You are here:

Dog Grooming/Ear hair plucking


I have a year and a half old standard poodle with very hairy ears! My vet has advised me to try to pluck more out of them, although I keep them very clean and she has never had any infections or issues, so I don't think they need to be totally hollow.
I do just try to maintain plucking the inner part of her ear so that the vet can see down in it when she needs to. However, the process started out okay and has gradually gotten more and more difficult. Usually I have to lay my dog down on her back and sit on her in order to get anything done. Tonight however I was unable to get her on her back and I had to attempt to calm her squirming. It was very ineffective. It is so stressful for her, and I'm not getting done what I need to. I just worry that eventually her anxiety about it is going to escalate into aggression, and my sweet puppy getting aggressive would just break my heart.
I want to nip in the bud any possible aggressive behavior and make the process as easy as possible, for both of us. Do you have any tips? I do use the powder that makes the hair easier to pull, and she never whines or yelps in pain. She just struggles and pants and shows me the whites of her eyes.

Thanks for any insight,

Hi Kate,
I applaud your dedication to the health of your dog. That said, I can't agree more with you that you may be causing her some dissasociative behavior if you continue on the way your are. Give it a rest for a while. You know a poodle is a water dog right? Originally, hair in water dogs ear canals is there to help keep water from getting in. Does your dog swim? If so, it is not so necessary to keep that ear hair free during those months. Dry them sure, powder them if you must, but if you pluck this every 10 weeks you should not have a problem unless your dog is prone to ear infections. Those are usually from yeast or allergies which can be associated with food.
Frankly, it used to part of the vets job to do this as a well visit procedure. Request they do it EVERY TIME you go for ANYTHING! As well as nail cutting and anal glands. Let her protest to them. They are equipped to deal.
If you feel you must do this, please do it from a more secure position. Tie her on her leash or a loop against a doorknob or hook to keep the head up and have her stand in a safe place with limited space for her to move. Spend no longer than a few minutes - get in and out quick. Hemostats that lock, are a useful tool if you know how to use them , just be careful. Powder is good for gripping slippery hair.
I still advise you to have the vet do his job more thoroughly- they charge enough!
Hope this is helpful

Dog Grooming

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


ElizaBeth CRONK (Horch)


Professional Dog Groomer-How to groom dogs- all breeds but specialize in the Art of the Hand Plucked Terrier, Bichon and Portugese Water Dog. Scissoring, clippering, and most known for hand plucked terrier skills. I am well known for my private business in Manhattan. I train owners and professionals looking to upgrade their skills Trained at NY School of Dog Grooming and apprenticed with several Internationally known expert breeders, handlers, and judges, assisted many years Westminster and Montgomery Kennel club shows.


28 years private residential dog grooming service- I have groomed over 30,000 dogs I teach professionals and private clients

Member Twin Brooks Kennel CLub- NJ Morris and Essex Kennel Club American Fox Terrier Club

Publications DVD Splish Splash the Doggies Bath- a how to for basic dog bathing Terrierific Facebook Fan page consultant for various pet publications and manufacturers of pet products

New York School of Dog Grooming/ worked with many professional handlers, assisted many dog shows, bred my own dogs, private tutoring

Past/Present Clients
private listing over 250
video now available on website testimonials on website

©2017 All rights reserved.