About Me:

I am a professional Pet Groomer. I have been grooming for 28 years. This Blog is a kind of diary of my work. I wish I had started years ago, writing some of the experiences I have had while grooming. Most days are fun, some can be sad, some can be just down right crazy. If you are a pet owner and come across this blog, I hope it helps you understand how your pet is groomed. If you are a Pet Groomer, I hope you can relate to some of the stories. Maybe even learn a grooming tip or can leave a friendly grooming tip for me. There is always something to learn, no matter how long you have been grooming.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Mustache

I don't get many requests for mustaches on Poodles like when I first started grooming.
Most Poodle owners want one of two faces...shaved clean or full and round.

I have been waiting for a Poodle owner to come in and ask for a mustache so that I could take pictures, but that has not happened.

So, I took one of my Poodle customers that does not come in to often, and used him to show a couple of different mustaches.

Because this dog normally gets a clean face, all of the pictures are on a dirty dog.
After I took the pictures of the different mustaches, I had to clip the face clean.

You will also notice that the face is not saved against the grain on this Poodle, because of how sensitive his skin is.

 I'll start with what grooming school called a 'donut mustache'.

This is a mustache that goes all of the way around the muzzle, including the top of the nose.

Clip the face the same way that you would clip a clean face, only leave hair on the front of the muzzle.

Use the corner of the mouth as a guide of where to stop clipping.

 You want to clip out under and between the eyes.

Do not clip the top of the nose. 

Make your line go straight down from the top of the nose to the corner of the lip.

In grooming school I was taught not to expose the corner of the mouth, but I never liked the way the mustache would go out of shape when the dog opened his mouth the pant.

I like to take my thumb and gently pull the corner of the mouth back towards the ear and clip just enough hair to expose the corner of the mouth a little.

This way when the dog opens it's mouth to pant,  the mustache stays in shape.

I wish that I was showing this on a clean dog.

Anyway, after clipping the face, take your comb and pluck up the hair, all of the way around the mouth before you start to scissor.

Start to scissor a round donut shape all of the way around the mouth.

With this mustache you also leave hair on top of the nose.

This dog did not have a lot of hair on the top of the nose to begin with, so I used the length on the top of the nose as a guide to round off the rest of the mustache.

Try to get the shape as round as you can.

This is a view of the 'donut mustache' from the side after it has been shaped.

This is the 'donut mustache finished.

I am sorry that it is not on a clean dog.

This picture does not show it very well.

This mustache is a 'full mustache'.

Can you tell what the difference is from the one above?

The only difference is that the top of the nose has been clipped off and the beard has also been clipped off leaving just the sides of the mustache.

Next is the 'French mustache'.

#1 The top of the nose is shaved off.

#2 The beard is shaved off.

#3 Blend the mustache down from the back corner of the nose to the corner of the mouth. Skim down to lose some of the puffiness at the top of the mustache.

#4 Scissor mustache to lip line. I did have one customer long ago that wanted this type of mustache on his  Poodle, but he wanted me to leave the sides long, hanging down over the lip line.

 This is the French Mustache finished.

You may have noticed that I shaped up the topknot.

Yes, the dog is still dirty.
I couldn't help it.
It was driving me crazy.
I didn't like the way the pictures looked.
Anything was better than the way the topknot looked in the above pictures.

I know...I am crazy.  :)

I do do the 'donut mustache' on other breeds quite often.

This dog gets the sides of her face clipped off with a #4 blade instead of a #15.
I scoop out under the eyes with a #10 because her eyes water very badly.

Then shape up the mustache round.

The mustaches can be as full or as tight as you or the customer wishes.

Happy Grooming, MFF


  1. This is really helpful, because how often do you really get poodles in for just mustaches... and my working interview for tomorrow at a new shop is a little poodle with just a mustache...

    1. Hi Samantha,
      I hope that your job interview was successful!

  2. I groom my own Poodle, and usually I like to leave a French moustache on him because it highlights the subtle expressions of his forelips.

    Also it's a riot whenever he makes his alert 'whiskers up' expression because the moustache puffs up and makes his
    (__V__) snoot into a goofy (____V____) snoot.

    I'm even considering leaving it on for a show or two, just to see how judges react.

    I'd recommend adding a moustache section to your groom book, with nice pictures and all that.