Poodle Grooming

How to Groom a Poodle: Poodle Coats and Poodle Grooming

Poodles do not shed. Their coat is like our hair and continuously grows. It is more like human hair.  If left ungroomed, it becomes tangled and matted. Poodles need to be brushed several times per week and groomed at minimum every 6-8 weeks. The hair in the ears need to be maintained or else it will grow and mat. The mats can retain moisture, infection and excessive ear wax build up if left unattended.

Basic tools every poodle owner needs either for grooming or in-between grooms is a metal straight comb, a Dematting Fur Rake Comb Brush Tool and a slicker brush. The slicker brush is only used where you have allowed the fur to grow longer, often their top knot or tail.  Poodles’ fur can mat close to the skin but look fine on top. Having a Dematting Fur Rake (which looks like a comb made of razorblades) will help remove these itchy, hard to see mats. It can also save you quite a bit of money at the groomers. You will get charged extra for a matted dog.

Another tool you may consider is a pair of clippers. Effective clippers for poodles are very pricey. The regular, inexpensive clipper set you purchase at a local pet store does not have the power for continuous grooming of a poodle coat. The correct clippers usually start around $150 and will come with a 10 blade and different sized guards. When grooming the poodle face, feet and sanitary areas, you will remove the blade guards. If you have a wiggly pup, you may opt to leave this part of grooming to the pros. However, a pair of scissors can help remove fur in the sanitary area that gets matted in the hair. If you are new to grooming, I would recommend giving your poodle a summer cut and shaving them to have anywhere from ¼ to ¾ of fur on their body.

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Don’t be afraid to use your clippers. Brush and de-matt thoroughly or the clippers will get caught, possibly hurting the dog. On a standard sized poodle, don’t be alarmed if you fill a paper grocery bag with fur. Once complete, take your clippers, decide what length coat and start trimming. The blades tend to get hot so I would start with the face. Use your 10 blade without a guard. The pet store will also sell a spray to cool your clippers, you will need this. I prefer to clip the dog before AND after bathing. Don’t let your pup “air dry.” They have tight curls and need to be dried with a dryer or they will become matted. If you are using a human hair dryer, please do it on the lowest heat setting.

Grooming your poodle puppy also includes removing the hair on their paw pads that continuously grows. If you see your pup nibbling their toes, this could be due to something becoming matted between their paw pads in the mess of untamed curls.

Oral hygiene should not be overlooked either. Poodles often experience tartar build up. Your groomer or vet can brush the dogs teeth but it is EASY. Pick up dog tooth paste and a tooth brush at your local pet store and do it yourself. It is suggested that you do this daily, however, just doing it 3 times a week can give your pup considerable health benefits.  Over 80% of dogs over the age of three have active dental disease, according to pets. Webmd.com. Diet can also aid with oral hygiene.

There are many poodle grooming videos on YouTube, My Favorite Groomer does great, informative videos.