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  • Matted poodle newbie question

    The good news is I get to do my first poodle on monday. The bad news is, I have no idea where to start. From what I gather, poodles are one of the trickiest breeds, so basically, does anybody have any poodle tips? She wants her shaved, so I'm planning to 7F the whole thing, as it's a 2 year old who's never been groomed, and they let her go in the shower with her without combing/drying, basically without any idea of how to care for a dog. Just uneducated. I have a brochure for her on coat care for future reference, and I read that I can use a 10 blade if the 7F is too long. Also I read to try to save the topknot and tail pom---that's about all I know so far. I'm just nervouse and excited and hoping I'll be able to talk her into coming for weekly b+b's. Btw, it's a cross of some kind, they don't know what. So, I guess I just don't know what to expect---are poodles really that hard?!?!? I've scheduled lots of time for it though maybe it won't take that long at all. Any advice?

  • #2
    If it is a St. Poodle and your shaving not that long, it would take me maybe 30 or so min. If it is a small poodle very easy if your shaving. I mean if the dog is extremely matted you may want to wet shave and use a #7 but be very careful as you can cut the dog. Yes I will always keep the top knot and tail if it is saveable. Best of luck.

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    • #3
      Shaving a matted dog

      This is just my opinion but if you are a newbie, and the dog has not been groomed in two years I am sure the dog is very matted, I would personally recommend using a #10 blade. The teeth on a #7 are spaced farther apart and you have a better chance of cutting the dog than you would with a #10. Also if it were me I would not be saving anything, that dog is probably so uncomfortable there is no sense in trying to save hair just so it "looks cute" give them a comfort cut and then educate them on the proper care of a poodle. Explain to them that next time you would like to make her pretty but this time that is not going to be an option.

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      • #4
        Matted poodle

        If you have not done any poodles before I would look at any videos you can get your hands on, read all of your notes, books, and trade magazines that you have. Also, try to look at some of the blogs on here, check out some youtube videos, some are not great, but you could gain some insight as to what you will be dealing with.

        Be very exact when speaking to these people when they come in on Monday. Do not leave ANYTHING to an assumption. Get out your comb and try to pull it thru the coat in many areas. Let them watch you do this! Make sure they know the dog is a solid matt or that most areas are solid. Explain what you will have to do while they are still standing in your shop. Make sure you will be able to handle this dog, at 2yrs. and never groomed you may have a nightmare in the making. Make sure the people are aware how stressful this may be on the dog, (why did they wait 2 yrs!?) Make sure they have an understading of what a naked poodle looks like (if this is your only option). For the poor dogs' sake, make sure you firmly tell them to not laugh or scold the dog after it is shaved. The dog will react to their different attitude.

        In other words, cover all your bases BEFORE they leave, and give them an estimate of the cost. It should be more than a normal grooming charge. Don't surpise them in the end with a big fee, they should be aware of it before you begin this BIG project. If you are uncertain what to charge them, start to figure out what your hourly rate would be then at the end of the grooming multiply that by how long the whole was to complete, plus some added wear and tear on you!

        One more thing, if the ears are matted solid be aware they could deveop a hematoma when you shave off the matts, you should look this up on some previous posts. This is something else to tell the owners; the skin may have irritation after this long time of being matted.


        good luck and tell us how it all turns out,
        sittingpretty

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        • #5
          Originally posted by my.cats.name.is.psycho View Post
          From what I gather, poodles are one of the trickiest breeds, so basically, does anybody have any poodle tips? ... So, I guess I just don't know what to expect---are poodles really that hard?!?!? Any advice?
          You've received some good advice. Just so you know, a poodle shave-down isn't any harder than any other shave-down. The "tricky" part to grooming a poodle would be in scissoring a style (continental, etc.).

