. In the summer it keeps them protected from the sun. We will look further into caring for dogs with a double coat but first, let’s look at the coat structure of the poodles as our starting point.

The Poodle Coat

Poodles are single-layered dogs, they only have one coat. This is the reason they are considered somewhat hypoallergenic compared to other dog breeds. No dog is ever 100% hypoallergenic though, and this is very important to remember for anyone with allergies. Poodles have three types of coats: straight, wavy, and curly. The curlier the coat the less it will shed is the general rule of thumb. Therefore, a curly dog is preferable if there are allergies involved.

Allergies to dogs do not stop at the fur or hair though. There are other triggers to allergies which consist of:

  • Dander (dead skin cells)
  • Urine
  • Saliva

It is for this reason that no dog, not even the Poodle, will ever be 100% hypoallergenic. Indeed, if your allergies lie with urine or saliva you sadly may never find a suitable dog.

Single coated dogs do not shed or shed very minimally unlike double-coated breeds. This does not mean Poodle coats are low maintenance – they require regular brushing and clipping to prevent their fur matting. When being brushed, you will see hair in the brush – this is normal and to be expected.

So, what happens when a Poodle is bred with another breed, will the puppies have one or two coats? You have most likely already searched for this answer and struggled to find a clear response. Until now. This is because, quite honestly, breeding a Poodle to achieve a Doodle breed is not only a relatively new concept but can be full of surprises. Let’s explore a few of the most popular Doodle breeds and see if we can label any of them as double or single coated dogs, or if any factors sway this either way.

Labradoodles: They are largely considered to be one of the more hypoallergenic dog breeds, but remember, no breed is 100%. A Labradoodle has the potential of inheriting a low shedding single coat. However, it may also end up being a shedder, thus causing problems with allergy sufferers. Why is there such a variety in the coats? Put simply, it comes down to the parents and the grandparents and what their coats are like.

Can you guarantee a low shedding Labradoodle? To do this you need to find a reputable breeder who has the knowledge and insight into the Labradoodle family tree. For coats to be more likely non-shedding, you are best with an F1b Labradoodle (75% poodle, 25% Labrador Retriever). With this generation the parents and the grandparents will be mostly non-shedders too which makes them the best option. However, there are never 100% guarantees in dog breeding, and there will be the odd surprise along the way.

In summary: They do have a double coat. Unlike other breeds though, Labradoodles do not blow their coats. They do still need regular brushing to keep the undercoat from becoming a matted mess.

Goldendoodles: Again, this breed often chosen for its low shedding reputation and therefore allergy-friendly coats. This breed won’t always be non-shedding though, some generations can be prone to thick coats which will shed, linked strongly to the Labrador Retriever background. F1b pups again have the biggest likelihood of being a low shedding Goldendoodle. This generation should consist of 75% Poodle and 25% Labrador making the Poodle gene the most dominant.

In summary: Goldendoodles are considered to be double coated. This breed needs regular grooming. Every 8 to 12 weeks to keep on top of fur maintenance. Without grooming the undercoat will become matted and tangled which can become very problematic for your fur baby.

Bernedoodles: This breed is considered to have hair as opposed to fur. Again, they are popular among families that desire dogs with a minimal amount of shedding. As with other breeds, to produce a Bernedoodle with the lowest possible shedding then you would need to breed an F1b Bernedoodle. This is a 25% Bernese Mountain Dog and 75% Poodle.

In summary: There is much conflicting information regarding Bernedoodle coats which can ultimately make things look about as clear as mud. This is because of the sheer variety in coat types. But I can categorically tell you that although some people will tell you their Bernedoodle is double coated, this isn’t correct. A Bernedoodle has the same hair growing from the root right to the tip.

Cavapoo: Often regarded as low shedding they have soft, but dense fur. Despite their long fur generally speaking they do not tend to shed very much. They do need regular grooming though as they are very prone to matting and knots. Again, F1b will produce the most hypoallergenic pooch with the genetics being 75% poodle and 25% Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

In summary: Cavapoos have just one single coat which is soft to touch. They are also not prone to drooling so this is another plus for those families with allergies to consider.

Yorkipoo: Both Poodles and Yorkshire terriers have just one coat, therefore it follows that Yorkipoos will be the same. Sometimes they are mistaken as having an undercoat due to the density of their coat. They too need regular grooming to keep their coats in tip-top shape.

In summary: Yorkipoos have a single coat and are largely considered hypoallergenic, to an extent. However, the amount of shedding still comes down to individual coat types.

What have we Learnt so Far?

We have explored a few of the more popular Doodle breeds and looked into whether they have a double or single coat. You will be forgiven for not being able to find definitive answers, it seems to be a question that has been left wide open. We have managed to categorize the above after lots of research. We must reiterate again that it is important to remember that there are no guarantees when it comes to Doodles. They can be unpredictable to breed and even the best breeders out there will be handed a few surprises in their lifetime.

We have explored how you can produce a lower shedding puppy by choosing F1b generations. This is where the first generation (F1) Doodle is bred back with a purebred Poodle. We have discovered that no dog will ever be 100% hypoallergenic. We now know that single-coated dogs will shed less but still need plenty of grooming. Let’s now look into ways you can tell if your Doodle has a double coat. Did you know there were ways to test this yourselves?

