Grooming has become a growth industry with the rise in poodle crossbreds and is now something of an art form. It seems that the Asian Fashion industry might have a lot to answer for here as weirdly groomed “cute” haircuts are the rage in Japan and in the UK groomers are advertising “Asian Fusion Grooming”
foofiebeforeafter what the?

If you think these dogs look cute then you probably aren’t going to want to buy a dog from me because I think it’s an appalling thing to do to any sentient being!

The less extreme but very common clip for any “Oodle ‘ is this one:

classic oodle cut

(This photo is courtesy of Briony’s Grooming Salon. I think their web site is great. they clearly show you what clipper blade lengths they have and the extensions you can use – have a look before you go to your groomer – or go to them if you live near Wollombi)

This haircut shaves the top of the nose which exaggerates the length of the nose and leaves the whiskers and ears long which makes him look more spaniel like with a large head  and – depending on the type of coat  it can go from looking like this:


To looking like this:

puppy with haircut

or even from looking like this:

ella mifsud

to looking like this:

ella misfud

The proportions of your very well proportioned dog will be distorted and the puppy you know and love will be almost unrecognisable.

Whereas Lily – who has quite curly hair and looked like this as a puppy:

lily nov 13

Is still recognisable as the same dog at 2 years of age in this very bad photograph here:

And Rufous our very curly poodle is a fine looking dog and beautifully proportioned (at least I think so – but he is my dog) in this photo with his puppy Ridgey

lion king rufous

Ridgey looked like this at 5 months


And still looks like a normal (if not so absurdly cute) dog in this group photo of our dogs sitting for some sausage (they always sit beautifully in the kitchen). Ridgey’s hair is growing back evenly and in a few months she will be as cute as ever, although I don’t think my daughter Jane will let me near her again with clippers:


 These three are a Backcross labradoodle, a Groodle and a purebred Poodle,   – all very different in size and  coat types – but they don’t look all that different from each other. How your dog looks like when fully grown will depend on its haircut.

So if you want your dog to look as much like a real dog as possible how should you cut their hair?

This is how we do it – this is Lily getting her very overdue first haircut:


It’s a bit radical – we use number 10 clippers (a close shave) and take off the whole coat three times a year, in the spring, early summer and mid autumn. By spring they look like woolly bears and we start all over again. Between clips and in mid winter we trim their eyes – across the bridge of the nose to remove the hair that can obscure their vision or sometimes rub in their eyes. You need to do this regularly with a long pair of scissors so you can’t accidentally stab your dog in the eye

You don’t need to be as radical as we are. Size 3 clipper blades will leave a short coat which is much more attractive than our bald dogs. If you want to leave more hair than this then you will either have to groom your dog very thoroughly before the clip or pay for dematting their coat before they can be clipped with an extension comb or spacer.  The trick to keeping your dog looking normally proportioned is to ask that they use the same length blade all over. Shave across the nose under the eyes, and shave under the ears, don’t shave the nose and otherwise  NO LONGER BITS.

This first puppy clip is perfect, in my never humble opinion. No long spaniel looking ears, no mutton chop whiskers and I will even overlook the bow!

kate nelson's

On a slightly more serious note it’s not all about looks. The long hair on their ears will make their ears heavier and may exacerbate the predisposition to ear problems which are common in all dogs with drooping ears.  The whiskers on the face are going to get wet and grotty when they get in the food …. If you really must – feel free to leave the feathers on the tail – I can’t think of a serious reason why they can’t stay.