Ear of a Poodle


Spot Downunder this is a special post for you! 

Let me say first of all, I am big on disclaimers as you may have noticed,  I am not a poodle expert.  But for those Sweet Readers who are somewhat bemused by my occasional references to Ears and Fur and clipping here is what I know.

Poodles have fine soft fur, it curls naturally. If you leave it uncombed and unclipped it matts. A poodle is not a low maintenance sort of a dog. When people get poodles they often want to have a dog with a big wooly coat, in practice you will find that most people who don’t show poodles competitively keep their coats shorter as it takes a lot of looking after otherwise.

EarofPoodle5If you want to take your poodle to the beach and to the muddy woods and don’t want to spend half your day bathing and grooming them, then a shorter coat is advised.  We have gradually had ours clipped shorter and shorter as they have got older. We leave the legs and top of head and ears longer, but Zeb’s body fur is really very short. He is an optical illusion. So distinctive is the poodle ‘look’ that the smallest of children will squeak “Poodle!!’ as he walks past. It is a bit like taking a ‘B’ list celebrity for a walk sometimes. I think Zeb thinks his name is ‘Poodle!!’.

EarofPoodle7They don’t have the undercoat that lots of dogs have, their fur is all the same. Some people call it wool not fur. There are people out there who save up their dog’s fur and spin and knit it into clothes, as they say, if it makes you happy, then do it!

Poodles are considered to have low allergy fur. This is one of the reasons that people like to cross breed poodles to other sorts of dogs, they are hoping to get a magic coat that doesn’t shed, doesn’t trigger allergies and doesn’t matt.

EarofPoodle17In fact, like all animals,  poodles shed their fur but not nearly as much as say a labrador or most short coated dogs.  Mostly their old fur gets caught up in the rest of their fur on account of its curliness. It behaves In the same way to human hair, it gets longer, some of it falling out when washed or combed.  This characteristic and its fine curly denseness means that a poodle’s fur can be cut into a million different shapes and styles and will hold that shape provided that it doesn’t get wet or damp. Their fur doesn’t have that greasy feel to it that some dogs’ coats have, they are not very waterproof and if you are out in the rain, their head fur slowly descends and flattens.


Our poodles get clipped every six weeks or so. Zeb is the one who appears on the blog from time to time – who the blog was named for. Our other poodle is called Lulu but she doesn’t appear on the blog. She is brown and you catch glimpses of her here and there. Their faces and feet and bottoms get cut very close to the skin, as all their fur grows all the time, these parts are kept shorter as it helps with hygiene and eye health for my dogs. The fur betwen their toes also grows and if we don’t have it cut, they tend to skid around like you would wearing thick wool socks and it also can harbour mud and insects in there. Occasionally the odd spider, garden slug or ant hitches a ride indoors on a poodle!


On the subject of Ears, I would probably cut their ear fur shorter but Brian likes them with long ears –  so long ears it is.  Over the years we have tried various food bowls to stop their food getting in their ears, the real problem is as they eat with their heads down and forward, the ear fur can often get in their mouths while they chew and then they are effectively nibbling on their own ears and often the food gets sort of chewed in there with it. So the easiest, if slightly absurd, thing to do is to put hair combs on their ears for the two minutes it takes to stuff their food down.


All the rest of the time their ear fur flies free in the wind. The long ears do come in useful if there is a scary or noisy film on TV or a poodle simply wants to have a bit of dark undisturbed sleep in the day time.


So that is all I can tell you. A clean poodle’s fur is soft as velvet and almost irresistible. He is a grand dog, beloved of children and beloved by us.

And in his honour here is a little Earwormsong for you. I am sure you know the tune this one should be sung to!


Ear of the Poodle 

Hanging down, back on the street
Had a bath, and a ear trim
Went the distance, now I’m back on my feet
Just a poodle and his will to survive

So many times it takes far too long
You wish that they would just get faster
Don’t lose your grip on your dreams of the beach
You must bark just to keep them alive

It’s the ear of the poodle
It’s the swish in the wind
Turning inside out in the breeze
And my dear little friend
Stalks the fox in the night
And he’s listening to us all with the ear
of the poodle

Nose to nose, out in the park
Hanging friendly, staying happy
They track the pockets, full of small treats
For the chance of a free meaty snacky

It’s the ear of the poodle
It’s the swish in the wind
Turning inside out in the breeze
And my dear little friend
Stalks the frogs in the night
And he’s listening to us all with the ear
of the poodle

etc etc….


