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Prep Work on a Poodle

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Video DescriptionAbout Judy Hudson


43 minutes, 56 seconds


Core Skills

In this Poodle grooming lesson, Judy Hudson takes you back to the most important part of the grooming process: prep work.

  • Nails
  • Ears
  • Pads
  • Sanitation area
  • Bath
  • Blow dryIf the prep isn’t done well, the rest of the groom will never be the best it could be.

    Unfortunately, this is an area that many pet professionals don’t value enough. However, prep work can make or break whether you win a placement in a grooming competition, earn a good grade on certification testing dog, or whether clients use your service again. Excellent prep work is at the core of every good groom.

    The end goal is to have the dog squeaky clean, with a coat that has been fluffed and straightened according to coat type. You’ll also learn about the bathing process with a Hydro Surge Bathing System. Finally, a high velocity dryer is used to totally dry, straighten, and fluff the coat. Judy ends the lesson by walking you through the steps of double checking the coat before you start the trimming process.

    Judy reminds you, “Don’t rush your prep work.” That doesn’t mean you can’t do it quickly – you can. Judy does anywhere from 6 to 14 dogs a day. In this lesson, you’ll learn her tricks that allow her to get through her day easily. Even though she’s working on a Poodle, the techniques that she demonstrates can be used on any haircut dog coming into your salon.

    Judy helps thousands of professional groomers every year. She is a leading educator in the world of professional pet grooming. You will find her speaking, judging, certifying, and demonstrating around the world. When she is not traveling, she grooms everyday pets just like you in her Wag n’ Tails grooming van.

    In this lesson, you will learn:

  • how to minimize pet discomfort while doing nails and ears.
  • the ideal water temperature for bathing a dog.
  • how to minimize water use and still get the dog squeaky clean.
  • how to work with just a high velocity dryer to get the coat dry, straight, and fluffed.
  • how to prepare the coat for the trimming process.

Judy Hudson

Certifications: NCMG

Judy Hudson has been a life-long animal lover. She holds an associate degree in Veterinary Technology from Morehead State University. While working in a veterinarian clinic offering grooming, she quickly realized, the groomer was making way more money than she was – and having a lot more fun! She opted to start grooming instead of following her degree.

Judy started her grooming career on a shoestring and a prayer in 1990.

When the groomer where she worked walked out – Judy didn’t miss a beat. She stepped in and started grooming. Shortly after that, she discovered a local couple who were business owners and award-winning pet stylists. She began taking lessons from them which lead her to competitions and meeting other award-winning pet stylists.

In 1994 she started her own mobile grooming unit in an 18-foot used motor home. Today, she owns and operates a very polished and successful mobile business in the Nashville TN area, staying booked a year in advance.

She decided that if she was going to be a groomer, she wanted to be one of the best!
Within a few years, she realized learning about bred profile was a game changer while dipping her toe in the AKC conformation show ring. Being a quick learner, she finished her own Miniature Poodle to his Championship in short order. Next, she focused on becoming a certified master groomer. In 1998 Judy earned her National Certified Master Groomer (NCMG) status through the National Dog Groomer Association of America. Currently Judy is a speaker, educator and Certifier for that organization.

Judy is an awarding winning pet stylist. She has multiple Best in Show and Best All-Around Groomer awards to her credit. She was a part of the GroomTeam USA’s Top 10 for 3 years; 2000, 2001, and 2003. In 2004 she earned a slot be on the elite GroomTeam USA’s Travel Team, representing the USA in World Team Competition in France the following year. She proudly earned a Gold Medal with her American Cocker Spaniel, helping the USA capture the Silver Team Medal.

In 2002, she was awarded the coveted Sybil Trophy for having the most harmonious relationship with her dogs. In 2004, she was nominated for the prestigious Cardinal Crystal American Groomer of the Year Award. 2011 was Awarded the Cardinal Crystal Grooming Contest Judge of the Year.

Judy is a sought-after and very popular industry speaker, demonstrator and contest grooming judge. She has traveled all over the United States, Canada, Europe, South America, Australia and China.

Judy has teamed up with one of her long-time mentors and person friend, Christina Pawlosky to form The Grooming Professors, an online and personal training platform. They also host clinics, demonstrations, workshops and personal coaching at grooming shows and privately across the country. Plus, they offer individual training via Zoom by request. Together they have released their own shear line. In 2017 The Grooming Professors were the winners of the Barkleigh Honors Awards for Contribution of the Year and Vlog of the Year in 2017 and 2018.

Judy is a licensed Pet Tech® Instructor. She teaches small classes to pet owners and pet service professionals. She enjoys making a difference in pets’ lives by teaching the necessary emergency care and health information for dogs and cats.

When Judy is not working within the realms her grooming businesses, she is a Level V Skin Care Consultant with Rodan+Fields.

Judy and Chris can be reached at


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