Poodles can be our best friend or our worst enemy. The are time consuming and there are so many patterns and styles that sometimes it can be daunting. However, no pattern is set in stone when pertaining to pets. In fact I like to mix pieces of each up and create something new, fun and functional for my clients.
The Merengue, as I dubbed it, is basically a shortened version of a New Yorker style pattern. The face and feet are cleaned with either a #10 or #15 blade. Then depending on owner preference the neck is shaved from the base of the skull to where it meets the body with whatever length you decided for the feet and face. If you want a little flavor, the base of the skull can be left with a V to form the back of the topknot. Shave the base of the tail as well with the same blade. I normally use two fingers at the base of the tail to determine how far to shave.
Once the desired areas have been shaved, take a comb attachment to the body. I like for pets anything from a #2 comb to a #0. This allows for some fluff , but not enough to matt easily. Leave the legs un– clipped. The reason the body is trimmed prior to placing the band, is so that when you go to shave in the band it’s easier to make straight lines. An abundance of coat can present a visual challenge and bog down a clipper, so it’s best de-bulk prior to placement.
With the body clipped to desired length, we then place the band from the last rib to the area just in front of the tuck up. Use the same blade as the face and feet. Try to make it as straight as possible with the clippers, but . then refine with scissors.
Of course this would not be a poodle without ample scissoring! This is where your skills as a groomer can be showcased. Since the legs were left during the clipper work, the must be scissored and blended into the pattern. Obviously the fuller the leg the more upkeep is required by the owner, so take that into account when determining the look desired. Bellbottoms can be a nice compromise since majority of the coat length is shorter, but still has a little pizzazz with the flare.
Other variations of this trim would be to shave the ears (great for pets that either have siblings that chew their ears or tend to matt them up), remove the body band or opt not to shave the neck. Essentially have fun and smile!