Last year I started bringing the "girls" to groomer. Three standard poodles going to the groomer every four to six weeks = one small car payment each month. So when we drew up our house plans, it included a "grooming room. We call it "the poodle bathroom." It's a full bath with a very long counter, at a table height for grooming comfort. Lots of storage space for gallons of shampoo concentrate and grooming supplies. My first "poodle bathroom" purchase will be a professional dryer.
This month has been a little tight, financially, so I decided to just groom "the girls" myself. In my small bathroom. On the floor. Not optimal, but you do what you must. I started with Delilah and after she was finished thought, "I need to take pictures." Too late for D. Abrial was next in line. Here she is after her bath. She's really a good girl, but bathing doesn't make her ecstatic. Can you tell?
You need to start the grooming process with a clean, dry dog. Above is clean, but definitely NOT dry. She had actually been towel dried before that picture, using two big towels that were soaked when I finished. After an hour and a half of drying with a blow dryer on a medium setting (yes, you read that right - an hour and a half to dry her), this is what she looked like.
Did someone say "Tina Turner?"
As I dry, I also brush and comb. I have two different brushes and one large poodle comb. This is the hair simply after brushing and fluff-drying.
This was about 3/4 of the hair after grooming (I had already tossed the "brushed out" hair).
I didn't do a big clipping. Just face, topknot, feet, tummy, and tail stem. When I finish doing a summer cut and clipping the whole body down to about an inch, the hair will literally fill one of those large "lawn and leaf" bags.
Here's the after picture. See. She really DOES have eyes!
I'll have to do a step by step "how to" post another time. When I'm in the new house and can fit a "photographer" in the room with me and the dog!
Oh - and total time to groom her was three hours. I definitely realize that professional groomers make every penny of their money.