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Doodles are half poodle -that's the problem

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  • Doodles are half poodle -that's the problem

    I am in need of all advice possible. I live in a city of doodles. On average I groom one to four doodles a week. These are the first words I hear from doodle owners "I don't want anything poodle on my dog". Okay, since doodle owners fall into one of two categorizes, the first being the ones who know they own a dog that needs a short coat for their busy family lifestyle and those that love their dog to look like a giant bear cub who is 50% matted and they want you to comb it out and just give it a trim. I prefer the first group but no matter what I do doodle owners tell me that their dogs look poodles when I'm done.
    SO, here is what I do not do on doodles: poodle feet, I do not do clean faces, I do not shave down the tail, I do not shave off the ear hair on a doodle unless asked.
    Now, what I do on doodles is, guide comb the head and face, usually with a 5/8 or 7/8. I leave the ears long and natural, I brush the tail and trim to owners specs or leave long and natural. The body is usually a 7 or 5 With, if they want a kennel cut or a longer guide comb if they want the body longer. Now, this is all subject to coat condition of course. What am I doing wrong?
    I personally think that doodle owners like the long dread lock look and when you have to brush and comb the hair, no matter if you cut it or not it's going to "look" full and fluffy. I think that owners associate full and fluffy with poodles.
    What do you all suggest? I am about to stop grooming doodles and kick out the ones I currently have that keep making these remarks.
    Thank you

  • #2
    I feel your pain! My doodle cliental has grown a great deal........one lady even ... said "don't poodle my doodle" so I said "tell me EXACTLY the length you want on every part of this dog.......the bottom line is that regardless of the body length they don't want a head and face that looks anything like a poodle. ...so. On the head I pretend I am trimming a Bichon and I don't leave an obvious line between head and ears. Cheeks and muzzle I usually do 2 lengths or more longer than body. Sounds like you have the rest down so what I would do is when they come to pic up ask them if they see anything they want done different NEXT TIME and make a note in their presence... Nearly every one of my Doo clients has a slightly different vision in mind. Of course if dog is matted it is a shave....so sorry. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Shave the top of the head with the 7 or 5 and leave the face full. Won't look poodly.
      Stress is nothing more than a socially acceptable form of mental illness.- Richard Carlson

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      • #4
        Without seeing any pictures, I would say that you are probably cutting/shaving down the muzzle. Leave this hair grown long, and trim and inch or so below the chin. I usually use a 1/2"guard on the top of the head, going down over the eyes, then down each side of the face, then scissor the muzzle (like on a Schnauzer, Westie, Yorkie, etc). I leave the ears long and also the tail, just trimming them.

        Happy loving doodles

        Dolly's Barking Bubbles, LLC

        www.dollysbarkingbubbles.com

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        • #5
          I have a Doodle client that it took some trial and error but finally got the result he wanted. Kind of like how Countrygrl said, always ask at checkout what they like or want to change and make note!
          Here is what I do on this particular dog: 0 guard on body, legs, and top of head. Half inch on chin and scissor head like a brick (round head to him looks poodle) I also don't shave the hair in corners of eyes, I thinner it lightly (that was a big deal for dad too). His visor is trimmed with chunkers to look "shaggy and natural" and same with his legs. Stick straight perfectly scissored is not a look dad wanted. Ears and tail are just brushed out and lightly trimmed, again left to look shaggy. It sounds weird, but I put a reminder for myself in his notes not to pick at him when it comes to scissor work. No poodle to this particular client meant shaggy and unkempt looking.
          I have a toy poodle client that doesn't want the dog to look like a poodle but is always matted. I figured out with them the same rule held true. Dog gets a 4 or 5 blade all over, maybe ears left a little longer if I can. I don't scissor finish the dog much and spritz him with water to kennel dry curly before he goes home, and they love it. Obviously I shape up the face and feet and any crazy long hairs, but again unkempt was the look they wanted.
          Now, let me add a disclaimer, these dogs don't leave looking half groomed. They are even and symetrical, just shaggy. Maybe that will help for some of your doodle clients. It may or may not work as you said every last doodle owner has a different idea yet they all say "No Poodle!" Good luck!

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          • #6
            Originally posted by stacie-gotg View Post
            Shave the top of the head with the 7 or 5 and leave the face full. Won't look poodly.
            I've had poodle cross owners tell me to leave the top of the head long but do the muzzle short so it doesn't look like a poodle.

