The toy poodle, the pint-size version of the standard poodle, is no more than 10 inches at the shoulder; a healthy one weighs not much more than 9 pounds. He's among the smartest dogs alive, and among the most popular. Needless to say, the fluffy, curly coat sets this poodle apart from other toy breeds. Whether showing or not, the toy poodle requires regular grooming and haircuts. Some cuts are utilitarian, others showcase the poodle's unique coat.
The puppy cut, also called the lamb or pet clip, is a favorite among poodle owners. On a toy poodle this cut leaves all of the hair the same length. The length of the hair depends on the owner’s preference. As with other cuts, the hair under the tail is kept short to prevent sanitary issues. The American Kennel Club allows toy poodles under 12 months old to show with a puppy cut.
For toy poodles over 1 year old, the AKC permits only the continental cut or the English saddle cut. The face, the throat, the upper half of the front legs and all four feet are shaved in both of these cuts. The most recognizable part of the continental cut is the shaven hindquarters and pompons on the lower leg between the hock and foot. The ankles also have fluffy pompons around them. The remaining hair is left long and fluffy with a rounded look. The English saddle cut is also permitted for showing and is similar to the continental cut. The main difference is the hocks are not shaved except a small curve just behind the body on the flank and the feet. Three bands, or pompons, are shaved between the knee and hock on each hind leg.
The kennel, or utility, clip is a low-maintenance cut. Like the puppy cut, the kennel cut starts with a uniform, short haircut, generally between 1 inch and 1.5 inches long, over the entire body. However, the face, feet and base of the tail are closely shaven. The top knot and tail hair are left about 1 inch longer than the hair on the body.
Throughout Europe, the Scandinavian clip is the most popular for all sizes of poodles, including the toy. The groomer starts the Scandinavian clip on the toy poodle by shaving the face, throat, stomach, feet and underside of the tail. When showing, the toy poodle is shaven about five days before the show to allow a few days of hair growth. The top knot is banded on top of the poodle's head. The body hair is scissor-cut uniformly and left about 2 inches long.