Poodles are popular, and most of us are aware of that. It isn’t surprising that a lot of pet owners would like to get this breed. And naturally, they would often want to stylize their Poodles to look more regal. In most cases, they are shaved. But have you ever thought if a shaved Poodle is necessary, or is it all for the name of aesthetics? If you want to learn more, read the rest of this post.
Shaving your Poodle is important considering their hair’s texture and growth rate. You probably know this, but the breed’s hair is thick and curly. If you regularly shave your Poodle’s hair, you prevent tangles, and at the same time, it becomes more comfortable, especially in warmer areas. In addition, it’s easier to manage your pet with a shaved hair.
Shaved Poodle or Sheared Poodle?
Let’s get one thing clear here. While we often use the term shaving, a more appropriate reference should be shearing. You see, we do not shave Poodles so that we can leave their skin bare. Instead, we shear them and leave enough hair to cover and protect your dog from rashes and even sunburn. However, since most of us use the term shaving, we will use it across our article.
How Often Should You Shave Your Poodle?
Generally, you should take your pet to professional groomers every 6 – 8 weeks. What’s great about taking them to the experts is that you can choose from various styles. Plus, they have the right tools and knowledge to make the entire experience bearable or even enjoyable for your Poodle.
Even if you take them to the groomers regularly, you must brush their hair every day. If not, that can lead to matting which can cause discomfort to your Poodle.
Shaving Your Poodle During Winter
You might think that your Poodle should not be shaved during the cold season. However, we recommend that you do the grooming all year round. For colder months, you can choose to have slightly longer hair for your Poodle.
Do You Need to Shave Your Poodle’s Feet?
Certain styles are leaving your pet’s feet unshaved. But for hygienic and practicality purposes, we suggest that you shave it as well. Remember, because of the breed’s thick hair, it can be easier for them to attract dirt and debris, especially around the feet. And if you constantly take them for a walk or you play with them outdoors, there’s a bigger chance of trapping dirt.
Another reason why we encourage that you have your Poodle’s feet shaved is to easily see if there are scratches and wounds. Just so you know, dog’s feet are vulnerable to minor injuries or cuts because they are generally playful.
Do You Need to Shave Your Poodle’s Face?
Ideally, you should shave your pet’s face because the hair on this area can become matted quickly. Also, you have to remember that their face could easily get dirty. It is possible that they might soak water and food, which can be trapped in their hair. If that happens, they could also bring the messes around the house.
Should You Do the Shaving On Your Own?
We do not recommend this unless you are an expert. There are dangers of shaving your Poodle on your own. You might do it too close to their skin, and that could cause cuts and even infection. Plus, you cannot guarantee that you have the right tools to professionally groom your pet.
The best solution is to schedule an appointment with expert groomers. They know the proper techniques to shave your Poodles, and you can even choose from various styles. Most of the time, they also understand how to calm down your pets, especially if it will be their first time to be trimmed.
You can carefully observe what they do and the tools they use. That way, you can do the same for emergency cases or in the succeeding months.
How to Shave Your Poodle
While we encourage you to leave the task to the professionals, we also understand that you probably want to do it independently. Here are some reminders for you.
Prepare the following tools:
- Grooming Shears
- Slicker Brush
- Guard Combs
- Stainless Steel Comb
Remember to get quality tools that can last for years. Plus, cheaper ones can be faulty and dangerous for your pets.
Clean Your Poodle Thoroughly
Before you shave your Poodle, make sure that you have brushed, bathed, and dried your pet. You must brush their hair from head to tail using a slicker brush. Don’t forget to check if there are knots. Pay extra attention to areas like behind the ears and armpits.
We cannot emphasize how important it is to remove the mats and tangles. You can do this by using scissors. Just in case you have to remove a thick mat, you need to cut through the direction of the hair growth.
Know the Right Hair Style
Determine what type of Poodle hairstyle you prefer. Fortunately, there are many, and you can easily find tips on how you can do it on your own.
Choosing the Right Blades
If this is your first time to shave your Poodle, you might want to get blades at 10 and 15. Take note that 30 and 40 can be challenging to use and should be handled by professionals.
Exercise with Your Poodle
Most experts will recommend that you take your Poodle for a walk. This will eat up their energy, and they will be more relaxed while you are grooming them. Trimming can take up several minutes, and you wouldn’t want them to have high energy while you are at it.
Introduce the Clippers to Your Dog
It’s best if you slowly introduce your clippers to your Poodle. This will make them comfortable around the tool. Just expose it to them gradually.
However, the best technique is to take them to professionals first for exposure.
Working on the Face
Clip from the inner ear and do it in a straight line toward the outer corner of the eye. Do this on each side of your Poodle’s face.
From here, you can trim the inner corner of the eye then down the nose. Be gentle, and remember to stretch the dog’s lips so you can use the clippers with ease. Glide around the lips, chin, and nose.
You can now work on your Poodle’s snout by starting from the space you just shaved between the eyes. Slowly move down the snout and nose. You can finish this off by trimming from the nose, the face, and back to the ears.
Shaving the Neck
Lift your Poodle’s snout and trim from the tip of the chin. From here, slowly go down towards the neck. You should stop when you reach the chest area. The shape can be a U or V from below the ears down to where the neck and chest meet.
Leave the Fur Above the Dog’s Eyes
If you wish to achieve a topknot, you can start by combing the hair on top of the Poodle’s head. Then, put it forward so it will come over the eyes. Cut a visor line just above your pet’s eyes and create a small arch above the ears. You can then brush the topknot hair down toward the ear and trim a straight line from the corner of the eye to the ear opening. You can then style the topknot. It’s best to use curved scissors for this.
Shaving the Feet
You should start with the paws and trim any hair between the paw pads. From here, you can continue shaving the feet. It’s a must that you hold your Poodle’s feet comfortably and in a natural position. When you are clipping your dog’s feet, use a scooping motion to clip between toes.
Cleaning the Backside
Use your adjustable blade clippers and use the 10-blade setting. You can start trimming your pet’s backside and bum. Quite frankly, we don’t recommend this for beginners. But if you want to know how, read this article for more detailed instructions on sanitary trimming.
Shaving the Body
Clip the dog from the back of the skull going to the rear. You should be able to clip down the ribs from the topline and clean up the sides properly. Make sure to be extra cautious around the nipples.
Origins of Poodle Grooming
The unique styles of Poodle grooming are not new. In fact, the different techniques started in Europe way back 16th and 17th centuries when they were bred as retrieving dogs. At that period, owners were more concerned that their thick hair will cause them to weigh down. Thus, they removed as much hair as possible.
Take note, though, that they left the hair around the chest area, near the internal organs, and the joints. This ensures that the dog will keep warm since they are workers in the water.
As the breed became more popular in the late 17th and 18th centuries, the styles changed. It became more for aesthetic and little about function. In fact, some of the groomers try to match the Poodle’s haircut with that of their owners.
Conclusion, Shaved Poodle
Shaving your Poodle is a personal choice, but we highly recommend it. This will make grooming easier for you, considering that the breed is high maintenance. Plus, it will be more comfortable for your pet.
Since there are many styles to choose from, we bet you can pick one that will suit your pet. Just remember to look for a reputable groomer near your area.