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Struggling with a good groom on Poodles

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  • Struggling with a good groom on Poodles

    Looking at Poodlefluff's thread with that adorable toy in a dutch clip reminds me again of the lack of talent I have at grooming poodles. As poor as I think I am at them, it's the most popular breed that comes in to the shop (groomed 3 today!). But still I'm struggling with this breed. I am never pleased with the faces of the poo's I groom. They never seem to have that smooth, clean look. What blade do ya'll use on the clean face? And then there's the legs, they just don't look as nice as others I've seen - always lumps and bumps! Any other advice, tricks or tips (magic wand maybe?) you have to offer I would be eternally grateful for! Thanks in advance!!

  • #2
    For faces, I use a Moser 15-40 in reverse. Depends on the size, color and sensitivity of the dog. I usually use a 40 Moser on the feet too. CV might help with that. Do you have a 10" shear? That might help reduce the amount of actual cuts you have to make when doing a scissor trim.

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    • #3
      I love doing poodles, probably because they have for the most part, good hair to scissor, and I love to scissor. Usually, I use a 10 reverse on the face. If they have sensitive skin, I'll go with the grain on the sides of the head. Sometimes on the blacks with thick coat, I'll use a 15 on the muzzle area. The scissoring does take practice, but I find it fun to carve a shape with hair. For legs, start by doing your bevel around the foot-do all 4 first. I like to scissor up the leg. Start at the foot, and just do it. You can set the length with a snap-on comb too, and just smooth over it. The more you scissor, the easier and better it will get. Picture in your mind the shape that you want to carve, then work towards that. Keep combing and fluffing the hair as you go to catch any stray bits. You can give the leg a gentle shake too, to see where the hair will fall. Hope this helps.
      Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

      Groom on!!!

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      • #4
        Hummm, sounds like maybe it's in the prep...maybe not in the grooming? Curly coat spots maybe missed in the drying? Lumps and bumps...

        I always had my students make sure they HV'd then finished with a fluff dryer...it does make a difference. Using snap on combs to set length, might be an option for legs. Comb scissor comb...is the rule. Not mashing with the side of the shears, in an attempt to fluff the coat.

        I use a #30 on the muzzle, and a #15 04 #10 on the cheeks. This way I usually have no chance of an irritation, but I like the #30 on the muzzle, Oh, well.. this is all with a clipper vac, too. Gives a finish like a #40, without the #40 blade...which I wouldn't use on a pet dog...

        Just how I do it, but I'm sure evey one has their own way of doing things.

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        • #5
          Arco's are the best investment for faces and feet!! I tried not to get caught up in the praise about them, but they are worth it. I also scissor up towards the sky from on the sides of the topknot instead of strait back towards the ear. If you don't like a took thinning shears are the best eraser of all time. Hope this kind of helps!

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          • #6
            poodle faces

            I only clip dogs after they are bathed and blow dried.
            I use a 10 against the grain on the throat and cheeks and a 15 or 30 from the outside corner of the eye to the end of the muzzle, all against the grain.
            Be sure to stretch the lips when clipping around the mouth.
            Deidre

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            • #7
              Thanks everyone. Great tips here and I really appreciate them all and the encouragement. I groomed 2 more poo's today and I have a couple more tomorrow, so I am going to try some of these on the 2 tomorrow to see if I can see a difference. Maybe it's just me and I can't be fixed...Oh well. Thanks again!!

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              • #8
                Thank you for your compliment, I really love grooming poodles. My poodles didn't look too great before I went to work for a poodle handler. I learned how to HV the hair straight and then brush it with the stand dryer, and I don't start scissoring until I comb it very well. But a good tip is to comb the hair in layers so it fluffs straight out, and then give the dogs leg a good shake, to get the hair to "fall" into it's natural place, so that when you scissor it you get you nice scissored finish, and when the dog starts to walk and jump it still looks the same. If you miss this important comb and shake step, you will be taking too much hair off, or you will get lots of lumps & bumps. Same with the topknot I comb it up n out then blow in the dogs ear to get him to shake it's head before I scissor. Hope this tip helps.

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                • #9
                  40pads...30 feet....10 or 15 face....

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                  • #10
                    What has helped me better than anything is Shirley Kalstones Poodle book and the poodle tapes from the Sarah Hawkes series w/ Chris Pawlosky. (not sure if I spelled her name right) If you don't have someone right there to teach you, like I don't then these are invaluable!

                    Plus posting pics on here and asking for critiques helps a bunch. Someone here can always tell you how to improve with a good pic.

                    Lori

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                    • #11
                      my 2 cents

                      40 on the feet, 30 on the face Keep tension on the skin but do not stretch, also on dogs that are not use to the blade follow up with Desiten on face to reduce irritation. Always use these blades on CLEAN hair.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Poodlefluff View Post
                        Same with the topknot I comb it up n out then blow in the dogs ear to get him to shake it's head before I scissor.
                        What a great tip. I was taught to grab both ears and tug to shake out the top knot, but I like your way of doing it better. Thanks for the tip!!!!

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                        • #13
                          I use a mini moser on the feet and pads, equals 30 blade, moser on the face 15

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