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Thank you. That was taken in summer when they were looking reasonably presentable- I was looking for the feral beachwashed photo to add a comparison. I am very lucky in that I have the Ninety Mile Beach very close to me where we can virtually always get some off leash no people, no other dog space for them to romp in & get thoroughly wet & sandy.
 

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Thank you. That was taken in summer when they were looking reasonably presentable- I was looking for the feral beachwashed photo to add a comparison. I am very lucky in that I have the Ninety Mile Beach very close to me where we can virtually always get some off leash no people, no other dog space for them to romp in & get thoroughly wet & sandy.
That would be a great comparison :)
 

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DRYING:
1) When drying a poodle with a HV dryer, do you start brushing the coat while it's still wet-wet or damp or ???
- Pet coat poodle: Depending on the length of the hair. If its less than 2 inches, I don't usually brush while I dry. If its longer, I'll start brushing when the hair is almost dry. Except for the ears or if the dog is matted. I'll brush the ears the entire time to get them very straight. And I find brushing mats out very carefully with a slicker then a comb works much better/is easier on the dog when the coat is soaking wet. (this depends on the matting, I can get some serious matts out of ears doing this, but it really depends on the matts)
- Show coat poodle: I do not do show clips. I have only done one show clip ever and that was on my friends toy poodle. Not that I refuse, its just too much upkeep for my clients/price is too high.

2) What grooming tool (brush and/or comb) do you prefer to use when drying to get the coat straight (and does this change for different coat areas and degree of dryness)?
- Pet coat poodle: slicker or pin brush and comb. Preference is more the dogs skin, more sensitive dogs I use the pin brush, Most dogs use the slicker.

3) Do you start drying and/or brushing a certain area of does that depend on the individual poodle and/or trim?
I dry the dog all over quickly to get the excess water off. Then I'll go over the dog slowly starting with the rear legs and move to the head last. But I'll usually do the ears halfway through because I am very particular about my ears being VERY straight.
Brushing, depends on the clip, if its a Miami clip I start with the bracelets. If its a pet clip, usually the tail/ears/topknot.

4) What is the primary difference between a HV dryer and a stand (heat) dryer? Can you get the straight, fluffy look with one or the other or do you need both? (ie., what are the pros/cons of both)
HV dryer blows air at about 25mph. You can dry a dog VERY fast with this dryer. But if you hold it too close to the coat it will matt the hair. This is the best dryer to straighten hair.
The Stand dryer is pretty much like a human hand dryer on a stand. It has different heat settings/speed.
We have 1 stand dryer that we only used on dogs that could not be HV dried (dogs prone to seizures from drying, dogs too scared of the HV dryer, preferred to dry puppies with stand dryer because it isn't so loud/scary)
But we have the CC Kool Dry Raptor dryers now that have so many settings we don't have any use for the stand dryer anymore. I can put it on super low and dry dogs that could never be dried before.
Yes the stand dryers have heat settings, but we use the HV so much the motor heats up and blows warm air.

GROOMING:
5) What products do you recommend to prevent razor burn on poodles with sensitive skin--worst case scenario (ie., Skin Works)? (One of my poodles doesn't get razor burn but will scratch later and give himself a rash!)
We do not use anything for razor burns. if the dogs skin is too sensitive we wont use a 10 or shorter, or wont do the sanitary area at all.

6) Do you use an anti-static spray when scissoring? Will this ruin your shears? If you have a favorite product, ie., Groomer's Choice Anti-Static Spray, please list. Jay Scruggs recommends the GC spray.
Also use Best Shot UltraMAX Pro. Have never had any issues with my shears with any spray.

7) Do you tend to groom in a certain order? Do you tackle the face first or the feet, or does this once again depend on the individual poodle?
On a pet clip usually start with the back/body, then legs, sanitary, then tail, then feet, face/neck, ears, topknot.
If the dogs is bad for its feet or face, I'll do it last. Sometimes I'll get bored and switch it up.
On a fancier clip (lamb clip or miami) I'll save whatever needs the most scissor work for last
8) How do you keep a longer/fuller topknot from falling (you know what I mean, that icky part they get down the middle after a day or two)? Any tips?
I dunno, if this is an issue I usually take the topknot shorter

9) What's the best way to get a tight line separating bracelet from upper leg in Miami trim, etc.? Do you use a clipper or shear?
Start with the clipper and then use shears

10) Do you prefer snap-on combs or scissoring for the finished look? What parts of the poodle do you feel must be scissored (topknot obviously)? Is the #30 blade the best choice when using the combs?
Prefer scissoring, always. There are lazy groomers at my shop who use combs for everything and I feel its a really lazy shortcut that will never look as good as a good scissor.
- Favorite snap-on combs: Wahl Stainless Steel, I find myself using a #15 with them all the time.
- Scissoring tips: Don't really know how to give tips on line, unless I posted photos. Like MamaTiff said, COMB! Comb the dog completely all over before you even start scissoring. If you cant pick up a comb and brush it perfectly through a random spot you are not done combing!

