Few coifs are more discussed in the dog world than the thick, curly locks of a poodle. Known to be adventurous when it comes to experimenting with hairstyles (or at least their owners are), these canines have soft coats that can accommodate a huge variety of cuts.
Though some of these hairstyles may seem intimidating, a little bit of “can-do” attitude and some clippers can keep your poodle looking sleek—just try to stick with a grooming/trimming schedule of every six weeks or so.
To help you on your quest for the best cut for your pup, we’ve rounded up some of the most popular poodle hairstyles. We just hope you find one that’ll tickle your (and your posh poodle’s) fancy.
Top Poodle Hairstyles
1. Lion Cut
We may as well start out with something fancy! The lion cut is most likely what you picture when you imagine an elegant, fancy poodle prancing by at a dog show, or down the sidewalk of an upscale neighborhood. For this style, the dog is rockin’ hairless limbs, pompoms on the paws and tail, a puffy head, and a hairy stomach and chest.
Few people can master giving their pup this extravagant cut on their own, so you’ll probably want to find a reputable groomer to create this masterpiece for you.
2. Puppy Clip
This is a fresh, easy cut for poodles, and makes them look like…puppies! It’s popular for many breeds and is essentially just a natural hairstyle that’s the same length all over. This is an easy one to maintain on your own, just be sure to invest in quality canine clippers and a good pair of shears.
Though the American Kennel Club says there should be a pompom on the tail, feel free to make this cut your own—play with the various lengths and adjust the cut to fit your own pup’s personality.
3. Bikini Clip (AKA Miami Clip)
This is a chic all-around style that’s still easy to live with. For this cut, dogs have their fur shaved on the tail, face, and feet—and then the rest of their hair is cut to a reasonable length all over the body. You’ll often find a pom at the end of the tail with this cut, as well as near the feet.
This style can be done with scissors, and some brave souls may be able to do this at home (check out some online tutorials!), but it’s also a good style to request from your groomer. Be sure to brush the poms every couple of weeks to keep them looking fluffy and tangle-free.
4. Kennel Clip (Summer Cut)
Want a cut that your pup will find refreshing in the hot weather? Called a few different things (Kennel Clip, Summer Cut, Utility Clip)—this style is essentially short all over, with the hair slightly longer on the head and tail.
Thought to be one of the easier poodle haircuts to manage, this style is great for dogs who love to be active, whether that’s rolling around in the backyard, going for a swim, or strolling jauntily down the street.
5. Modern Clip
For those looking for a trendy cut (but who aren’t ready to venture into Lion Cut territory), the Modern Clip is a glamorous option. Also known as the Scandinavian Cut, or European Cut, this style elegantly follows the shape of the poodle body.
For this cut, the topknot is fluffy and round, but blends into the fur of the neck and shoulders. The fur on the poodle’s chest is a tad rounded, and the front legs are straight. The back legs are clipped to show off their shape and have a little extra puffiness above the feet. Truly a beautiful way to style your pup—this cut requires some serious grooming know-how, and is best taken care of by professionals.
Regardless of the cut you choose for your poodle, we know that those lush, soft curls are part of what makes this breed so much fun. It’s up to you to decide what style best suits their personality, and what is the best match for your lifestyle (and wallet).