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            • #7
              Most of my customers with doodle dogs like it kind of like kaida714 does it. Whenever I make them look close to a Wheaton, they are happy. Maybe a little less beard and a little more ear, but pretty much Wheaton. Which kind of makes you wonder why they didn't just get one in the first place, but hey, that personality is hard to beat. Either that, or it's the marketing.......

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              • #8
                Bottom line.....when they come in ask:
                1. how for body
                2. how long for top and what shape..ie blended to ears or distinction
                3. how long for cheeks
                4, how long for muzzle
                5. how long for chin

                Write it down in their presence........even if not perfect they will be impressed that you cared enough to do it to their liking. As you can see from all the posts, ea groomer has different ideas for what to do. I have encountered this situation with my cust. and the only thing outside a picture which is nice, is SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FROM OWNER written in their presence. All my Doos have slightly different instructions

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                • #9
                  Lol....I see a lot of Doodles in my shop...seriously not one customer has ever said this to me.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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                  • #10
                    Best trick is to find pictures ( if you don't have any) and make a little portfolio of different styles and hair type. Do me a favor and throw my vogue in there too. I always ask what it is that they think is " poodle " because to some it's the length, others the shape. Usually not a poofy topknot, don't clip sides of face/ cheeks, let that fill in for a round head shape. Layering ears and visor. I have quite a few I do Asian, and some " doodle trim" my dogs my St poodles face right now this is poodle

                    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Countrygrl View Post
                      Bottom line.....when they come in ask:
                      1. how for body
                      2. how long for top and what shape..ie blended to ears or distinction
                      3. how long for cheeks
                      4, how long for muzzle
                      5. how long for chin

                      Write it down in their presence........even if not perfect they will be impressed that you cared enough to do it to their liking. As you can see from all the posts, ea groomer has different ideas for what to do. I have encountered this situation with my cust. and the only thing outside a picture which is nice, is SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS FROM OWNER written in their presence. All my Doos have slightly different instructions
                      interesting!

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                      • #12
                        Beautiful grooms

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                        • #13
                          I do everything within my power to convince doodle owners to shave the ears. Shaving the top of the head w/ whatever the body is helps too. That being said, we've done a doodle directly to match a photo, and they still CRIED when they picked up, because it looked too much like a poodle. "This is EXACTLY what I didn't want! ALL OF MY FEARS COME TRUE!!!"

                          I have a guy with a Cocker/Poodle that "Doesn't want the dog to look like a poodle", and wants the face shaved "like a spaniel", and a little more on top of the head "like a spaniel", and the ears left longer, "like a spaniel", but not actual cocker ears, because that "would be weird."

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Moo View Post

                            I have a guy with a Cocker/Poodle that "Doesn't want the dog to look like a poodle", and wants the face shaved "like a spaniel", and a little more on top of the head "like a spaniel", and the ears left longer, "like a spaniel", but not actual cocker ears, because that "would be weird."
                            For this client, I would scissor muzzle to have that fatter appearance, but still looks naturally short. Think about the clue he just gave you, difference between the two breeds muzzles are thickness and length. By taking muzzle short but scissoring to create the fat lip shape you want.
                            I have never had anyone cry or be truly upset with my groom's in 14 years. ( OK well I did Asian this one old lady's dog and I did something " wierd" so she preferred I do it the old style, but wasn't upset).
                            I believe it's down to communication and reading between lines.



                            Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by ItzaClip! View Post
                              For this client, I would scissor muzzle to have that fatter appearance, but still looks naturally short. Think about the clue he just gave you, difference between the two breeds muzzles are thickness and length. By taking muzzle short but scissoring to create the fat lip shape you want.
                              I have never had anyone cry or be truly upset with my groom's in 14 years. ( OK well I did Asian this one old lady's dog and I did something " wierd" so she preferred I do it the old style, but wasn't upset).
                              I believe it's down to communication and reading between lines.

                              Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
                              Nah, the Cocker/Poodle guy gets a shaved face, full ears, and a clip comb on the top of the head. The rest of his dog is bald. He thinks it looks like a spaniel.

                              People and their perception of what each breed looks like is very different. I've had people tell me that they don't want their dogs ears shaved, because those are "Shih Tzu ears", and likewise, the same type of people don't want their dogs ears left long "like Shih Tzu ears." They seem to think that throwing breed names in will make it more groomer-sounding. It doesn't.

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