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  • poodle 2nd try

    A couple months ago you all were helping with my 1st poodle trim, here is the link. http://www.petgroomerforums.com/chat/showthread.php?34588-Standard-poodle-pics-1st-one-)
    I groomed it again recently so need more critiquing. Remember it was short the 1st time she brought it to me but it's starting to grow out a little. Don't be afraid to tell me the truth about what I did wrong, I want to do a good job. I did not go down as far on the throat this time. I also didn't go up as high on the feet like the last time but when I got to the last foot I went a lot higher on accident then I did on all of the others! I was so mad but wasn't about to ruin the other 3 feet so I left them. LOL She knows I am learning & practicing. She said I can groom it in any style I want to practice with. The thing is it took me 6 hours to groom this dog the 1st time, yes 6 hours. LOL I was grooming with the DVD, books & all of that. This time it took me 6 hours because the dog had a lot of matting, I am not the fastest dematter so it took a long time for that part. I did sell her a brush & a comb & she promised to use it, I just don't think she is getting all the way to the skin. I had to get all of the mats out or I couldn't let the dog grow out like I would like to so I can learn different styles on it. My biggest problem I am having is the feet, the dog didn't really want clean feet this time but I managed. The problem is above the shaved feet. I did like everyone says, took my hand down the leg & pushed the hair toward the foot & trimmed with a curved shear. It Always looks terrible, then I try to fix it by beveling it while the hair is just in the natural position & it still looks terrible. What am I doing wrong? Any more tips on this? Any help is appreciated! Be honest, I want to be good at this. Thanks, Terri
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  • #2
    I'm no Poodle expert

    But that dog looks like it has a HORRIBLE coat to practice on. It looks like the kind of heavy, curly, thick coat that is a nightmare. At least, that's what I suspect from the pics. If it IS like that, you need a more correct (and easier) coat to learn on and keep long, because if that dog was matted at that length, there is probably no hope.

    Bevels - keep practicing. Not likely you are going to be satisfied the first 50 or so tries.

    Throat - shaved way too much. You only need to go HALF as far down, and it should probably be a narrower 'V'. It looks really, really wide in the photo, but the dog still looks great, so you did a terrific job. Good luck with that coat if it's as bad as I suspect it is.

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    • #3
      I think you really did a great job. The scissoring looks really nicely done. So now for the little things that I would change.

      You still went too far down the throat and too wide across the throat. Your topknot is in a pleasing shape but trim it tighter on the sides. The pom on the tail needs to grow out so you can do a nice round pom. These are all little things, you are well on your way to being a great groomer.

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      • #4
        i think you have a very nice start and your scissoring looks smooth which is great. if you can you might want to tighten the angle on the back legs, he still needs more hair in order to really get into the shape.

        the throat really doesn't look that bad to me, i think it is a bit too wide. what i do is find where i want the point or bottom the the v or u to start (visualize a line down from the chin) clip that strip going up toward the chin, then i take that bit of hair out in front of the ear canal and connect a straight line from the ear to that clipped point to make the v, once you have that everything else comes off inside the lines. if you can find out how far up from the breastbone you should start your clipping that will help, i don't remember exactly. i really don't think you are that far off though.

        for the bevels you may want to try leaving the foot down fluff the hair naturally. then with your scissor parallel to the table get in to the clipped line and cut what hangs below it. after you get around the foot you can pick it up and cut off stuff you missed close to the clipped line. put it back down and then you can slowly angle your scissor up to create the bevel. if you want to try the method you have been using i suggest pulling back the angle of you scissor a bit so you cut less off. i'm guessing you are taking too much off and that is what is not pleasing.

        i hope for you that mom picks up that brush. he appears to have a soft coat, and if he was already getting matted that is not a great sign. i know you really want to learn so if you have the time maybe you can get him in for a bath and brush between full grooms.

