How to Cut a Poodle's Hair

Updated February 21, 2017

Whereas the colder months of the year allow your poodle to have a thicker coat, you will need to cut your poodle's hair to reduce the potential for heat exhaustion during the summer. Cutting your poodle's hair yourself can save you money on pet grooming, but like any other type of grooming requires patience and the right tools. Although dog clippers are available on the market, you can also use human hair clippers as long as you have the right clip guard to prevent skin irritation or grazing.

Bathe your poodle in a tub with lukewarm water using a pH-balanced dog shampoo and conditioner, followed by rinsing all of the product out of the dog's coat. Thoroughly dry the dog's coat with a clean, soft towel to remove all moisture from the coat. Alternatively, use an electric hair dryer on the lowest heat settings to dry the poodle's hair.

Attach the No. 5 blade to the electric clippers and evenly run the clippers down the body. According to Margaret H. Bonham, author of "Dog Grooming For Dummies," one inch of hair should be left on the dog's body to prevent skin irritation.

Remove the No. 5 blade and attach the No. 10 blade to the clippers. Carefully shave your poodle's face, avoiding the area around the eyes. The direction the hair lies on the face will dictate which way to shave, according to Bonham.

Shave the feet in the direction of the hair, and shave the tail until you reach 3 inches before the tip to create a pom-pom at the end of it.

Carefully trim around the "sensitive areas" area with the No. 10 blade, but do not allow the clippers to touch the skin.

Complete your poodle's trim with scissors to round out the pom-pom at the end of the tail.


Do not use the No. 5 blade to trim around the anus or genitals as the blade may nick the area or cause irritation, according to Bonham.

Things You'll Need

  • Dog tub
  • pH-balanced dog shampoo and conditioner
  • Cotton towel
  • Electric clippers
  • No. 10 clipper blade
  • No. 5 clipper blade
  • Dog grooming scissors
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