          I'm sure you'll do just fine. Let us know how it goes.
          "The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." ~Dr. Seuss

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          • #6
            more questions

            yeah, that does look like good advice. I've been going over alot of information and have come across some discrepancies and questions. I don't have a high-velocity dryer, just a human hair dryer--since I'll be using such a short blade I'm assuming I won't need to fluff-dry her this time but for later will I not be able to do poodles?
            And I was thinking about dematting--I'm not going to dematt this one but for future reference I read that you should minor dematting before the bath and major dematting in the bath during the conditioning. To me this seems totally contradictory--shouldn't you be able to do light de-matting in the tub and at least start heavy de-matting before the bath?
            And padalin, I was planning on using a 7F (no skip-tooth) and a 10 if the 7F wouldn't cut through. I had understood that any finishing blade was less likely to cut skin than a skip-tooth blade. Did I misunderstand that?
            And poodle feet king of remind me of little rat-feet lol. Do I HAVE to shave them that way, I know it's standard but are there other ways of cutting them that I can offer? I'm not scared of not doing a good job, I just honestly don't like the look of them. I know that's silly and totally irrelevant but I'm a very curious young lady

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            • #7
              I vote for doing a wet shave with either a 5F or 7F depending on how bad the matting is. You will most likely end up finishing with a 3 3/4 or 4F.

              It will much easier & quicker for both you and the dog.

              Poodle feet are poodle feet. If you think poodle feet look like rat feet then do high waters, it will make it look like a raccoon instead...LOL

              Scott
              Last edited by BengalCatGuy; 04-25-10, 09:09 PM. Reason: Spelling

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              • #8
                Newbie.......taking on a lot

                The poodle breed; any type is "not" for beginners. Many other questions here..do they want a clean face and feet? Have you ever done that before? If not...well you don't just whip out clippers and try to figure it out. Yep..there are many, many good books and video's out there. My concern again is that you call yourself a newbie with no knowledge of working on poodles. Bodies are all basically the same...if matted...shave them....if not and only a few "tiny" mats...demat them. The expertise required depends on the owners expectations...again; clean face and feet are "not" for newbies that have never done it before. I would search out another groomer and hang out when they are working on poodles to get some 1st hand experience. Just concerned....not being negative.

                Poochlady

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                • #9
                  I'm sorry, I respect Scott. I HATE shave downs with a #10, but, if the dog has NEVER had a groom in it's 2 year old life I do not think you should even ATTEMPT a #7 for the reasons Padalin stated above. If you use a #10 on a super clean dog, smother in undiluted conditioner & do it in the tub the hair MAY come out the same length as a #7.

                  I am putting the cart before the horse by telling you about the groom before I give you my opinion on the things to ay to the owner. Here is the horse: Stick the dog on your drying table while checking the dogs in. Let the owners know how tightly matted the dog is by using your HV (for their benefit) and blow the dog all over on high showing them the matted areas. Let the owner know in your opinion you could tear the skin by jacking around with a longer blade & tell them you have to start over. If you DID manage to save any fur it will be fried and mat right back up immediately so the dog will be just as matted as it was before.

                  Make very sure the owner signs a matted shave down release form. Let them know the dog will have petechia & will turn purple for up to 10 days. http://www.medterms.com/script/main/...rticlekey=4853

                  Make VERY sure the owners sign a release form & it states they understand the dog will almost assuredly have hematomae on the ears & may require a trip to the vet. http://www.vetinfo.com/dog-ear-hematoma.html

                  CYA via the release form & also customer education BEFORE you start.
                  "We are all ignorant--we merely have different areas of specialization."~Anonymous
                  People, PLEASE..It's ONLY a website!~Me

