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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all!

I have some questions about grooming. I recently started grooming my spoo, Xosha, myself because I keep her fairly short in the summer (she stays very warm). I bathe her every 2 weeks, full body groom/trim once a month. I use The Stuff for Dogs as a post-bath conditioning spray and for brushing in between baths. She is in a Miami cut with a 7f on the body for the foreseeable future lol. However, I noticed that as her body grows, it grows uneven, meaning some hairs look much longer than others. She is a 20 month old blue poodle and I believe is still going through coat change. She doesn't have the greatest coat texture (not that straight, but not dense), but I assume this will improve with age? I noticed she hasn't faded much since puppyhood (still looks very dark), but I expect her coat change to last a bit longer. Could coat change be the reason her body grows uneven, or is it something I'm doing wrong while clipping lol? It looks even after I trim, it just seems to grow uneven. Also, because her body is fairly short, how would you go about drying? I heard using a boar bristle brush instead of a slicker on short coats while drying with the HV to help straighten it for clipping.

Also, because of her less-dense coat texture, I've opted to grow her top knot out and start banding. She last had a top knot cut in May and I said I would let it grow until December and see if I like the longer look. However, as it grows, it's starting to get a bit funny looking lol! Not so much in the front, but on the sides. I want to trim the scraggly ends as it grows but I'm afraid to cut it wrong lol. Any tips on trimming a top knot so that it will continue to grow nice and full?

I've attached a few pics of her. Really any grooming tips are appreciated! Also I'd love to see some banding styles/long tk styles you all have done for inspiration!

This is after her groom last month and the last time she had a body trim
Dog Dog breed Water dog Grey Carnivore


This is after I put 2 bands in her tk (but I dont know what to do with the sides lol
Dog Vertebrate Water dog Dog breed Toy


And this is her today. She did roll in the wet grass this morning and I have not brushed her out yet. I plan to give her a full bath/body trim on Friday.
Working animal Terrestrial animal Snout Tail Fur


Thank you all for your help!!
 

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I can't help with topknot but the uneven growth sounds like you are describing how the guard hairs grow faster than the rest of the coat. It does make it seem more uneven as it grows out. My dog's coat sounds similar to yours. I have found that the overall coat texture on my dog improves if I regularly use a good leave in conditioner. It seems to help reduce that uneven look. I like igroom keratin leave in conditioner and I dilute it to create a good conditioning spray. I also will use it undiluted after a bath if I'm air drying. It helps to keep the hairs in nice soft curls and not frizzy and uneven.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I can't help with topknot but the uneven growth sounds like you are describing how the guard hairs grow faster than the rest of the coat. It does make it seem more uneven as it grows out. My dog's coat sounds similar to yours. I have found that the overall coat texture on my dog improves if I regularly use a good leave in conditioner. It seems to help reduce that uneven look. I like igroom keratin leave in conditioner and I dilute it to create a good conditioning spray. I also will use it undiluted after a bath if I'm air drying. It helps to keep the hairs in nice soft curls and not frizzy and uneven.
Thank you! I forgot to mention I use The Stuff for Dogs after her bath/before blow drying and when I do her weekly brush touch up. But I will definitely start using a leave in. I figured it was her guard hairs that looked longer but because I'm such a grooming newbie lol I wanted to make sure i wasn't doing the wrong thing lol
 

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I can answer your questions on banded topknots, but will have to leave the rest to others to answer.

First off, welcome to the awkward phase of banding! 🤣 The sides will look funny for a bit, but once they grow longer, the weight should keep them down. You might be able to pull them into a band or two, depending on the length, or you can allow them to grow and blend in with her ears.

For trimming banded topknots, this is what I’ve seen and have done for Ren’s topknot.

First, the topknot is banded into sections using a knitting needle. Typically, the topknot is sectioned in three or four bands. The first section starts at the corner of the eyes, the next is at front of the ears, the third is done at the top of the ears (make sure not to get any ear hair in the bands), and the last ends the occiput.

