With their beautiful curly coats, standard poodles require more grooming than many other large breeds. If grooming lapses, you may end up with a matted mess that requires shaving the fur. Poodles need bathing more often due to their thick coats, although a poodle with a show cut coat requires bathing less often if he's not being shown.
Choose a mild dog shampoo with a fragrance you find pleasant. Shampoo meant for fleas is not necessary unless your dog needs the treatment. Shampoos including moisturizing ingredients help to make curls more manageable.
Mix your shampoo with water. Some shampoos are made to be diluted and will list the proper amounts on the bottle. For shampoos that are not made to be diluted, use equal amounts of shampoo and water.
Brush your poodle's coat thoroughly before bathing, whether he's wearing a show cut or a full coat. Make sure to brush all areas, including the legs and the belly. Work out any small mats if possible.
Place cotton balls inside her ears to protect them. You may require two balls for large ears.
Place your poodle in the tub or other surface you plan to use for bathing. If you're bathing the poodle outdoors, place him on a surface rather than on the ground. A small table, a tarp spread on the ground or a small exercise trampoline makes a suitable surface. If no such surface is available, a swept driveway is better than the grass, although it will still have dirt and debris. Wet fur will easily pick up dirt and other debris.
Pour the shampoo mixture onto your poodle's neck and work it up to the top of his head. Be sure to work all the way around the neck and the lower jaw area. Use a washcloth to wipe away shampoo that gets too close to your poodle's eyes.
Pour additional diluted shampoo onto the rest of the coat, massaging it in thoroughly. Be sure to get the dog's axilla (armpits), his belly and chest area, and all parts of the legs and tail.
Rinse thoroughly with water. Start at the head, being careful to avoid getting shampoo in the poodle's eyes. Work your way down his body. Be diligent to rinse away every bit of shampoo residue, since soap left on her coat will irritate her skin.
Towel-dry her coat thoroughly. This will require several towels. Absorb every bit of water possible. Blow-dry on a cool setting while brushing through the coat until it is completely dry.