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First of all...relax! Dogs can pick up on our emotions so if you're nervous around your puppy it is very likely your puppy will be nervous as well! I'm sure you have thousands of questions and want to do everything just right, but just have confidence in yourself and also ask any questions you need to, afterall that's what forums are for!

As far as grooming yourself, although I do think it's a great bonding experience between owner and dog to learn to groom yourself definitely get videos, have someone show you how to properly clip your dog. Scissors are very sharp and can do some damage if you accidently hurt your puppy and blades can also cut the skin as well as burn the dog if they get too hot, i'm not trying to discourage you I just want you to be prepared to read some books, watch any videos you can find, ask others who groom their own dogs how to do it, how to hold the blades, buy good equipment as cheap clippers won't do you much good.

Some groomers will offer advice, i try not to offer TOO much advice to random people on the street unless they seem to know what they're doing.. for instance I wouldn't do clean face/feet until you are used to holding clippers and doing it properly.

As far as training..i've always believed it's best to teach your puppy your rules the second he is home. You can't one day let the puppy eat off your plate because you are trying to make him get comfortable in your home and then in a week yell at him for doing the exact same thing, it's just not fair!

Whatever behavior you DO NOT want this puppy doing in a year, do not let them get away with it now! It's not harsh or mean to have boundries and rules for your puppy, it's a good way to bond with your new puppy and it's a great way for them to know that you have control of all the situations in your pups life. This is a good thing!

I would start early with teaching "wait" "leave it" and "sit" as well as a solid recall, these can be very useful and in some cases lifesaving. If your pup slips his collar and starts running for the street if you have a solid recall your puppy should come RIGHT back to you without hesitation.

You can teach all of these things using positive reinforcement which your puppy will love, it's fun for both you and rewarding for your puppy. Remember to always reward behaviors you want repeated, even if you don't have treats a "good boy" and a pat on the head will go a long way!

For instance if you're at the vet and the puppy is lunging towards another dog, don't mistake this for being cute, ask the puppy to sit for attention or wait and then reward him for doing so! Never miss an opportunity to reward good behavior.

I wish you luck with your puppy, i hope I answered some of your questions.

Oh and I encourage you not to take this puppy anywhere until he has had three rounds of puppy shots, this includes pet stores, groomers, etc... parks, anywhere other dogs have been. In fact when you take him to the vet keep him in a carrier or in your arms and away from other dogs in the waiting room. It is very easy for a puppy without vaccinations to become very sick and it can even be life threaning if the pup were to pick up something like Parvo.

Making care rides fun is easy, take him everywhere once he is properly vaccinated, take him with you when you go to the bank if you have a drive through, take him to the pet store and make sure he gets treats, take him with you for walks in the park and to see and be around many different things. Introduce him to babies and children if you dont have any so that he gets used to them and doesn't flip out later on, expose him to anything you can think of, elderly people, walkers, wheelchairs, noises the pup might encounter, friendly and healthy dogs and cats, etc... make sure he is part if your life and he will learn to love car rides!
I would have to ditto most everything Aidan said. Great info!

On the grooming part, I understand that puppies can get stray hairs in the eye that need a little clip and etc. If you need to clip some hair around the eye just do it when the pup is well rested/sleepy (after a good play for instance) etc. and try to clip away from the eye. Im usually one to keep my dogs in until all the shots are complete but for Poodles puppies you may have to make that decision to take them out to a groomer slightly earlier then normal. Of course finding the right causious groomer is also key.
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