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How To Groom a Poodle – Everything You Need to Know

If you have a poodle, grooming can become daunting for you. However, if you learn how to groom a poodle, it can not only save your money in the long run but can also help strengthen the relationship between you and your poodle. You will only need some tools and patience to groom your poodle.

How Long Will It Take to Groom a Poodle? 

Grooming a poodle takes a lot of time. It depends on how well-rested your poodle is before grooming. Hence, it would be best to have enough time in hand to groom a poodle. You might even need to break the procedure into slots while grooming your poodle. Your poodle will need grooming every 3 to 6 weeks. 

Tools Needed to Groom a Poodle 

The essentials needed for grooming a poodle are: 

Steps to Groom a Poodle 

To groom your poodle, you should follow the outlined steps given below: 

Part 1: Clean and Bath your Poodle

  • Brush your poodle: Brush your poodle every day to avoid mats. Start to brush from the neck towards the tail using a slicker brush.
  • Remove thick mats with scissors: Removing mats are essential as they put the dog in discomfort. If the mats are not removed, your poodle might suffer from a skin infection.  

Pro tip: Use scissors through the mat instead of across the mat.   

  • Prepare a bath: Bath your poodle after every 3 months. Ensure to bathe your poodle before trimming. Ensure that the water does not enter the ears and eyes.  
  • Take your dog out after he is wet: After your poodle is wet, lift him from the tub. 
  • Apply pet shampoo from poodle’s head to tail: Applying shampoo will help the dirt and extra oil to wash off. 
  • Rinse your poodle’s coat: Run the water to clean your poodle’s coat thoroughly. Rinse until the water comes out clean. 
  • Dry your poodle’s coat: Dry your poodle’s coat using a towel. You can also try to brush the coat another time and then dry the coat. With the help of a paper towel, clean the back of your poodle’s ear to prevent bacteria from causing infection. 
  • Brush your poodle’s teeth: Remove the plaque from the base of your dog’s teeth gently. Do not be harsh on your poodle’s gum. 
  • Trim your poodle’s nails: You should trim your poodle’s nails to prevent injuries. However, do not trim it too short, which might cause bleeding. Use a guillotine trimmer for your poodle.  

Part 2: Prepare Clipping Your Poodle 

  • Choose a cut: Consult a professional groomer before clipping your poodle. Cuts like Puppy Clip, Continental Clip, and Bikini Clip are widespread. 
  • Invest in quality clippers and scissors: Invest in a quality product for the safety of your poodle. Cheaper clippers and scissors might pull the dog’s skin. Cordless clippers are a good option.
  • Use accurate blades: Clippers feature replaceable blades that are numbered to show the length of fur left after clipping, with higher numbers signifying shorter hair. You will most likely want a range of clipper blades, beginning with 5, 7, 10, 15, and 30. Inappropriate use of blades can cut or burn your poodle’s skin. Hence, choose the right blade and clip for your dog.
  • Exercise your dog before trimming: Your poodle needs to rest while trimming. It is best to take him for exercise before trimming. 
  • Introduce your dog to the clipper: Turn the clippers on around your dog before you begin trimming. This is especially crucial for a puppy or poodle that has not been groomed regularly. Your dog should become accustomed to being near the clippers over time. 

Part 3: Trimming poodle’s ace and Topknot

  • Select a trimmer blade: Select the trimmer blade wisely. White poodles have more sensitive skin than black poodles. Hence you need to select a trimmer blade that suffices your dog’s skin sensitivity, your parameter of expertise, and the reason behind trimming. 
  • Start shaving from the ear opening area: Place the trimmer in the ear opening area and shave towards the eye. 
  • Shave the area between the poodle’s eyes: Place the trimmer in the glabella region and shave it down towards the nose. 
  • Shave poodle’s snout: Start shaving between the dog’s eyes and work your way down the poodle’s snout towards the nose.
  • Shave the neck area: Lift your poodle’s snout and trim the chin area and work it down towards the neck. Stop when it reaches the chest. Keep the cut in a V or U shape. 
  • Let the hair be above the eyes: Poodles have a topknot above their head. Comb the hair above the head upwards and then comb forward to place it above the eyes. 
  • Finish the topknot: To shape and style the topknot, first, sweep all of the topknot hair towards one side. Use curved scissors to cut unequal or overhanging fur. Then, brush the topknot to the other side and repeat. 