This video shows the banding sections from start to 6:30 (in case a visual makes more sense).

Then, I’ll go back and tie a band at every 1/2 - 1 inch until Ren's topknot looks like this:
Dog Vertebrate Dog breed Carnivore Mammal


After that, I’ll pull the first section up, hold the ends just above where I want to trim and then cut the scraggly ends off.
Dress Purple Neck Textile Sleeve
Plant Flower Petal Insect Pollinator


Then I’ll pull that section and the next one together. I’ll use the previous band as a guide, hold my fingers just below where the previous section was trimmed (I held the sections lower, since its hard to see Ren's fur), and cut the next section to match the first. After that, I repeat this step until I've trimmed up all four bands.
Gesture Finger Eyelash Natural material Feather


Here’s some banded styles I’ve done with Ren:

Dog Dog breed Carnivore Collar Liver
Dog Dog breed Vertebrate Green Carnivore
Dog Water dog Dog breed Carnivore Working animal
Dog Water dog Carnivore Companion dog Working animal


Hope this helps! 😃
 

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Honwstly I think your dog's coat is thick and beautiful.
Poodle hair is supposed to be curly and coarse, there is a difference between blown straight hair and a floppy coat, one is due to technique and other genetics.
 

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I can answer your questions on banded topknots, but will have to leave the rest to others to answer.

First off, welcome to the awkward phase of banding! 🤣 The sides will look funny for a bit, but once they grow longer, the weight should keep them down. You might be able to pull them into a band or two, depending on the length, or you can allow them to grow and blend in with her ears.

For trimming banded topknots, this is what I’ve seen and have done for Ren’s topknot.

First, the topknot is banded into sections using a knitting needle. Typically, the topknot is sectioned in three or four bands. The first section starts at the corner of the eyes, the next is at front of the ears, the third is done at the top of the ears (make sure not to get any ear hair in the bands), and the last ends the occiput.

This video shows the banding sections from start to 6:30 (in case a visual makes more sense).

Then, I’ll go back and tie a band at every 1/2 - 1 inch until Ren's topknot looks like this:
View attachment 482663

After that, I’ll pull the first section up, hold the ends just above where I want to trim and then cut the scraggly ends off.
View attachment 482664 View attachment 482665

Then I’ll pull that section and the next one together. I’ll use the previous band as a guide, hold my fingers just below where the previous section was trimmed (I held the sections lower, since its hard to see Ren's fur), and cut the next section to match the first. After that, I repeat this step until I've trimmed up all four bands.
View attachment 482666

Here’s some banded styles I’ve done with Ren:

View attachment 482667 View attachment 482668 View attachment 482669 View attachment 482670

Hope this helps! 😃
This is great information! You do a great job!
How do you get Ren to stay still? I’m trying everyday with Bunny’s top knot & it always looks so sloppy
 

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Hi all!

I have some questions about grooming. I recently started grooming my spoo, Xosha, myself because I keep her fairly short in the summer (she stays very warm). I bathe her every 2 weeks, full body groom/trim once a month. I use The Stuff for Dogs as a post-bath conditioning spray and for brushing in between baths. She is in a Miami cut with a 7f on the body for the foreseeable future lol. However, I noticed that as her body grows, it grows uneven, meaning some hairs look much longer than others. She is a 20 month old blue poodle and I believe is still going through coat change. She doesn't have the greatest coat texture (not that straight, but not dense), but I assume this will improve with age? I noticed she hasn't faded much since puppyhood (still looks very dark), but I expect her coat change to last a bit longer. Could coat change be the reason her body grows uneven, or is it something I'm doing wrong while clipping lol? It looks even after I trim, it just seems to grow uneven. Also, because her body is fairly short, how would you go about drying? I heard using a boar bristle brush instead of a slicker on short coats while drying with the HV to help straighten it for clipping.

