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Since Isabelle was a wee pup, they had her cut with this kind of fluffy snout? style. I had always seen shaved faces in America, and had originally wanted it for sanitary reasons (No water or food residue). I had them shave her feet two or three times over the years, but she didn't like it when the hair grew back (maybe itchy, according to the vet) and she started licking and scratching at her feet, so I gave up. Have you ever heard about that itchiness around the face?
Over here, there is no 'tipping system' for restaurants, hair salon, groomers, or taxis, so I think the basic grooming prices may be a little higher than other countries.
One thing over here, most shops have an in-house test before grooming school graduates are allowed to handle customer's dogs. I heard it takes a few years to rise to the ranks of grooming poodles/ bischon frizes etc. Another thing, I think, is that before a groomer is allowed to open a salon, they have to have a certain number of years working in a salon as well as some other qualifications relating to care of pets; vet technician, dog handler etc.
Is it the same in your area? (They also started this system for all dog breeders. Without this license it is illegal to sell any puppies your dog might have.)
I'm not really sure if there's any requirement for groomers here. I know there is a lot of variation in how they are trained. That's why it can be very risky when you don't know if a groomer will treat your dog well and do a good job with the clip. I have heard a lot of horror stories. I wish we had some sort of requirements for dog breeding where parent dogs must be health tested. It still seems like it might be better here than in the UK though from what I've heard.

As far as the itching, it is very common for them to itch at first when any new area is shaved, especially if it is shaved very short. There's a few methods to reduce this. First, you can first shave them less close (like with a 10 blade) and then work your way down with a 15 and then 30 blade (if you want). That lets the skin get used to it slowly. You can also brush off or blow off the feet after shaving to remove stray hair particles that can cause itching. You can also use something to soothe the skin like vitamin E oil. Pale colored poodles have more sensitive skin than dark poodles, and many people opt to not shave them as close so that the skin won't get irritated. But you can still usually use a 10 blade safely. If it's something you want to do, I'm sure we could help you troubleshoot it. The fluffy face look is very cute, but yes you are right that it is higher maintenance in terms of cleaning. Especially with a white poodle!
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thank you for all the help so far. There was an announcement on the news just now, that the commercial facility that their salon is in will open from June 1st.馃コ When I will call and set up their spa appointment I will ask them to try shaving her feet with a 10 blade and right away. I didn't know about the skin sensitivity difference between the colors. I will keep it in mind!
I will also be sure to ask about the dryers you advised and see if they know of any equivalent ones that will work with the Japanese wattage system.
 

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That's great that you take such good care of your pup. I have a small mini, so not much bigger than your toy.

I use a Chris Christensen Kool Pup High Velocity dryer. Not on the head because my boy doesn't like that. This gets out a lot of moisture and already straightens the hair.

If you want to keep her nice and fluffy, you need to brush while you dry.

Then I use a Speedy stand dryer. It costs about as much as 4 grooms at your salon, so it might be worth the investment. The advantage of a stand dryer is that you have both hands free, so you can brush and hold the hair at the same time to avoid pulling. I would never want to dry my poodle without it anymore.

I'm afraid Speedy doesn't sell in Japan, here's the link so you know what stand dryers look like:

It takes me about 20 minutes to wash my poodles (2x shampoo, 1x conditioner). Then a total of 40 minutes to fluff dry him. He's in full show coat. Your toy should be a little faster with short hair. The Chris Christensen After Bathe conditioner makes the drying process a lot faster.

When we get caught in heavy rain, I dry him under the stand dryer. I also use the stand dryer on cold to brush out mats with some detangler spray.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Thank you for the information. My salon opened June 1st and so I asked them about the HV dryers I read about on poodle forum, but they said that they are for thick coated dogs like huskies or collies and that if I used it on a poodle the hair would curl and tangle and that that is why you don't see them in Japan. I am not sure how much of this is true or not, as I spoke to the reception staff, not a groomer, as they were so busy with all the dogs.
The dryer in your link looks good, especially the price. From what I have found online here, the cheapest was US$1,200 and most are $1,700 to $2,200 so I want to make sure that I buy the right one. The HV dryers are around US$500 which is still high, but more affordable.
 

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Thank you for the information. My salon opened June 1st and so I asked them about the HV dryers I read about on poodle forum, but they said that they are for thick coated dogs like huskies or collies and that if I used it on a poodle the hair would curl and tangle and that that is why you don't see them in Japan. I am not sure how much of this is true or not, as I spoke to the reception staff, not a groomer, as they were so busy with all the dogs.
The dryer in your link looks good, especially the price. From what I have found online here, the cheapest was US$1,200 and most are $1,700 to $2,200 so I want to make sure that I buy the right one. The HV dryers are around US$500 which is still high, but more affordable.
That's very odd. I assure you that HV dryers work great on poodle hair for fluff drying. I know stand dryers were the method used before HV dryers became the norm here but they take a lot more time if that's all you use. Professional show groomers often use both to get the perfect blown out look, but I can still get a fairly nice fluff dry with only my HV dryer.

Here's a video that shows a method using only an HV dryer.

I actually use the narrow nozzle when I dry, and I think it gets the hair a bit straighter than in that video. But that technique is best with a more nervous dog. It takes some care to work around the head and ears, and ear protection helps the dog as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #26
Thanks for the video link. I am surprised how straight she is after the brushing and combing. Not at all like I had feared after talking to the shop.
I think I will go ahead and buy an HV dryer and in the future if it isn't enough, I may look into the stand dryer. But for the price, if I can do anything near the drying quality in the video, that would be great for her when going to the salon is not an option.馃榾
 
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