There are only three clips that are acceptable for the show ring.
The first of these is the Puppy Clip. A Poodle under a year of age may be shown in the Puppy Clip with the coat long except for the face, feet and base of tail, which are shaved. Scissoring is allowed to even up the hair and remove any straggly hairs.
Dogs one year old or older must be shown in either the English Saddle Clip or Continental Clip. The Continental is the most popular show trim for standards as it is designed to show off their good hindquarters. In the Continental Clip the hindquarters are shaved with pompons on hips, these are optional but it is unusual to see the trim without them. The face, feet, legs and tail are shaved leaving bracelets on the hindlegs, puffs on the forelegs and a pompon at the end of the tail. The rest of the body must be left in full coat.
In the English Saddle Clip the hindquarters are covered with a short blanket of hair except for a curved area on the flank and two shaved bands on each hind leg. The face, forelegs and tail are shaved, leaving puffs on the forelegs and a pompon at the end of the tail. The rest of the body must be left in full coat.
One of the most popular of the trims not allowed in the show ring is the Kennel or Sporting clip. This clip is similar to the Puppy Clip but the coat is clipped closer to the neck and body and the legs are left less full.
The shorter coat requires less brushing, and looks great on all poodles. I have always wished that we could show them in this trim as many great dogs are never shown because there is so much care required to keep the hair in show condition. It is also almost impossible for the average person to maintain and trim a dog for show.
Another trim for pets is the Dutch Clip. The head is clipped, sometimes leaving a mustache on the end of the nose, and the ears are clipped, leaving only a fringe at the bottom. The topknot is rounded off. The chest, stomach and back of the dog are clipped, leaving the long hair on all four legs either squared off above the shoulders or coming to a point higher up. Feet and tail are clipped.