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Grooming your Poodle or Poodle-cross
Author: Chris Chamberlin
Grooming your multi-poo or cocka-poo or terri-poo is vastly different from grooming a purebred poodle. It matters little if the poo-anything is tea-cup size or as large as the Standard Poodle (which must 15 ½ " and over at the withers to be classed correct for the breed). It is the type of coat that will determine what kind of clip you will be able to groom your dog into.
Grooming Multi-poos such as a cockapoo
Multi-poos tend to have an end result of a fine coat, which is mostly straight, although some could sport curl on the ears or legs. This type of coat is very difficult to finish into a typical poodle look with the pom-poms and high top-knot. I suggest that if you are good with handling scissors, keep this type of dog's coat in a puppy clip. This clip leaves the coat about 1 inch long all over. The feet are rounded off and the hair is trimmed away from the pads. Cute little bows can hold the hair up and out of the eyes and there is never a chance of clipper burned toes or face. This length is easy to manage but requires trimming every 4-6 weeks to maintain. If the scissors are not your forte, then a clipper blade no closer than a 4F (oster/andis) will do the job in a shorter version requiring trimming less often but giving a practical clip for the anytime of year.
Grooming Cocka-poo's is different from Grooming a Poodle
Cocka-poo's tend to look more like a cocker spaniel than the poodle but they have coat types that vary. Some will have a straight heavy coat with the curls coming in a fine undercoat. (Not my favorite at all as this type mats up very easily.) Some will sport the look of a cocker but have the poodle coat with the tight curls. (Rare) Most are some where between the two. Wavy body hair, curly ears and legs in a cocker spaniel body. So what is the best clip for this dog? I would suggest if your dog has the straight hair, then stick to a spaniel clip.
Using Clippers to Groom your Poodle
This clip cleans off the face neck and back, blending the rest to flow out to whatever length is the most manageable for the owner. If he has the pointier poodle nose you may opt to leave the face with a beard and mustache but the ears should be trimmed like a spaniels to allow air to keep them dry and free form infections so common to cockers. If your cocka-poo indeed resembles a poodle more than the cocker, you can achieve a number of clips on him , including shaving the toes and face. Again the curlier the better to get the proper look of a poodle. Most that look more poodle like look best in what I call the Benjie look. This has the full face and puppy clipped body and legs No Poodle toes.
Groom to the breed they most resemble!
Terri-poo or for that matter any other poo-x (peeka-poo etc) will be best groomed to the breed they best resemble. Do not expect to get a schnauzer look on your terri-poo with any get success. Most of the time the soft curly coat(poodle) prevents the coarse wiry coat(terrier) from getting the desired results. While most look much nicer trimmed like the Terrier or Pekinese rather than the poodle, neither will be free of the soft curls that will cause havoc on these types of coats. Trimming is required every 6-8 weeks.
Purebred poodles have the tight curls necessary to achieve the vast number of styles available. From the basic kennel clip, which leaves the coat in a ½" length all over, to the fancy show clips (Continental) with the pom-poms and bows, practice handling the clipper and scissors makes perfect. If you desire a flawless look, then a visit to the groomer every 6-8 weeks may be a wise choice. Expect to spend a good three hours from the bath to the finished clip to do you poodle or poodle cross.
Having chosen the most demanding breed for grooming, it would be wise to train you dog early to behave during the grooming sessions. There will be a lot of them during his lifetime. The equipment you will need to groom your dog is discussed in the previous published April article. Dog Grooming tips Procedures are the same for any breed when handling the equiptment.
Good luck and if you have any questions on this topic or any other grooming procedure just email and I will be happy to help in any way I can.