The poodle’s hypoallergenic coat makes him an ideal dog for allergy sufferers, but you might be in for some demanding upkeep with this sneeze-free pal. Poodle cuts are infamous for their imaginative design, but they lose their edge quickly as the coat grows out. If you don’t mind dealing with regular trims and daily comb-outs, you can maintain your poodle in a classic, elegant style of your choosing. If you prefer an easier option, select something more functional and low maintenance.
Some of the fancier poodle cuts may look extreme, but they developed as a practical way to protect this water-loving retriever’s vital organs while leaving his rear legs free for swimming. These high-maintenance coats can discourage some people, but grooming doesn’t have to be a big deal. It’s easiest to take Pierre to a professional groomer, but no matter who does the clipping, you have to keep his coat brushed out in between visits so it doesn’t mat. He’ll need clipping about six times a year, complete with a bath, blow-dry and a nail trim.
If you want your poodle to be the height of fashion, considering keeping him in one of the two classic adult show dog clips: the continental or the English saddle. These cuts have the look that many people visualize when they think of a poodle, revealing the dog’s clean lines and elegant structure. Show clips feature a fully or partially shaved rear, body and legs, and a full coat over the front half of your buddy. These clips require lots of maintenance, since the long coat needs frequent brushing to keep it from matting.
The puppy cut gets its name from the fact that it’s the clip you can use in the show ring until your poodle is a year old. If you want to show him, or just like the look, leave the hair on his body as long as possible and shave his face, feet and tail. From a practical standpoint, a modified puppy cut, with body hair no more than an inch or two long, is both cute and easy to care for. It’s perfect for many poodles, especially if the weather is a bit cool.
Swimming Pool Clip
This utilitarian clip goes by several names, including the bikini cut. Highly practical for dogs who can’t be in the water enough, this warm-weather clip involves removing your poodle’s entire coat, almost down to the skin. You’ll want to leave nice, fluffy pompoms around your pal’s ankles and on the end of his tail, as well as all the hair on his head and ears. You’ll find this clip is extremely easy to care for, but not so great when the weather turns cold.
- AKC: The Poodle Page
- Poodle Clipping and Grooming: The International Reference; Shirlee Kalstone