Grooming is an important part of poodle care. It dramatically enhances the elegance, beauty and even the health of the dog. Although a poodle requires daily brushing and/or combing to keep their fur mat free, a poodle also requires a washing and trimming every 1 – 2 months, as their coat grows quickly and can easily overwhelm the poodle.
Grooming a poodle is an involved process and is a mandatory part of poodle care. Therefore, it needs to be introduced to the dog at an early age so he/she becomes used to the process. Most breeders will actually begin clipping the tail, feet and face of poodle puppies as early as 6 weeks of age.
You may choose to have a professional groomer clip your dog or you may wish to learn how to groom them yourself. If you are willing to learn how to groom your poodle yourself, you will need to purchase grooming supplies such as:
- Dog shampoo
- Blow dryer
Once you have your poodle care supplies you need to take your time introducing your dog to the items you will be using. For instance, introduce your puppy to the clippers by turning the machine on and holding it near the puppy for a few minutes so they become familiar with the noise and are less likely to be frightened. Once he/she is familiar with the noise, you can begin touching the clippers to the puppy so he/she can become used to the vibrations (don’t clip your dog at this point).
You should keep introducing your dog to the noise and feeling of the clippers a few times during a week before you actually begin grooming. Don’t rush your dog. Some poodles will become accustomed to the clippers faster than others.
When you begin your grooming poodle care, make sure your puppy knows this is not a game. Be firm but gentle with your dog. It is only natural for your puppy to want to resist grooming. He/she may try crying, snapping or wiggly away. Don’t permit this behavior and make sure your puppy knows that this is something he/she will have to tolerate. You must be firm with your dog and correct any negative behavior during first grooming experiences so you don’t fight with your dog every time you go through the grooming process.
Do not groom your dog on the floor or a flat surface that is slippery. The poodle must have secure footing. A sturdy grooming table is a good idea to invest in, as it won’t allow your dog to run away, and will make him feel safe. In addition, you should groom your poodle in good lighting and should make sure no other distractions are in the room.
Now that you know the basics of poodle care when it comes to grooming, let’s take a look at the different coat cuts you can give your poodle –
Pet or Puppy Clip – Hair is clipped short all over the body
Continental Clip – The rear half of the body is shaved and tufts of hair (known as bracelets) are left around the ankles and there is a pom-pom on the end of the tail.
Traditional or Lamb Clip – The coat is left the same length (slightly long) all over the body.
The puppy and lamb clip are usually the preferred choice among the average poodle owner, as these coats are the easiest to create and maintain. It’s important that you choose the cut that is most convenient for you and your dog when it comes to your time and poodle care.