GROOMING TOOL MAINTENANCE:
11) What's the best way to clean your clipper blades? I've heard the spray cleaners are bad, etc.
I spray on a disinfectant between dogs and wipe them down, or use toothbrush to get the hair out.
But to do a full cleaning use Oster Blade Wash that you dip the blades in.
Always oil your blades, ALWAYS!

12) How often do you sharpen your blades and shears? (After how many grooms...approximately.)
About once a month, to every 2 months. I have a lot of blades that I rotate around. If I have to do a lot of coat stripping (preshaving matted dogs) they get dull much faster.

As for examples of different cuts to do swismiself:
This book
Poodle Clipping and Grooming: The International Reference
IS AMAZING.
This website has a lot of examples (go to the menu on the left and pick A-D or E-J etc)
POODLE HAIR CUTS

Asking about shaving the V neck, you shave the neck in almost all breed clips. Terriers, poodle, cockers etc
You don't HAVE to shave it.
 

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New Question

As this was made a sticky, I thought I would pose a different question.

I totally admire groomers for their ingenius methods of handling dogs, in other words "how to hold" for different areas. I had one session with a groomer, and I really didn't retain a whole lot of what I did learn, but I found that working on my toy poodle and holding her backwards; neck under arm, etc, was a HUGE help.

So, is there a source or anything for finding out how to hold dogs to cut/trim different areas? Specifically, again, the FFT with poodles (standards) who are not totally compliant. Feet, or course, are probably the biggest issue for me.

For a lot of groomers, all of this may seem like common sense. But, believe me, when I am grooming at home, I can get in some of the most awkward positions, etc. For example, my boy did not want to let me shave his neck, until I put him on the floor and straddled him and then, all was fine with no problems at all.
 

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Clippers and Blades

Hi, I have the nearly six month old standard poodle{ white ].
My Daughter is the one who usually groomed my previous dog. . She is now in Australia so I must try myself.
I need to purchase clippers and blade and would like to know what to buy , can anyone help please.

Fluffy Buffy
 

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ooh this is a GREAT post! I was thinking it would be so fun to groom Huxley myself and he's SO patient and still that he lets me do it - I just have NO idea what I'm doing!! LOL I tried to shave him down myself which I thought would be easy enough since I wouldn't have to keep any shape or do the scissoring but my clippers weren't up for the job! (I've been reading the clipper posts and think I'm ready to invest in a good Andis). I'm also freaked out about the face (even after watching tons of youtube videos on it!) Any grooming info from the pros is VERY welcome!! Thank you thank you thank you for starting this thread ;)
EXACTLY!!! In the same boat. It seems very intimidating, especially with no training and not knowing where to start or what tools you actually need. I'm so jealous of all you groomer and groomer-types whose dogs ALWASY look freshly groomed, as opposed to ours who always looked 2 weeks over due for a trim ;-) PLEASE keep the information and tips on DIY-poodle grooming coming. Hmmmm ... wonder if there's a good book or video with that title.
 

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EXACTLY!!! In the same boat. It seems very intimidating, especially with no training and not knowing where to start or what tools you actually need. I'm so jealous of all you groomer and groomer-types whose dogs ALWASY look freshly groomed, as opposed to ours who always looked 2 weeks over due for a trim ;-) PLEASE keep the information and tips on DIY-poodle grooming coming. Hmmmm ... wonder if there's a good book or video with that title.
I bathe my poodle once a week and brush her out every other day. Use a greyhound comb.


Sent from my iPhone using Petguide.com Free App
 

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Just wondering if an air compressor would work the same way as the HV dryer. It really just blows the water off the dog right? I don't know if you can adjust the compressor so it won't injury the dog, but just wondering because I may have to start grooming my own poodles and would rather not spend the money on an HV if I don't have to.
 

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I think that the problem with most air compressors is that the air is not clean enough. There is oil in the compressor that will get transferred to the dog.
 

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Are snap on combs necessary? I am going to try to groom my dogs at home finally. I have been reading, watching videos, etc; I haven't seen them being used..please advise before I end up down the wrong path. I have ordered a 2speed clipper with a 4&7 blade, straight, curved, and thinning shears, little nose ones. Any advice before next week would be appreciated :)
 

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Are snap on combs necessary? I am going to try to groom my dogs at home finally. I have been reading, watching videos, etc; I haven't seen them being used..please advise before I end up down the wrong path. I have ordered a 2speed clipper with a 4&7 blade, straight, curved, and thinning shears, little nose ones. Any advice before next week would be appreciated :)

I think it depends on what you want to do. I don't use combs. I have done a miami/bikini on my girl and just shaved her body all over with a 4, did her feet with a 30 and her face and tail with a 10, then shaped the had/trail/leg poms with scissors (poorly). The 4 results in a pretty short cut (less then 1/2 inch long), but they grow so quickly that I don't mind. The combes will give you flexability with length without having to purchase additional blades.

I think scissoring takes some time to learn, but with a well fluffed poodle coat you can buzz them pretty even. I have never used thinning chears, but found that a small pair of curved shears helped with shaping pomps on my last pup.

