How to Groom a Bichon Poodle

By Lisa LaVergne

The Bichon poodle is a popular dog breed thanks to its exuberant personality and small, elegant appearance. A Bichon poodle, however, is a very high maintenance dog that requires frequent and regular grooming to not only keep them looking their best, but also to help prevent problems with their coats and skin.

Grooming Steps

Brush your Bichon poodle daily to prevent matting and knots from occurring. Using a dog grooming comb, comb the hair in small sections with upward strokes of the comb.

Apply baby powder to any mats or knots that have formed and gently work the mat out using a de-matting comb or slicker brush.

Brush your Bichon with a shedding brush once a week to remove any undercoat that has shed. The Bichon is a low-shedding dog, but there will be some loose hairs that need to be removed to prevent matting.

Trim the hair around the eyes and nose using blunt-tipped scissors to accentuate the darkness of these facial features against the white coat. For a traditional Bichon cut, leave the beard and mustache long as well as the ear hair.

Using a damp rag, gently cleanse around the eyes to remove any "tearing" streaks that are present. If tearing streaks are severe, use a product specifically designed for the problem that is safe for your dog's eyes. Consult your local veterinarian or pet store owner for the correct product for your dog.

Trim the body coat so that it is uniform and even, yet remains loosely curled and fluffy. For dogs that will not be shown in competition, consider trimming the body coat down to one inch to help make grooming easier and reduce risk of mats.

Clean the dog's ears regularly by using a dog ear cleansing product, or by gently wiping away any wax or dirt with a cotton ball or tissue.

Use a soft toothbrush or soft rag to wipe the dog's teeth at least once a week to help remove tartar or plaque.

Trim the nails so that they are short and blunt. To avoid accidentally cutting into the nail quick (which could cause bleeding), only trim the very tips of the nails and use a file to finish shortening and to smooth off rough edges.

Bathe your Bichon poodle no more than three or four times a year to prevent damage to its skin and coat. Use a mild shampoo that does not contain harsh chemicals that will strip away the skin's natural oils.