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Hello!

I am getting a Standard Poodle probably in 2020, so I have a lot of time to learn before then.

I am wondering if I should learn to groom myself (very scary, I've only owned short haired dogs) or if I should just leave it to the professionals?

Also, how often should you have a Poodle groomed? Once a week, once a month? If once a month, should you brush the dog out once a week just in case?

Also, this isn't my picture (it was posted on Facebook), so I'm not going to insert it, but what is the name of this Poodle's cut?

https://i.imgur.com/blzS2hU.jpg
 

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The dog in the picture is in a poorly done Miami clip. If you plan to groom yourself, the best way to start is to buy a copy of Shirley Kalstone's book Poodle Clipping and Grooming. Even if you don't end up doing your own clipping/scissoring, it's a good book on coat care.

How often? At a minimum, a baby puppy should be clipped beginning at 5-6 weeks of age and then every month or six weeks. Brushing and combing need to happen every day or two. During the time of coat change (when the soft baby coat is replaced by the harsher adult coat) it usually has to be done every day or every other day.

As many on the forum have commented, it is really important that a puppy gets accustomed to being groomed early in life. Dogs who have never been groomed are really frightened by the first experience and may never be easy to groom. A baby puppy (and many older puppies) can be pretty squirmy, so you might want someone to help you at first.

Anyone who breeds poodles should be quite willing to help a newbie - the breeder of your puppy should certainly try to get you started.
 

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Other than sometimes doing a bit of a face trim between groomings, my wife and I take our dogs to a groomer.

While I would like to save the money by doing it myself, it takes a significant amount of time to bathe, dry, brush, and groom a standard poodle. It also takes a fair bit of practice for the cut to look good. Maybe I'm lazy, or simply lack the patience to go through the routine, but I'm just not interested in taking on the job of grooming.
 

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I'm with you on this. I take Renn every 4 weeks to be groomed, have since he was 9 weeks old. Now I have some tools, grooming table, clippers, nail grinder, dryer etc. I really have yet to use them on him. The groomer is good at what she does nows how to settle him on the table and I don't want to mess with it. I do plan in time to do his face and feet in-between, as he is already fuzzy within 3 weeks. I don't have a good place to bathe him. I thought about the tub but I should have had a shower extension installed in it, otherwise I am afraid I won't get all the soap out. Plus I'm getting a bit lazy its a lot of work to groom a poodle especially a big one.
 

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I also had big plans to learn to groom myself, but it has never eventuated! I am not good at it, but more importantly I really don’t have the space for the tools/aids to make it more successful (ie grooming table, hv dryer etc).

So Rory goes to the groomer usually every five weeks, and I just try to maintain him in between clips - brushing, shaving his face (poorly!) and trimming nails. But he is also kept short year round, which makes things easier.
 

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I take Buck to be groomed every four weeks. I do not have a good set up for bathing a large dog at home and can’t cut a straight line even if it were marked. If you do choose to try your hand at grooming, you will save a boatload of money and can justify getting really good equipment.
 

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I have always groomed my poodles 6 toys, 1 mini, groomed my mom's toy and my co-worker's standard. I never once thought I couldn't groom my poodles myself, mind you they had some funny haircuts in the beginning but they were clean tidy and nary a knot on them.
 

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Grooming is exhausting work.



(this is an old picture when my tpoos were youngins')

My breeder started them out at 4 weeks of age so when I got them they were a little wiggly for a while... but not frightened. I just watched some You Tube videos and dove in gingerly. (The book mentioned would be terrific. I've heard good things about it.) And each time it got better. It's a bonding experience too. When Matisse (in the picture above) was showing, he had to be done professionally but afterwards, I did him and always did Maurice. We'd snuggles, kisses, get treats intermittently during his hair cut or brushing, drying, etc. Depending on the hair length and type...(some tangles easier than others) you'll be brushing/combing all the way to the skin, every square inch every day or so...maybe you can go two days.

You can click to enlarge I think...don't know why it comes on sideways.

20180726_140019.jpg

Relaxed and content even though...it's a little boring. lol

20171121_175343.jpg

And of course, a tpoo takes less time I imagine than a standard, although doing between the toes and all the teensy, weensy, microscopic areas are pretty time consuming too, especially on a black tpoo that's so eensy teensy weensy.

Good luck with whatever you decide. I was terrified too at first. You wouldn't believe all the threads and posts I wrote, trying to get my nerve up. But then I did and it was easier than I thought. I gave Maurice high waters more than once, made some divots in their hair but finally it got easier and a little better each time. They're not showing or trying to win any contests so as long as they look neat and tidy, clean and fairly decent, I'm happy.
 

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I home groom. It's a lot of work, but I do save a lot of money. I also like the control I have over grooming myself. I don't have to worry about groomers canceling appointments, or not having time to groom before a holiday. I can groom when she needs it.

I had a tpoo for almost 20 years who never went to a professional groomer. This before youtube and the internet. I learned to groom from the Kalstone Poodle Clipping and Grooming Book I borrowed from the library.

It is both physical and mental labor and I understand it's not for everyone. But it's doable.
 
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I also used a professional groomer while showing. My dog is kept pretty simple now so I do everything and invested in the equipment my breeder recommended. As they say, hair grows back. Not a lot of poodles around here so no judgment about my (lack of) skills.
 

