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Hi all!
My pup Rory was almost due for a groom right when everything (including groomers) got shut down due to COVID-19. With everything nonessential shut down indefinitely, I am now doubtful that any groomers will open up any time soon. I am coming to terms with the fact that that I am going to have to do it myself (ha!) and now thinking maybe it might be a good idea anyway to save money over time and make sure that I like his haircuts. (I did not like my last experience at the groomers as he had a cut on his belly and his muzzle was all choppy)

I have kept him super fluffy and long (almost 7 months) up until now, but I was wanting him to have his first real poodle haircut (clean face, feet etc.) and although I love his long hair and it is mat-free, I am thinking he will get too hot this summer with it all over that length.

SO....
suggestions ant tips please! What tools do I need? All I have right now is a slicker brush, metal comb, and soft brush. Do I need a grooming table, if so what type? (he is 52 pounds at almost 7 months old)

videos to watch? online tutorials? Things you wished you knew?
Also, ideas for a summer cut?

Thank you so much! I appreciate any and all help!
 

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He is super cute.

For the bare minimum you will need.

  • A good quality clipper. Such as Andis 2 speed, or a good Wahl Clipper. I personally have been using an Andis Ultra Edge for over 6 years, and it is still running perfectly well.

  • Depending upon what type of clipper you get you may need to buy detachable clipper blades. At the bare minimum you will most likely need a, #10 or #15 blade for face, feet, and sanitary. For the body depending on how short you want it may want to use a #5 or #7. If you plan on leaving the body longer without being super long you may want a #3 or #0 blade.

  • Curved and Straight Scissors for dog grooming. A member here likes shears by Affordable Shears if I remember correctly.

  • Either two of every blade, or clipper blade coolant spray.

  • Clipper blade oil, I got mine from Andis on Amazon for only 2 or 3 dollars.
If you plan on grooming him permanently or for an extended period you may want a High Velocity Dryer. K9 Force has some good ones, and Speedy Dryers are rated well.



For books and classes.

You might want to look at YouTube some of the people I can think of right now that have good videos are Julie Wilkins or Wilkinson (I am not sure exactly what her last name is) Kitti from Transgroom has some good videos, there are a few others that I cannot remember the name of right now.

For more online classes verses videos you might want to look at Learn 2 Groom Dogs. There classes look good.

Books. Shirlee Kalstone has an excellent book that is available from Amazon called Poodle Clipping and Grooming: The International Reference. It has very good explanations on how to do the clips and good visual pictures.



Clips.

In the beginning you will want to start with something fairly simple until you have gotten good at scissoring.

A sporting clip is fairly simple to do, the only scissored part is the tail pom, and the topknot, but you can remove them if you want.

A Miami is also good.



In the beginning be prepared for some funny looking clips, and imperfect topknots.

I hope this helps.
 

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EVpoodle has good info. I would suggest something simple for a first groom like the attached photo. It has very minimal scissoring. You can do one length for body and legs (though I did legs slightly longer) and then the topknot and ears are done with a clipper and comb rather than scissoring (though I still scissored above the eyes). It is not hard to create a nice blended look with ears and tk this way. Tail can be done either with a pom or just fluffy as in photo. I tend to scissor the tail either way as I don't have combs long enough to clipper it.

For clippers you will have to choose to either get a 5 in 1 blade clipper like the wahl bravura, or get a heavier duty clipper with detachable blades. The upside of a bravura is that you only need the one blade and then a set of metal combs for it. Total will be about $190. The downside is that spoos often need something a bit stronger after they go through coat change, so you will likely eventually need a heavy duty clipper like Andis 2 or 5 speed or wahl KM-something. But the bravura is always best for doing faces, so it can be good to have it anyway. You can use a heavy duty clipper for faces, but since this is your first time you might find it easier with the bravura because it is smaller and quieter and your dog will probably tolerate it better on the face and feet.

I would also recommend a force dryer for ease of clipping, and even if you stop grooming yourself it is nice to be able to give your dog a proper blow dry. I use a flying pig dryer, but the shelandy is another popular one used by members here.

You don't necessarily need a grooming table if you have a table at home that will work. I use the top of my small chest freezer. But I would highly recommend doing the grooming on a raised surface. The dogs know the difference.

Expect it to take a long time. And break it up if your dog is getting frustrated. It is better for both of you to be calm and take things at whatever pace is needed.
 

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Hello,
I have groomed my spoo's for a few years And while I'm no expert I have noticed a few things that may help you. In no particular order:
Always groom on a clean coat. Until you are satisfied and achieve a consistent result stay with a simple cut that is short. As their hair grows mats, even small ones, make it much more difficult to get a nice even finish. When you keep the trim short, brushing them out becomes easier on you and them. You must be able to brush them out without running into tangles or you will never get a salon type result. Good brushes are important. Use them daily which will help your spoo get used to grooming. My girls at first did not like being brushed out thoroughly and would fidget and become a real test of my patience. The more you do it, the more they will accept what you're doing and then become easier to work with.
Stay with it, and it will get easier
 

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I'm a complete newbie as well. DD is a toy. Mostly I am concerned about how long her facial hair has gotten, and how hard this makes it is to clean the gunk around her eyes. But I'm terrified of using scissors near her eyes. Any advice?
 

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Please try to overcome your fear of hurting your pup. You can do this. Get a good clipper and experiment on her legs to get a feel for the task. Try different settings to see how close each trim is. There is a learning curve for your pup as well. She will get used to it and eventually will settle down and not struggle so much. My girl Belle used to fidget so much she would only tolerate it for 5 minutes at a time. Go slowly and once she acclimates your efforts will become much easier.
You may want to consider a cordless trimmer and perhaps even a small one that fits your hand easier. When I went from an Andis AGC (cord) to a Bravura (battery) the job became much easier.
Best of luck to you
 

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I'm a complete newbie as well. DD is a toy. Mostly I am concerned about how long her facial hair has gotten, and how hard this makes it is to clean the gunk around her eyes. But I'm terrified of using scissors near her eyes. Any advice?
Copied from another thread. A mini clipper might be an option. I've noticed that my mini boys seem to automatically close their eyes when I bring the clipper to their face. I also stick mainly with running the clipper from the eye area down the face and down the nose.

Many folks here like the Wahl BravMini and there's also a Wahl MiniArco and MiniFigura. These are half the weight of the full size clippers. I think the battery type is the main difference.

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Less known but for 1/3 or less of the price, Andis has their Mini version also. I have that and use it for face and feet.
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