The Poodle does require a moderate amount of grooming and its appearance can quickly become unkempt if a routine is not followed.
One of the most important steps in making sure that your Poodle is well-groomed is to:
- Make sure that you have all of the necessary items
- Each item is of high quality
- That you have an organized grooming kit; it is much easier to keep up with tasks when you do not need to go searching for the right appliance or tool.
Grooming Tools to Have for a Poodle
Curved slicker brush. This is the type of brush that should be used for the areas of short hair. This has fine wire bristles and the reason you will want a quality one, is on very cheap ones the wires will kink and bend out of shape as you brush.
It should be made of quality materials and be correctly sized for your Poodle.
Rubber tipped pin brush with a cushioned pad for any areas on the Poodle’ coat that are medium to long in length. This sort of grooming tool is the preferred choice for the curly hairs of the coat that will appear in any areas of growth. As with the slicker brush, you will want to choose a quality tool that does not warp out of shaped when used.
Two sided steel comb, with fine teeth on 1 side and medium teeth on the other so that you can use the one most appropriate for each body area. This should be used for Toy Poodles and Miniatures to comb the face and to check the coat for tangles. Remember that tangles are often not seen, they are either felt or they are found via a proper grooming tool comb.
Serrated de-matting comb. While the face combs can double as a tangle finding comb, this grooming tool has serrated blades that not only find the knots but can be effective at removing some of them (if found when they are small). This is recommended for Poodles that tend to develop matts quite a bit and should not be used on the face.
Clippers. This is an essential grooming tool no matter which type of clip your Poodle has. We highly recommend the Oster or Wahl pet clippers. This is a high quality clipper that stands up well with heavy grooming. As with most clippers, the most important aspect is the various blades that you attached to the end of the pet clippers. These will determine the length of the Poodle’s coat as you glide over it. For example, the # 15 is used for a very short clip and the # 5 is used for all over puppy clips that leave a soft layer of hair all over the body.
Basic scissors will also be needed. These are pet scissors with blunt, rounded ends. These are used for Poodles of all ages to safely tidy up the coat and to clip around the eyes. These are also used to trim excess hairs from underneath the paw pads (those that grow up from between the pads) since this can cause pinching and loss of traction.
Scissors set – for the serious groomer who opts to take care of the entire clipped coat from home. Unlike the above rounded tip tool, these are sharp. It is much easier to scissor around a Poodle when you have different lengths. In addition, if you obtain a set of pet scissors such as these, you will find that you will not need to buy new ones as your Poodle grows. A quality set can last a long time.
Grooming table – Not every owner needs one of these. If you are only doing simple grooming, your kitchen table or even the living room floor will work just fine as long as your Poodle stays still. However is essential when you wish to clip your Poodle at home and you wish for your dog to have an intricate clip or if you have had your Poodle shaped at the groomers and you wish to keep it in shape as long as possible from home. When started young, a Poodle will learn to become comfortable on the table, the harness keeping them safe…and be trained to stay still so that you do not make a grooming mistake.
Other Needed Items
Other items that you should have in your grooming arsenal include:
Nail clipper or grinder– We suggest a grinder as this works quickly to file nails down. While they can be a tad noisy, most Poodle adapt quickly and since it really cuts down on the time that it takes to tend to the nails, it is a better choice then clipping.
Eye wipes – Quality canine eye wipes are an essential grooming item to keep tear stains at bay. The face should be wiped down after every meal. If a Poodle dips his head far into the water dish to drink and facial hairs become wet, the face should also be wiped well.
Paw wax – Dry cracked paws can be quite a problem for this breed. A good quality paw wax can protect the paws from injury due to walking on hot, cold and rough surfaces. This can also help to repair paws that have been previously damaged.
Nose balm – Since the Poodle breed in general is prone to dry skin issues, this extends to the nose leather as well. Applying an effective canine nose balm or butter in the summer will protect against the sun and in the winter it will help to prevent chapping. A thick butter can also heal cracking.