Sydney, pretty in pink

Having a room or place set up just for the Poodles maintenance makes grooming easier and more enjoyable.  (As members of the family, I feel they deserve to have a special place devoted to their care.)  We converted a spare bedroom into our dogs' grooming room. The standard-sized bathtub is set on a wooden frame at a comfortable height for me (see below left) and has a shower panel backdrop. There are stairs up to the tub so the dogs can walk in. A stainless steel professional spray hose is hanging from a towel shelf above the tub. On the right, there are two shelves on the wall. The bottom one has a force dryer (strapped to the shelf for stability) and the top shelf holds toothbrushes, toothpaste, a jar of cotton balls, and bottles of ear cleaning solution.

Below, Jyah is sitting on a hydraulic grooming table (looking at himself in the mirror which is next to the tub). To his lower left is a blue four-drawer chest that holds supplies.

The table below is 6' x 30" and covered with bathroom carpeting. There is a TV at the far end and a faux sheepskin rug for the dogs at the near end. I park the stand dryer at the far end when it's not in use. To the right of the dryer is a closet stocked with dog maintence supplies.

The grooming table above is against the wall and used for finish-drying after I have used the force dryer while the dog was still in the tub. The two "shop" lights at either end of the table swivel and bend in all directions, plus they are on rollers. These are essential for doing close work, i.e grinding nails, plucking earhair, cleaning teeth, and for clipping faces and feet. The roll-around cart in the corner holds clippers, blades, shears, and other grooming supplies. The scale (lower right hand corner) is the same type as those used in vet clinics.

A WELL-MAINTAINED Standard Poodle is one of the cleanest house dogs a person could have.  They are hygienic, hypoallergenic, and non-shedding. 

HOWEVER - Standard Poodles don't naturally look the way Sydney does in this picture.  Poodle hair grows much like human hair and requires constant maintenance for a Poodle to be healthy and look her/his best.  A Poodle left completely natural will have a very hairy face: when he drinks, water will  soak into his beard and drain onto the floor and furniture, food will become caked in the hair around his lips, making a breeding ground for bacteria.  

Hair left on the feet will attract dirt which the Poodle will bring  into the house. Hair in the hollow between the toes and the pad will become matted, hold in moisture, and can cause "hot spots" to develop.    

If the base of the tail is left unshaven, feces will become encrusted in the hair. Unbrushed, uncut Poodle hair will become matted, causing sores on the body.  

The good news is that if  small jobs are done when needed (brushing, washing, scissoring), there are no big jobs . . . and you will have an ideal housemate.      

To maintain my Poodles' looks (and well-being), I shave their faces, feet, and base of tails every 10-14 days . I also wash, blow-dry, shave bodies, and scissor topknots, legs, and tails every 10-14 days.  Between groomings, I do no more than run a brush and comb through their hair a few times each week (about 5-10 minutes each dog).  On grooming day, it takes me about 45 minutes per dog to shave face/feet/tails, clip toenails, and clip hair out of their ears.  The next day, I bathe and blow dry the Poodles (takes about one hour per dog) and then shave bodies (with a 4-blade) and scissor topknots, legs, and tails (takes about one hour per dog).     

The Poodles' Grooming Room