Also, because of her less-dense coat texture, I've opted to grow her top knot out and start banding. She last had a top knot cut in May and I said I would let it grow until December and see if I like the longer look. However, as it grows, it's starting to get a bit funny looking lol! Not so much in the front, but on the sides. I want to trim the scraggly ends as it grows but I'm afraid to cut it wrong lol. Any tips on trimming a top knot so that it will continue to grow nice and full?

I've attached a few pics of her. Really any grooming tips are appreciated! Also I'd love to see some banding styles/long tk styles you all have done for inspiration!

This is after her groom last month and the last time she had a body trim
View attachment 482637

This is after I put 2 bands in her tk (but I dont know what to do with the sides lol
View attachment 482640

And this is her today. She did roll in the wet grass this morning and I have not brushed her out yet. I plan to give her a full bath/body trim on Friday.
View attachment 482639

Thank you all for your help!!
She’s beautiful 😍
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can answer your questions on banded topknots, but will have to leave the rest to others to answer.

First off, welcome to the awkward phase of banding! 🤣 The sides will look funny for a bit, but once they grow longer, the weight should keep them down. You might be able to pull them into a band or two, depending on the length, or you can allow them to grow and blend in with her ears.

For trimming banded topknots, this is what I’ve seen and have done for Ren’s topknot.

First, the topknot is banded into sections using a knitting needle. Typically, the topknot is sectioned in three or four bands. The first section starts at the corner of the eyes, the next is at front of the ears, the third is done at the top of the ears (make sure not to get any ear hair in the bands), and the last ends the occiput.

This video shows the banding sections from start to 6:30 (in case a visual makes more sense).

Then, I’ll go back and tie a band at every 1/2 - 1 inch until Ren's topknot looks like this:
View attachment 482663

After that, I’ll pull the first section up, hold the ends just above where I want to trim and then cut the scraggly ends off.
View attachment 482664 View attachment 482665

Then I’ll pull that section and the next one together. I’ll use the previous band as a guide, hold my fingers just below where the previous section was trimmed (I held the sections lower, since its hard to see Ren's fur), and cut the next section to match the first. After that, I repeat this step until I've trimmed up all four bands.
View attachment 482666

Here’s some banded styles I’ve done with Ren:

View attachment 482667 View attachment 482668 View attachment 482669 View attachment 482670

Hope this helps! 😃
This is PERFECT! Thank you so much!! I figured the sides were part of just an awkward phase lol! But they were starting to flop over her eyes but when I banded the sides, she still has some short hairs from when she had her short topknot. I will definitely try the trimming technique. I believe I've watched that same YouTube video! Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have no advice on the grooming, but I love the dark steel color she is getting.
Thank you! I love it, but only shows up when she's in front of my front window lol! 98% of the time she looks black. But I anticipate she will continue to fade so I'm excited to see what her final color looks like!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Honwstly I think your dog's coat is thick and beautiful.
Poodle hair is supposed to be curly and coarse, there is a difference between blown straight hair and a floppy coat, one is due to technique and other genetics.
Thank you! I guess compared to my mom's cream spoo, my girl's texture is much less dense. My mom's spoo has a thick coat, like cotton. But I see that my girl's coat is similar to other blue spoos, and she's definitely still going through coat change, so I think it will continue to change as her coat clears.
 

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This is great information! You do a great job!
How do you get Ren to stay still? I’m trying everyday with Bunny’s top knot & it always looks so sloppy
Thank you!
I get Ren to rest his head on a pillow when I work on his bands. As long as he's comfy, he'll stay pretty still for me.
I'm sure Bunny's topknot looks great! 😀
 

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Thank you! I guess compared to my mom's cream spoo, my girl's texture is much less dense. My mom's spoo has a thick coat, like cotton. But I see that my girl's coat is similar to other blue spoos, and she's definitely still going through coat change, so I think it will continue to change as her coat clears.
There might be a difference after coat change is over, both my girls had insanely thick puppy coats, My Beatrice has a proper curly coarse coat, my Pia well has the same floppy puppy coat, coat change only happened on her hips for a hot five seconds.
 