It all ends up here though…


29 thoughts on “Ear of a Poodle

  1. sallybr

    I am in severe cuteness-induced-meltdown over here! That photo with the paw over the arm is just too much to take…. frame it. Frame it and put it on a wall, or on your bedside table so you can look at it all the time… too beautiful…

    We took Oscar and Buck to get a bath yesterday and get their toe nails clipped – we normally wash them at home, but clipping Oscar’s toe nails has been impossible – so they did it, and we were there while three humans struggled with Oscar. By the screaming and moaning, you would think he was being subjected to Medieval torture…. oh, well… poor baby!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Dog toenails – you are not alone – ours are not keen either. I try to give them road walks as well as woods, grass, beach in an effort to wear them down naturally. I have heard of people having to have their dogs sedated in order to deal with overgrown nails. Poor doggies, what we do to them sometimes. Glad you liked the pics Sally xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      Morning Misky, You are right, above all else he is great fun and a good companion! Brian has always had poodles. My childhood dog was a golden retriever..

  2. heidiannie

    Many years ago we had an Afghan hound- he was so sweet and beautiful- but a great deal of work to keep his fur from matting. And he got a lot of ear infections that we were constantly watching out for- I think because of his long ears needed cleaning constantly.
    When he died I just didn’t want another dog- irreplaceable in my affection and well- we decided to do without pets.
    I love seeing Zeb- and all your walks and interactions with him. Thanks for the information- he’s a miniature, rather than a standard poodle? My niece has a standard and although I’ve never really met him ( she/they are currently living in Australia) he is very large. When she has his fur shaved off in the summer(now) he looks like a greyhound. Beautiful dogs, poodles.

      1. Joanna Post author

        Hi Heidi, He was overdue a post of his own! Afghans are extraordinarily handsome beings. We used to walk in a big park where we met a lady who had three who she showed. She let them get all muddy when they were out, said dogs had to be dogs. Zeb liked them a lot, they were very playful and ran like the wind in front of him. I can understand you both missing your dog and not wanting another, my heart to yours. Yes, he is a miniature, fifteen inches at the shoulder. xx

  3. cecilia

    Zeb is just too cool. and now i see that there is a lot of work in keeping him looking so sweet and lovely. c

    1. Joanna Post author

      I think he would love to be a farm dog and be out most of the day with a job to do. He has a lot of energy. He would also be good at clearing streams of branches and twigs, thst is his speciality :)

  4. narf77

    Ear of a poodle or more appropriately “Eye” of a poodle. Methinks said poodle is giving you daggers ma’am! ROTFL! I am thinking of people saving up dog hair and spinning it. Please… PLEASE send me your snail mail addresses if you are reading this post so that I can send you the bags and bags of Earl and Bezials hair that they shed on a daily basis. Short haired dogs are only short haired because they are also “shed every single moment of every single day” dogs. I have given up being house proud and have contented myself with not waking up looking like my Germanic predecessor, Mr Hitler, complete with mustachio thanks to the amount of dog slobber and shed hair around Serendipity Farm.

    Labradoodles are one of those allergy free cross ideas. You are supposed to get dogs with wool that you don’t sneeze at and excellent temperaments (because as we ALL know, Poodles may be smart, but they are also Prima Donna’s of the highest order thus the humble and most even tempered labrador is needed to mellow that highly active gene out in order for them to be able to live with small children, rodents and anything else that they would normally sniff at and pee on in disgust…). What you REALLY get are elitists who will eat ANYTHING and that wish to become semi aquatic in nature at any given body of water no matter how big or small

    I am ashamed to admit it here but Earl has NEVER HAD A BATH. We can’t catch him or contain him for long enough. At 37kg neither Steve nor I (nor both of us when it comes to that) can fit in the shower AND hold Earl AND manage to manipulate the shower hose in order to render him scented and clean. The closest that smelly 3 year old American Staffy has come to bathing is going up to his chest in oyster ridden salty river water and methinks that is only to absorb the heady scent of said oysters :(. Poodles look like they take a bit of maintenance. Our dogs just trot around shedding at will with me walking behind them with a dustpan and broom, saving us the bother of having to shave them or pay for them to be groomed; indeed, I don’t think Earl HAS enough bodily hair to attempt to shave even if I felt the crazed need to do so!

