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My breeder bathed the puppies at least twice and shaved the muzzles before 7 weeks. The puppies did not get their feet trimmed, however. I gave Galen several more baths and blow dries using my kitchen sink and a hair dryer before he got too big. (Tried the high velocity dryer once, and the poor little guy almost went airborne from the force of it.)

The end result was that my groomer, after reopening, was very complimentary about how well Galen handled bathing and drying. Feet, however, are a problem. Since neither I nor the breeder worked with the feet enough, Galen now pulls back when people mess with his toes. Oops. I now have homework.

I find my horses use their whiskers to sense things are that are too close to see properly. They will rub their whiskers against my hands, or against a tasty weed, or against a feed bucket to investigate before using their lips. I think dogs might similarly find whiskers helpful in detecting the position of something moving right by his snout. Think terriers needing to make a quick adjustment when ratting. Poodles aren't intended to be verminators, so I think they benefit more from having clean muzzles and no hair blocking their vision.
 

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With our toys, we specifically ask them not to trim or clip them. I do this bc I have always preferred working my girls up to grooming myself. I prefer the whiskers stay in tact for my girls until they gain knowledge and comfort of their surroundings. With that being said, I work extremely hard with preparing them, lots of face, paw and body touching all day long. I'm home all day so this process has always worked greatly for us. My girls have always sat very still and calm during grooming. So I do feel there are options if you're willing to put the work in.
I agree. I constantly stroke my pup’s ears, feet and tail.
 

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Here's a few articles. The second one goes into more detail. I personally just feel they play a major role in experiencing their surroundings. So for me I feel it's unfair to say if a breeder doesn't groom their dogs it makes them irresponsible. Again, I request upfront that they not groom. I think the option is nice, but I just think it should be up to the buyer.


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WOW! I had no idea. Too late for Joey although the article says they will grow back. But I think it would be difficult for me to groom his face and avoid his whiskers. It is the main reason I clipped off his mustache. I am not a groomer and Joey is my first Poodle
 

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My spoo came groomed (face/feet/sanitary areas/tail partially shaved) and had been bathed and groomed twice before we picked her up. I liked this because she doesn’t mind being groomed now and it’s easy. I like keeping her in a shorter clip because we have a muddy backyard (underground stream), it rains a lot here, and we are outside a lot.
 

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WOW! I had no idea. Too late for Joey although the article says they will grow back. But I think it would be difficult for me to groom his face and avoid his whiskers. It is the main reason I clipped off his mustache. I am not a groomer and Joey is my first Poodle
Reputable breeders care a lot about the welfare of their puppies. If it was harmful to shave puppy faces/shave off the whiskers, they wouldn't do it. I also keep a "clean face" on my girl, as do many members here. I wouldn't worry about shaving off the whiskers on your poodle. :)
 

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The whiskers seem to grow back very quickly! Peggy's last groom was 3 weeks ago and they're already about an inch longer than the rest of her face.
 

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Dear Breeders,
Don't you dare give me a pup who has not been handled, who has not been exposed to grooming and nail clipping. Who has not been played with, or allowed to be around others humans, or loud noises, or exciting things, who has not been walked, or massaged, or had puppy exposure to other dogs before 8 weeks. Also they need to have been exposed to weird sounds, car rides, grass and slippery floors, and gravel, and people of all ages. I do not want a puppy who will be a scaredy cat, or afraid to be groomed, etc.
 

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Poodles are the farthest thing from a primative dog going, the poodle cannot live in the wild, just watch youtube video rescuing poodles from the streets. Poodles need to be groomed regularly, that face needs to be clean, now I am not saying everyone must shave their poodles faces but those faces need to be washed and combed out in between professional groomings.
 

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Getting my first Standard in about 3 weeks! The breeder contacted me and gave the option of having a face/sanitary groom and even though i love the curly/shaggy look we definitely decided to have the clip done to get her accustomed to being shaved because there will probably be quite a bit of that in her life. Nothing worse than a dog who can't deal with the basic grooming and bathing. She's cream so dirt will show... she's got a lot of baths and shaves in store.
 

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My boy also came with shaved nose, etc. He had been done several times and his breeder shows in conformation so I'm sure it was to help her pick out her next show dog. There are two out of his litter that did get their titles. Now I'm no groomer but while his groomer was closed, I've been able to do a basic groom on him. To do his sanitary I just have him roll on h is back, lol and he lies there. His nail I can dremel or clip, though I prefer dremel. Other dogs I've had were a nightmare when it came to trimming their nails. Renn is very good.And he is a wild boy but he is good for grooming. LOL I actually love the shaved face, didn't think I would but its stays clean and is so soft.
 

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Not saying they’re primitive dogs like a husky, but they were originally hunting dogs. Most of you probably don’t hunt with your poodles, but if there’s even the slightest chance their whiskers are gonna help them catch a scent in the wind, then I’d rather leave them. Especially when their brains are still developing... If the area is kept trimmed and tangle free, the whiskers will often protrude from the rest of the hair. If you don’t think the whiskers could possibly have a purpose, that’s fine too.

I also don’t think anyone here is minimizing the need for proper handling/socialization. Mine were both groomed by their breeder and after we had decided on a puppy for us we specifically asked them to leave their faces alone. Trimming and combing the area is often sufficient for them to be desensitized to the grooming process. I went one step further with my puppy and rubbed my electric toothbrush on her face to get her used to the vibrating sensation before the hair was long enough to trim it with a comb guard. Neither of mine had any issue with getting their clean faces this week, even though that’s not a regular occurrence.

I think having breeders groom/handle them is definitely a plus, but the work is far from over once they come home. Consistency in that first year of life is way more important in my opinion. Just because you don’t shave your poodle’s face, doesn’t mean they are going to be a monster at the groomer. In my experience, the feet are more bothersome (and more challenging of an area to shave down) anyways...
 

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Well I guess we all do what works best for ourselves and our poodles. But as a novice to poodles all the pre grooming was a plus for me. Vanessa C your right about consistency especially that first year, whether your going to desensitize them with your method or just shaving, its all about how we personally handle them to have them in a position that works for us.
 

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My puppies always got their first clipping and nail trim at 4 weeks, then every 2 weeks after that. Show dogs were bathed and clipped weekly. Lola and Ana are groomed once a month now that they are retired. Lola gets a shaved face, Ana is Asian Fusion/ teddy bear. Just depends on what you like. Critical thing is to keep them clean and healthy. The rest is just esthetics.
 
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