How to groom a dog with curly or wavy hair – grooming demonstration
This is Barney – a one year old Miniature
Poodle and a typical example of a curly haired
dog. He’s about to have a grooming makeover
in the hands of a real expert.
Jitka Krizova is one of Europe’s top dog groomers.
Sasha is enjoying herself.
Originally from Slovakia, she now lives and
works in Britain. She’s been showing and grooming
dogs for 20 years and has won an impressive
array of awards. British Groomer of the Year
Award 2006, Eurogroom winner three times in
a row and in 2011 she clipped and snipped
her way to the World Championships as a member
of Groom Team England. Jitka’s sharing her
champion tips and techniques to help you keep
your dog in pristine condition.
Curly and wavy coat types require a lot of
work when it comes to grooming.
Other breeds with coats like Barney’s include
Bichon Frise, Bedlington Terrier, Irish Water
Spaniel and Kerry Blue Terrier. So the grooming
techniques are similar.
Brushing always should be firm and gentle,
because we don’t want to cause dogs discomfort
and skin irritation.
Grooming is a vital part of looking after
Miniature Poodle Barney’s curly hair tangles
easily and has a tendency to become dry. Using
a leave in conditioner before brushing will
make the job much easier.
You have to make sure when you brush the coat
you go right down to the skin and remove all
the dead hair and mat.
For this type of coat a soft slicker brush
is best. Gently work from the ends out first,
making sure there are no mats or small tangles.
Slicker brushes are available at any pet shops,
and it’s very easy to brush the coat.
The technique I’m using we call line brushing.
With your left hand you hold up all the hair
and gentle part and slide with your slicker
brush. This way you make sure you brush the
coat right down to the skin.
Curly and wavy haired dogs require 15 minutes
of daily brushing to keep their coats in good
We have to start when the puppy’s really small,
about eight-nine weeks old when it arrives
in your home. They get used to it easily and
it makes a nice bond between you and your
One of the best things about this type of
coat is it doesn’t shed so a poodle makes
an ideal pet for anyone who’s house proud
or suffers from allergies.
After we finish brushing we have to comb the
hair. This way we’ll make sure there are not
any knots left. If the comb stops, it means
there is a knot. Then we have to use the brush
again. If we try to pull the knot with a comb,
it’s quite uncomfortable and painful for the
Pay special attention to your dog’s ears,
arm pits, legs, back end and tail because
these are the areas that tangle easily. When
you’re happy you’ve removed all the tangles
you can use a hair dryer to fluff the dogs
We’re going to use a slicker brush for fluff
dry, and we’re using the same line brushing
like we did earlier. When we dry the dog we
have to be aware of the temperature of the
air, because if the air is too hot it can
cause skin irritation and skin burn.
Next Jitka uses the clippers to trim Barney’s
face, feet and back end. This is tricky so
it’s best left to a professional groomer.
We have to be careful with the webbing between
the dog’s toes, and clip carefully around.
A trimmed face is easier to keep clean, especially
in the area around eyes and ears and the dog’s
Next Jitka is going to trim Barnie’s legs,
head and tail with scissors.
With the tail we can be quite creative in
poodles. The tail can be shaved with pom pom,
it can be completely shaved, or just shaped
with longer hair. I will take probably three
quarter of an inch to match it with his legs
and topknot to make the dog look balanced.
The topknot is the hair on Barney’s head.
Jitka is going to create a classic pom pom.
She carefully measures the width and height
to get the shape. The height of the top knot
is roughly the same distance as from the outside
corners of Barney’s eyes.
Barney’s hair cut has taken Jitka two hours
but it is a low maintenance style for the
owner. The hair on Barney’s legs and body
has been trimmed to about an inch long which
makes it easy to look after .
For summer we can go a little bit shorter,
keep the dog cooler. For winter, we can leave
the jacket a little bit longer. Barney’s only
one year old and I think he was really good
today and I’m very proud of him. I think we
can see the difference, before and after.
In between grooming sessions you should brush
your dog regularly, trim his nails every four
to six weeks and check his ears for infection
Ears can be a particular challenge with wavy
curly haired breeds – for further advice click
on our film called Ears.