Poodle grooming can be a daunting task, but a necessary part of owning this particular breed. Well-groomed poodles have healthier skin and coats and grooming also helps prevent health problems. A poodle's hair never stops growing, so a full clipping is necessary every six to eight weeks.
If you can afford it, it may be best to pay someone else to groom your poodle. The steps involved can be labor intensive and it is sometimes best left to a professional. Choose your groomer carefully and take advice from other poodle owners in your area. You might want to consider scooping out different breeders in the area. Visit their shops without your dog and pay attention to how the facility is managed.
Look for a clean shop and a groomer with a gentle hand and manner. If money is an issue, you can use a professional groomer every second time. You can maintain your poodles grooming yourself in between visits and save money. To maintain your poodle's cut between visits, you will need some quality dog grooming tools. Your groomer can often purchase professional tools for you at a discount, or you can find quality tools at a good pet store or at a dog show. You will need a high quality pair of clippers and scissors.
Keep your clippers in top working condition by cleaning the blades and oiling them regularly. Dull blades can scrape the skin of your poodle and cause clipper burn. Look for a pair of clippers that have a many blades, this way you can rotate the blades during the grooming session if need be.
You will also need quality brushes and combs to maintain your poodle's cut between grooming sessions. Your dog should be well brushed at least twice a week, if not daily. Even though poodles don't shed as much as other dogs, they do lose hair. That hair remains in the dog's coat until you brush it out.
Brushing will also keep your poodle's coat shiny by distributing the skin's natural oils. Ask your groomer for brush recommendations, as the right brush will depend on what type of cut your poodle has. Bi-weekly brushing sessions can be a great way to bond with your dog. Gentle but vigorous brushing will make your dog feel good and increase circulation in the skin. You can bathe your poodle as often as once a week.
Using a raised tub with a non-slip mat will make the experience more pleasurable for you both. To start, use warm water to soak your dog's coat to the skin. Since poodles are water dogs they naturally shed water so it might take some effort to get the coat completely wet. You can use a mild dog shampoo to bathe your poodle. Make sure to rinse the shampoo out of the dog's coat thoroughly.
Any leftover residue can be irritating to the dog's skin. After your poodle's bath you can let the dog air dry for a curly look, or brush out the hair while blow-drying to give the coat a smooth and fluffy look.
Robin Darch, of PRT Specialised Services Limited has a website, My Pet Dog to help you find all the information you need about pet dogs, dog grooming and training.