    Loved today’s post and hugs from Tassie and slobbers to Zeb and Lulu from Bezial and Earl :)

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hugs back to you and the big boys! You are very funny, glad you liked this doggy post. I have memories of golden retriever fur and fluff everywhere. i occasionally come back from a walk where lots of dogs have been socialising and visiitng with us covered in all sorts of stuff, particulalrly when a friendly brindled staffie decides to sit on my feet for a lean in and a cuddle.. (Do an internet search on Knitting with Dog Hair, there are books, photo collections, all sorts. As a non- knitter I am not putting the links here though.)

      1. narf77

        Earl’s hair is very VERY short and as a challenged knitter (and I am being kind there ;) ) I would rather glue his hair to a bit of cinderblock and stick a couple of those craft eyes on it and call it my “good dog” (at least I would have 1 then ;) )

  5. Euan

    Lovely dog – not sure our three cats would agree though :-) – great photos and an hilarious read!

    1. Joanna Post author

      I had promised an ear clip photo somewhere in another post so finally managed to get one that is not too blurry. He doesn’t really hang about when eating xx

  6. Ann

    Spot is beside himself at having a post specially for him!!
    I just love those photos – Zeb is such a beautiful dog and I just want to give him a big cuddle.
    A lot of work though – and I had not realised that their ears were quite as long as that. Spot is low maintenance in himself but high maintenance in housework as he is a non-stop shedder and when I brush him I often think about those people who spin their dog’s hair.
    Lovely poem too.
    Spot is glad he is short-haired today as it is very hot. He sends licks to you all and thanks for his special post. xx

    1. Joanna Post author

      You are most welcome! The ‘real’ bit of the ear is quite short, the fur easily doubles the length though. I don’t know if you can see in the puppy pic how short they start out. The lyrics are very silly but as it is meant to be sung to the Eye of The Tiger, I hope I am forgiven… Big Hugs to you and Spot xxx

  7. ediblethings

    What a wonderful post, Joanna. I have a friend who did an art project about dog’s ears. I shall forward this to her.
    I lost my German Shepherd last year, although he lived to a grand old age for such a big dog. It’s funny, people will tell you about what intelligent and loyal dogs they are, and what brilliant dogs they are to have around, and how much and varied kinds of work they are capable of. No-one ever tells you that they will shed enough hair to cover a shire horse every single day of their lives. I’d previously had more experience with Samoyeds, who have loads of hair, but shed it all at once twice a year, which is convenient.
    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos of Zeb.

    1. Joanna Post author

      I am sorry about your lovely dog Mel whatever their fur does or doesn’t do it is still a heartbreak when you lose one. I am intrigued by your friend’s dog ears project ! I grew up with a Golden Retriever who shed constantly and then a bit more when she was officially moulting, a bit more when she got anxious or excited and so on. I gave up on black trousers and dark clothes for many years :)

  8. Melissa

    Your poodles are so gorgeous! We have a miniature schnauzer-poodle and she’s the most wonderful dog. Fantastic temperament, loving and friendly, and she doesn’t shed. Poppy has a mix of poodle intelligence and terrier cunning. For a former non-dog-lover I’m now a total convert.

  9. cityhippyfarmgirl

    Oh Joanna those hair clips make me smile. I know you’ve mention them before but seeing them made it. And I only smile, not for the dog cuteness of it all but for the fact that I completely understand. I HATE having my hair out when I eat and I always pull it back (with remarkably similar clips!)
    ps. Even though you don’t show Lulu, I still have a soft spot for her too. My niece’s name you see. xxxx

    1. Joanna Post author

      It’s all meant to make us smile, I am really pleased you liked the photo. (I love that you can identify with the dogs at mealtimes and the business of the hair clips Brydie !) xx

  10. Karin Anderson

    Your Zeb must be a very nice dog! Interesting what you say about the fur – my husband got adopted by a Cypriote Kanish, a native dog that ressembles a poodle, but has a lot of lanolin in his fur, so he grows Rastafarian dreadlocks, a protection against the thorny vegetation.

    1. Joanna Post author

      He is a sweetie pie :) There is an old style of poodle coat, where the fur is allowed to matt initially and is then pulled into cords, if you do an internet search there are blogs and images of poodles with corded coats. I guess most dogs who have curly non shedding coats have the potential to grow locks ? I like the sound of the Kanish! There are dogs like Spanish and Portuguese water dogs, the Barbet and the Lagotto Romagnolo and of course the Irish Water Spaniel which have curly and more waterproof coats than our two and are heavier overall. I like them a lot :) I think they are all related somewhere, dogs that like splashing around and fetching things!

    1. Joanna Post author

      Hello! We used to use hair bands and they were always hard to get off. Occasionally we put these on and the dogs shake them off but now they associate them with food they are ok with them as you can see :)

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