How To Groom A Standard Poodle

Poodles are a cute breed of dogs sporting a coating featuring curly hair that appears most prominently around their heads like an arch. Prospective dog owners who are looking specifically for a Poodle have many colors to choose from, although white, black, and apricot are the most common ones. There are actually three varieties of the Poodle breed – the Toy, Miniature, and Standard.

In this post, I am going to walk you through the process of how to groom a Standard Poodle. Even so, the only difference between the three varieties of the Poodle breed is the size. So, the grooming process should be about the same regardless of which Poodle you happen to have as a pet dog. Standard Poodles are at least fifteen inches tall at the shoulder.

Learn How To Groom A Standard Poodle By Following This Process

1. Brush Your Standard Poodle

(Photo courtesy of Tim Wilson via Flickr)

Standard Poodles are known for shedding their hair, but instead of the dead hair falling down to the ground – as is the case with the Golden Retrievers, they get trapped inside of their coating.

This will lead to the rapid accumulation of mats throughout your Standard Poodle’s coating. Because of that, you will need to be at the top of your game about brushing your Standard Poodle.

So, unless you are planning on keeping your Standard Poodle’s hair trimmed short, you will need to brush the dog every day in order to remove the mats.

Failing to do so can result in your Standard Poodle accumulating so much mats quickly that you will need to completely shave off your Standard Poodle and then start anew.

It can also lead to your Standard Poodle experiencing skin problems to the point that they require the attention of your veterinarian. So, it is important for you to be proactive by brushing your Standard Poodle on a daily basis in order to wand off the rapid accumulation of mats.

Your Standard Poodle’s coat feature thick curly hair which can make brushing him/her labor-intensive. So, you will want a brush that will make the job of brushing your Standard Poodle at least a little bit easier.

I recommend the Hertzko Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush which feature fine bent wire bristles that are designed to more effectively work their way through the thick curly coating of your Standard Poodle and scoop up all that mats without scratching his/her skin.

This brush also boast two other features that will prove especially helpful while you are working on brushing your Standard Poodle.

One is a self-cleaning mechanism in which you just need to press one button in order to release all of the mats from the brush. Another is a comfortable grip that is designed to reduce hand strain when you are using the brush.

With the brush in your hand, start brushing your Standard Poodle starting at the back of the head and working your way through the main body to and including the tail.

Concentrate on brushing just one small section at a time starting with the back of the head. You will have to brush the section repeatedly in order to remove the mats. Applying just a little bit pressure when you are brushing the dog will help also.

Once you have worked your way through small bits of the dog’s main body towards the end of the tail, start to focus on brushing the legs, the paws, and then the ears.

Be careful not to apply pressure when it comes to brushing the paws, ears, and the tail. Overall, the Standard Poodle brushing process may seem slow, at least at first, but you will get the hang of it.

2. Bathing Your Standard Poodle

As far as bathing your Standard Poodle is concerned, a good rule of thumb is for you to give the dog a bath once every four to eight weeks. You can put your Standard Poodle in a bathtub and fill the tub with warm water up to his/her ankles.

That way, your Standard Poodle can soak in it if he/she wants to. Rinse the dog first using a cup to pour water all over the dog from the head to the tail.

With your Standard Poodle rinsed, it is time to apply a shampoo on the dog. As far as shampoos for your Standard Poodle are concerned, the Oliver’s Choice Dog Shampoo is a popular choice for Poodles.

This is a relatively new shampoo that is great for getting your Standard Poodle’s curly coating to be soft and fluffy as well as getting him/her to smell good.

The shampoo will also moisturize your Standard Poodle’s skin. It is designed to be soothing for your Standard Poodle without irritating his/her skin. Now, thoroughly apply the shampoo on your Standard Poodle.

I also recommend that you massage your Standard Poodle while you are applying the shampoo as it will make him/her enjoy the bath more.

(Photo courtesy of Ian Kirk via Flickr)

With the shampoo already applied, pour water all over the dog again in order to rinse his/her body of the shampoo. Once the bath is over, use a bathing towel to gently dab and wipe your Standard Poodle.