Part 4: Shaving Poodle’s Feet 

  • Select a trimmer blade: Select the trimmer blade wisely. White poodles have more sensitive skin than black poodles. Hence you need to select a trimmer blade that suffices your dog’s skin sensitivity, your parameter of expertise, and the reason behind trimming.
  • Shave the back of your poodle’s foot: Start shaving from the back of the footpad towards the ankle. Again, trim from the ankle towards the footpad. Trimming this area helps in locating the ankle and setting the ankle line. 
  • Trim between footpads: Set apart the toes and trim in between to cut the long furs. 
  • Set the ankle line: The poodle’s feet should be shaved, but the ankles should be coated with longer hair. Make a note of where the dog’s ankle bends and maintain the shaved area below the hindquarters.
  • Shave the top foot: Shave from the ankle to the top of the foot. You may also need to reverse the direction and work your way up from your dog’s toes to ankle.
  • Spread the toes: Each toe’s webbing and sides should be shaved. Draw the skin tight over the toe, which would pull the fur out and allow you to get to the difficult-to-reach spots a little easier. 
  • Repeat on each foot: Check if the ankle lines on your poodle’s four paws are even. If one is a little longer than the rest, go back and cut them all to the same length. However, if you shave them too close together, the cut will seem odd. 

Part 5: Trimming the Body Fur into Various Styles 

  • Puppy Clip: Trim the poodle’s fur evenly on the body and legs. The trimming is done with scissors. You will have to brush properly before trimming the hair.
  • Bikini Clip: You have to trim the face, feet, and the base of the tail with a blade 15—body and legs with blade 5 or 7. The topknots, pompoms, and tail poms need to be trimmed with a scissor. The stomach needs to be trimmed with blade 10. 
  • Continental Clip: The Continental Clip consists of a very tightly shaven face, feet, hindquarters, upper legs, and tail base. Pompoms are kept above the feet and at the tail’s end. The coat on the chest, head, and ears is left long yet properly clipped.
  • Teddy Bear Clip: The teddy bear cut is limited to around 1-2 inches long on all sections of the dog’s body, along with the face. The face of a traditional Poodle haircut is shaved close to the skin. If the face is shaved, it seems more serious, royal, and show-dog-like. It is best to leave it to the professionals.
  • Lamb Clip: In Poodles, the “lamb cut” involves shaving the dog’s face, tail, and paws but leaving the topknot and tail the same length as the dog’s hair everywhere on the body, which can be any length the groomer chooses. Some people like to keep the fur on their dog’s legs a little longer so that they don’t look like toothpicks. If that’s the case, this clip is also known as a kennel clip or a utility clip. 

Part 6: Ear Care 

  • Cleaning ear wax: Poodle’s ears are prone to forming wax due to hair growth inside their ears. It is best to trim or pluck the hair inside. 

Pro tips:  

  • If you intend to display your poodle in a dog show, you should have him styled by a professional groomer. To properly exhibit him, the dog’s fur must be well-trimmed.
  • You must choose the trim you like. Poodles have coats that may be groomed in a variety of ways. However, your decision will be influenced in part by how much time and work you are prepared to devote to keeping your poodle’s coat in good condition. 
  • Selecting a groomer should be done with caution. Speaking with other poodle owners is a beautiful method to locate a trustworthy groomer. 
  • To make the grooming procedure easier, brush your poodle frequently.  

Final Thoughts 

Before you begin grooming your poodle at home, understand the fundamentals of good grooming and become acquainted with the poodle breed. Leave advanced poodle cuts like the teddy bear style and the continental clip to a professional groomer.

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