My mom recently rescued an older Standard Poodle with some major issues (was totally emaciated when she took her, history of seizures, large benign mass on her side, horrific ear infections, etc.) and has asked me to groom her once her coat grows back in, since taking her to the groomers would just be way too traumatic for this old girl and might even trigger a seizure.
I groom my own dog, but he is a 30 lb schnauzer mix with a really wiry coat so it's hard to mess him up! I have a grooming table which makes things MUCH easier and I do him with my Wahl StablePro adjustable clippers with the shortest guide on for his body, and 10's on his face. I figured out pretty quick after the first time that with dogs, you want to go WITH the hair growth, not against it like a horse!
But, obviously a poodle coat is TOTALLY different! Any tips for poodle grooming? Blade sizes? Guide or no guide? She is just getting a REALLY basic one-length cut all over, just to keep her neat.
Good for your mom. I used to use my Stable Pros on my Standard Poodles, but the poodle coat is a bit tough on them. When I used them, I bought the 7-8-9 blade and used the 7.
Now, I use Andis AGC super 2 speeds with a 7F for the coat and legs. It leaves a nice sporting look. I clip with the grain of the hair, and mistakes grow back. After struggling to do poodle feet and face, not to mention nether parts with my Wahl and Andis, I caved and bought the Wahl Moser Arco (the full size, not the mini). It is now SOO easy to do the face, feet, and tail areas.
In this case, where all you're doing is a shave down, poodle vs. schnazuer doesn't really matter. Naked is naked. If you're talking about breed clips and setting good schnazuer head vs a top knot, yeah, that's different.
For an old dog with iffy health I just go for comfort and keeping the groom as short as possible. I don't want the dog on my table too long, I don't want to be brushing out painful, infected ears - or ears that were painful for so long, the dog's going to bite anyway just in case- and I don't want to be combing over lumps and bumps that many dogs tell me are ouchy. #7F or #5, everything off. #10 reverse for the clean face, and I wouldn't mess with clean feet. Just round them. If you're feeling especially ambitious and have a good pair of shears, there are plenty of tutorials on youtube for topknots, but she's got awhile before she grows enough hair to attempt it.
If your Mom wants some more style almost all areas have mobile groomers and there are also in-home groomers, so the dog never even has to set foot out the front door to get groomed.
Not a pro at all, but I agree with IFG - the Andis 2 speed works well for the poodles (of all varieties!).
I personally use a 10 blade with a #4, 5 or 6 guide. I will use a 10 on the face. I used to do a 10 on her feet/toes and tail too...but now she's winterized so her feet are not clipped. I like the guides because the 10's cut better than the lower numbers on the not-so-freshly-bathed dogs
I find a real poodle trim tough, and you really have to keep up with bathing/grooming. The pet trims are far easier to work with...shorter top knot, short to long ears and an all over short to medium body. The nice thing with poodles, is that the grow back so fast...so if you dont like your trim, in 8 weeks you can start over.
Currently my mini poodle looks like some sort of curly terrier...but she's a pet and nothing more, so Im ok with that. I think it makes her feel tougher
And congrats on your Spoo...they are AWESOME dogs.
I suggest doing a 4f or 5f, 7 can be a bit too easy for someone to accidentally cut a dog with if they don't know what they are doing/the right angles to do certain spots on. To make the coat the most even it's best to bath and blowdry the coat straight. Then you want to brush the coat up (opposite growth) with a slicker brush then clip with the growth. Use a 10 on the groin and a 10 or 15 for feet (either just do between the pads if you don't want poodle feet, or do the whole foot for poodle feet) and face (if you want a poodle face). If keeping the ears shave clip the inside of the ears carefully with a 30 blade.
Thanks everyone! We have had Spoos for years so we know all about how wonderful they are!! Mom will be purchasing her own clippers and taking over haircut duty once she gets the hang of it, so I will steer her towards the Andis since that seems to be the popular choice.
Miss Ellie will be getting a very, very basic cut! short ears, short tail, feet and face just cleaned up a bit, and body one length all over. She's an old homebody so we just want her to be clean and comfortable.
I'll try to remember to post before and after pics of her first 'do!
Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique
I too use a 10 blade with a 4 guard and do everything one length except for face and feet. For those I just go with a 10. I also use a 10 under the ears and scissor out ear hair with infant fingernail scissors rather than plucking.
With poodles, some tips you might try:
1) Brush regularly. While they really don't shed, the dead hair gets caught up in the coat and can cause "invisible" matting and make it hard to get a guard through.
2) Brush before bathing, bathe and dry before clipping. Then rinse again after clipping so you don't have poodle hair floating all over your house.
3) Poodles tend to stink like a sheep due to the lanolin in their coats or buildup around their ears. I like to bathe at least every 2 weeks.
Hubby and I used to groom our SP ourselves every other weekend. But at the new place, there's just not enough room in our bathroom to do it right.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
We always did the "puppy cut" on my poodle when we did her ourselves. One length coat all over (7 blade) and then close clip on the paws and muzzle. I would think you could skip the close muzzle/paws. Just take the coat down to one-length. Poodles look adorable no matter what the haircut
Btw, just for future reference "puppy cut" means something different to nearly everyone. For some it's really short (one of the kennel clip lengths) and for others it's really long (one of the teddy bear lengths) or it can mean the show poodle 'puppy cut' that is done on a dog under a year of age. It's better to use the terms kennel clip and teddy bear.
Another poodle person here. My poodle is about 10months and other than face-feet-tail she's only been trimmed for slight shaping. I'm use a 40 for face, mostly 15 for feet then finish with either the 30, tail I use a 30 then finish with a 40. I'm trying to decide if she's going to go in a puppy cut or Continental for ukc showing (they are not as strict with adults dogs being in a puppy cut)
There's a bunch of groomers on poodleforum.com that could offer help.
I think the hard part with poodles is that you really can't get behind on your brushing (unless the coat is super short) or you will have a mess.
I don't particularly like the way the closer face/feet looks (at least at first) but have found that if I don't keep the feet short, our poodle tracks the outdoors indoors. Also, once his feet are wet, with longer hair they take quite awhile to dry so it sets up a lovely environment for an infection. As for the face, same kind of deal. Wet + oxidation. Stinky and the black hair turns rust colored right around his mouth. So all of that stuff (and the area around his rectum) are kept short.
A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.
Ah yes, my little abpricot always had teary eyes (despite 2 surgeries to unclog the ducts) which is another reason to keep the face close.
We never showed or did anything fancy, so to me "puppy cut" is just the short-one-length cut without flair/poms. We did it at home. Weren't breeders or showers or anything. Just pet owners with a set of Osters