Tools and Techniques for Grooming Poodles at Home
Keeping our dogs coats fairly short means we don't have to spend a lot of time brushing. We do our own grooming, so I will tell you what we do, and the tools that we use.
BRUSHING - I find that a regular hair brush, one with wide spaced, hard bristles, works best, or a pin brush. I also use metal combs and wire shedding brushes for straightening and lifting the hair.
BATH TIME - I like to keep it simple. Since Service Dogs are out in public several times a week, I try to bathe every week or two. Avoid getting water in the ears. I always use a tear free shampoo. EZ Groom Crystal White shampoo, and EZ Groom Ultra Fast Blow Dry conditioner work great on poodles. These are concentrated, and available online or at shows.
DRYER - I chose a high power dryer. It blows the water out of the hair without heating. Be sure to protect the ears and eyes. Start out slow and speed up.
GROOMING TABLE - A table helps raise the dog up to you. The one I like is shaped like a dog bone. It helps keep your back straight.
TRIMMING TOENAILS - I prefer the scissor type trimmers. Best to have some "blood stop" handy. Clip off the dead part of the nail only. Once shortened, I use a dremal tool to round off the nail and remove any rough edges. http://www.organic-pet-digest.com/dog-nail-trimming.html
EARS - Dogs with drop down ears are more prone to yeast and bacterial infections. Usually a soft cloth is sufficient to clean the ears.
Step 1 - Rosin powder helps pull the hair from inside the ears with just your fingers. Step 2 - Clean the ears with a liquid cleaner, and baby wipes. Step 3 - you may want to use an ear cream. It helps dry the inside of the ear. Always following instructions on the container.
If ears are irritated, always check with your veterinarian. I found a medication called "zymox 1% hydrocortizone" worked best for yeast treatment.
CLIPPERS - I have tried several different types of clippers. The one I like the best for poodles is "Andis Excel 5-speed Pet Grooming Clipper". The speed of the clipper is very important.
BLADES - I use a #10 on the face & neck, base of the tail and on the feet, #40 is too irritating. #5 fine can be used for shaggier face.
#7 skip tooth around the neck
#5 or 3 skip tooth on the body and legs
SCISSORS - You will need a good pair of shears or two. A nice straight 7 to 8 inch pair, and 6 1/2 inch curved shear. The curved sheers are great for learning to trim around heads, legs and tails.
TEETH - There are a lot of choices to keeping your dogs teeth clean. You can brush them on a regular basis, give them tarter control chews. Your vet should check your dogs teeth at their regular visits as well.
MISC TOOLS - I keep my poodles hair shorter in a sport clip, so don't need any of these. They are great for other types of dogs.
A (shedding rake) great for removing loose hair from dogs with an undercoat.
B (matt rake) used to remove matts.
C (shedding blade) gently pulls loose hair off of slick coats
Face & feet shaved
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The sport clip is easy to do, easy wash and wear for active dogs
Can be grown to different lengths
longer length take much more scissoring and brushing to maintain