Poodle Grooming

Grooming a Poodle can be a very difficult task to do, especially if you aren’t exactly the type of person who likes to play hairdresser with your dog. But whether your Poodle is a show dog or a regular household pet, you still need to give her a nice haircut, especially for the dog’s health and comfort. Below are three common questions and answers about grooming your Poodle:

Question: Why does my groomer charge extra when my Poodle doesn’t come in regularly for a grooming session?

Operating any business is a matter of making the income cover all the operating expenses, and allowing a margin for profit, and time does cost money. A Poodle that is even a week or two late will take a small but measurable amount of time longer to brush, dry, and finish. In some clips, a shaved pattern must be re-set rather than simply followed.

A Poodle that does not come on a regular basis is more apt to be dirty and matted, and the blades that cut her hair will dull much more quickly and have to be sent away for sharpening. If money is a real problem, though, ask your groomer to suggest a simple clip that can go a little longer between grooming.

Question: My Poodle comes home from the grooming shop a nervous wreck and it takes several days for her to calm down and return to her normal self. Does this mean she’s mistreated at the grooming shop?

It is possible, but I also believe that most dog groomers, if not all, love dogs or they would not have chosen dog grooming as a profession. Talk to your groomer about it. It’s possible that he or she is not even aware that your Poodle has a problem. There have been several cases of Poodles that are cool and calm but had nervous reactions to grooming.

Question: I like my Poodle long and hairy. Is there any real reason why he should be clipped?

The Poodle was first clipped for function, second for beauty. If you are willing to brush him every day, keep his nails cut and ears cleaned out, make sure the hair around his eyes is kept clean, and bathe him when he needs it, there really isn’t anything wrong with having a shaggy Poodle. If it happens that you can’t keep up with this program, you may have a very reluctant Poodle when you do decide to have him clipped.

Question: Clipping my Poodle isn’t really much trouble until I get to her feet. Why is she so jumpy about it and what can I do to make the job easier?

Many Poodles are extremely sensitive about having their feet clipped, especially the front ones. I think that the first few grooming sessions set the pattern for this sensitivity. You may never be able to change him now, even if you manage to develop a gentle touch with the clipper.

It is important to hold the weight of the clipper in your hand instead of resting it on your dog’s foot while you clip. Pull the hair away from the toenail with your fingers so the clipper can pick it up easily.

Do not dig it out with the sharp points of the blade. When you clean the hair from between the toes, let your finger separating the pads beneath the toes protrude just enough to protect the web. Any dog that has been poked and cut will always flinch, so it may be necessary to get someone to hold the leg at the elbow to prevent movement.

Question: Everyone tells me that I should show my new Poodle puppy. Should I do anything special about his clipping?

I believe that getting involved with a kennel club and learning all of the ins-and-outs from them is one of the best ways to go about this concern. There is much more to being a show dog than meets the eye. This includes expending lots of energy and time. In the meanwhile, be sure any groomer who clips your puppy knows you intend to show her so the groomer won’t cut the hair you will need later.

Question: My Poodle’s teeth need to be professionally cleaned by the vet once or twice a year. Is there any way I can keep from having to have this done? She refuses to chew bones.

In the first place, chewing bones is not always all that effective, and, of course, you have to be very careful about that anyway. I have seen dogs that chew that have terrible teeth and dogs that don’t and have beautiful teeth. The best solution is to brush your dog’s teeth every day using a baby toothbrush. If this is too much for you, then continuing your regular trips to the vet is the next best solution.