Mini Poodle Bikini Clip
The bikini clip can be a great alternative to a plain strip down for active dogs.
Treasure is a 14-year-old Mini Poodle that has been one of my favorite canine clients for a long time now. Unfortunately, a few years ago, her original owner had an accident and passed away suddenly. Having no family who wanted her, she was adopted by my boss, Missi. Missi lives an active lifestyle with her dogs—they go swimming in the lake, walking in the woods and wading in the river. Treasure used to be kept in a lamb trim, but she recently had to have some old lady growth removed and had shaved spots all over her. The bikini clip is a nice alternative for a plain strip down. Her ears were also matted due to wearing the “cone of shame” to prevent her from licking her spots, so I decided to give her tasseled ears. With the bikini clip and tassel ears, she has a bit of flare to her short clip.
Step 1: Bathe
Treasure is washed in a gentle, all-around cleansing shampoo.
Step 2: Force Dry
Force dry to remove as much water as possible out of the coat. Remember when dogs get older, like Treasure, they often can’t tolerate the force dryer the way they did in the past, so it is important to monitor them very closely.
Step 3: Fluff Dry
Fluff dry with a slicker and warm-air dryer.
Step 4: Clip Feet
Clip clean feet using a #30 or #40 blade. To set the cuff, hold the hair down and clip under the knuckle on the side of the foot. Clip against the grain between each toe.
Step 5: Trim Nails
Clip the nails to the quick and file.
Step 6: Clip Face
On pets, I generally clip the face against the grain with a #10 blade. Clip from the inside of the ear to the outer corner of the eye. Then go from the inner corner of the eyes down the entire snout, making sure to stretch the lips and get them shaved clean. Starting roughly two fingers above the breastbone, clip up the neck to create a V shape.
Step 7: Clip Tail
Using a #10 blade, clip the band on the tail. The shaved band should be one-third of the base of the tail.
Step 8: Sanitary Trim
Staying with the #10 blade, clip the sanitary areas.
Step 9: Clip Body
I chose a #5 fine blade, but blade length can vary on the body. Starting at the back of the neck, clip the entire body. Clip both the inside and outside of the legs. Stop a finger length above the hock on the rear leg and above the bend in the front leg. The pom-poms should be at the same height in the front and back.
Step 10: Clip Ears
To shave a tassel ear, place your thumb where the top of the inverted V will start. Clip from where the ear comes out of the head and clip down, going on either side of your thumb to create the V. Clip the inside of the ear the same way, but be careful of the flaps on the inner ear.
Step 11: Clip Pom-Poms
Comb the hair on the bottom of each pom-pom down and edge the bevel, holding your shears at a slight angle. Comb the hair on the top of the pom-poms and edge the bevel while angling your shears down toward the pom-pom slightly. Scissor the remaining hair into a round shape.
Step 12: Finish Face
Scissor from the outside corner of the eye to the ear with the shear angled at a 45 degree angle. Follow that scissor line over the ear. Comb the hair over the eyes and trim a visor. Scissor the back of the topknot to blend into the neck. Comb all the hair of the topknot side to side and trim the hair hanging over the lines that have already been scissored. Finally, comb the hair up and trim the top round.
Step 13: Finish Ears
Edge the clipped part of the ear while protecting the ear with your thumb. Trim the bottom of the tassel to the desired length.
Step 14: Finish Tail
Twist the hair on the tail and trim the tip off. Holding the tail by the tip, comb the hair out and bevel the bottom of the tail near the shaved band by angling your shears out toward the shaved area. Then scissor the remaining hair into a round shape.