How to Groom a Poodle That Has a Beard

Written by trish jackson
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How to Groom a Poodle That Has a Beard
A doughnut beard and moustache give a rounded look to the poodle's face. (George Marks/Retrofile/Getty Images)

In recent years, poodle grooming has taken on a different trend. Poodles have always been traditionally groomed to have puffs on the feet and tail and a topknot on the head with the remainder of the body, including the entire face, being closely shaven. While this is still required for show dogs, owners of pet poodles can choose from multiple recognised grooming styles with one of the five beard cuts or use their own creative freestyle method.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Dog shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Hair dryer
  • Clippers
  • No. 10 and 15 blades
  • Scissors

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  1. 1

    Picture the finished result in your mind before you start. Shampoo the dog and use conditioner if required but do not over-condition, which would make the coat too heavy. Dry the coat with a hair dryer while brushing it outward so it stands up away from the skin as much as possible.

  2. 2

    Study the recognised poodle clips and decide which is closest to the look you are trying to achieve. The clips include the puppy, continental clip and English saddle, all of which call for a shaved face. The kennel or sporting clip allows for an even, fairly short clip all over the body and legs. This is not a show clip and the head can be left longer. The Dutch clip allows for a moustache.

  3. 3

    Use scissors or clippers with a #10 or similar blade all over the main part of the body, clipping with the grain of the hair for a longer cut or against the grain for a shorter finish. Switch to a #15 blade to make the feet, genital area and tail shorter if desired, taking care to graduate the places where the hair changes from short to a little longer.

  4. 4

    Clip the head. Poodles can choose from five basic styles --clean face, doughnut moustache and beard, sweetheart moustache, beard and french moustache and the teddy clip. The face and neck are clipped using a #10 blade. The beard and moustache are simply trimmed with the scissors to make a rounded look. For the French moustache, the beard is clipped and a small moustache is left and trimmed short in a straight line along the jaw. For a sweetheart moustache the facial hair is shaped in a heart around the muzzle. The teddy clip leaves an even length of hair all over the head and moustache and beard.

Tips and warnings

  • Make certain your clipper blades or scissors are sharp and oil the clippers and blades regularly to keep them in good condition.
  • Check that the blades are not getting too hot while clipping as this can burn the dog's skin. It is a good idea to keep multiple blades so you can switch them out when one gets too hot.

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