The Poodles Coat
All Poodle breeds, the Standard, Miniature, and Toy – have a highly unique coat, not only is it lusciously soft, but it consists of only one layer of hair.
This is in contrast to the majority of dog breeds that have an undercoat and topcoat.
It’s this single layer of hair that makes the Poodle hypoallergenic, or as close to hypoallergenic as possible.
Most dogs will shed their undercoat, and molt this all over everything, whereas – when the Poodle loses hair, it’s both minimal – and gets caught by the surrounding hair.
Puppy Vs. Adult Coat
When your Poodle is a mere pup, you’ll notice that his coat is much softer and wavy than his parent’s.
This is his puppy coat, and will gradually change over to his adult coat at approximately nine months old.
During the puppy coat stage of your pups fluffy life, he is far more prone to matting, this can not only cause painful issues for your pup – but the resulting pain can make him fearful of clipping later in life.
The best solution to this problem is prevention.
By brushing your puppy daily with a pin brush, you can ensure that all knots are removed before they become a problem.
Conditioning sprays are also available, but it’s important to try on a small patch of skin as pups tend to have very sensitive skin.
There’s a common misconception or myth that Poodles don’t molt at all, but in fact, they do; only far less than most dog breeds!
With their single coat the Poodle is an ideal dog choice for those suffering from dog dander and hair allergies, as even though the Poodle does lose hair, the surrounding curly coat traps the loose hair.
By grooming your pooch frequently, you can safely remove this hair without suffering from allergic reactions, or for those with more severe allergies; sending your pooch to a groomer and keeping their coat trimmed should save you from the majority of symptoms!
As Poodles molt minimally, any noticeable hair loss is likely a sign of something being amiss.
This could be anything from an allergic reaction to a pooch shampoo or a sign of a mite infestation.
For a Poodle bitch, the hair is affected by hormone levels, and it’s common to see a thinning of the coat when a bitch is in heat, or whelping.
Unfortunately, little can be done to overcome this, and if you have a female dog that is especially prone to thinning of the hair during these times, it may be best to spay her.
A symptom of hypothyroidism, one of the most common medical conditions to affect poodles, is an overly thick and rough coat.
When a poodle is left without grooming, the molted hair can cause matting which can give a thicker appearance, if you notice matting occurring it’s best to head straight to the groomers; this is a prevalent problem with Poodles, and they know the best and gentlest ways to deal with it!
Running a brush through your pooches hair daily is the best way to keep them tangle free, but this doesn’t have to be a big grooming session.
Just making sure that no knots are making themselves at home, and if your pooch is an active outdoors chap – checking for ticks and mites on a daily basis will help you catch them sooner and avoid more serious medical conditions caused by parasite infestations.
Keeping your pooch clean is important, but overwashing can be bad for their hair, so it’s best to leave bathing for as long as you can – ideally not more than once every other week.
When it comes time to choose hygiene products for bath time, you can go with generic dog safe products, but as the Poodles coat is so unique, and curly – you may prefer to purchase a Poodle specific product.
Shampoo For Poodles
If you’re tempted to grab your bottle of Herbal Essences to bath Fido, think again.
Human shampoo is not suitable for use on canines as it has been designed explicitly for the pH balance of a human scalp and is too harsh for your dog’s skin.
Finding a Poodle, or curly coat specific shampoo can make your coats look and feel softer, so if you have an Instafamous pooch – that’s the way to go!
Conditioner For Poodles
You have a bunch of options available to you for conditioner, from wash out conditioner, to leave in conditioning spray.
A spray in conditioning spray is especially handy for Poodle owners; it can be used in between baths and groomer visits to untangle knots in a pain-free and quick way!
A finishing works similarly to a conditioning spray, making it easier to brush through, but it also lifts the coat, making it soft and shiny too!
Not all finishing sprays work for all dogs, and some can leave the coat feeling tacky and dull.
Finding a spray that will work for you usually involves some level of trial and error, but asking friends, your vet, and even the breeder of your dog is an excellent place to start!
Drying Their Hair
There are a few ways that Poodle hair can be dried, but only one that should be used.
Letting the hair dry by itself will result in a horrendously curly coat that will mat and knot as easily as you can say Poodle.
Brushing through your dog’s hair until it dries might seem like the solution to over-curling, but it will likely damage the hair and cause split ends.
Towel drying is an absolute must for any responsible Poodle owner, whether you also use a blow dryer or not – the first step should always be towel drying, but I don’t mean rubbing that towel all over your pooch.
Nope, you want to dab and press at the hair to dry it.
Clipping At Home
Poodles, unlike many dog breeds, have hair as opposed to fur; this means that it never stops growing and you need to trim at home, or with the help of a groomer to avoid having a big fluff ball on legs!
Clipping at home can be easy to learn, especially if you have a chilled out pooch!
You can now buy clipping kits that come with the clipper, charging cables, and multiple guide combs to allow you to pick the desired coat length.
If you want to try grooming at home, the key is research.
Watch videos, read step by step articles, and take it slow!
Taking your dog to a reputable professional groomer with great reviews is a must.
And no matter how much you practice at home, there’s nothing that feels quite so good as dropping off your bedraggled doggie and picking up a big ball of soft floof!
Looking after your Poodles hair is incredibly important, but don’t forget – to have healthy and strong hair, you need to feed them a diet full of all of the macro and micronutrients that they need.
If you’re unsure where to start, getting in touch with a breeder, or breed organization can be a great place to start!