Grooming Your Standard Poodle--Some Considerations
When it comes to keeping your standard poodle beautiful, happy and healthy, regular grooming is a necessity. Your poodle is a high maintenance member of your family (not like that girlie girl teenager that needs lots of clothes and cosmetics or your fashion conscious teenage boy). The difference is that with your poodle, proper,regular grooming is not a luxury but a necessity to keep your poodle healthy. If you neglect this aspect, you are putting your pet's health at risk!!! I can't stress this enough!!
A. friend, who is a groomer, has told me so many horror stories of poodles that have come into her shop in horrible condition. Many times a visit to the vet is in order. Poodles don't shed their hair on the furniture but they do shed just like every living creature that has hair. The difference is that the poodle hair stays in the coat and creates mats which will pinch the skin, cut off the circulation and create sores. Mat removal, Ear care and nail care on a regular basis are important for your dogs health.
If you are reading this you probably are aware of the grooming needs of a poodle and are willing to make the necessary commitment to keep your dog healthy, so I will cut to the chase!!
For most people the best decision is to take your poodle to a groomer on an every 6 week schedule. If you keep your poodle's hair short you may be able to stretch this to 8 weeks with some maintenance on your part.
You may want to freshen your poodle up between grooms and this is quite simple.
Bathing, combing out mats and cleaning ears and trimming nails can be managed fairly easily.
Some of you may want to be "do it yourself" groomers. If you are good with your hands, patient, physically capable of doing the lifting, and willing to suffer through some not so attractive do's, this is an option. There is a pretty steep learning curve in mastering an acceptable level of competence in grooming your poodle. You can also instill a fear of the grooming process by nicking or burning the skin with shears or clippers, or cutting nails too short into the quick. When you have done this it makes it very difficult on your dog and creates a lot of anxiety and sometimes causes uncooperative behavior when grooming time comes. Take all of this into consideration before diving into this challenge. It's always a good idea to have some small training treats handy to give periodically during the grooming process.
Fortunately there are grooming tools that will give you a better result and minimize the risk of injuring your dog. That being said, many people opt for "do it yourself grooming" and as long as you are willing to make the committment, it can be a wonderful bonding experience. After all, I learned to do it and I'm not a professional groomer. Having the right tools is really important and gives the do it yourself groomer the capability of learning to groom a poodle.