How to Clip Poodles at Home

A well-groomed poodle looks clean, neat and well cared for. There are several types of poodle cuts. The puppy cut allows the poodle to keep most of its natural hair and shape. The continental clip is a show clip. The poodle has a fluffy head, tail tip and bottom paws, but the body is nearly shaved clean. The English saddle trim is similar to the continental clip, but the poodle has two poufs of fur on the back legs rather than one. Home groomers will have the most success with the puppy cut but, after some practice, can usually advance to show-style cuts.

Things You'll Need

  • Poodle shampoo
  • Poodle conditioner
  • Large towel
  • Pet blow dryer
  • Wide-toothed comb
  • Curly-hair brush
  • Dog nail clippers
  • Pet clippers with numbers 4, 10 and 40 blades


    • 1

      Wash the poodle in a bathtub of warm water. Use shampoo and conditioner designed for poodles. Dry the poodle with a large towel. Pay special attention to the ears.

    • 2

      Comb out any tangles in the poodle's hair with a wide-toothed comb. Brush the poodle's hair while blow drying it on low heat. Always blow the hair away from the face toward the poodle's tail. Brush the hair once more when the poodle is completely dry.

    • 3

      Trim the poodle's nails with dog nail clippers. Do not cut the pink area at the base of the toenails, as this can cause bleeding.

    • 4

      Trim the poodle's body with the number 4 blade. Trim the face, ears and paws with the number 10 blade. Trim the underside of the paws, around the genitals and about three-quarters of the tail with the number 40 blade. The 40 blade is the closest shave possible. If you want to style the poodle with the traditional show-style puffy feet and shaved body, trim the body and most of the paws with the 40 blade.

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