We are supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Thank you!

Besides their fun-loving personality, an additional reason so many people love poodles is their unique coat. Their non-shedding fur appeals to many people, but with that special coat comes great responsibility: the right grooming is vital for a poodle’s health – and that includes their face!

Are poodles’ faces shaved?

Poodles’ faces should be shaved. If left unclipped, the hair on the face can easily become matted, which in turn can become a painful area to work on mats. It is also a cleaner practice, as their muzzle won’t act like a mop, soaking up water and food, and spreading messes around the house.

close up image of shaved poodle face

Can you shave a poodle’s face, or do you need a groomer?

If you are willing and confident to learn how to use hair clippers correctly, then there’s no reason why you can’t shave your poodle’s face yourself.

Getting the right look may take some trial and error. You also want to feel comfortable using clippers cautiously around your dog’s eyes, nose and mouth.

If this makes you nervous, get recommendations from other poodle owners in your area for a groomer while you learn and practice (in small doses). A poodle should go in for grooming every 6-8 weeks. However, some owners report needing to take trimmers to their poodle’s faces in between these groomings.

How do you shave a poodle’s face?

For a poodle’s face, it is recommended to use clippers with a 10-15 clipper blade. This will leave about 1/16” – 3/64” of fur when you are done clipping. Before you start clipping though, be sure to brush out your poodle’s coat.

You want to be sure to locate and remove any tangles or mats, which can make clipping more painful before you begin the process.

Then you want to hold your poodle’s head steady for their safety and yours!

Be sure to read our new eye-opening post, Is Pet Insurance Worth It: 5 shocking facts you need to know... You might be in for a shock!

Proper conditioning to a head hold will make grooming more comfortable for your poodle’s entire life. To help them feel more comfortable, I recommend doing the following training exercise daily, making sessions short and fun.

Trainer's Note:

We will start by training a chin rest, and when your poodle is offering this behavior, we will start to add a thumb on top of the nose:

  • Hold your hand out with your palm up, under your poodle’s chin. If your dog goes to sniff it, that is ok. But when your poodle moves their chin anywhere near your hand mark with a “yes” and follow up with a treat. Repeat until your poodle is putting their chin on your hand most of the time.
  • Start to expect a few seconds of duration. This just means you will withhold when you mark the desired behavior with a “yes” and then treat. Keep building it up.
  • When your poodle is comfortable with some duration start to lightly place your thumb on top of their snout. If they don’t pull back, mark with a “yes” and treat. If they do seem concerned, just lessen the pressure of the thumb next time.

You also want to give your poodle a chance to get comfortable with the clippers before putting them on their body. Imagine if someone held you down and started brushing you? Unless you knew what they were doing, you would be alarmed. Let your poodle sniff the clippers, mark with a “yes” and treat. Repeat many times.

You will also want your poodle to get comfortable with the noise of the clippers! Giving your dog a little distance, turn on the clippers. If they seem fine say, “yes” and throw them some treats. If they seem worried, you need to increase the distance.

Keep working until your poodle is comfortable with this type of handling and also with the tools you are using. You can sweet-talk your poodle the entire time you are working with him or her. Make this grooming time something your poodle looks forward to, and it’ll be easier for both of you.

groomer with poodle

The Process of Face Shaving

With your poodle’s head stabilized, you want to work from under the ear, toward the nose. Make sure to move your poodle’s ears out of the way to avoid getting them caught in the clippers.

You always want to clip against the growth of hair. And you also want to make sure to hold the skin taut (avoiding folds that will make the clip uneven).

Start in front of the ear working toward the corner of the eye. Then slowly and carefully clip under the eye.

Then clip your poodle’s cheek, moving from the outer corner of the eye to the nose.

Hold your poodle’s mouth together, making sure to gently stretch the skin around the lips to clip the mouth. Be on the lookout to make sure your poodle doesn’t stick their tongue out at any time (ouch!).

Finally, clip your poodle’s chin and touch up around the nose.

While clipping, be sure to check the blade to make sure it is not hot. A hot blade can not only cause discomfort for your poodle but could potentially burn them.

Be sure to also check out our Poodle Pinterest board for inspiration: https://www.pinterest.com.au/HoundGames/we-love-poodles-toy-miniature-standard/

Best products to use

Good grooming equipment is the best investment you can make if you intend to do your own grooming. Here are our recommendations for the required equipment to make short work of a poodle’s hair and face:

Andis AGC2 2-Speed Detachable Blade Pet Clippers do a great job on poodle coats and easily switches between two speeds. It’s more affordable than a lot of other clipper options, too, and has the power you need to get the job done.

We mentioned above to beware of hot blades. Andis Cool Care Plus helps speed up your grooming session by allowing you to spray this on hot blades to cool them more quickly. It also works as a disinfectant, lubricant, cleaner, and rust preventative. So it’s an all-in-one blade care to help maintain your clippers!

Master Grooming Tools Ergonomic Soft Slicker Pet Brush will make clipper day much easier. Not only will it get your poodle used to handling (be sure to make it positive) but it will minimize tangles and mats. This brush features gentle pins that will work through your poodle’s coat while keeping them comfortable. The ergonomic design is easier on your hand, too!

If your poodle’s facial hair has gotten a little long, Safari De-Matting Dog Comb is a great tool for gently getting mats out, especially around the mouth or ears. It will work in other areas of your poodle’s body, too.

The Bottom Line

Shaving your poodle’s face can be done. It will take some practice to get it right, but with patience (and treats for your dog) you’ll find the task gets easier.

It is especially important to remember that poodles depend on grooming to stay healthy. Mats can trap moisture close to a poodle’s skin creating bacterial infections and causing discomfort. So dedicating yourself to grooming is a great way to avoid this.

And if your poodle develops a mat that you can’t get out, it’s best to contact a qualified groomer to help you out.

  • Place Training a Puppy: (Guided Instructions)

Place Training a Puppy: (Guided Instructions)

April 6th, 2021|Comments Off on Place Training a Puppy: (Guided Instructions)

Although often overlooked in basic obedience, "place" or "mat" training your puppy can be as crucial and helpful as teaching your dog to potty outside or come when they are called. Although it should [...]

  • poodle ear cleaning guide

Poodle Ear Care and Cleaning: (Complete Guide)

March 28th, 2021|Comments Off on Poodle Ear Care and Cleaning: (Complete Guide)

Poodles, whether of the Toy, Miniature, or Standard variety, require much more grooming and upkeep than other breeds of dogs. This includes keeping their coat clean and free of mats, as well as paying [...]

  • poodle getting their face shaved

Poodle Face Shaving: Everything you need to know

February 12th, 2021|Comments Off on Poodle Face Shaving: Everything you need to know

Besides their fun-loving personality, an additional reason so many people love poodles is their unique coat. Their non-shedding fur appeals to many people, but with that special coat comes great responsibility: the right grooming is [...]

  • crazy poodle

Poodle acting Crazy, Hyper, or Out of Control?

January 12th, 2021|Comments Off on Poodle acting Crazy, Hyper, or Out of Control?

If your poodle is acting crazy, hyper, or is a little out of control, then yours wouldn't be the first. Poodles are known for their beauty and elegance, but they were bred for sport. [...]