you can certainly cut your dog’s hair anyway that you like it have no plans to exhibit your poodle in the show ring. Just keep in mind that the longer the hair and more intricate the clipping, the more maintenance is required. Think about the amount of time you have to dedicate toward grooming, and then choose an appropriate style. Here, we describe the most common poodle haircuts.
The Kennel Clip
The kennel clip is one of the most popular poodle cuts among busy owners because it’s easy to do. It’s a short style that displays a shaven face, feet, and tail with a topknot and pompon. The rest of the body is kept short at an equal length (under half an inch), while the ears are full, short, or clipped entirely. It’s a great style for active dogs that might get a little bit of nature caught in their coats because it’s easily cleaned!
The Continental Clip
If you want to show your poodle in a conformation show, this is the clip to do it with. This hairstyle is the typical poodle style, and it demonstrates a shaven face, throat, buttocks, feet, and upper hind legs. The top of the poodle’s head, neck, chest, thighs, ankles, and tail tip is covered in thick, rounded puffs of hair (better-known pompons, bracelets, or just ‘puffs‘). Hip pompons are not obligatory.
The modified version of this style is historically correct since the lack of hair around the legs and face allowed the hunting poodle to effectively swim after hunted fowl, and the hair around the poodle’s vital organs and joints kept it warm in cold water. The only differences between the modified version and the non-modified version are about one-inch drop in hair length, a capped topknot, and shaven hips.
The English Saddle Clip
We mentioned this style quite frequently in our other articles, but it’s not as popular as you might think. Its intricacy demands a lot of work. That’s why this style is regarded as an “old school” style and has since been replaced with the preferred Continental Clip style. The two are almost identical, except that the dog’s knees and hindquarters are covered (minus a small, shaven curve on both sides of the hindquarters).
The Sporting Clip
With this style, the hair on the dog’s legs is longer than the hair on the kennel clip, and it blends toward the dog’s body which is usually kept one inch thick. When this clip is allowed to grow to 2 – 3 inches, it’s known as the Lamb Clip.
The Puppy Clip
Here, the face, feet, and tail lack hair except for a pompon sitting atop the tail’s tip. The rest of the hair is trimmed to the same, long length with a smooth transition from the chest and legs to the entire body. You’ll see this clip on show puppies until they reach one year of age. But you may also notice a shaped topknot on show puppies. This marks the modified puppy clip cut that’s just a tad bit shorter than its non-modified version.
The Teddy Bear Clip
Here, the hair on the dog’s body entire body (including legs and tail) is only 2 inches thick. There’s no difference of hair length on any part of the dog, and the topknot is short and round. The hair around the dog’s face, feet and tail are cut to a low length and then blended into the hair surrounding the dog’s other parts. They’re never shaven. Nothing is shaven in this style in fact, so it needs more “personal” maintenance than with other clips. The dog’s mouth will need daily wiping for example, and so will its ‘behind’.