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Discussion Starter #1
So I decided when I first got Curry six months ago I was going to learn to groom at home. Mostly for cost, but also because I figured i could do it. I grew up riding horses and have been doing show grooming and mane pulling for 15ish years. So I had a friend who used to groom professionally show me how. I’ve been doing fine using a comb and just doing the same all over and have experimented with ears and tail, but I’m struggling with her head and legs/feet most. The legs I can’t get consistent length and feet are just tricky in general. I’ve been toying with shaving them but am a little nervous. Her head I’m struggling to figure out how to get more definition behind her ears and a good shape in general. Maybe I need to scissor, not shave? I’ve found some good videos here on feet...I just need to get brave enough. But I haven’t found a lot on heads and behind the ears. I’m looking for advice from you pros!
 

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I would search the grooming threads here and also do some YouTube searching for videos on how to do those tricky bits. Scissoring is going to help you get better definition around head and ears.
 

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Surely not a pro here, and it seems Poodles in general may tend to be a bit sensitive about their legs (I could well be wrong on this, just keep reading about it, and my guy is somewhat so).

A really thorough bath and extreme rinsing, along with conditioning if you use it, help set the coat up for the blow dry. Are you drying sections at a time, and brushing the coat straight while doing so? For me, it makes a big difference getting his coat dried as straight as I'm able. A light spritz with a grooming spray helps sometimes, too. Legs are harder for me to get straight, to tell the truth :). Which could tie into the above!
 

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I have been grooming and showing poodles for many years and legs are hard for me, too! It helps to have curved shears.

Shears must be very sharp. Sadly, really good shears are also really expensive ($150 - $200). Be very, very careful not to drop them - I never lay mine on the grooming table where they could get knocked off - I place them in the top tray of my tack box.

Here is a tip on making your poodle's topknot look good: hold the shears perpendicular to the head - never let them angle in toward the center of the head. Comb the hair on the head forward and scissor the front with the scissors held perpendicular to the muzzle. Then comb to each side and scissor straight up from the cheeks. Once the front and sides are done, comb the topknot straight up and use curved shears to scissor the top smooth. Be sure not to cut the top too short! Finally, scissor the back of the topknot down to blend smoothly into the neck hair.
 

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I have so far to go on blending the back of the topknot into the back of the neck, and down into the back...sigh...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Those definitely help, thank you! I have been grooming her at a local pet store because they have a dryer and I haven’t purchased one, and I have never been able to get her to dry straight. I’ve probably been more concerned about getting her dry and out so the next person can use it since there’s only two tubs and one dryer...but I think a dryer and good shears are my next purchase after I figure out an attachment for my tub to bathe her.
 

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Those definitely help, thank you! I have been grooming her at a local pet store because they have a dryer and I haven’t purchased one, and I have never been able to get her to dry straight. I’ve probably been more concerned about getting her dry and out so the next person can use it since there’s only two tubs and one dryer...but I think a dryer and good shears are my next purchase after I figure out an attachment for my tub to bathe her.
I unscrewed my shower head and replaced it with a hand held shower from Waterpik....the one for humans, not the wand one for dogs. Works like a charm for me and for Poppy. It is a 5 minute job to install.

When you are ready for an hv dryer look at the Shelandy dryer from Amazon. It is quiet, sturdy, not too loud and inexpensive $70.

I can bathe poppy and thoroughly dry her in 1 hour or a little less.

Have fun!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My Shelandy HV dryer and shower attachment will be here tomorrow! I watched all sorts of videos and stalked the forums...Hopefully I’ll have something to report tomorrow or Monday on progress!
 

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First time grooming anything for me too (except horses). My first Poodle (mini) just turned a year old. I have found the number one important thing is to teach grooming behavior. Your dog has to be 100% convinced that you are in charge and grooming is a relaxing, pleasant time spent together. Then and only then you can start scissoring (which comes in handy when you do head and legs more so than anywhere else). Feet is something I always keep super short - it cuts down on the mess and I like seeing the beautiful toes. Yeti feet is not very attractive in my opinion especially during mud season. Feet are easiest with the mini clipper - at least with the small Poodles and the tight in between the toes/pads spaces. Only thing I have a problem with is that Louie keeps falling asleep during grooming - so he gets heavy and leans on me and the grooming hand (which is ok during clipping but not so okay when working with scissors). I have taken to taking breaks and playing invigorating retrieve games every 10 minutes so he wakes up - lol. I think at this point it's almost a conditioned response - clippers come out and he is yawning...
 

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I unscrewed my shower head and replaced it with a hand held shower from Waterpik....the one for humans, not the wand one for dogs. Works like a charm for me and for Poppy. It is a 5 minute job to install.

When you are ready for an hv dryer look at the Shelandy dryer from Amazon. It is quiet, sturdy, not too loud and inexpensive $70.

I can bathe poppy and thoroughly dry her in 1 hour or a little less.

Have fun!
Me too! I have the wand Waterpik and it works fine for me as does the Shelandy:)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was able to get her more straight, but I bathed her a night I had limited time. Hopefully I’ll do better next time. I don’t have good shears, but I took a stab at some ear definition. She’s not fancy, but she’s so cute!
 

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Depending on her ear set, you want to aim for a straight line back from the corner of the eye across the ear to set the basic line for your topknot. The topknot itself can then be shaped as you like it. Some people like it fuller, some like it shorter, some more rounded, some down the back of the neck a bit, etc. To get the topknot look you seem to be aiming for you will always need to blow it out straight and then scissor finish. I've posted a couple of pics of one of my dogs. In one you will see I have left the topknot a bit longer, the other is shorter. Just examples of 2 different styles.
 

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Laurelwhale, I just love her color! You've given her a nice sporting clip, and you'll have a lot of fun on the grooming adventure, I can just tell. Her face is so nicely trimmed, too. Love a clean Poodle face!
 
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