Poodles are extremely social and one of the most striking, attractive dogs- with their slim bodies and clouds of fluffy fur. Poodles regularly win prestigious dog shows, not only because of their amazing fur but because of their agility and intelligent nature makes them a perfect show dog as well as a perfect pet.
However, unlike some dog breeds who naturally shed their fur, poodles can be high maintenance due to the many challenges of poodle grooming. Poodles’ hair does not shed, meaning that if a poodle is not groomed regularly, their fur will keep growing and growing and become matted and clumped. Not only is this very unattractive, but it is also very uncomfortable for your poodle.
The harsh truth of the matter is that keeping your poodle pup’s fur matt-free, table free clean, and shiny at the same time can be a tiring, time-consuming, and expensive task!
It is important to have resources, tools and time for poodle grooming as it contributes to a Poodle’s good looks. Also, if left without grooming a poodle’s fur will eventually become so matted that your poodle would be at risk of skin problems due to their matted long fur.
This article is a complete guide that covers all the information that you require for Poodle Grooming, including what age should your poodle first be groomed or clipped and much more.
What Age Should a Poodle First Be Groomed and Clipped?
Poodles should first be, trimmed groomed, or clipped when they are between 11 and 16 weeks old. Poodles should not be groomed or clipped before they are 10 weeks old, as they are too young and have just left their mother. You should not wait to get your poodle groomed after they are 8 months old, as this can cause them to become more scared and anxious about the grooming process.
Once the poodle puppy is comfortable in the new house and has become relaxed and comfortable with you and their new family, then you can think about taking him/her to be groomed.
In the very first grooming appointments, your groomer should focus more on getting your poodle puppy comfortable with their surroundings and equipment, rather than focusing on getting your puppy cut in a showy intricate or time-consuming trim. Your poodle or poodle mix puppy should be introduced to:
· Minimal Trimming
· Nail Clipping
· Blow Drying procedure
· Bathing process
It is not recommended that you ask the groomer to give your poodle a big/full haircut the very first time he/she is being groomed. You can’t expect a poodle puppy to be still for 90 minutes straight (the length of time a lot of cuts take), so it’s best to take gradual steps first and get your poodle comfortable at the groomers. Once your poodle is older and going to the dog groomers is a normal part of their routine, that is the best time to start allowing your groomer to try out most extravagant and time consuming styles.
Therefore, your groomer should only do the basics for first poodle grooming. This should include:
· Bathing your poodle in warm water, shampooing them with dog shampoo and then slowly blow dry them on a low heat. This will help make your poodle familiar with the bathing and drying process.
· Trimming their nails, being very careful not to nip the poodle’s skin. Nail clipping is an essential part of dog grooming, so this is very important.
· Trimming the fur around their eyes and genital area. These are areas that need ot be trimmed carefully. Fur around the eyes is left to grow too long can cause eye irritation if it is allowed to grow into your poodle’s eyes. The fur around genitals can also become very dirty if not kept short.
A simple rule to remember is that the he more comfortable the poodle becomes with being on a table, in the tub, or being handled with the poodle grooming, the better the poodle will become to groom as he/she grows up. Your poodle needs to know that going to the groomers is a positive experience, as if they begin to get scared of going to the groomers, this could cause behaviour problems whenever they go in the future.
How to prepare your poodle for going to the groomers?
Your poodle will be experiencing hesitation, curiosity, or even fear for his first grooming session.This is to be expected, as they are in a new place with new people, other dogs and new smells- all very overwhelming things for puppies!
For most of the poodles the first visit to the groomer is most likely to provoke outright terror. Many experienced groomers suggest that it is the poodle grooming tools that scares small poodle puppies more than anything else. Poodle grooming tools include clipper, scissors, nail trimmers, nail buffers, and many different types of combs and brushed- that’s a lot of new equipment for your puppy to learn about and feel safe around!
Those shiny gizmos and sharp gadgets which move in strange ways and make super-loud noises will obviously strike terrors to a small poodle’s heart, especially when used near sensitive areas like ears and eyes.
So, your job as a poodle parent will be to get your poodle mix ready for his/her first poodle grooming session well in advance. You can help prepare your poodle for their first grooming session by doing the following steps-
· Help your poodle to get used to the feeling of having his/her teeth, tail, nails, eyes and ears touched and examined up close. This will make him/her less likely to become distressed and upset about being touched there by the groomer. If a poodle is not used to being touched, they may find being touched by the groomer very frightening, causing them to growl or even nip in extreme cases. So, this is a very important step to preparing your poodle puppy for their first grooming session.
· Pay at least a visit or two to the groomer’s place before your poodle is actually ready to be groomed for the very first time. Doing this will make your small poodle mix accustomed to the smells, sights, or sounds of the poodle grooming session.
· Make sure that you bring plenty of tasty treats so that your poodle can associate groomer visits with tasty snacks and treats. Your groomer and you should praise your poodle a lot while they are being groomed, as poodles love affection and praise and this will help them associate being groomed with positive experiences.
