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Poodle Grooming Styles: 7 Popular Poodle Cuts

Written by: Kristin Hitchcock

Last Updated on February 19, 2024 by Dogster Team

person grooming a white miniature poodle dog

Poodle Grooming Styles: 7 Popular Poodle Cuts

Poodles require professional grooming for their coat to remain manageable. Otherwise, it will grow out exceedingly long and be very prone to matting.

However, there are many Poodle grooming styles to choose from. Some are designed to be low-maintenance, like the puppy cut, while others are classical and derived from the days when Poodles were used to retrieve waterfowl.

Let’s take a look at all the cuts typically seen on a Poodle, including some very modern options.

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The 7 Popular Poodle Grooming Styles

1. Lion Cut

Adorable grey Toy Poodle dog with a Scandinavian lion show clip and a collar posing outdoors
Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock

The Lion Cut is an iconic Poodle cut that isn’t seen very much today. It’s characterized by a thick mane around the dog’s neck, with the rest of the body trimmed down. There may be pom-poms on the ankles and tail, or there may not be. It all depends on the dog!

This cut is somewhat low-maintenance. You only need to brush the “mane” part and any of the pom-poms. However, it isn’t as low-maintenance as some of the other cuts below.

2. Puppy Cut

Red (brown) standard poodle with the cut of golden doodle looking into the camera with sweet expression
Image Credit: Ruta Zukauskaite, Shutterstock

The Puppy Cut is the low-maintenance cut for Poodles. The dog is trimmed to about the same length all over the body, though the legs may be trimmed a bit shorter. Usually, about an inch of fur is left, but this really depends on the dog. You can often request the fur be cut shorter or left even longer.

The main benefit of this cut is that it prevents matting, and your dog will require less grooming. If you get them cut pretty short, they may not require any brushing at all until their fur grows out again.

This cut is very popular with your average owner who has a companion Poodle.

3. Continental Clip

Beautiful white toy poodle in continental clip standing on black background
Image Credit: Natallia Yaumenenka, Shutterstock

The Continental Clip is what many people think of when they imagine a Poodle. It’s one of the clips you’ll commonly see Poodles have in the show ring, though it requires quite a bit of grooming to prevent mats. While this clip is popular in pop culture, it isn’t all that popular amongst companion dogs. Usually, only show dogs have this clip.

Otherwise, this cut is simply too high-maintenance for your average owner. It doesn’t benefit the dog much, either, unless they are actively retrieving waterfowl.

This clip originated when Poodles regularly swam in cold water. It provided some extra insulation without getting in the way of the poodle’s joints.

4. Teddy Bear Cut

The Teddy Bear Cut involves a very rounded head, making the dog look like a teddy bear. The fur is left a bit longer than in a puppy cut, but this clip is designed largely to prevent matting. It’s still an easy-to-maintain style that works well for companion dogs.

This cut is newer, but it is slowly becoming more popular. It’s more common for toy Poodles, which tend to look a bit like teddy bears anyway. However, standard Poodles may also get this cut.

5. Miami Clip

short hair with the long hair at the end of poodle dog tail and stripped body
Image Credit: AppleDK, Shutterstock

The Miami Clip is largely used for active Poodles in warmer climates, as the name suggests. In this case, the dog is shaved down very short across much of its body, but the very end of its tail and ears may be left longer. This isn’t a traditional clip in the least, but it may be helpful for dogs living in hotter areas.

As you might guess, this cut requires very little maintenance. Because the dog is shaved down very low, they can’t get matted and don’t require any brushing. You’ll need to resume brushing once the dog’s fur grows out or get them trimmed again.

We highly recommend you choose a different trim if you live somewhere cold, as this cut leaves the dog open to the cold. It can also lead to sunburns if the dog is cut very short.

6. Dutch Clip

Beautiful black poodle standing on a yellow background
Image Credit: Natallia Yaumenenka, Shutterstock

The Dutch Clip involves leaving the majority of the poodle’s fur longer. Typically, only their face is shaved. However, you may see versions of this trim where the base of the tail is also trimmed, giving the dog a very large ball on the end of their tail.

This trim is most often utilized by show dogs, and some kennel clubs allow dogs to be shown with this trim. It’s a more modern clip than the others we’ve discussed, and it tends to be most common in Europe. It is also pretty high-maintenance since the dog’s whole coat needs to be brushed regularly. It isn’t a trim we’d recommend for the average dog owner.

7. English Saddle Cut

The English Saddle Cut is a mix between the Continental and Dutch. The dog’s back isn’t shaved down like you’d typically see on a show dog. However, the legs are still shaved to form small balls. The tail is often shaved into a ball, as well. Because this trim is accepted by most kennel clubs, you’ll see many show dogs in colder areas with it.

Often, this trim isn’t done on companion animals. It requires plenty of maintenance and isn’t the most practical option. To keep the dog shaped up, canines with this cut need very frequent trimming on top of plenty of brushing.

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Final Thoughts

Poodles require quite a bit of grooming—unless you choose a low-maintenance cut. Poodle trims fall into two main categories: companion dog trims and show dog trims. For those with a Poodle as a pet, selecting something low-maintenance is often high on the list. Very few companion dogs walk around with a traditional show trim.

That said, kennel clubs often require a “fancy” traditional cut for dogs being shown. Otherwise, the dog gets disqualified. Therefore, show dogs are often seen with traditional trims, though the exact trims allowed are increasing slowly.

Unless you plan to show your dog, though, we don’t recommend one of the fancier clips, as they require a lot of maintenance.

Featured Image Credit: hedgehog94, Shutterstock

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