Your poodle’s intelligence is matched only by her elegance, but achieving and maintaining such high fashion is not easy. It takes all the diva essentials, such as brushes, combs and shampoos. Most importantly, it takes a lot of love, patience and dedication on your part.
Brush your pretty poodle every two or three days to maintain a healthy coat. She deserves to look her best, and if you start the grooming routine when she's a puppy, by the time she's grown she'll be totally accustomed to having a fuss made over her. Use a slicker brush to gently brush her hair first in the direction of its growth pattern, followed by a brushing in the opposite direction. Running a coarse comb through her coat from head to toe will remove tiny tangles.
Show dogs need to be bathed weekly; otherwise, your poodle should be bathed once a month. It's essential to bathe your poodle the correct way, following a thorough brushing. First comes safety. Place a rubber mat on the bathtub surface to prevent slipping. To reduce dryness and tangles, select a dilutable dog shampoo formulated for a poodle’s curly coat. Mix some of the shampoo with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions, soak up some of the sudsy mixture with a clean sponge, and apply it to her dry coat with precision. This will allow you to avoid her eyes and ear canals. Be sure to shampoo from head to toe, and all places between. Rinse thoroughly, and repeat the process.
You can reduce blow-drying time by gently squeezing excess water from your poodle's coat with your hands. Gently rubbing her coat with a few towels also helps. It's important to position your pretty girl on a non-slip surface to blow-dry her coat. Remember, the sound of the dryer may frighten her, so keep a hand on her back to make her feel secure. Keeping the dryer at high speed and holding it about 6 inches from her coat will prevent burning. While you dry, use a slicker brush and brush her coat back and forth; making the hair dry and smooth. Pay special attention to crossed hairs that can turn into a mat if they're not brushed. When she’s all dry and pouffy, use a metal-tooth dog comb to finish her coif. Any leftover mats should be worked apart with the tip of the comb.
After each bath it is important use an ear cleaner to remove excess moisture that can lead to ear infection. These solutions are available at most pet supply stores, and should be used according to manufacturer instructions. Poodle hair clipping is a craft, so it’s best to take your poodle to a professional groomer every eight weeks to maintain the clip of your choice.
Yvonne Ward began her professional writing career in 2004. She wrote a true-crime book published in 2010 and has two more underway. She also has a strong background in business, education and farm living. Ward is pursuing a Master of Arts in history and culture from Union Institute and University.