Poodles are upbeat, affectionate dogs that have the added complication of a fuzzy, ever-growing coat. Their hair can get tangled and matted if it's not taken care of, so consistent grooming is a necessity. Many owners take their poodles to professional groomers for this service, while others elect to clip their poodles themselves. Clipping a poodle is possible for anyone who has a steady hand and a good amount of patience.
Prepare your supplies. Make sure your clipper blades are sharp and clean for easier clipping. Blades come in a variety of sizes for a wide range of needs. Buy clipper blades that are designed for the thick, curly hair of your poodle. Have clipper lubricant and a towel on hand to clean the clippers during use.
Wash your poodle, towel him dry and allow him to completely dry before you start clipping. He should be clean, dry and as tangle free as possible to make clipping as painless as possible.
Decide on your puppy's cut while he's drying. For poodles, there are many "patterns" that are breed specific. For a poodle's first puppy cut, it's best to go with a full shave. This will be quick, and won't require your puppy to stand still while you painstakingly develop the pattern.
Put the collar and leash on your poodle to keep him still and get started. Start with a small area first, like the puppy's chest. Move the clippers in long, even strokes against the hair growth. Push only hard enough to take off adequate hair. When you and your puppy are used to the sound and feel of the clippers, move on to his back, sides, stomach and legs.
Clip your puppy for five- to seven-minute sessions, then rest and give him a treat. While you're resting, cool the clippers and clean them with lubricant and your clean towels. Clippers are likely to get clogged up with the hair you're cutting, and won't work as well as they do when they're clean. Continue these steps slowly, taking consistent breaks, until you're done.
Place clippers against a cool metal surface to cool them quickly.
Getting your poodle used to grooming and clipping as a puppy will make these disciplines easier throughout his life.
Clippers get hot, and can burn you or your dog.
Clipping too close to the skin can cause pain and sores.