I always pluck the hair out of my dogs ear canal before bathing using a small pair of dog scissor tweezers or small hemostats. Just pull out the hair around the ear canal, going down carefully a little into the ear canal and get all hair out. (Be careful and don't pinch the ear lobe). You can't damage the ear drum by going too deep because dog's ear canals are not like ours. Then I use a gentle ear cleanser by squeezing it into the ear, massaging it around and then cleaning with a cotton ball. If you notice brown flaky stuff (kind of like coffee grounds, then your dog has ear mites. There are several products that you can then drop into the ears to kill the mites.
A good all purpose ear cleaner is a mixture of half vinegar and half water.
If you have a dog booster bath it will make the bathing process much easier.
I put a clean cotton ball into each ear before starting the bath to keep water from getting into ears. Use warm water and wet the poodle well, down to the skin,wet all over starting at the rear of the dog and working forward. Avoid water in eyes and ears. Latherthe poodle well and carefully wash inside of ear flap. Don't forget to get between toes and anal area. Rinse well until hair squeeks and then you can apply conditioner. After working conditioner in well, rinse it all out. Squeegee your poodle off with your hands and then towel dry. Leave your poodle in the booster bath while you towel dry it. I usually dry once and then get another towel and dry again. The more water you get off now the less you have to blow off.
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