Home | Puppies | Upcoming Litters | Notes from Our Puppy Parents! | Silver Poodles | Caring for Your New Pup | Good Dog! House Train Your Dog with Love | Feeding Your Poodle | Poodle Friends - Past & Present | Grooming Your Poodle | About Us & Valley Cowboy Church | Links

Grooming Your Poodle

Grooming Your Poodle


To me, there is nothing more beautiful than a freshly groomed toy poodle. It doesn't matter to me which clip she's in - fancy or everyday - as long as she's clean and beautiful.

Personally, I prefer a modified kennel clip, and that is what you see on nearly all of my poodles. I use this clip because it is attractive, "poodle-y" and easy to maintain. I like to have their faces clipped because I love to be able to see their little faces. I keep their feet clipped because then they aren't dragging in leaves, grass, mud, etc.

Some folks prefer that their poodle stays shaggy, with a fuzzy face and fuzzy feet. That's fine, as long as you are willing to maintain them. This means they needs to be brushed out DAILY, and that can be a lot of work.

Grooming for your  poodle is about more than just appearance. They need to have a clean, parasite-free coat. Poodles tend to develop flea allergies very easily, so it is best to be sure that she has no fleas. This will also help to prevent a tapeworm infestation. Unkept poodles also develop more tear staining, because the hair gets in their eyes and makes them run. Also, tears, dirt and normal eye mucous can accumulate in the inner corners of their eyes and cause sores and infections.

Finn gets ready for his bath!

You may choose to take your poodle to a professional groomer. Shop around and look at examples of their work. Be very clear with the groomer about what you want and what she is able to do, based on the type and condition of your poodle's coat. It is difficult, if not impossible, to get a very nice clip on a poodle who is badly matted. On those poodles, it is usually best to shave them close and let the hair re-grow, being careful to take better care of it as it grows out. Shaving their coat in this case is not only easier on the groomer, it is MUCH easier on your poodle. Her fur will grow out again - another chance for you to keep it brushed and combed so she can have a nice clip next time!

If you do your own grooming, there are a number of tools and books you should purchase before you start. Take a look at the videos below for some great grooming tips.

Finn getting ready for his bath!

Start teaching your puppy to tolerate grooming as soon as you get her home. She should be very used to being brushed and combed, having her feet touched and face clipped. If you do not do your own grooming, it is still very important that you at least teach her to stand quietly on a table and allow you to brush and comb her, and pick up her feet to examine them. This will make her experience with a professional groomer much more pleasant for both the pup and the groomer. If you do your own grooming, it will be so much faster and easier for you if you have a trained, quiet pup to work on.

Whether you do your own grooming or not, I recommend you invest $20 or so in one of the small Wahl Pocket Clippers. They run on one "AA" battery and are about 4" long. The blade is a #30, which gives a very close cut. This little clipper is ideal for puppies faces and feet, as it is small emough to get into the hard to reach spaces (like between the toes), and very quiet so as not to frighten the pup. As the pup grows, you will find the Wahl clipper indispensible for keeping the face and feet clipped and neat on a weekly basis between her full grooming sessions. Most professional groomers would like to see your toy poodle come in every 4-6 weeks for a total grooming session. Believe me, your toy poodle can look pretty shaggy and rough in that amount of time if you don't keep her face and feet clipped and keep her coat brushed out. Even if you use a professional groomer, you will still have daily and weekly grooming requirements to keep your toy poodle happy, healthy and beautiful.

We purchase the vast majority of our grooming supplies from PetEdge. You can find nearly everything you will ever need at this site. In fact, I send one of their catalogs home with every puppy. We also personally handle a line of excellent, wholistic grooming products which you can find in our Poodle Supply Store.