How To Give a Poodle a Haircut – Do It Yourself Poodle Haircut Guide -- Poodle Grooming

Giving your poodle a haircut is really quite simple.  All you need are some scissors, a brush, and some patience. Clippers can also be helpful, but you need to know when and when NOT to use them.. In another article I discuss:How To Give a Poodle a Haircut With Clippers for a clip that is done 90% with clippers.

I will be discussing a basic poodle haircut.   From shortest to longest, a basic poodle haircut is called the kennel clip, sporting clip, lamb clip, and teddy bear clip.   These are the clips I prefer.  The dog isn't shaved like they are with show clips and no clippers are required. You can modify how long you cut the hair based on the temperature and time of year. 

If you have clippers, they make trimming the face, feet, and bottom easier, but aren't necessary.  I have been giving my dogs haircuts for a number of  years and seldom use clippers anymore.  With scissors you don’t need to get out an extension cord and you don’t have the noise from the clippers or problems with dull clipper blades. (Read more about clippers)  When using clippers, you should switch to scissors for any place where you want the hair longer then one inch. (The #8 clipper attachment is for a depth of one inch and is the largest attachment that comes with most clippers.)

IMPORTANT TIPS:

-- DON’T CUT YOUR DOG – JUST CUT HIS HAIR – When trimming your dog it is very important not to injure your dog.  Cut lightly with the scissors.   When the hair is matted, you must be extra careful – use your fingers to feel where the skin is and use your eyes.

-- DON’T BURN YOUR DOG WITH THE CLIPPERS – When using clippers, the blades can get hot.  Keeping a plastic clipper guide attached and/or periodically feeling the blades can help prevent burns

-- GET THE DOG USED TO YOUR TOUCH – This is easy, because you like to pet your dog.  While you are petting them, get them used to your touch on parts of their body where they might not normally like to be touched. - their snout, face, feet, tail, ears, and personal parts.  Get the dog so they don’t mind if you hold their snout closed and steady.

-- TRIM THE DOG WHERE IT IS CONVENIENT AND COMFORTABLE FOR BOTH OF YOU – I often put an old sheet over our sofa and trim my dog as she lounges.  If she is on her back, I give her a belly rub and then trim her belly before trimming the rest of her. When done, I take her outside and have her shake – then I and  brush her.   Finally,  I shake out the sheet.  At other times, we both sit on the ground outside and I trim her.  Some people prefer to use a pet grooming table when grooming their poodle - here is some information and links to pet grooming tables (we will get a small commission if you purchase here) .

-- YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRIM THE ENTIRE DOG AT ONE TIME -- You can trim part of the dog one day and trim another part another day or another week.  I often  trim the face, legs, and head one week and the body, tail, and bottom another

KEEP READING -- Detailed steps continue down the page!  Also, please look at my videos and pictures!


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OK – LETS GET STARTED -- HAIRCUT STEPS :
(With these steps, the dog lies down part of the time.  I also have the steps for the dog staying in the standing position -- Poodle Haircut – Standing Position)

 Brush the dog's coat.

 Get you and the dog  in the comfortable spot where you are going to trim him/her. 

 Start trimming: If the dog  is laying on their back, start after you give them a belly rub.   While still on back,  trim the belly, inside of legs and other areas you can easily reach in this position.  You can hold the hair straight with your fingers or a comb -- or cut without holding the hair.  Cut evenly.

 Roll the dog over on the side and trim the side of the body.  Trim around the neck and under the ear on the same side.  Trim along the side of head under the ear (beginners often miss this spot).  Trim around legs and feet on this side.

 Roll them to the other side and trim the side of the body. Trim around the neck and under the ear on the same side.  Trim along the side of head under the ear.  Trim around legs and feet on this side.

 Stand the dog up.  Trim the back and upper part of the body.

 Hold the dog's snout and trim the face, head, and ears.

 Trim the dog's tail.

 Hold the dog's tail out and trim under the tail.  

 Continue holding the tail out and trim the dog’s bottom.  It is good to trim the area around where the dog poops shorter for sanitary reasons.

 Take the dog outside and have them shake.

 Brush the dog

 Touch up any spots that need additional work.

CONGRATULATIONS – YOU JUST GAVE YOUR DOG A HAIRCUT!

HAIR IN EARS -- One additional step that should be done occasionally is to pull the hair out of the ears.

MATTED HAIR – Sometimes the hair can get matted.  You can give a shorter haircut to remove some of the matting.  You need to be extra carfull not to cut the dog when removing matted hair – use your fingers to feel where the skin is and use your eyes.  Regular brushing and haircuts reduce matting problems.
 
If you aren’t yet comfortable trimming the entire dog, give them a touch up cut in between visits to the groomer.


The information here can be applied to any haired dog or poodle mix. 

Haired dogs have hair and not fur and don't shed or shed very little.  Haired dogs are dogs like the Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle, Toy Poodle,  Schnauzer, Maltese, Bichon, Portuguese Water Dog, Scottish Terrier, Airedale Terrier, and Many other Terrier types.

(poodle haircut, poodle hair cut, poodle hair cuts,  schnoodle haircut -- here is a link with information about poodle haircuts )


ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS:

QUESTION: Groomers have all the gizmos to keep the dog still while they trim , but at home how do I keep him from wriggling??

ANSWER: Depending on the dog and person's personality, keeping the dog still can sometimes be a challenge. 

Professional groomers often have a leash attachment on their grooming table. You can sometimes improvise something with an ordinary leash. I'll often put a leash on my dog for part of the trimming (especially when I'm trimming her outside so she won't slink away) Some options - put the leash on the dog and 1) sit on leash 2) stand on leash 3) attach leash to something. 

-- GET THE DOG USED TO YOUR TOUCH – This is easy, because you like to pet your dog. While you are petting them, get them used to your touch on parts of their body where they might not normally like to be touched. - their snout, face, feet, tail, ears, and personal parts. Get the dog so they don’t mind if you hold their snout closed and steady.

If you can get your dog used to having you hold their snout closed with your hand this allows you to keep the dog still. It can take a while to get the dog used to having you hold their snout. You can practice holding their snout when the poodle and you are just relaxing and you are petting them. Doing this will get them used to having you hold their snout in your hand.

It can sometimes take a while for the dog to get used to being trimmed. YOU DON’T HAVE TO TRIM THE ENTIRE DOG AT ONE TIME -- You can trim part of the dog one day and trim another part another day or another week. I often trim the face, legs, and head one week and the body, tail, and bottom another.

Also I prefer to trim my poodle with scissors and seldom use clippers because the clippers tend to be more annoying to dogs. Also scissors work much better for me for anything but a shave down. 


Hope this helps you! It can take a while to get used to trimming your own poodle. However, in the long run I think it's easier, better, and costs less then always taking them to the groomer. Good Luck!

Sincerely, Dave and Tofu - TheFastestPoodle.blogspot.com

Do you have additional COMMENTS or QUESTIONS ABOUT HOW TO GIVE A POODLE A HAIRCUT - you can ask at the following link - it may take me a while to get back to you..
http://fpdogcare.blogspot.com/2014/01/how-to-give-poodle-haircut.html

This article (c) Copyright 2012 by Mister Dave and The Fastest Poodle
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This article (c) Copyright 2012 by Mister Dave and The Fastest Poodle