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        • #5
          another poodle pic

          Here is one more pic. I see from this pic I made him look bow legged...Now I am gonna read what advice you already gave, I just had forgot to add this pic. Terri
          Attached Files

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          • #6
            poodle feet

            50 times & I should have the bevel down? LOL I will be 80 years old by the time I get all this figured out, I have the same problem with cocker feet, they look too flat, like pancakes. So how wide should the throat be shaved? I thought it was a v up to the ears, but obviously not. So you do shave to the ear but maybe not as wide on the throat area? Is that what you are saying? Then what length is the hair that isn't shaved on the throat? Hard to explain.If the dog is matted next time, I will tell her she needs to bring him in to be combed out in between the grooming. The coat is soft but feels fine but very curly. She said he got in a pond not to long before she brought him to me. I also have trouble doing the inside of the legs, especially the back legs, I think I need to watch this done more. You know when you watch someone that knows what they are doing, everything looks so easy. In reality it isn't. Thanks for the help, don't give up on me yet, I am gonna keep trying. Terri

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            • #7
              Poodle chest

              How long do you leave the chest at the bottom? Another issue I see in my last pic that I wasn't sure about. Terri

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              • #8
                for the neck i think you've shaved to a nice length down the throat, but it's too wide. You want it to come into much more of a "V" from the ears to a point at the front of the throat. If you want it in a 'U' it's still much the same width, just a 'shallowed out' sorta point, rather than a sharp V point. It's narrow though, it goes straight from the ears down to the V infront of the throat, not downt he side of the neck and then in to the point on the front of the throat.

                Bevels really are a PITA!!! I posted a number of pics of how I do it on groomers.net, but not sure if I'm allowed to post the link or not! lol

                For the chest, it depends on the dogs structure. An idea poodle has the depth of it's chest, level with it's elbows. You want to groom to the ideal standard as much as possible, so you want the chest to *appear* level with the elbows by either taking more off or keeping more on; whichever he needs (in the pic, he could do it it shorter under there)
                The other thing about his 'under line', the 'tuck up' needs to move forwards a bit. The 'tuck up' is the belly; the line where it tucks up from the chest before swooping back down to the hind legs. If possible you want to take it fairly short right up behind his ribs so it moves that arch forwards a bit, but also if you can get more hair on the front of his back legs to inch it forwards from the back too. I'm only mentioning this because if you take more off the chest like I just said before, but not tweak the tuck up, it'll make him look very thick and chunky through the body; poodles have deep chests but curvey bodies if that makes any sense!!!

                If you want to tweak more you can try and make it look like he has a more level topline. that is, his spine should be perfectly level across the top, but he has a bit of a sag going on there in the middle, so you can take it a touch shorter on his rump to level it off visually!

                Anything else you can tweak on him generally involves him needing more hair; so you really did a good job with what you had to work with! Well done! And keep it up, practise more with him and post pics when you next do him. It can be drawn out, but I learned SOOOOO much posting pics of my girls groom too, and you're already streaks ahead of where I started with my first groom pics I posted!!!

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                • #9
                  "I should have the bevel down?" not down, but if you start that way you can slowly angle up until you like it.

                  "So you do shave to the ear but maybe not as wide on the throat area?" yes, think "v", as far as the rest of the hair on the neck/throat clip it the same as the body, you can scissor the long hair by the clipped line short. even if you are doing a fancy style the hair right along that line is short.

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                  • #10
                    poodle back

                    Wow, you all are awesome at explaining all of this!!! Thanks a million for your help. I hate to post pics because I know they are not groomed correct but I figure I can learn a lot like this & feel like I am. Only one question about what Flyingduster said.

                    "If you want to tweak more you can try and make it look like he has a more level topline. that is, his spine should be perfectly level across the top, but he has a bit of a sag going on there in the middle, so you can take it a touch shorter on his rump to level it off visually!"

                    He had high hip bones or something in the back that make it really high there. I tried to cut it down in that area as much as I could. So instead should I leave more hair on the middle of the back to make it look flat? Thanks again everyone, you have no idea how much I have learned on this site from all of the great groomers here. Terri

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                    • #11
                      yup you can leave a little more in the middle of his back to level off the topline, though I'm inclined to not want to do that too much cos it'll make him look thick and chunky in the body if you add more hair on (remember the lean elegant poodle look...) which is why I suggested taking it shorter on his rump!!! lol. But yes, maybe a teeny bit in the middle of his spine and a bit less on his rump (you can go really short!!) will help the overall look!!!

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