How to Do a Town and Country Poodle Cut
A "Town and Country" is a very beautiful groom on a standard poodle. It involves a shaved face, feet, neck, and belly. This cut is often confused with the Lamb cut on a poodle because of the similarly shaved legs, face, and neck. But you can tell by looking at the shaved feet that this is a Town and Country cut rather than the Lamb cut. Giving your poodle a Town and Country cut at home begins with bathing your poodle and then using a razor to create the desired shape and pattern.
Washing and Drying Your Poodle’s Fur
1. Shampoo your poodle’s fur.
You should use a gentle, non-acidic shampoo designed for canines. Never use human shampoo on your poodle. Lather up your poodle’s coat and gently rinse out the shampoo. Repeat this process with conditioner designed for dogs if you want to make your poodle’s coat even more soft and luxurious.
- It is important to bathe your poodle once every three weeks or so. After a couple weeks, the oils and debris start to build up in your pet’s coat and they will start to weigh down and diminish the sheen on your poodle’s coat.
- To begin, you’ll need to place your poodle on a non-slip surface in the bathtub and wet it down with lukewarm water.
2. Dry your poodle’s fur.
After the bath is over, use a towel to dry off the excess water. Then use a hair blow dryer to gently blow dry your poodle’s coat. Be sure to use the blow dryer on the lowest setting possible.
- Remember that blow drying can be a terrifying experience for your dog, especially the first few times you expose your dog to it. Make an effort to calm your dog while you blow dry it. Stroke the dog calmly and speak to it in a soft voice to reassure it. You can even introduce the dog to the blow dryer sound slowly before you start the process.
- Begin blow drying with the largest swatches of hair first, as this will be the most efficient way to start. Spend some time blow drying your dog’s back first, then move down to the legs and belly. Dry the hair on your dog’s head and tail last.
- You can also let your poodle’s hair air dry, but this will lead to small, curly ringlets. If you want your poodle’s coat to be fluffy, you’ll need to blow dry it.
3. Use a dog brush to fluff up the fur.
To get the fluffy hair look, brush against the grain of the hair. If the hair gets too fluffy for your taste, you can simply brush back with the grain to tame it a bit. As you blow dry, use a dog brush to comb out any tangles as they occur. This will be much easier than trying to work out the tangles after the coat is already dry.
- Fluffing up the hair will also make the shaving process easier. With the hair fluffed up, you will be able to trim, shave, and shape your dog’s hair with less difficulty.
Shaving the Poodle
1. Shave your poodle’s face first.
To begin the clipper work, put a #10 or #15 on the clipper. Carefully use the razor to shave the hair – place the razor on the fur being careful not to push down too hard so you don’t accidentally cut your dog’s skin. Start to shave the face by starting in the middle of the eyes, right at the bridge, and shave down. Then shave the cheeks, then the upper lips, then the lower, then under the eye to the corner of the eye to the outer ear in a straight line.
- Move the razor especially slowly while you shave around the dog’s eyes. Be careful not to get the razor too close to your dog’s eyes.
2. Shave the neck area.
Once you finish shaving your dog’s face, you can move on to the neck area. Begin at the top near the head and shave down to your dog’s Adam's apple making a V. Then stop and do the other side. Next, start shaving the neck inside the V you made.
- Make sure you create clean, straight lines when making the V shape so the grooming effect looks professional.
3. Shave the feet.
Begin shaving the feet by holding the dog's paw in your hand. With a #15 on the clipper, use your fingers to spread the toes apart and shave in between them. Be careful not to nick the webbing between the toes. Shave around the toenails.
- Also shave up to where the dog bends its paw, then have a line all the way around the paw. Do the pads and shave up to the dew claws and then stop.
4. Shave the back and belly.
Come back up to the middle of the back and shave the hair out. Be sure to leave hair on the shoulders and on the hips, just rounding it off on the ends and up under the dog as well. Make sure that the elbows of the dog and the flanks don't show. They are to be rounded in as well as the chest.
- The hair on the chest stays, as opposed to in a lamb cut where the chest is shaved.
Creating the Town and Country Pattern
1. Set the pattern with a #10 or #15 blade.
Begin to set the pattern by using a #10 or #15 blade, depending on what the dog can handle without burning. Start at the neck by shaving it completely out. At the middle of the shoulder blades, make a straight line all the way down the spine to the dock of the tail and then stop.
- Use the clippers to make a ring around the tail. This is one of the most characteristic features of the Town and Country cut.
2. Shape the cuff above the paws.
To set the cuff (the hair above the shaved paw), comb the hair down and cut it up to where you left the line on the paw so it doesn't hang on the ground. Next, round the hair off so that it attains the curved appearance you want with this cut.
- Use scissors to make the rounded, shaved look above the paws.
3. Use scissors to blend the coat.
Blending the coat helps erase the edges between the shaved parts and the unshaved parts of your dog’s coat. A nice length to work with is three to four inches long. Then use your razor to round off the remaining hair. Use the scissors to catch any stray hairs the clippers may have missed.
- Now begin to scissor the legs by blending them, working your way up to the elbow and blending the hair in to the shoulder.
- Then do the other side until done. Make sure it is all even across the whole coat.
4. Clean up your poodle.
Once you have finished shaving and trimming your dog, there will be a bit of a mess to clean up. There will be quite a bit of excess hair stuck around your dog’s body and the area you used for the dog grooming. Sweep up all of the discarded hair and thrown it away to minimize the mess.
- Use a damp towel to wipe off any excess hair that may be stuck to your dog’s body. You could even give your dog another bath to clean it up, as long as you don’t mind the effort of washing and drying your dog’s hair all over again.