When you’re thinking about the Poodle, one of two images mainly might come into your mind. That is one with either its soft curly hair or one where it is furless, fully shaved with its skin on show.
The latter imagination is probably less common in your minds, but Poodles do undergo shaving. We will delve further into this article today to help understand why they get shaved and have this appearance.
What Will You Learn? 👇
The history behind it?
If you’re not familiar with the Poodle breed, you might feel that shaving them can be a bit of a controversial subject.
Well, owners of Poodles way back in Germany in the 1600-the 1700s bred the Standard Poodle to be a waterfowl dog. In particular, they would hunt ducks and birds. They were such great animals for hunting because they had a single coat that was curly and soft. Their coat made them streamline in the water and especially quick to hunt the animals.
Also, back then, their owners shaved them to stop their hair from getting wet and weighing them down in the water. If their coat weighed them down, it made it difficult to swim, and often many Poodles drowned.
But during this period, their body was not shaved completely. Instead, many Poodles had hair left around essential organs like their heart, liver, and kidneys, so they didn’t get cold. Their faces were shaved a lot, though, so they could get things with their mouths.
For many people in Europe, they became statement dogs and signs of the upper class. Later on, they became popular in the circus and were a star in many international dog shows. A lot of such dog shows have prided on Poodles having flamboyant hairstyles.
Why are Poodles shaved today?
Like I mentioned previously, once Poodles started getting popular in the show world, many owners began experimenting with their hair. As a result, poodle shaving became something of an artistic experience and caused many new hairstyles flaunted.
From then till today, there are many dog barbers highly experienced in creating iconic hairstyles out of the Poodle’s curly hair. This trend first occurred in 18th century France when many Poodle owners asked dog groomers to cut their hair to match their hairstyle. But if you own a Poodle and plan to enter it in a competition, you should understand those dog competitions are more than just their looks.
Should poodles be shaved?
For many animal activists, Poodle shaving can be quite a sensitive topic. In addition, many concerned owners or animal lovers might be entirely against the idea as the clippers could cut into their skin, and the dog might lose their confidence.
Fear not though, this is not the case with Poodles. Poodle shaving is quite an essential task for any Poodle owner. The reason for this is that their coats are pretty thick, not to mention close to hypoallergenic.
What this means is that they hardly shed hair! Because of this quality, this breed’s curly coat can wrap around each other, becoming matted and tangled easily, increasing their risk of dirt and debris accumulating. This means they can be at risk of potential infections! For this reason, shaving parts of their coat is essential to help towards the general well-being of your Poodle.
How often to shave your Poodle?
Suppose you’ve decided to buy a Poodle or currently own one. In that case, you should familiarize yourself with a Poodles shaving schedule. Ideally, you won’t want to shave the Poodle yourself; instead, you should take it to a professional groomer to have the job done. These groomers are experienced in dealing with the hair of many Poodles, and they also know the different types of hairstyles they can have.
With that said, though, a Poodle should be shaved around every 6-8 weeks. At the latest, you don’t want to exceed ten weeks, so your Poodle is still comfortable.
This is especially relevant if your Poodle needs a highly detailed and careful grooming style. The type of style, I mean, is the ones that involve a lot of work around their face, feet, chest, and tails.
Plus, you don’t want your Poodle to have too much long hair, especially in the warmer temperatures as knots and sweat can occur, making it hard for anyone to brush out.
Do poodles need to be shaved in the summer?
Seasons are pretty interesting for dog owners, as many dogs shed between seasons to feel more comfortable. With a Poodle, they have a single coat, so they don’t shed when the temperature gets hotter. However, a Poodle’s hair should be seen in the summer months but does not necessarily require a complete shave.
Instead, a Poodle might need a gentle cut to allow its skin to breathe in the hot temperatures. As a dog owner, all you need to give them is a close cut which can stop them sweating heavily from certain areas in the hot seasons.
Is It Okay to Shave a Poodle During Winter (Do Shaved Poodles Get Cold?)
When winter comes around, you may wish to keep your Poodles coat slightly longer than normal. This is because it does not have a double coat and therefore requires extra insulation to protect against cold temperatures.
Plus, if your Poodle is shaved and runs in the water during the winter, they could easily develop a cold. It could also cause their organs not to function well; it may impact their immune system and cause their body to go into shock. Don’t worry, though; you can still maintain their long hair by brushing them daily to untangle their hair and remove any knots or mats.
Corded poodles have a slightly more insulating coat that’ll keep them warm in the wintertime.