Are you going to have any blades that get closer to do feet/face or are you going to leave those at a 7? Face and feet are the only thing that I keep up on a regular basis, regardless of body length, they look freshly groomed to the eye if the face and fit are trim and they have a good brushing. Plus my current spoo is white and it helps minimize tear stains to keep her face shaved.
 

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Learning to groom

Hi , My clippers are arriving next week and I am going to try to keep my girl looking tidy.
I am not very confident, but am going to give it a good try.
I have left pom poms on her legs and want to leave her ears long as she has such thick long hair on her ears.not sure about her top knot yet.
So this will be interesting, there is lots of good advice on this site
Thanks
 

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Help! I have 3 small guys... I am going to groom at home for the first time and have been reading feverently your posts. But I have a problem that needs to be addressed. My littlest guy is matted...my other two are ok, I brush all three the same but this one.... I have tried a mat splitter.....he ate/broke it! He has extremely curly hair. I have tried the conditioner sprays to break them down and it makes them worse. I don't have thinning shears, they are on their way. It's going to force me once more to clip him short and try once again to let him grow out because his best clip is a pants and jacket. Cause of mats cockle burrs I live in the country, I have no idea where he is finding them because I have gone out there and eliminated them....or so I thought.
 

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Help! I have 3 small guys... I am going to groom at home for the first time and have been reading feverently your posts. But I have a problem that needs to be addressed. My littlest guy is matted...my other two are ok, I brush all three the same but this one.... I have tried a mat splitter.....he ate/broke it! He has extremely curly hair. I have tried the conditioner sprays to break them down and it makes them worse. I don't have thinning shears, they are on their way. It's going to force me once more to clip him short and try once again to let him grow out because his best clip is a pants and jacket. Cause of mats cockle burrs I live in the country, I have no idea where he is finding them because I have gone out there and eliminated them....or so I thought.
when you bathe your boy, and put conditioner on him lightly go over him with slicker(the cond will help the matts/burrs to slide out) assuming he isnt beyond saving. If you have a hv it will greatly help to stretch the coat and blow some of those knotts out. i like the master equipment dryer thats a hv & stand dryer because its adjustable in air and heat and works nicely on small and afraid dogs. crown royale is absolutely the best spray i have ever used for #1 spritzing on areas as you fluff dry
#2 spray on matts and work out
#3 use a scissor spray.

good video on grooming small poodle in lamb trim but its old school(legs are all scissored no skimming) is

Grooming Guide - Toy Poodle Pet or Salon Trim - Pro Groomer - YouTube
 

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top knot falls flat

Aw shucks - I came to the same conclusion and finally shortened Nigels' top knot by about an 1" this afternoon.
Now I have to shorten his coat by an inch because he looks like I pin head.
Even though he is a farm dog, plays with the horses and comes back covered with rose bushes and burs I keep him in my version of a Europeon T cut. His back end is scissored short with bracelettes and I admit a palm tree tail ( I am trying to talk myself into letting in grow in and having a large pouf tail but there is something about it I like - it is like a flag wagging happiness) his front half is very long with full fluffy legs a very full top knot and full ears.
of course his face, feet and bathroom bits are shaved - usually with an against the grain # 15.

It takes some doing - he gets the full meal deal - shave, scissor, bath, nails, ears every other weekend - with a bath in between if he gets into some thing really nasty at the barn. He is brushed daily for at least a 1/2 hour with usually a full hour every 3 or 4 days. My secret is get out that dead hair before it mats. My favorite tool for pulling up the base dead hair before it mats is a narrow long tooth rake - mine is about 11/2 wide. I find the shoulder and wither areas usually need the most attention but I assume that is from wrestling with his doggy friends at the barn.

I have caught myself looking at his breeders web site a lot recently. I think I want another but I am pretty sure If I had two they would be clipped short. This is a lot of hours and I love every minute of it, but juggling enough hours to double it is just about impossible
 

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New to grooming

Hi,

We rescued a spoo from a kill shelter and he was in bad condition with matted dirty hair, underweight, overgrown nails and filthy ears.

We bathed him using my daughter's baby shampoo (it's all I had at the time and he smelled so bad) and cut and clipped his hair very short...he actually came out whiter than we thought..ha ha.

But I was nervous about messing with his ears and nails so I took him in to the closet groomer and the guy was weird. "Atticus" was very nervous and the guy put the powder in his ear and the hemostat and started twisting. Atticus yelped and shook while the hair was removed. Not good right?

I'm new to this and have never taken a dog to a groomer and not sure if this is what is normal? Please can someone tell me what to look for in a good groomer and the signs of a bad one. Thanks.
 

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The twist technique is a way to get the hair out. I know groomers who do it, but I don't just because I think removing smaller amounts using your fingers and ear powder is less painful than a chunk at once but maybe he thought that would be the fastest easiest way. You could request he does it that way next time. In looking for a good groomer:
See that they are friendly to the dogs
The salon shouldn't stink unless a dog just pooped
The salon should be relatively clean
The groomer should ask you what you want done and ask if everything looks ok when you pick up
The prices should be competitive to the area.
 
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