Now let’s have a look at the essential facts about Poodle coats and their maintenance that every Poodle owner and to-be Poodle owner should know-
· Poodle puppies have very soft and wavy hair, and this is normally straighter than their adult coat. Poodle puppies coat is softer and downier than their adult coat, which normally will grow in when a poodle is between 9 months and 18 months old. You can read more about when poodles get their curls here.
· Adult Poodle’s coat is curly, coarse, dense, thick and single-layered. It does not shed and is mostly hypoallergenic. You can read more about this here.
Below are the several kinds of clips that you might like to try on your poodle-
· The town and country clip
· The kennel clip/ The utility clip
· The Bikini Clip/ The Miami Clip
· The Teddy Bear Clip
· The Lamb Clip
· The Puppy Clip
Poodle Grooming Tools
· Grooming Table with noose and arm attachment
· Blow dryer
· Steel Scissors
· Bristle Brush
· Slicker Brush
· Electric Shaver with comb or razor attachments
· Gentle dog-safe shampoo
1. Do daily (or almost daily) combing and brushing for the maintenance of your poodle’s coat. This will keep your poodle tangle free and is also relaxing for your poodle if dome in a gentle way.
2. For adult poodles, professional grooming is recommended every 3 weeks to 6 weeks
How Often Should you Bathe Your Poodle?
Getting your poodle used to being bathed is an important part of the grooming process. You can also use it as a way of keeping your poodle healthy by checking for fleas, bumps, scratches, and other abnormalities. When your poodles fur is wet, it becomes plastered to the skin, making it easier to feel and see these things.
So, when should you bathe your poodle?
If your poodle has become very dirty and muddy from playing outside on wet ground you should give your poodle a bath. Poodles, like all dogs enjoy running around muddle puddles and rolling in all sorts, so if they have been doing this it’s worth giving your poodle a bath. Having said that, often if you allow dirt and mud to dry, you can brush this off a poodle’s fur instead.
The longer your poodles hair is, the more regularly they need to be bathed. If your poodles fur is long, first is more likely to cling to them.
Some poodles have very sensitive skin and allergies, so if they have this you should not mather them too regularly as bathing strips the skin of natural oils that protect the skin. If they have this, a bath every 12 weeks will suffice.
You should also make sure you are using a gentle shampoo and nothing too harsh or perfumed, as this can increase the likelihood of skin problems
Bottom line is you should bathe your poodle at least once every 12 weeks, unless they are very dirty or smelly.In doubt? Its probably time to give your dog a bath when he/she starts to smell!
How Much does Poodle Grooming Cost?
The main variable in poodle grooming prices is its size and type. Toy poodles are smaller so take less time to groom than standard poodles, so the smaller the poodle the cheaper it is to get them groomed. Poodle Groomers generally charge extra for additional services such as nail clipping, flea treatments, and teeth cleaning.
· Toy Poodle – Expect to pay around $36 for simple bath, $58 for full bath, and $68 for full poodle grooming including bath, nail trim and fur cut.
· Miniature Poodle – $40 for a simple bath, $64 for a full bath and get a full grooming for $74.
· Standard Poodle/Poodle Medium – You need to pay $90 for a simple bath, $130 for a full bath and $140 for full groom.
When can you tell a poodle needs to be groomed?
You need to understand that it is easier to groom a poodle that is 3 months old for the first time as compared to a 8 month old dog for the first time. This is because the older a dog is, the more difficult it is for them to learn new things.
Generally, poodle pups change to their adult coats around 8 months of age. It is a crucial phase and the new fur coat might become matted if not cared for appropriately. The puppy coat on some poodle mixes will become tangled and not shed if not brushed on a regular basis. However, you should get your poodle groomed before they are 8 months old to help them get used ot being groomed.
If you poodle is over 8 months by the time you take them to be groomed for the first time, this makes the groomers’ job extremely difficult because your poodle is more likely to be scared and misbehave as a result. What can make this situation even worse is if the poodle owner has not been introduced to any type of grooming like nail trimming, combing, and brushing at home, as it is likey that an older poodle will not be comfortable being touched and brushed.
Therefore, poodle grooming at his/own home is extremely essential prior to having him/her taken to the groomers right away. This will help them to become used to the grooming.
Poodle Grooming is a step by step process that comes with its own inevitable learning curve for both your poodle and you!
It is possible that you both will be quite nervous the very first time you try to groom, trim, or even brush your poodle’s coat. But, time, practice and repetition will ensure that you both become more comfortable and relaxed with the poodle grooming process.
It is a good idea to start out by doing basic coat maintenance at your house. This will get your poodle used to being handled and will save you money, as if you bathe your poodle at home, they will only need to go to the groomers to be clipped and cut, instead of every time they become dirty.
To get a poodles hair clipped and looking tidy, more skill is required.So, unless you are very good at dog grooming and have had lots of practice, you should take your poodle to a professional grooming salon. Later, if you feel more confident and comfortable after observing the professional groomer, then you can even learn and try to do different traditional Poodle clips by yourself.