Expert Grooming Tips for Your Poodle
There’s no doubt about it, poodles look and feel best when they are well-groomed. Because poodle fur grows so quickly, a professional poodle haircut is suggested about once every six to eight weeks. You’d think with a poodle seeing a professional groomer so often, there wouldn’t be much left for you to do. You’d be wrong. There are many elements of poodle grooming care you can handle at home. Here are a few tips.
Never Use a Clipper with Dull Blades
Poodles tend to have very sensitive skin, especially poodles with white, gray, or brown coats. A dull clipper can scrape their skin and leave a painful “clipper burn.” Your poodle may never love to be groomed, but it shouldn’t associate grooming with pain, either.
Let Your Puppy Get Used to Clipper Gradually
Never just grab a puppy and start clipping away. Instead, let it get used to the clippers over a period of a few days. Let the poodle see the clippers. Then turn them on so the poodle has a chance to get used to the noise. Then hold the clippers near the dog’s head until it calmly accepts being so close to the clippers. Once you’ve desensitized your puppy in this manner, you should be able to clip its fur without too much of a fuss.
Rinse Carefully When Bathing
Professional groomers say the most common mistake poodle owners make giving care is failing to wash all of the shampoo out of the poodle’s fur. This can lead to dry, lackluster fur.
Brush and Comb Your Poodle Daily
Part of good poodle care is a daily brushing or combing. Poodles are popular because they don’t shed on the furniture, but they do lose fur like any other dog. The fur simply becomes trapped in the poodle’s thick coat. A daily brushing is necessary to remove lose fur, dirt, and tangles and make your poodle feel and look its best.
Use Grooming Time to Examine the Skin
While you’re grooming your poodle, check the condition of its skin. Pay special attention to dry, scaly skin; superficial injuries; tumors; and parasites like fleas or ticks. Report anything unusual to your vet immediately.
Don’t Forget the Nails
Clip your poodle’s nails a little bit every week. Be careful not to trim too much and cut into the “quick,” a small blood vessel running through the nail. Your poodle should never associate grooming care with pain.
If you want to try to handle all your poodle’s grooming needs on your own, that’s great, but you’ll probably need some training first. Some community colleges offer courses on grooming dogs. You can also talk to your vet or your groomer and ask them to teach you how to clip your poodle the right way. Books and videotapes that discuss all aspects of poodle grooming are also available.
Now that you know how to care for your poodle, it’s time to think about whether or not you want to breed it. The next article discusses the pros and cons of breeding your poodle.