Many dog owners take their poodle to a professional groomer because poodle cuts can be complicated. However, it’s actually not very difficult to clip your poodle at home, especially if you choose one of the simpler cuts. Here’s how to clip your poodle:
Nonslip rubber mat
Sturdy table or floor-level space for the poodle
Lead to secure the poodle
- Get the right supplies. The clippers you use should be sharp and the appropriate size for the dog you are grooming. Dull clippers can irritate your poodle’s skin. You should clip your poodle in a secure area on a nonslip rubber mat. Do not groom your dog on a table if you think he or she may become scared and try to jump off the table, especially if your poodle is not used to being clipped. While clipping the poodle, secure the dog with a lead.
- Choose the right cut. A poodle’s cut is very versatile, allowing for everything from a formal show cut to a pet cut. These cuts combine shaved areas, unshaved areas, and “pom poms.” Look in books or online for a picture of the cut you wish to attempt when clipping your poodle. If your goal is to show your poodle in a dog show, make sure you select an appropriate cut. If you have a poodle cross instead of a purebred poodle, this may limit the cuts that are possible because of the type of coat.
- Understand grooming hygiene. When you clip your poodle, pay special attention to the feet, the muzzle, and the underside of the tail to prevent matting. Clipping your poodle will also go much faster if you regularly brush the coat to prevent matting between grooming sessions
- Bathe the poodle. For best results, bathe your poodle before the grooming session. This should be done in a tub with a lead and nonstick mat. Use dog shampoo to clean your poodle’s coat. Make sure to wash all of the shampoo out at the end of the bath; it is very common that some shampoo will get stuck in a poodle’s thick fur, and this will make the fur dull, and not as shiny as it could be.
- Clip your poodle. Most grooming photos will explain how to use the electric clippers and scissors to get the look you want. One easy cut is to set the clippers to 1/2” and clip the poodle to the same length all over.
- Give the dog a treat. A treat will help your poodle associate the grooming experience with good things, making it easier to clip your poodle in the future.
Most poodles should be trimmed every 6-8 weeks. This can be a time-consuming task, but a shorter cut can help your poodle stay cleaner, reducing the need to give your dog a bath.