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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,
I have a mini poodle who desperately needs grooming. Because of COVID-19, all of the grooming salons are closed. I thought they were going to reopen, but not yet. I want to do a cursory grooming to tie him over until they open up. I thought I would clip only his body and legs and neaten up his face, top not, and tail No clean muzzle, feet, shaft of tail or groin. I am too afraid I will hurt him because I have no experience. I would also like to get a dremel tool for his nails. What tools do you recommend? His fur is crazy thick now since his last grooming was in February! Also, is it OK to cut him dry?
Thanks!
 

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You want to cut him when he’s dry After brushing use a metal butter/greyhound comb to comb down to his skin to make sure there aren’t any hidden mats Before trimming him.

Are you planning to use scissors or do you want to get a trimmer like Wahl Bravura? I feel the trimmers are safer around the face than scissors. And consider doing a sanitary groom too.
 

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Hi,

Skylar's right, best to do the clipping when dry and fully combed out, after a bath. Clean fur is kinder to clippers. As you can imagine, there've been a few threads in the last month or so on this. It's always best to go for the best tools you can afford. The right tools make the task easier and you might find that you'll use them more than you might think, to extend the time between professional grooms. A lot of us did our first full grooming ever in the last 6 weeks :).

If you're going the clipper route for body and legs you'll probably want a regular size clipper/trimmer. There are cordless and corded types which are discussed in the linked threads.
A good pair of curved scissors are a big help for shaping the top knot.
Small round tip scissors are handy for little tidying work where I'm especially concerned about sharp points.
The greyhound style comb is an excellent choice.
I still use a travel size human handheld dryer with a concentrator nozzle attached, and I run it on the cool setting.
I have a dremel tool but the boys have given it a paws down so I use Millers Forge Stainless Steel Dog Nail Clipper, Plier Style, based on recommendations here in PF somewhere,

It seems like a mountainous task, and I admit the first few strokes with the clippers are scary but it turns out that part is usually easier than you might think. If you get a clipper with the guard combs (most come with a plastic set which will do for occasional use), it's not too easy to hurt your pup. They keep the blade away from being too close to the skin. You can do this!

I'll link 2 or 3 that have a lot of info for you and there are Sticky threads too::


 

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What I have done is push the metal comb next to the skin and use scissors to clip. The metal comb protects the skin. I use a harsh lady's nail file on the nails.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the info and the links. I ordered the Wahl Bravura clipper. Hopefully, it will come soon. Is there a preferred brand of scissors? It seems many of them are out of stock. Also, I have never given my guy a bath. Other than putting cotton balls in their ears, how do you prevent water from getting in their ears and soap getting in their eyes? Sorry about all of the questions. I am really nervous about this. Fortunately, my pup has no idea what is in store for him!
 

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The shears are a bit trickier to give suggestions on for a couple of reasons, price and ease of handling. A very fine pair of shears can be as much or more than the Bravura. Since you can't get several different pairs in your hand to feel which ones fit you best, I'll suggest not going for the top level but for a pair that won't break the bank.
Blade length is another consideration, right hand vs left hand, these options which you just can't test right now makes choosing some less expensive shears to get you thru, and leave the lifetime shears for later, a better choice.
I'll have to admit to heresy here myself. I bought an inexpensive set on Amazon several years ago (currently unavailable) and they're still working for me. I plan to go big eventually but these are still sharp and easy for me to maneuver.

In another recent thread, Hashimoto brand curved shears were suggested by another member:


and while searching for those on Amazon I saw these which might feel safer since they have the rounded tips


For the bath, how big is your mini? Where do you plan to bathe him? I'd suggest a tearless shampoo, usually puppy formulas are tearless. A few I looked up for another member are:
Best Tearless: Burt's Bees Tearless Puppy Shampoo with Buttermilk for Dogs
Best Hypoallergenic: TropiClean Hypo-Allergenic Gentle Coconut Puppy & Kitten Shampoo
PET HEAD Puppy Fun!! Tearless Shampoo

Be sure that he's completely combed thru, with no mats before you bathe him. Any mats will tighten and be harder to release or need to be clipped out if you don't get them before.

Whichever shampoo you choose, you can dilute it a lot. You'll find that getting a poodle coat thoroughly soaked isn't easy :). A handheld sprayer with the spray head held just on the fur, working the fur back and forth, is how I do it. You'll want warm, not hot water. I wet and shampoo the neck, body and legs first, leaving the head dry til the last.

When it's time to wet the head, cotton balls halved or quartered, or some folks have tried those squishy ear plugs, into the ears. They're not likely to stay in but try anyhow :). I turn the water volume down and hold the ear leather over the opening and wet down the ear hair, pointing the spray downward, then do the same on the other side. For the top, I'm now holding both ear leathers over the openings with one hand and tip the head up so the spray points downward again, wetting the center. Another member just put their fingers in the ears which I'm going to try next time. At this point, the water is off and on, still low volume while you sort of work the water down to the skin with your hands. To get the front of the topknot and muzzle try tipping his head down now. What you're trying to do is keep the water flowing down. I drip a bit of shampoo on each ear and lather up then a bit down the center of the head, tipped back, and lather up working it thru to the front and then a few drops in my hand to work the muzzle.

I rinse the head first, sort of reversing the order. There will be shaking and water flying :). After you rinse, rinse again and keep rinsing til you don't feel any shampoo in his fur.

When you towel dry, it's more of a patting action rather than rubbing. No point in tangling the fur since you've now got him all combed out.

When using the dryer, same principal of pointing the air flow down or up rather than at the skin, using the comb to smooth and keep detangled while drying. If I'm blowing down the back from the neck, I'm combing up from the tail. The ears get blown and combed downward.

This seems like a lot of detail, I know, and it isn't necessarily how you'll end up doing things, but it's a guide. You can split the clipping and trimming up by doing the face and sanitary after the bath and then do body and legs the next day, and finish with the top the next day. Have lots of very special treats in small bits handy for all this!

You've got this!
 

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You’ve gotten great tips and I’ll just add that I like the Geib shears. You can find them on Amazon.
Relax, you can do this, it won’t be perfect at first, but your dog won’t care.
 
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Awesome advice already. I use Master Grooming blue titanium shears. I saw them recommended here as entry level shears at some point and I've been very happy with them. Also very reasonably priced. I started out with straights because they were cheaper, but now that I splurged and got a curved pair that's my go to pair for almost anything. Though it's only a matter of time before I get some thinning shears too.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Wow, thanks for all the information. This forum is great. If only I could get one of you to bathe and cut him for me (LOL)! By the way, my guy is a big mini. I call him a maxi-mini -- about 15" high and 17.5 pounds. I going to bathe him either in the bathtub or a small stall shower. I think I might try them both (sans water) first and see where he is the most comfortable.
 
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