How to Brush Your Dog
An Efficient Routine for Dog Grooming
Choosing a Vet, Dog Walker, and Groomer for Your Puppy

Clipping Your Poodle

Your Poodle needs to be clipped on a regular schedule — whether you do the clipping yourself or pay a professional. Any clips other than the required show-ring clips are pet clips. Most pet Poodles are kept in fairly simple, easily maintained clips.

When deciding on a clip for your Poodle, go with your preferences, but remember that the longer the coat is, the more brushing and combing you'll need to do. Consider following types of pet clips that may fit your vision for your Poodle's coat.

  • The kennel clip. The kennel clip is the shortest clip and the easiest to do and maintain. It's ideal for Poodles who hike in the woods, play on the beach, or go swimming. The Poodle's face, feet, and tail are shaved; she also has a scissored topknot and a tail pompon. The body and legs are the same length and quite short, usually under 1/2 inch long. The ears may be full, shortened, or completely clipped.
  • The sporting clip. The sporting clip is similar to the kennel clip, but the legs are longer than the body and scissored to blend into the body. The body is often as much as one inch long, with the leg length in proportion to the body length.
  • The lamb trim. The lamb trim is a longer version of the sporting clip, with the body and legs as long as you wish, often as long as two or three inches.
  • The puppy clip. In the puppy clip, the Poodle's face, feet, and tail are shaved, with a pompon left on the tail and the rest of the coat left long. The hindquarters, chest, and legs are shaped with scissors to blend in with the longer hair on the rest of the body. These areas should blend smoothly into the body and show no abrupt change in length. If the body hair is shortened, it isn't a true puppy clip.
    Show Poodles may be, and usually are, kept in a puppy clip until they are a year old. Pet Poodles are usually clipped into a shorter pet clip when the long hair becomes more work to keep brushed.
  • The modified puppy clip. The modified puppy clip is similar to the true puppy clip, but the topknot is shaped and the entire body is shortened with scissors.
  • The teddy bear clip. Strictly speaking, the teddy bear clip isn't a clip because clippers aren't used; the entire body is shortened and shaped with scissors. The body, legs, and tail are usually a couple of inches long, with no changes in lengths on different parts of the body. The topknot is shortened and rounded, but not in a cap as in other clips. The face, feet, and tail are scissored to blend with the body, not shaved.
    This trim can be very cute, especially on smaller Poodles, but it's high maintenance and needs frequent brushing. You'll need to check your Poodle twice a day to be sure that the rear is clean and to wipe her face with a damp cloth and dry it to keep it clear of food and dampness.
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