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Poodle Grooming Styles – How to Groom & Trim Poodle Ears

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Mastering Poodle grooming styles usually presents a real challenge for new groomers. I’m sure it would be just as daunting for dog owners wishing to trim their own Poodles. So in this article we will discuss 7 of the more popular haircuts. In addition we will touch base on how to trim and shape Poodle ears.

But because Poodles can come in 3 different sizes, groomers need to be able to adjust their approaches accordingly.

More specifically you could be dealing with any one of these Poodles:

  • The Standard Poodle
  • A Miniature Poodle or
  • A Toy Poodle

The Poodle enjoys an enviable reputation of being one of the most intelligent of dog breeds, up there with the Border Collie. So this breed will prove to be a joy to work with either as a groomer or as a dog owner.

Frequently Asked Questions About Poodle Grooming Styles

Those interested in a dog grooming career often ask:

Where can I learn how to groom a Poodle?”

How do I manage the different Poodle clips such as the more popular poodle cuts that a dog owner is likely to ask for?

And of course the type of trim will be dependent on whether the poodle is being groomed for showing or for comfort at home.

Video Showing How to Groom a Poodle

It’s hard to beat watching a groomer at work to start to master the more complicated breed styles such as poodle grooming.

How to Trim Poodle Ears, Face, Feet and Body

This video demonstrates the Poodle Teddy Bear Clip.

Watch how the groomer trims around the hind quarters, how she manages scissoring of the paw pads and how she holds the head to trim around the eyes and ears. She uses a comb to great effect to fluff up the hair into shape at the end.

Poodle Teddy Bear Clip /Pet Grooming Studio Academy Toronto

You can see how important it is to have a good grooming table, especially in a busy salon. For home grooming, you can use a more economical option.

When it comes to frequency of grooming your Poodle, you can gain some additional tips from the Oodle Guide site: Poodle Grooming Guide: How Often Should I Groom My Poodle for a Healthy and Stylish Coat?

Origin of Standard Poodle Grooming Styles

When we look back to the early days of the Poodle, we find that the show trim, which most people recognize, actually had a purpose although there is disagreement as to the authenticity of this theory.

The Puffs / Poms

It is thought that the puffs or poms (the round shaped balls of hair) around the feet for example were designed to keep the poodle’s joints warm in its role as a water retriever. The long mane was similarly intended to keep vital areas of the body nice and warm while swimming through cold water.

Believe it or not the puff on the tail also had a purpose and that was to enhance its visibility when swimming.

The Poodle Body

The close shave of the rest of the body was to make it easier for him to glide through the water without risk of entrapment in branches, or so the story goes.

As you can see, the poodle grooming styles that we know today, or at least some of the Poodle haircuts, originated from very practical beginnings.

The poodle coat is considered to be very versatile which lends itself to a variety of clipping styles. When you start learning how to groom a Poodle, it pays to concentrate first on the more common Poodle Grooming Styles.

Before we discuss the main Poodle haircuts, however, it is a good idea to mention shampoos. It definitely pays to use the best dog shampoo possible for the breed that you are grooming. Shampoos can make a huge difference.

So what are some of the more common Poodle hair styles that a groomer needs to master in order to become proficient in a wide range of poodle hair cuts? Here are some of the standard Poodle cuts that you are likely to come across.

The Complete Standard Poodle Hardcover (Affiliate Link)

1. The Poodle Puppy Clip

This clip as the name suggests is reserved for younger dogs. Usually by the time they reach 12 months of age, a different style is selected.

In this case, the feet, face, and base of the tail are shaved closely. The body hair is allowed to grow and can be shaped according to personal preference. Then we have the the pack which is the front part of the main coat. It is usually pulled up into a ponytail-like topknot.

This style can be used for showing poodles under the age of 12 months.

2. Continental Clip for Poodles

This is one of the most popular clips used for showing. Here again you see a close shave of the face, back quarters down to the poms, front legs between poms and elbow, feet, and the base of the tail.

When you come to the pack area, leave it very long and trim it with scissors to the required shape. Just like the puppy clip, leave the topknot long and shape it into a ponytail.

You should also leave the tail long and shape it into a round ball.

Start the poms on the legs just above the wrists and hock joints and stop just above the feet. They also have a round shape. In this clip mode, place the hip rosettes exactly over the hip joint.

