The current trend of giving toy poodles unusual haircuts dates back to haircutting practices believed to have originated in Germany. Because poodles were used for hunting, they needed to move freely both on land and in water so that they could easily retrieve a catch. To facilitate a hunting poodle's comfort and ease of movement, hair was removed around the midsection, limbs, muzzle, and eyes. Hair was left untouched around the chest and joints to help keep the poodle's vital organs and joints warm.
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Today, both standard and toy poodles are primarily trimmed for practical reasons and sometimes for the show ring. Consequently, a toy poodle hairstyle varies according to the poodle's lifestyle. Most toy poodles are pets, so the toy poodle puppy cut, teddy bear clip, or utility cut work best. The fancier cuts, similar to the continental clip, is usually left for the show ring. These are created by grooming professionals familiar with breed standards.
Toy poodle continental cut
First, is the most challenging cut and closest to the show cut: the toy poodle continental cut. This cut is characterized by a clean-shaven face, neck, and throat. With this type of cut, the feet are shaved completely bare. One of the most striking features of this haircut is the look of the tail — the base of the tail is shaved except for the very tip, which is left with a prominent, round pom-pom. In addition, the poodle's hindquarters, legs and chest are shaped so that the hair in those areas blends well with the longer hair on the rest of the poodle's body.
Toy poodle puppy cut
The toy poodle puppy cut is likely the most desirable cut for poodle owners because it's the easiest and quickest to accomplish. Simply, the puppy clip is an even trim all over the body, usually done with clippers. One to two inches of fur are left all over the body. The length of trim depends on the season and the activity level of the poodle. But the end result is neat, clean, and easy to bathe.
Toy poodle teddy bear clip
A popular look for toy and smaller-size poodles, the Teddy Bear clip actually requires the use of scissors, not clippers. To achieve the Teddy Bear look, the fur on the body, legs and tail is shaped with scissors and shortened to a couple of inches in length. The fur on the face, tail, and feet are also scissored to the same length so that the poodle's entire coat blends together.
However, a modified version of the teddy bear cut is the puppy cut with fur on the face and head left longer to look like a teddy bear. This toy poodle haircut is considered slightly higher maintenance and requires frequent brushing to maintain a well-groomed look.
Toy poodle utility cut
For toy poodle puppies, and poodles in general, the Kennel clip, also called the utility clip, is simple to do and easy to maintain. For this haircut style, the poodle's feet, tail, and face are shaved and the fur on the body and legs is cut to less than a half-inch long. To complete the look, the fur on the ears can be left full, somewhat shortened or totally clipped, and the tail is topped off with a pom-pom.
Toy poodle hairstyle and grooming
If you choose to groom your toy poodle yourself instead of using a professional dog groomer, you'll need the following supplies: comb, brush, scissors, clippers, dog shampoo, conditioner, and blow dryer. Only use dog shampoo, because human shampoo is the wrong pH balance.
Toy poodles should be bathed regularly and clipped about every six weeks to maintain the style and shape of a haircut. Other hair care includes plucking out hairs that grow inside the ear canal. Finally, remember to thoroughly bush your poodle between grooms, especially if they get wet, to avoid mat build up under the legs and ears.