Grooming Care for a Teacup Poodle

Left to grow, a teacup poodles' coat is soft and curly.
i George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images

A miniscule bundle of angel-soft fur, the teacup poodle is the smallest member in the Toy Poodle designation. This tiny barkster is full of vim and vigor, and although he weighs less than four pounds, professional grooming is a lengthy and complicated process.

Poodle Cuts

Although teacup poodles are not recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) because they fall short of the minimum, 5-pound, 10-inch requirement, many teacup owners want their teensy Toto’s to resemble their larger poodle kin. Continental and English saddle poodle cuts feature shaved feet, faces, throats and portions of the tail and body, while leaving the very French-looking pompom accents on the top of the head and the tip of the tail. On a teacup poodle, the most complicated cuts take about three hours to complete and must be repeated every two months to maintain the look. Modified, less intricate cuts, are available that take less time and are simpler to maintain.

Ears, Eyes and Nails

Unlike other breeds, soft hair grows naturally in a poodle’s inner ear canal, which can increase the risk of ear infection. A professional groomer will “pluck” the hairs, which come out easily when pulled with the fingertips. Keep ear and eye wipes on hand for wiping away earwax and eye matter at least once a week. A teacup’s nails, similar to those of larger poodles, are low on the paw and click when the dog runs across a hard floor. The groomer uses dog nail clippers or a small grinding tool to keep the teacup’s nail from getting too long.

Bath Time

Teacup owners can bathe their petite pets in a sink with a just a couple of inches of warm water and a mild dog shampoo. Descended of water dogs, the poodle’s coat naturally sheds water, so to let your miniature friend sit in the water long enough for his fur to become saturated. A hand sprayer helps remove all traces of dog shampoo, which can irritate the teacup’s skin if it’s not adequately removed. Follow with a tangle-free conditioner and then wrap your dog in warm towels to absorb excess water. If you want to blow-dry your teacup, use a dog dryer, a regular hair dryer gets uncomfortably hot.

Daily Brushing

If your teacup has a modified cut, daily brushing helps keep his coat soft and gnarl-free. A natural bristle dog brush is the safest to use on teacup’s to keep from pulling painfully pulling their fur. Make it a rewarding experience for your elfin friend and he’ll look forward to his brushings.

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