3. Modified Continental Clip

This style differs from the former simply with respect to hip rosettes. In the modified clip, you have a choice as to whether or not to include the hip rosettes.

4. Utility Clip

A Utility Clip is sometimes referred to as the Kennel clip. The feet, face, and base of the tail are shaved closely. This time, the hair on the body is kept short and is simply clipped into shape.

You should leave the topknot and the tail longer than the body hair. This style is ideal for summer and does not require much effort to take care of. How long the body hair is depends on the type of blade that is used. Normally, a 7 blade is used in this clip.

5. The Poodle Lamb Clip

The Lamb Clip requires that the feet, base of the tail, and the face are all shaved closely. You should leave the legs, the tail, and topknot fluffy. You can either choose to have the body fluffy or clip it so that it is shorter than the legs. In essence, the length of the hair depends on personal preference.

6. A Bikini Clip

This style is sometimes known as the Summer or Miami clip. Just like the previous clips, the feet, face, and the base of the tail are all shaved closely. You should leave the body hair fluffy but not excessively long. Clip the body hair into shape. When you come to the legs, shape them into poms at the bottom beginning above the wrist and stopping above the feet. It is your choice how long you want the hair to be.

7. Town and Country Clip

In addition to the feet, face, and the base of the tail, the neck area and wide belly band should be shaved closely. Furthermore, narrow lines are shaved closely between the withers along the spine and into the belly band.

These narrow lines are also shaved between the hips along the spine and into the belly band. Leave the rest of the hair fluffy and clip into shape.

As you can see there are a number of different Poodle haircut styles. But watching a video tends to be more meaningful than studying Poodle haircuts pictures and can help you to master the basics.

Toy Poodle Haircuts

Who can resist the cute Toy Poodle  or for that matter, the Miniature Poodle? Their charm is even more evident when sporting a stylish haircut. The Toy & Miniature Poodle guide covers all aspects of caring for your pet, including how to go about grooming various styles.

The Toy & Miniature Poodle Book (Affiliate Link)

Requests by Poodle Owners

When it comes to poodle grooming, what is most important is clipping according to the client’s wishes. This will vary according to whether the poodle owner wants a show clip or simply a pet clip.

If the latter is requested, then you can be quite innovative and creative without being hampered by whether or not the clip meets with poodle style standards.

On the other hand, if a pet clip is preferred, then you will be clipping according to a predetermined style. In that case you will find one of the online dog grooming courses even more helpful. You can get some tips from our article on selecting a dog grooming course. Tips on how to groom a Poodle are usually covered in depth in most dog grooming courses.

Of course, don’t forget, if you are working professionally as a groomer then you are bound to get some requests for clipping Poodle mixed breeds. For example,  you could have Cockapoo owners seeking regular grooming for their pooches. As would be expected, this breed is usually a cross between a Poodle and one of the Cocker Spaniel varieties.  You can click on these links to read articles on grooming Cockapoo and the different Cockapoo Hairstyles.

Tools Used for Poodle Grooming Styles

There is a range of tools that can better facilitate Poodle grooming cuts, from the right kind of combs to Poodle grooming clippers and quality-made grooming shears.

Quality Dog Grooming Clippers (Affiliate Link)

If you are trying to decide how to choose the right dog clippers for Poodles, you can find some leads via our article on dog grooming tools.

Naturally you will want to make sure that you have a brush that is actually suited to this type of coat. Whilst the Poodle breed is considered to be non-shedding (more accurately very low shedding) it still pays to have the right Poodle grooming brush in your grooming kit.

Dog Grooming Tables

And of course, you will need the right kind of dog grooming table that will suit your purposes.

The right table can make all the difference when attempting different Poodle haircuts.

Book: Poodle Clipping and Grooming (Affiliate Link)

Poodle Gifts

If you are the proud owner of a Poodle then you will love these gift ideas. You can find some real treasures here for other Poodle lovers as well.

A coffee mug for the Poodle owner can be a popular gift solution.

Or how about these stylish wine glasses with a Poodle design?


2 thoughts on “Poodle Grooming Styles – How to Groom & Trim Poodle Ears”

  1. I want to to thank you for this excellent read!
    ! I absolutely loved every little bit of it. I’ve got you saved as a favorite to look at new things you post…

  2. Your descriptions of the different styles are very detailed and clearly worded but I would suggest you include a photo example showing close-ups of each step for those of us who are visual learners. Regards

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