Poodles have curly hair with a dense, harsh texture. This dog breed originally comes from Germany, where it was used as a water dog to retrieve game that was shot into the water. While show dogs require a cleanly groomed, exacting look, pet-quality poodles also benefit from a tidy clipping style that allows for easy home care and which gives this sporting breed a neat, well-groomed appearance.
The puppy clip is the simplest cut for poodles, and in the show ring, only poodles under one year of age can wear it, according to the American Kennel Club. The coat is left long and allowed to curl naturally while the face, throat and feet are shaved. The base of the tale is also shaved, leaving a puff of fur on the tip of the tail. Depending on the look desired, the coat may also be shaped to create a smoother appearance.
The sporting clip is a slightly modified clip from the puppy clip, and it is another plain and relatively utilitarian clip that does not require a lot of maintenance. Like the puppy clip, the face, throat, feet and base of the tail are shaved, leaving a puff of fur on the tail tip. The hair on top of the poodle's head is cut into a neat cap shape and the rest of the body is sheared down to only 1 in. in length. The fur on the legs may be left longer.
The continental clip on a poodle requires that the face, throat, feet, and base of the tail be shaved, along with legs. There are bracelets of fur left on the legs and puffs of fur on the forelegs. The hindquarters are shaved so that there are puffs of fur, known as pom-poms, on the hips. The rest of the dog's fur is left untouched, though it may be shaped for a more attractive appearance.
English Saddle Clip
In the English saddle clip, the face, throat, feet, forelegs and base of the tail are all shaved, with buffs on the forelegs. The hindquarters are shaved down to a short blanket of fur, with a curved air that is shaved along each flank. Each hind leg has a bracelet of fur circling it. The rest of the body is left natural, though shaping is allowed to create a more balanced look.