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Grooming - Clips

Poodle Clips

Overview

One of the most fascinating and interesting elements of the Poodle breed are the amazing clips of the coat.

The owner of a pet Poodle may simply choose to keep the entire coat trimmed to a certain length... Or the owner of a pet or show Poodle may want the appropriate show cut.  The AKC requires certain cuts depending on the age of the Poodle.  Let's take a look at the proper Poodle clips for AKC conformation and what each clip entails.  

For Show

When showing a Poodle in conformation, the traditional "Lion Trim" is given...and the Poodle Lion Trim comes in 4 varieties:
Poodle puppy clip
Puppy Clip

This is the Puppy Clip on a Poodle. When showing, this is the only acceptable clip for Poodles under 1 year old. Many pet owners opt for this cut as well, as it allows for the Poodle to have full coverage over the body, without exposing any skin, except for the dog's small paws. When skin is exposed it is subjected to the sun and can develop possible sores from playing around in the yard or when exposed skin is resting against carpeting.

With this type of clip, the Poodle's face, throat, paws and base of the tail are shaved. The entire shaven foot is visible. You may opt to have a pompon on the end of the tail. In order to give a neat appearance and a smooth unbroken line, shaping of the coat is done with scissors to even things up and get rid of any long, straggly hairs.
Poodle continental clip
By Belinda Hankins Miller (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0,via Wikimedia Commons
Continental Clip

This is the Continental Clip, 1 of the clips that is accepted in conformation for Poodles that are 1 year and older. 

The face, front legs between poms and elbow, hind quarter to the pom area and with the exception of the hip rosettes, feet, and base of tail are all shaved very closely. The pack area is left very, very long and scissored into shape. The top knot is left very long and pulled into a ponytail. The tail is given a very large pompon. 

Poms on the legs are started just above the wrist and hock joints and end just above the feet. They are also scissored round. The hip rosettes are placed directly over the Poodle's hip joint. 

They are only 1/2 - 1 inch apart (depending upon the variety of poodle). These are also scissored round. The pack ends 1/2 - 1 inch behind the last rib. There is only 1/2 inch between the end of the pack and the beginning of the hip rosettes. 
Modified Continental Clip - This clip is allowed in ACK conformation, even though the AKC only mentions the Continental and the English Saddle. The reason that this is allowed is that the only element which is "modified" is the lack of the hip rosettes, which are optional.
English Saddle - With this clip, the Poodle's face, front leg between pom and pack, crescent on the flank, base of tail, separations between poms on rear legs and paws are all closely shaved. The pack is left rather full and is scissored into shape. 

The top knot on the head is left long and pulled back into a pony tail. The poms on front legs are leg long and started above the wrist joint and ends above the feet. The area over the hips and flanks are scissored shorter into a smooth blanket. The tail's pom is left long and shaped into a ball. The poms on hind legs are rounded off and spaced evenly apart. The bottom pom begins just above the hock and ends above the feet. The next shaping starts at the Poodle's knee area and ends just 1-1/2 inch (depending upon size of poodle) above the lower pom.
Other Clips

The Sporting Clip - Most popular in the UK. With this Poodle clip, the face, feet, throat, and base of the tail are shaved close, leaving a scissored cap on the top of the head. The rest of the dog's body, and legs are clipped or scissored to follow the outline of the dog leaving a short, soft blanket of coat approximately 1 inch long. The hair on the legs may be slightly longer than that on the body. There is a nice, fluffy pompon at the end of the Poodle's tail.
Poodle Scandinavian Clip
By Томасина (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Poodle Scandinavian Clip

While this is not an accepted AKC Poodle clip, this type of trim is very popular all thorough Europe including France, Germany, Italy and Sweden. 

It is also referred to as the 'Second Puppy Clip'.

The hair on the top may be left puffed out or pulled into a topknot. The coat is allowed to be very low on the legs, only showing a bit of the paw.

It is a nice clip that offers a pleasant shape while not exposing any skin. Since coat growth can quickly cause this clip to loose shape, it is retouched approximately 5 to  days before a show event. 
Kennel Clip - This is a pet clip, meaning that many pet owners opt for this easy clip and it is not permissible in the AKC show ring. with this Poodle clip, only the face, feet, and base of tail are shaved closely. Body hair is short all over and just scissored into shape. The top knot and tail are left longer than the body hair. The length of the body hair is completely up to the owner, some opt for a shorter length in the hotter months and longer in colder months.

Lamb Clip - This is very similar to the Kennel Clip. The only difference is that the coat is left longer.

Bikini Clip - This is also known as the Miami or the Summer Clip. With this Poodle clip, the dog's face, feet, and base of tail are shaved closely. Body hair is left fluffy but not too long and then scissored into shape. The legs are shaped into a pom at the bottom starting just above the wrist and the hock ending just above the feet.The length of the hair is up to the owner, however, most opt for a very short clip.

Dutch Clip - This is an interesting pet clip. The Poodle's face, neck area, belly band, feet, and base of tail are shaved closely. The belly band may be shaved thin or wide, as shown in the photo. The lines between the withers along the spine and between the hips along the spine are also shaved. These lines are very narrow. The top of the head, the legs, and tail are left very fluffy. 
By NatalieMaynor (Flickr: Dog Show) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Corded Coat

While most people do not think of a Poodle having a corded coat (The Havanese is the dog that most comes to mind regarding cords)...some owners do opt to allow the coat to hang in cords. As you can imagine, the coat cannot be brushed in the traditional sense, cords must be separated out by hand.

This used to be a very popular way to keep the coat long ago, however now this is exceedingly rare since most pet owners simply do not have the time to braid the section, keep the coat clean or wait for the exceedingly long drying time that comes with such large dread-lock type sections.

This an exceptionally difficult style to do and to maintain which keeps owners away even if the look is a desired one.
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