The Continental Haircut

Continental Hair StyleThe Continental Haircut is the classic French poodle look. The dog’s legs, rear end, face, and tail are shaved, leaving poufs, or “pompons”, of fur around the ankles and at the tip of the tail. The rest of the hair is left long, but may be trimmed to create a more finished look. There can also be “rosettes” of fur left on the hip joints. These rosettes are optional. This haircut, though it looks fancy, is actually rooted in history.

When poodles were first used as hunting dogs, their owners came up with this style to help them swim more easily. Where the hair was left on the body, it protects the organs and joints from the cold. Now it is used mainly to provide a standard for show poodles, and so the judges can more easily view the dog’s legs.

Dog groomers should give the Continental haircut to poodles, especially those poodles who compete in dog shows. In fact, the Continental is one of the only three haircuts that are accepted for show poodles.

For a standard poodle, a groomer can give a Continental Haircut in a couple of hours. If the dog has trouble with the blow dryer and has to air-dry, this process could take a little longer. A good groomer will want to make sure there are no tangles and that all the hair is dry. This way, he or she can make sure that the hair that is left on the body is consistent in length and that the final cut looks the way it should.

Photo: Flickr