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I do a mix of home grooming and professional. I freely admit they look better when professionally done, but they look fine when I do them too- just not as polished.

Buy good equipment, buy Shirley Kalstone’s book, watch You Tube videos, and as already mentioned, remember it’s hair and will grow back.

One piece of advice I have is to buy the hard copy of the Kalstone book. I bought the kindle version and it’s hard to reference when you’re in the middle of a groom. Depends on your preference, but for me, a reference book is better in print.
 
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I was in your very shoes a few short months ago. Have owned dogs always - never one that needed grooming beyond the occasional bath. I have watched hundreds of videos here and on YouTube and just jumped in. I love grooming - never though that I would, but I do. My dog was trained from the beginning that it is not a big deal and a part of his day - brushing and grooming and although he doesn't enjoy it per se I think he does know that it is 100% his time and he doesn't hate it. He tends to fall asleep on me - which makes getting to some parts a little difficult but I love that he trusts me and is so relaxed about it.
My rationale always is that to properly prepare a dog for professional grooming takes so much time - you have to train for so many things that the actual grooming is just an add-on of an extra 5 minutes.
You have so much control over how you want your dog to look and it is somewhat relaxing.
This is a great place to ask questions and voice your concerns - so many experienced home and professional groomers here.
 

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Just to clarify - the 5 minutes is meant at the beginning where you have to do very short sessions at least once daily. But I really built it up 5 minutes at a time. Now a groom is around 30 minutes to 1 hour. I am still wrestling with coat change and we still don't have the really poodle hair but we are getting closer.
 

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I home groom. I do okay, not fabulous but okay to good. Since I have two spoos it is a major cost savings to have invested in good tools and do it at home. When Lily was a pup she went out to be groomed, but once adding Javelin was on the horizon it made sense to switch. She is a very good client and that helped me feel okay about the idea of doing a baby dog. Since there are some people who have had issues with their young dogs putting up with grooming we now have a sticky thread on teaching puppies to be okay with the process. https://www.poodleforum.com/9-poodle-grooming/266567-teaching-grooming-behavior-puppies.html
 
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Hello everyone,
I have groomed both my spoo's for a few years now. They both weigh about 50 lbs. Learning to groom at home is an ongoing experience that at times is very frustrating but can also be very rewarding. Without question it is a lot of work, but as you begin to do it more regularly is becomes easier and faster. Unfortunately results do vary, especially until you figure out what works best for you. I have, in the past been so disgusted with my efforts that I would just keep trimming them shorter. Probably not the best idea. But with the help of so many folks from this forum, you tube and books from several sources I've slowly begun to catch on. Of course using good equipment (brushes, combs, trimmers, shampoos and dryers) always helps but that is the kind of information you can get as you read about grooming and so you will figure out what works best for you and your pup. Supplies can be expensive but please consider that when it comes to trimmers and scissors, quality can make a big difference. Using a poor quality scissor can make the learning curve more dramatic. All that said, I would say the most important part of grooming is prep work. Get them clean using a good quality shampoo and when you dry them, do your best to straighten their coat. And don't begin trimming until they are bone dry. For me at least this makes all the difference. I'am by no means a professional and am motivated by saving a couple bucks and as Skylar mentioned , being able to groom them whenever I wish. In time you will pick up a few tips here and there that will work for and make sense to you. Please remember, the dogs won't care if they don't look just right, it will be you who is happy with their new do, or not.
Best regards,
Jcris
 

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I got my first Poodle in July and have been doing it myself! Because I’m comfortable with clippers (I grew up riding Hunter/Jumpers) I wanted to do it myself. I also prefer kennel/simple clips so I knew I could get there. It does take quite a bit of time...I bathe her every 4-5 weeks and do her body in that same time frame. I trim her face and feet every week or every other week, depending on how motivated I feel haha. I keep her pretty short so towards the beginning of her cut I just brush her tail and ears out every couple of days but have to brush more the longer it gets. I’m sure she’s not the fanciest in town, but it grows and I get better each time. Plus you can always keep learning and adding new skills. I have good groomers in town who I’d go to if I wanted something like a Miami Clip, but I just can’t see myself being able to maintain bracelets well so I probably won’t. I also had a friend pro groomer come teach me once so I had some ideas. I just text her when I have issues or come here!
 

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this is bella professionally groomed vs when she was going through coat change and would start matting 12 hours after last brushing/combing session so I ordered clippers and shaved her because she was starting to HATE being brushed/combed because it was a constant thing..



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I took Poppy to a groomer once, when she was a puppy. I specially asked her not to go beyond the point where Poppy began to get upset, as she was a rather nervous pup - the groomer did a pretty good job, but phoned me to say Poppy really, really did not want her face shaved (despite having had it done several times by her breeder). I went to collect her, borrowed the groomer's clippers, had a 30 second explanation, and clipped Poppy's face myself. After that it just seemed easier to buy some kit and go on doing it - Poppy is small, it saves having to work around appointments and waiting hours for her to be ready, and if she never looks as good as the very beautifully professionally groomed poodles I sometimes see she looks OK most of the time (I have made the occasional boob, as we all do...).
 
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