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I think you would benefit a ton from spending a few hours on YouTube and just get a sense of how to set in the top knot and how to trim at home as well as various banding styles. Look for show poodle banding and you will see 4/5 techniques. Another commenter her posted a couple really good ones already.

I also highly recommend highly the "Kitty Talks Dogs" series on YouTube (she does various poodle-focused videos, my fav is the one with Vuitton) by Transgroom. She goes a lot into the bathing and blow-drying techniques, which are foundational to getting a good clip on your dog. She also helps explain how to tailor the cut to the coat and physique the dog has. My guess on the uneven growth is that when poodle hair kinks up after being blown straight, the strands can look like they are at different lengths. This is why we blow dry the hair straight before clipping: so that it will be as straight as possible and cut evenly (just like if you cut the coat when it is NOT straight it looks really uneven if you blow it out).

Unfortunately, at 20 months I think you are pretty well through the coat change and this is just likely the coat she will have. Some dogs never get the full coarse coat we might hope for and, given that, your dog will probably actually look better with a smaller, well-formed top knot. If you do want to grow it out and band it, I recommend getting the proper bands for poodle hair. You can get bands from most groomer supply stores or you can order on Amazon or Etsy. You want to look for either latex or non-latex dental bands (I know it's weird), but regular human hair bands will cause breakage. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think you would benefit a ton from spending a few hours on YouTube and just get a sense of how to set in the top knot and how to trim at home as well as various banding styles. Look for show poodle banding and you will see 4/5 techniques. Another commenter her posted a couple really good ones already.

I also highly recommend highly the "Kitty Talks Dogs" series on YouTube (she does various poodle-focused videos, my fav is the one with Vuitton) by Transgroom. She goes a lot into the bathing and blow-drying techniques, which are foundational to getting a good clip on your dog. She also helps explain how to tailor the cut to the coat and physique the dog has. My guess on the uneven growth is that when poodle hair kinks up after being blown straight, the strands can look like they are at different lengths. This is why we blow dry the hair straight before clipping: so that it will be as straight as possible and cut evenly (just like if you cut the coat when it is NOT straight it looks really uneven if you blow it out).

Unfortunately, at 20 months I think you are pretty well through the coat change and this is just likely the coat she will have. Some dogs never get the full coarse coat we might hope for and, given that, your dog will probably actually look better with a smaller, well-formed top knot. If you do want to grow it out and band it, I recommend getting the proper bands for poodle hair. You can get bands from most groomer supply stores or you can order on Amazon or Etsy. You want to look for either latex or non-latex dental bands (I know it's weird), but regular human hair bands will cause breakage. Good luck!
Thank you! After watching the YouTube video, I gave her a good trim, but I didn't take any pics haha. After using the recommended conditioner (and I got a new grooming conditioning spray) I am very pleased with her current groom. The "uneven" hairs were definitely guard hairs as they were a much different texture. As for her topknot, I am letting it grow until February and then I'll decide if I want to keep it long. She had a short TK until May of this year, but I feel like the longer TK shows her face better. We use the loom bands from craft stores and so far no breakage. I only leave them in for 2 days max and I always cut them out. I actually have dental bands, but I think mine are too small haha.

As for her coat texture/change, the reason I said her coat change may be ongoing is because I've connected with 3 owners of her half siblings (two blue spoos and one brown Phantom). one is a professional groomer and all said their spoos coat continued to change until closer to 3 years old. The one owned by the groomer said her girl's coat made drastic changes after 2 until she turned 3 and now they compete in grooming comps. Blues, compared to silvers, take longer to clear to that gunmetal color, and their coat texture continues to change as well. However, I'm not too concerned with her texture. She's not for show and I like a short cut. It was moreso for my curiosity as to why her coat may be uneven.

Thank you!!
 
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