Popular Poodle Cuts
If you’re planning on shaving your Poodle or getting it shaved, then you’re pretty spoiled for choice. It’s unlikely you will see a Poodle fully shaved; it’s more likely you will see parts of their hair shaved. There’s a range of shaved haircuts a Poodle can have, which are:
This is a typical cut many poodles may have in the show world. It involves their legs being shaved in a pom style around their ankles and having their feet shaved completely. Alongside this, their face is shaved with hair around their upper body, head, and ears. This is also done to show off the strong muscular legs of a Standard Poodle.
A Dutch cut is a popular shaven cut is given to the Poodle, who participates in agility contests at dog shows. Generally, the groomer shaves the Poodle, making it have a coat kept down to 3cm long across the whole body. Their ears and head are full of hair; however, areas on their tail are shaved, leaving a pom pom.
This type of cut involves their face being shaved and their ears and head being left. Typically their legs are cut, having a bell-bottomed appearance and a flat cylindrical tail. Moreover, the rest of their body tends to be the same length.
This cut involves a clipper to create different lengths to a Poodle’s hair. Generally, their hair is shaved down, so on their body, its medium size alongside their head. This hairstyle keeps the Poodles ears long, mustache, eyebrows, and beard.
These are just a few common cuts that a Poodle might have alongside a puppy cut, Teddy bear cut, and short cut. To know which is the best for your dog, speak to your local groomer.
Shaving the Poodles Face
Just like other areas of a Poodle’s body, their face should be shaved. The last thing you will want is the area on their face to become painful and matting. It’s a highly sensitive area! In addition to this, a Poodle having a shaved face will help keep its muzzle clean and stop any old food or liquids lingering in it.
Regarding shaving their face, if you’re confident in doing so, you can do this using a pair of clippers. The type of clippers you’ll want to use are ones with a 10-15 clipper blade. The reason for this blade is that it will allow for 1/16-3/64 inches of hair once you’ve finished clipping. Again, remember to brush their coat before you start shaving to make sure it’s clean and free from any tangles.
If there are any tangles in their hair while shaving, it can make the experience more challenging and gruesome. In addition to this, you should make sure that the blade never becomes hot when clipping as it could burn their skin. If you sense the blade is getting hot, place the clippers aside to cool down before resuming. Also, keep your Poodles head stable; you might need someone to hold it in place when doing so.
When using the clippers, clip in the opposite direction their hair grows. Try and begin at the front of the ear, work towards the corner of their eyes, and then onto their nose. Remember when clipping around their mouth to hold their mouth together and stretch their skin to cut carefully. Then from there, work towards their chin and nose.
Shaving the Poodles feet
If you’re planning on shaving your Poodles feet, then I recommend reading the special article I wrote on the process. Before clipping their feet, you should brush their hair first to remove dirt, debris, and mats. You might also wish to bathe them first.
Ideally, you’ll want to use a #15 blade and not clip above its bones or around them on its feet. Make sure that the blade or scissors you use are small so that you can maneuver easily in and out of the toes. Plus, when clipping, you will want to angle downwards to create a beveled look.
Is It Necessary to Shave My Poodle Puppy?
There’s no rule to say you can or can’t shave a Poodle puppy; it’s simply a personal preference. However, suppose you do decide to shave your Poodle puppy, it’s unlikely you will do any significant damage or cause any long-term issues.
Only do it if you have experience doing so; if not, take them to a professional groomer. But if you decide to, consider the temperature as a puppy is lower, so it could be at risk of getting cold more quickly. The same applies to the summer temperatures as they could overheat if they’re in sunlight for too long.
Overall, in comparison to other dog breeds, Poodles getting shaved is not an uncommon experience. It dates back to the 16-17th century to stop their hair from getting too heavily soaked in the water, weighing them down when swimming.
However, since then, the reasons for shaving have evolved for fashion and hygiene purposes. There’s a range of cuts you can take your Poodle for, or you can clip them yourself. Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure you brush them regularly to remove any tangles or knots in their hair to stop them from getting at risk of infections.
What do you think of shaving a Poodle? Do you prefer them full of hair or with bits of their body shaved? Let us know in the comments down below.
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Marko is the founder and author at PoodleHQ, where he blends profound expertise with formal training in Animal Behavior and Canine Genetics. With multiple generations of poodles under his care, he’s a breed connoisseur, honored with the Canine Care Excellence Award and lauded by the International Pet Enthusiasts Association.