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Discussion Starter #1
My miniature goes to the groomer about every 5-6 weeks, and she is great. He just gets an all-over 'scruffy' clip, nothing shaved but his paws.

Question is, can I use something like this tool to clean his face up a bit mid-groom? Without annoying my groomer :)?

I'm a bit nervous of using scissors on his face; he's 10 months and full of energy, and I'm a klutz! Which is why I don't learn to groom.
 

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NO!

Do NOT use that tool on your dogs face! It has razor sharp blades on those curved thingee. If you catch skin or an eyelid, major trauma.
 

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That brush is used for getting undercoat out of double coated breeds, you shouldnt ever have a need to use it on poodles. Just use a slicker brush and a comb, your groomer will be happy if the face is mat free and can groom it much better.
 

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If you really want to trim up the face a bit, ask your groomer how much it would be for a face trim and a bath in between your normal appointments.

Doing a partial groom shouldn't be as much and a lot of groomers welcome more frequent appointments. It means less work later! You might even offer to bathe and brush your dog before you go. In order to keep their blades really sharp, groomers prefer to trim a clean dog. The coat has to be brushed super well or it won't be an even trim.

It's amazing what a bath and little trim can do. Maybe your groomer will have some other ideas too.
 

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I wonder what an all over scruffy trim is. I would have a hard time doing that to a client dog.....most people would not want that. The face has its own comb....its pretty small. Nothing else would be needed. For a scruuffy face I would using thinners.
 

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Definately heed everyone's advice here..that is a dangerous tool to use period and is not intended for a face. I would ask your groomer about a mid groom which would just be a clean up and should run you a lot less and would be worth it in my opinion. A comb is great for the face and a slicker brush as long as you don't hit the eyes/nose with it.
As for me though..I prefer a shaved face. Poodles with a lot of hair on their faces can lead you into some sanitary problems and I heard of someone whose dog developed a pretty serious eye infection. After all the vet costs etc they decided a short face was worth it. They now say its grown on them and wished they had just kept it short in the first place.
If you do keep it long make sure your groomer takes steps to ensure a more sanitary face like trimming it shorter around the eyes and below them. Trimming hair short near the ear opening so the ears can breath better. Also it helps if they take some of the hair right near the mouth/lips down a bit so as to keep as much food from getting caught in it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for advice

So is there a safe thinner tool around? I use one similar to photo posted to thin my horse's mane, and haven't managed to cut either her or me with it yet, but accept the risk to eyelids (that idea gives me the shakes).

This is a photo of him right about mid-cycle on his grooming, in his all-over scruff look; I'm sure the cut has a name but I'm new to 'groomable' breeds. A couple of weeks after this, his whiskers get a bit too long, and I'm just looking for a way to tidy up until his next trip to the groomer. I trim his beard with little blunt tipped scissors but thought a thinner-tool thingie might make it possible to do the top of his face.
 

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strippers, like what you posted, shouldn't ever be used on a poodles coat. They're designed for dogs with undercoat or at least shedding coats! And yes, horses too (cos they shed, so it's all good and works well on their coats and manes as well; I use those coat kings on my mini all the time!)

If you want to thin the beard out (??) then use thinning scissors, but be aware that by using thinning scissors on a poodles coat will then generally cause it to end up looking more thick and 'poofy' that ever, as the hairs you cut short, will continue to grow and you'll have a thicker 'under' layer holding up the longer hairs around them...

Best, IMO, to just trim and shape with scissors, as it's the best way to get the best out of a poodle coat!!!

I'd call that trim a teddy bear trim, or perhaps a bichon style... Though poodle coats invariably don't really pull off the really fluffy face very well due to their thick curls, it just doesn't really sit as nicely and you invariably have the thick 'cheek poofs' thing going on!! Especially if the top of the muzzle is trimmed short like your boy. My advice it to get the whole beard trimmed much shorter and put him into a more 'teddy bear' trim rather than try and do the round bichon look. To get a round bichon style head, they need big full 'cheeks', and poodles noses are so long you need even more hair to round it out, and it just really doesn't work well usually! They look MUCH cuter with a short beard in a wee teddy bear face if you don't want the shaved look...

eg:
harry:


 
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Harry & Phoebe:

(though they are verging on being too fluffy... )

Barnaby:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ah, "cheek poofs", I knew there was a technical term for them! :)

That describes it perfectly. I have an excess of cheek poof.

I'm embarrassed to say that I would never presume to instruct my groomer; she knows WAY more than me and is tremendously in demand and the nicest woman on the planet. We are lucky to have her, and I try not to annoy her. I generally describe what I'm after as the least fussy cut possible and she does her darnedest (this was agreed with my partner as a precondition of getting a poodle .... it's his first dog ever due to allergies and men have these issues ...).

I shall discuss the de-Bichon'ing of his face, however.

Pretty sure she is going to give me a look next week though, when he goes in. You know the one, the "how do you manage to dress yourself in the morning" look. I had a go at trimming cheek poofs, squeezing the hair between the first and second fingers of my left hand and trimming what sticks up with my right hand, and it's not pretty. Or even. It is a bit shorter, though!
 

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well have a look on the internet for some nice pics of poodles with teddy-bear faces that you LIKE, and bring them with you to the groomer to say 'is it possible to make him look a bit like THIS?' it's a non-confrontational way of asking for a change then... And personally I LOVE when people bring in photos of what they would like, cos it takes all the guess-work out of trying to work out what the owner wants and what is possible to do. Often people bring in photos of a dog with different structure (like I have a maltese X shih come in with her wee short undershot face, bring in a photo of a pure maltese they liked) and I have to point out the difference that will have to be accomodated for their dog, but at least I know the look they're wanting and there's something to actually work towards now!!! :)


Poodle coats need to be scissored free-hand. Drop coats can be done with the fingers in hair-dresser style (sorta) but the frizzy poodle (and bichon) coats have to be done without using the fingers as a guide; as you've just found out! LOL! If you're game you can attempt to even it up, just make sure the coat is brushed and combed out so it's straight and frizzy, and scissor that way. Curls don't scissor well ;)
 
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