How to tell if my Doodle is Double Coated.

There is a very simple way of knowing once and for all if your Doodle is single or double-coated. Get the brush out. Put a piece of kitchen paper down (or a dark cloth if your Doodle is light-colored) and give your dog a quick brush using a few firm strokes. Once you’ve done this pull out the collection of fur/hair from the brush and spread out on the paper. Does there appear to be two types of hair, maybe soft thick fur and some coarse longer hairs too? If there are two types, you have a double-coated pooch.

If you are keen to buy a double-coated breed, or simply want to know what coat yours will have then talk to the breeder. Ask questions about the mother and father and the grandparents. You could even take a brush along and ask the breeder to double-check for you by brushing the parents – I’m sure they’ve had stranger requests in their time!

A spanner in the works: At this point, we should also point out that all dogs, even the double-coated ones, are all born with just one coat. It is only after shedding the puppy coat (usually between 4 to12 months old) that the two layers will grow. Coat patterns, textures, and even colors are all subject to change as your puppy grows. So, if you assume your puppy is of the single coat variety you may well be in for a shock!

Grooming Requirements for Single and Double Coats

Do double coats require more grooming than single ones? Well, double coats will shed more twice a year – in the summer and again in the fall. This doesn’t mean less grooming though. Your Doodle will still need regular brushing. Dogs with double coats need a brush that gets all the way down to the undercoat which will loosen any excess hair.

Single coated dogs are less prone to shedding which means more brushing and grooming are required. If you leave it too long between brushes, you run the risk of allowing the fur to become matted which isn’t a pleasant experience for your dog.

However double coats can also take a great deal of maintenance. It will always come down to the coat type and how curly the fur is.

Doodle grooming

How to Bathe a Double Coated Doodle

It’s not recommended to wash your dog too often as this strips the coat of its natural oils. Once every month should be more than adequate – some breeds may go longer, others may need one a bit sooner. Sometimes your delightful fur baby may think rolling in poop is a fine idea, in which case my guess is they will be getting an unscheduled visit to the tub!

Bathing your dog takes some organization. Have plenty of towels at the ready and the shampoo and conditioner within easy reach. Pop down a slip-proof bathmat to stop your pooch from clambering around, especially if baths aren’t their most favorite thing.

Top Tip: Leave the head, including ears until the very end. The biggest mistake I ever made when bathing my dog was going for the head first. This resulted in myself being drenched before we even began. This is because when water gets close to a dog’s head or ears, you guessed it – they shake!

When you work in the shampoo be sure to get all the way down to the skin to ensure all dirt is removed. Produce a good lather all over before rinsing off. You may feel your dog needs a second shampoo (refer back to the poop scenario). If this is the case just repeat the process as required. Repeat the washing process with the head (and take cover)! You can brush a double-coated dog while they are being washed and this will remove any unwanted undercoat.

You now have a clean softly scented dog. It is important to dry a double-coated dog as quickly as possible so that they don’t become matted or get too cold. Use a towel and rub dry as much of your dog as you can – this may use up several towels so have the washer at the ready! You can finish off the process using a hairdryer, keep it moving constantly over your dog and keep the nozzle well away.

For brushing your double-coated Doodle you will need a brush specifically designed to brush out the undercoat. A wide-tooth comb will tackle any knots and a bristle brush can help with the shedding process and keep your pooch looking shiny and new. It is best to introduce your dog to the brush as early on in its life as possible so that they see brushing as a normal part of their day.

If you want to learn more about bathing your Doodle, see our guide on how to bathe a Cavapoo.

Why is my Double Coated Doodle Losing Hair?

We’ve talked about the shedding process a lot so let’s look at some other reasons your dog’s fur may be falling out or becoming patchy in places. They may have a bacterial infection on the skin – ringworm and mange are two common ones. This will need veterinary attention.

A poor diet can also result in your dog’s hair not growing properly. Shaving your double-coated dog can cause problems with regrowth. Finally, your dog may have allergies that are causing them issues – seek advice from your vet if you are ever unsure.

Products Available for Double Coated Doodles

  • Undercoat Rake Brushes: These are ideal for getting to the undercoat and brushing out any that is already shedding.
  • Dog grooming brushes: These will remove any shedding as you brush. It will also leave their coat feeling silky soft.
  • Doggy shampoo and conditioners: There is so much choice on the market and you can buy to suit your dog’s skin/fur type. There are also medicated shampoos available. It is important that you do use dog specific products for bathing.
  • Dog dryer: Yes, you can buy your pampered pooch their very own hairdryer. You could even give them their own salon!

Related Questions

Why Shouldn’t you Shave Double Coated Dogs?

You really should not be shaving your double-coated dog. The undercoat is there to protect your dog from the elements and once shaved may never grow back the same. It may become patchy causing further health problems.

Can you Trim a Double Coated Dog?

Yes, trimming your dog is perfectly fine, just don’t get too close to the undercoat. Keep to the outer coat only for trim purposes. Furnishings will also benefit from a trim now and again.