Now, brush the dog’s curly coating and then dry it again with the bathing towel. This is also an opportunity for you to clean out your Standard Poodle’s ears as you don’t want any bacteria, yeast, and parasites to end up getting trapped in them.

I would use the Virbac ear cleaner for cleaning out the ears as that is the one that veterinarians often recommend. You can use the ear cleaner with cotton balls.

Brush Your Dog’s Teeth Before Bathing

As is the case with any other dogs, it is important for you to brush your Standard Poodle’s teeth in order to prevent tarter buildup which isn’t very good for his/her teeth.

One good time for you to do that is just before you bathe your dog. The Virbac toothpaste is what veterinarians commonly recommend to dog owners. So, you will want to get that toothpaste.

You can brush your Standard Poodle’s teeth using a toothbrush. Be especially careful around your Standard Poodle’s gums as these are sensitive. Don’t brush too hard or fast.

3. Trim Your Standard Poodle

When it comes to trimming your Standard Poodle, you can do so as often as you bathe the dog which is once every four to eight weeks. You will want to use a clipper to trim your Standard Poodle.

But, you don’t just want any clippers. You want a good quality clipper that is powerful enough to trim your Standard Poodle’s thick curly hair very well.

The Andis UltraEdge Super Detachable Blade Clipper AGC2 is among the best clippers out there. Even with all of that power, this clipper stays remarkably cool which is important as you don’t want the clipper to get overheated during you are using it.

The clipper is also quiet too which is great if your Standard Poodle is scared of the noise of a clipper.

As far as clipper blades are concerned, this clipper only comes with the #10 blade. So, you will need to purchase additional blades to use with your clipper. When it comes to clipping the main body of your Standard Poodle, you will want to use anywhere from a #4 to a #7 blade.

For your Standard Poodle’s face, feet, and tail, a #15 or #30 blade is more appropriate for these body parts. Be careful not to touch the genital area of your Standard Poodle with your clipper as it is very sensitive.

4. Clip Your Standard Poodle’s Nails

You are going to want to clip the nails of your Standard Poodle because leaving them too long can cause pain for your dog’s paws if something happens to the long nails.

Even as you are clipping the nails short, be careful not to cut them too short as it can easily bleed. Keep an eye on what is called the quick which is the part of a dog’s nail that is the closest to the dog’s toe.

That is the part where you don’t want to clip. If you don’t have a nail clipper to use with your Standard Poodle, I would suggest that you get the Millers Forge Dog Nail Clip.

Concluding How To Groom A Standard Poodle

There you have it for how to groom a Standard Poodle. Overall, the hardest thing about grooming your Standard Poodle is brushing his/her thick curly coating. But, it is very much doable if you put in the effort.

Also, if you feel that your Standard Poodle isn’t ready to be groomed, I encourage you to check out this post to learn how you can best prepare the dog for the grooming.

What are your thoughts? Have you groomed your Standard Poodle before? Feel free to leave a comment down below.

4 thoughts on “How To Groom A Standard Poodle”

  1. During this pandemic, I started clipping my poodle’s nails. But I would now like to learn trim him. It’s fun to groom my poodle at home. But I also know that I have to research and learn before I attempt to do these tasks. Black is very patient with me. She just looks at me while I am clipping her nails. I hope she’s also patient when I’m trimming.

    • Thank you for coming forward and letting me know about it. I hope that this post will set you up for success with grooming your Poodle. Also, if you have even the slightest doubt about your Poodle being patient with you while you are grooming her, you may want to give this post a read first before you attempt to groom her for the first time.

      I hope all of this will help you.

  2. Thanks for sharing this article around poodles.  I had a mixed poodle and I agree with you about the matted hair.  They really need to be taken care of in this regard.  Having a dog calls for a lot of responsibility and care.   As much as i’d love a dog for companionship, I do travel and am away from home which would not be fair to the pet.

    • You are welcome. Seeing that you had a mixed Poodle yourself, it is easy to see that you agree with me about the matted hair of a Poodle and the constant need to brush it as you are obviously speaking from experience here. Thank you for sharing your insight here.


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