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How to Trim a Poodle?

Brown poodle on white background surrounded by hands each holding a different grooming tool.

The thick and wavy coats of poodles don’t shed much, but they still lose some hair. These loose hair remain trapped in the coat and will lead to painful mats if periodic grooming is not done. Therefore, it is necessary to brush and trim your poodle’s fur regularly to keep him/her healthy and happy. If you want to learn how to trim a poodle at home, this article can be a perfect guide for you. 

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How to Prepare a Poodle for a Trim?

Before going for the haircut, it’s important to ensure that your pooch is ready for it. Similarly, you should be clear about the style you want to trim and the procedure you need to follow. The following are some preparations that will prove extremely handy when you are actually clipping the fur of your poodle.

Select the Haircut for Your Poodle

Poodles can be trimmed in plenty of ways and it is solely the choice of the owner what he/she likes. Some common hairstyles of poodles include Lion Cut, Puppy Clip, Modern Cut, and Continental Clip. Some of these trims are easier to style than others and will require less time and effort. For this reason, most owners who groom their poodles at home prefer those haircuts.

Most of the common poodle cuts require trimming (or shaving) of hair from the dog’s face, feet, and tail. Think well before deciding the style because the cut you choose will affect the growth pattern of the fur.

Get High-Quality Tools

Wooden table covered in different dog grooming tools

Although you can find cheap tools for trimming your pooch, it’s highly recommended to buy high-quality products. This will prove useful in the long run because quality clippers are less likely to injure your pup. They will also make the job easier (for you) as they don’t pull the fur during trimming. Laube or Andis (cost around $125-$175) are a couple of dog clipper brands that you can trust.

Similarly, if you are an experienced owner who is looking to use scissors, purchase a good-quality product. A reliable scissor costs about $50 and you should try a few models before purchasing one.

Find the Right Blades

Dog clippers come with a range of clippers. Each of these clippers is numbered according to the length it will leave after trimming. Some of the basic clippers are included in the package while others have to be purchased separately. For new owners, it’s advised to start with blade number 10 or 15. Both these options give an optimal trim and are not very difficult to use.

Provide Your Dog Exercise

Trimming your poodle can be a time-consuming task and it can be difficult to keep your pooch in place for several hours. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to give your pup a lot of exercise before the cut. A tired dog won’t want to run around the house and will sit comfortably while you are grooming him/her.

Familiarize Your Poodle to the Clippers

The sound and feel of dog clippers can make your poodle uncomfortable. This is especially true for pooches that are not groomed regularly. If you own such a canine, it’s recommended to introduce your poodle to the clippers before trimming. Alternatively, you can hire the services of a professional groomer for the first few trims. In this way, you won’t have to worry about the familiarizing phase.

How to Trim a Poodle?

Woman reaching around a black poodle with a pair of shears to trim the poodle's chest

The puppy cut is one of the easiest hairstyles. According to The Nest, any poodle-owner can manage this cut because it doesn’t require a lot of effort. You just need to cut the tips of the hair and maintain the natural shape of the coat. Keep reading to learn how you can trim a poodle in this simple yet beautiful style.

Brush Your Poodle

It is important to untangle the mats from your dog’s fur before giving him/her a haircut. Brushing is an excellent alternative to locate and remove the tangles from your pooch’s coat. Therefore, use a pin brush to groom your poodle from head to toe. Pay extra attention to those areas (like armpits and feet) that are more vulnerable to mats.

Remove the Mats

Once you have found a mat, grab the hair away from the skin and comb them from the tip towards the skin. Observe a lot of caution during this step because you can easily pull the hair (which is quite painful).

Trim the Neck

Dog groomer combing the top of a poodle's head.

Use the clippers (or scissors) to cut the hair from the nape of your poodle’s neck. Make sure to pull the hair taut to minimize the chances of tugging on them. Generally, blade number 10 or 15 is used while using a clipper for trimming a poodle.

Groom the Chest and Abdomen

Now, place the clipper under the throat of your dog and start clipping towards the chest. Always trim in the direction of the growth. Make your pooch roll over and trim the hair on his/her stomach. Keep your strokes slow to avoid cuts and nicks. In a puppy cut, the hair on the chest and belly can be cut short or to a medium length.

Clip the Hair from Legs and Feet

Next, you have to trim the legs of your dog. Start at the top (just under the tail) and move the clipper towards the floor. Repeat this step for all the legs of your pooch. The hair on the feet should be cut from one end of the foot to the ankle. Lastly, turn the foot of your pup and cut the hair between the toes and paw pads.

Trim the Face of Your Poodle

The facial hair in a puppy cut are kept quite small. Therefore, you will need a fine blade (of the clipper) to cut the hair on your dog’s face. You can also use blunt-end scissors but only if you have the experience. The topnotch will be kept a little longer than the hair on the body.

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