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How to Shave a Poodle?

Small brown poodle being shaved with pink shavers

Poodles are recognizable for their unique poofy and half-shaven haircuts. They are great canine companions but will need frequent grooming to maintain their health and beauty. Shaving your poodle is always a tricky process especially if you want to do it by yourself. It’s important not to expose the skin of your poodle and leave the thinnest layer of hair around the skin for protection.

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Can You Shave a Poodle?

Shaving a poodle on your own depends on your level of willingness and ability to use hair clippers. If everything points in the right direction, you can go ahead and shave your poodle. But it’s not like you will become professional on the first attempt as the chances of errors are there. For example, your poodle may not get the desired look, but you need to stay motivated.

However, caution is necessary while using clippers around your pup’s eyes, nose, and mouth. It can be quite dangerous if you are not comfortable or nervous with a trimmer in your hand. If that’s the case, it’s better to have a professional groomer and learn from him/her in small lessons. Apart from shaving your poodle, you can start learning about using clippers for simple trimming.

Why Do Poodles Have a Shaved Face?

Standard white poodle being groomed by a groomer

Most poodles need to get their face shaved. This is because if you don’t clip the hair from their face, the chances of matting increase significantly. They can be extremely painful for your pooch and even the process of removing them is quite uncomfortable.

Shaving poodles can also make them comfortable during hot weather. Most owners like to shave the face of their poodles but leave some hair around the joints, head, and chest. This will protect the vital organs and keep the joints warm. Another reason for shaving poodles is to retrieve things from their mouths easily.

How Do You Shave a Poodle’s Face?

Blue background divided down the middle with a shaved poodle on once half and non shaved on the other half.

You have to brush your dog’s coat before shaving a poodle’s face. You have to locate all the tangles and mats and then remove them by using a good quality conditioner. You can also bathe your poodle to clean the dirt and debris from his/her body. This will make it easier to shave a poodle.

  • Start the shaving process by stabilizing your poodle’s head. You will need clippers with a number 10 (or number 15) blade.
  • Make sure to avoid poodle’s ears while working under the ear to the nose. Always clip towards the growth of hair and use the clipper gently. It’s important to prevent yourself from harming the skin of your poodle.
  • After shaving under the ear, move the clipper in front of the ear. Clip towards the corner of the eyes and observe caution while trimming under the eye.
  • Then, clip around your poodle’s cheek. Shave the mouth by holding your poodle’s mouth and lips. Holding of the lips is essential because it refrains your poodle’s tongue from going into the clipper.
  • In the end, do simple touch-ups by clipping around your poodle’s chin and the nose. Always check the blade of your clippers while shaving as a hot blade can cause discomfort to your poodle. It can even give a burn to him/her.
  • The hair length after shaving a face is about 1/16-3/64 inches.

How Often Should Poodles be Shaved?

White poodle being shaved by a groomer

When it comes to hairstyles, poodles have several different styles, including shaving their coat. Most groomers recommend that owners should bring their poodles in for grooming every 6-8 weeks. This means that you can also shave a poodle after 6 weeks. However, in some cases, it is suggested to shave a poodle every 10 weeks after considering the dog’s comfort.

Poodles are more comfortable with shaving in the summer season because they don’t need to preserve a lot of heat. In the winter, you can leave your poodle’s hair slightly longer (for extended durations) as they can help with temperature regulation.

Is it Necessary to Shave a Poodle’s Feet?

Groomer brushing poodle's feet

Some poodle grooming styles leave more hairs around the feet and legs. However, shaving a poodle’s feet is mostly necessary because it keeps him/her from dragging dirt into the house.

Although complete shaving of your pup’s feet is not required, it can help in locating the thorns and foxtails that are stuck in the inside part of paw pads). They can get attached to the hair of your poodle’s pads and then ultimately go into the foot. Shaved feet can also be useful for managing any kind of cuts, scraps, and other wounds.

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