Originally bred as gundogs or retrievers, poodles had working hair clips or styles. The long hair kept their joints and vital organs warm when swimming in cold water retrieving waterfowl and the shaved areas prevented debris catching in their hair while hunting. Nowadays, Poodles are one of the very few breeds of dog that you can groom in numerous ways, depending upon whether they are show dogs or pets. Poodle show clips today are almost a work of art, requiring many hours of grooming and brushing weekly. Clips and styles for pet poodles that are not show dogs require far less maintenance because the styles are not as complicated, elaborate, or detailed. There are usually three main clips or styles allowed when showing your miniature poodle although the United Kennel Club and some other breed registries will permit certain or simpler clips The American Kennel Clubs allows the 'Puppy Clip' for miniature poodles under a year and also the 'English Saddle and 'Continental' for adult dogs.
With the English saddle clip, the miniature poodle's body has a full coat except for the face, tail, throat, hind legs, and forelegs, which they shave, leaving a pompom on the tail and puffs on the legs. Short hair covers the hindquarters except for a curved region on the poodles flank.
With the continental clip, sometimes referred to as the lion clip, groomers shave the miniature poodle's feet, throat, face, and tail base. They shave the poodle's legs but leave puffs on the front legs, bracelets on the back legs, and a pompom on the dog's tail. Shaped if necessary for overall balance, they leave remainder of the poodles coat full.
On a miniature poodle puppy up to twelve months old, breeders typically use the Puppy Clip. Although this style of coat may look easier to maintain, it actually requires a lot of grooming because of the long coat. Except for the face or muzzle, throat, and tail base, you leave the entire body long with the poodle's feet, to the dewclaws, shaved. They allow scissoring to remove any straggly or uneven hairs and for shaping the miniature poodle puppy's coat to give him a smooth unbroken line and neat appearance. There is a pompom at the end of the puppy's docked tail.
A very popular pet clip for miniature poodles is the sporting or kennel clip, which is almost the same as the Puppy Cut but the legs are not as full and the body and neck coat clipped closer. They shave the base of the dog's tail, throat, feet, and face but leave a pompom on the tail and cap on its head. This cut is easier to look after and requires far less grooming than the show cuts or styles.