When you purchase your puppy you will need to start a daily grooming routine. Your puppy will have had its feet and face clipped by its breeder and will have had its first bath before you call to collect it. Now it is up to you, and the more frequently you attend to grooming, the better for you and your pup. A couple of minutes a day are all that is required to accustom your new puppy to being brushed and combed. Like us, Poodles do enjoy looking good, so they readily accept grooming. If you take a little time to groom daily then you task will be fairly easy. Only when the coat is changing from puppy to adult hair will you find the grooming is a little more arduous – when the fluffy hair comes out, to be replaced by a stronger, more coarse and dense, more springy coat which, when it is complete, is actually easier to groom. At this stage most pet Standard Poodles are generally cut down into a pet trim. Relieving the owner of a lot of the hair they need to deal with.
The young pup’s hair is easy to brush and comb and, because of this, some owners think there is little need for a regular session of grooming. But if you get into a routine from the beginning, once the coat gets to the matting stage – anything from five to seven months onwards – then suddenly try to start grooming it will be tough work for you and your Standard Poodle. From the age of eight weeks your puppy could have its feet, face and tail clipped every few weeks or so to get it used to it. If you are not going to do this yourself then you will have found yourself a good, kind, groomer to do this for you, unless you are fortunately enough to live near your pup’s breeder, who will generally do this for you.
When brushing or combing or bathing and clipping, stay with a system. Start on the head, grooming away from the eyes, down the ears, being careful to include the hair behind the ears where it is more likely to tangle, and under the flap. Brush down the neck and along the body towards the tail. Brush the tail, not forgetting underneath. If the body is clipped use a softer brush for this. Next, starting right foreleg, brush up towards the ribs from the toes, then section from the bottom and comb through each layer. Do the right hind leg; turn the dog saying ‘turn’ as you do this. So the dog will soon learn what is expected and turn on request.
Continue brushing the front left leg, then the right hind leg. Brush lightly, but thoroughly, taking care to include under the armpits and inside the legs – places often missed by novice groomers. Part each section of the longer hair and be sure to brush to the skin. Very often a dog looks beautifully groomed until one gets one’s hand on into the coat, only to realise then that the top ends or tips of the coat are groomed but that the dog has a felt-like mat at its skin. Pet dogs should not suffer the discomfort of matted or felted hair any more than the pampered show dog. These felts, or mats, are disastrous to a show coat and can harbour unwanted visitors, such as fleas and mites. Poodles must be shown in good coat condition. Tthere is no excuse for a matted coat. It shows neglect.