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Ten Easy Steps to Groom your Poodle Like a Professional

Updated on March 16, 2012
Grooming Supplies
Grooming Supplies
'Rough clip' before bathing
'Rough clip' before bathing
Brush hair backward, then shake to fluff before trimming.
Brush hair backward, then shake to fluff before trimming.
Scissor to finish
Scissor to finish
Puppy cut with clean face (no mustache or donut).
Puppy cut with clean face (no mustache or donut).
Bikini cut. You can make the pom poms smaller if you wish.
Bikini cut. You can make the pom poms smaller if you wish.
Grand Town and Country (only legs left full).
Grand Town and Country (only legs left full).

10 Easy steps to groom your poodle like a professional

1. Gather Items needed:

  • Clippers - these can be animal clippers or people clippers, but either way be sure the blades are sharp. A # 10 blade is good for general grooming on all dogs.
  • Scissors - hair dresser's scissors work best. Again, be sure they are sharp.
  • Nail Clippers - The best kind have a "stopper" so you can't cut the nail too short.
  • Shampoo
  • Blow dryer
  • Towel
  • metal comb and wire or pin brush
  • Ear powder - purchased at any pet supply store.

2. Place dog on a table or work area. If he is new to being groomed, use a grooming table with a loop collar to help keep him still. Another option is a grooming "arm" with a collar that attaches to the side of a table. I have also successfully used a leash attached to a cupboard door handle.

3. After your dog is settled, begin by clipping the face and neck.

  • Fold one ear back. Place a hand along the opposite side of the face that you are going to clip with fingers curled under the jowls and chin, hold firmly. Place the head of the clipper at the base of the folded back ear and clip the side of the face moving toward the nose, making a straight line to the edge of the lip and down his nose. Clip down his nose as far as desired
  • Moving in this same direction, clip a straight line from the ear to the corner of the eye.The dog will close his eye when you clip beneath it. removing hair from beneath the eye is best done along with this swipe from ear, along cheek to, over and beneath eye, ending on the dogs muzzle.
  • Using your hand that is holding his face, lift his head up and clip the hair from his neck, leaving hair on his chin if desired.Either clip his neck clean to his shoulders, or clip in a U shape under his chin, removing hair in an even semi circle from ear across neck to opposite ear.
  • Clip the opposite side of his face in the same way

4. Clip the feet.

  • Holding a paw firmly in your hand with thumb on top and fingers beneath the paw, clip along the sides of the paw as far up as desired.
  • Splay the toes by placing a finger between them from underneath. Using one side of the clipper blade, clip hair from one side of the webbed toe, and then the other. Move along each toe in this way. His feet do not have to be perfect as you can trim missed hairs with scissors later.
  • Bend dogs foot up at ankle to clip between the toe pads underneath his foot.

5. Clip tail.

  • Clip from the base of his tail toward the end, leaving a proportionate tuft at the end.
  • Hold his tail up and clip the underside and down his bottom, removing the hair in a strip to between his hind legs. Make the strip proportionate to the size of the dog.

6. Clip belly

  • Hold dogs front feet and lift him up to a position where he is standing on his hind feet. Trim his belly from his navel back, and down the inner thigh to the point where the hair begins to thicken on his legs.
  • Let him return to standing and lift each leg from the side for better angles to clip all hair from belly.

7. Clip pattern.Most clippers come with plastic length adapters so you can clip different parts of his body at varying lengths for different styles.

  • A "puppy cut" leaves the rest of the hair coat long.
  • You can do a "Bikini Clip" by clipping him short all over, leaving pom poms on his legs.
  • A "Town and Country" clip leaves the body at a length of about an inch, and clips the neck and a strip around his waist and down the center of his back clean (with a plain #10 Blade).

8.Bathe and dry your dog.

  • Get him wet all over and lather with a pet shampoo starting from the head and working back.
  • I cut the dog's nails while he is in the tub. This way you have more control and if you do happen to cut them a little too deep (not uncommon), clean up is easier.(Use a pinch of corn starch applied to the nail to stop the bleeding).
  • Be sure to rinse all shampoo from your dog's coat.
  • Towel dry, then blow dry. When you blow dry, use a wire or pin brush and brush the coat backward from the way it grows as you blow the hair out.

9. Finish trim

  • Clean up your patterns with the clippers.
  • Scissor the top knot by first placing the scissors pointing straight up at the side of your dog's face. From the ear to the eye, cut the top knot hair even with the side of the dog's face. Then comb all hair forward and trim the top knot into a circle as seen from above. Then comb the hair to each side and each time trim the top knot into a circle when looking from the top. Then comb hair to back and one last time, trim hair into a circle. Your dog's top knot should now only require slight trimming of loose ends.
  • Scissor legs by holding the paw and combing hair upward and giving the paw a shake to let the hair fluff. Then cut in straight lines up the sides of the leg to make hair even all the way around.
  • Trim edges of any patterns to blend from long hair to short hair.
  • Trim any stray hairs on feet.
  • Pom poms on tail and feet are formed by combing the hair opposite of the way it grows and cut the hair all the way around at the height you want the ball to reach on the leg or dock. Comb the hair straight down and do the same. Shake to fluff and then trim the coat into a round ball.
  • Trim any facial hair you left, You can leave a mustache or a "Donut" a mustache and beard. Trim by combing them forward and cutting the ends of the hair even with the end of the dog's nose.

10. Clean ears.

  • Use ear powder, squeezing a puff into the dog's ear canal.
  • Use your fingers to grasp and pull the hair out of the ear canal. The powder makes it easy to hold onto.

By following these steps and with just a little practice at handling the clippers and scissors, you can save yourself a lot of money and always have a well groomed pet!



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