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    A #7 usually gets through most matting especially if you wet shave. If it's a small poodle I have begun using a #10 on the legs of shavedowns (that are #7 on the body). I think it looks better (neater). Shaving feet is a good experience for you, but make sure you use a 30 or 40 blade for safety and don't "dig" just skim and keep your blade cool. If you have a speed feed that's even better for feet. Most poodles really don't like their feet done, but be patient with the pooch and don't force (holding on for dear life), but repeatedly give the dog a break and let him put the foot down momentarily so that he still feels some freedom to move...he will co-operate better... use an e-collar if it will make it easier to access his feet. Be patient and gentle.
                    A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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                    • #11
                      Not trying to be contentious MdM, ...but there is NO WAY I would ever recommend a person that has never "done Poodle feet" start w/ a 30 or 40 on the feet of a 2yr. old dog that has never been groomed.
                      I would not go higher than a 15...and that's if I even felt like the feet should be shaved at all (as opposed to skimmed and scissored). My jury is still out on that as well...but ya gotta start somewhere, right?
                      Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by 4Sibes View Post
                        Not trying to be contentious MdM, ...but there is NO WAY I would ever recommend a person that has never "done Poodle feet" start w/ a 30 or 40 on the feet of a 2yr. old dog that has never been groomed.
                        I would not go higher than a 15...and that's if I even felt like the feet should be shaved at all (as opposed to skimmed and scissored). My jury is still out on that as well...but ya gotta start somewhere, right?
                        I'm with Bernie and would recomend a #10 a/o wet shave, save TK, T, and maybe ears. After this adventure, I would find the nearest poodle breeder or handler and offer to be their slave on weekends for as long as it takes. Worked for me! You can do this with most breeds. Everyone likes free labour.
                        Last edited by fiveoclockdog; 05-19-10, 04:40 PM.
                        "The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind"-Theodorus Gaza

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 4Sibes View Post
                          Not trying to be contentious MdM, ...but there is NO WAY I would ever recommend a person that has never "done Poodle feet" start w/ a 30 or 40 on the feet of a 2yr. old dog that has never been groomed.
                          I would not go higher than a 15...and that's if I even felt like the feet should be shaved at all (as opposed to skimmed and scissored). My jury is still out on that as well...but ya gotta start somewhere, right?
                          No problem Sibes. I defer to your experience over mine since you've had a lot more years than I have. I started out shaving poodle feet soon after I started school, but then I did have someone right there to guide me and show me how. Nicked feet a couple times too, but then when you are learning it's almost inevitable. 15 sounds fine too.
                          A Light exists in Spring, Not present on the Year, At any other period -- When March is scarcely here...~~ Emily Dickensen~~

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by MydogMissy View Post
                            No problem Sibes. I defer to your experience........
                            Ahem. Thank you for letting me off the snotty sounding hook.

                            1981. Young Sibes grooming an Apricot Std. Poo w/ feet like a frog or leeezerd. Owner SO insistent that the young, cocky, Sibes groomer-wanna-be use a 30 on toes...that owner actually supplies the blade.

                            Even w/ what young Sibes thought was a light touch..."Jizzelle" or "Gazelle" or "FrogToes" apparently moved about as if she were dancing on a hot bed of coals for the week following the groom...when she wasn't licking/chewing the ever-loving frog webbing out of her toes.

                            Good thing my boss was a vet.

                            Took me 10 years to get my confidence up w/ a 30 or 40 blade on feet again.

                            One more good reason grooming schools would have been so nice back then.
                            Often it's not what you say, but how you say it.

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                            • #15
                              I really don't agree with this thread at all. Over the years I have read complaints over and over about the wanna-be's hanging out a sign going into business and hacking up a dog. This exact subject has been one of the biggest arguments for legislation! Now, we have a young person who is saying loud and clear that she doesn't have a clue on where to start on a dog, let alone a 2y old dog that has never been groomed... let alone a 2 yr old Poodle mix..(doodle)..that has never been groomed. The advice is rolling in telling her to use 30 blades, wet shaving to skip tooth blades. Are you guys kidding me? If this dog hasn't been groomed EVER you are in over your head. You don't have the skills to know how to take this pelt off this dogs body so don't try.

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