When you think about a Poodles appearance, the first thing that often comes to your mind is most likely their floppy ears and curly hair. After all, in comparison to other dog breeds, the curly hair a Poodle boasts is pretty iconic.
In fact, it would be pretty hard to imagine a Poodle without curly hair. In a way, it kind of compliments their friendly and gentle personality. But, to truly appreciate their curly hair, you must know why they have it, when they get it and how to maintain it.
To help you uncover more about a Poodle’s curly hair, keep reading as today I’m going to write about everything you need to know about their curls.
What Will I Learn? 👇
There’s a lot more than just the aesthetics of a Poodles coat. In fact, their curly hair exists as this breed used to be a water dog. Unlike other breeds, the Poodle has a single-layered coat to keep its essential organs warm in the water.
The tight ringlets on their coat stop the coal water from reaching their skin. Basically, their hair soaks up any water droplet before reaching their skin, making them cold.
Poodles aren’t born with curly hair; they have straight hair. This type of coat tends to look and feel a lot different than their adult one. Most of the time, this coat is soft and thin compared to the thick one it develops in an adult.
While the coat goes through different stages of maturation, they start to gain wavy hair that eventually turns into curls between 1-3 years old. The only time a Poodle will not have a curly coat is if it’s a Doodle.
If you’re looking to buy a Poodle, you can’t always guarantee that they will have a curly coat. A good indicator of this is if their breeder is breeding them for different reasons that are not show-related. But, for the most part, Poodles that are purebred will have curly hair.
Like the Standard Poodle, a Toy Poodle will have a curly coat. The main difference in their coats is that it will take less time for a Toy Poodles coat to turn curly.
At around 9 months old a Toy Poodles coat will start to change from wavy to curly and then a further 9 months to transition into curls. Therefore when a Toy Poodle reaches around 18 months, their coat should be fully curly.
As a dog owner, you should never take a Poodle’s curly hair for granted. Even though it’s low shedding and close to a hypoallergenic breed, you must spend a lot of time looking after the dog so their curls can stay intact.
On average, a professional groomer should aim to have your Poodles coat cut every 6-8 weeks. If you’re confident and experienced, you can always do it yourself, but to ensure they get the right cut, it’s sometimes advised to do it professionally. You will want to make sure the hair around their face and paws is trimmed more frequently.
To keep their curls springy, you should brush their hair every day using a wire brush. Try to keep on top of this, as if it becomes too long between bushes, their curls can easily become matted. This is especially the case with their paws, groin, armpits, and pain.
Plus, once their hair becomes matted, it can be difficult to tease them out, causing them a lot of pain doing so. If their matts are bad, they may need to be clipped out entirely from their coat.
Alongside this, you don’t want to bathe your Poodle too much, no more than once a month. If you do over bathe, it could strip their coat of natural oils and have flaky and itchy skin. Therefore making their curls dirty and easier to become tangled.
In addition to grooming, your Poodle’s health is equally important to maintaining its iconic curly coat. Some supplements that can keep their curls intact you might want to consider are fish and seed oils. This is because these oils contain large amounts of essential fatty acids known to keep their skin healthy and provide a shiny yet silky coat.
Alongside these, there’s a range of supplements out there that can keep their curls healthy. To know more, you might want to speak to your vet for advice. You can even buy supplements from a nearby pet shop or online too. Usually, these supplements are available in either tablet, capsule, powder, or liquid form and are meant to add to your Poodles food.
A Poodles diet is one of the most important things to help their curls stay glossy and bouncy. Ideally, you will want to feed Poodles food with lots of proteins, minerals, and nutrients to ensure their coat is in top form. Some foods you might want to think about adding to their diet are:
- Peanut butter
- Sweet potatoes
- Cooked chicken
Vet tip: Owners should feed complete dog food. If you wish to make a homemade diet, this must be done alongside a nutritionist, to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
For your Poodles curls to stay fresh and pristine, you will want to reduce their risk of getting external parasites. There are parasites like fleas, ticks, and mites that can contribute to skin and coat issues. Plus, if your Poodle has a parasite infestation, it’s more than likely they will scratch and itch their coat, uncurling it.
You will want to avoid using harsh products full of strong chemicals on your Poodle, especially shampoos and conditioners. When using products to apply to their coat, you should ensure they’re dog friendly and veterinarian approved.
The reason for this is that Poodles have sensitive skin and require a mild shampoo that does not irritate them. Similarly, some Poodles with dry fur may need oils to apply to their coat and be brushed through.
Sometimes a Poodle may have underlying medical conditions which could affect their coat, causing hair loss, making it more dryer, or suffering from certain skin conditions like dermatitis.
Similarly, chronic skin diseases like atopic dermatitis can often contribute to an unhealthy coat in a Poodle.
Therefore because of this, you must take your Poodle to a vet regularly for checkups. Vets will run specific health tests to look out for conditions, diagnose them and treat them. While some might not be entirely curable, they can be managed and therefore help ensure their curls remain intact and coat pristine.
- Back in the 16th century, a Poodles coat was shaved in specific places to make them float in the water. If their coat was unshaved, they risked sinking and not being able to float.
- Today there are so many Poodle haircuts; there are at least 50 options!
Overall, Poodles tend to have curly hair when they’re an adult. It’s only when they’re bred with another dog that they may have different hair, like cords. Usually, they are born with straight hair that turns wavy and then curly once they’ve grown into an adult. The rate their curls can grow will differ based on if the breed is a Standard, Miniature, or Toy.
It’s important to know that curls don’t always stay intact naturally; they can easily come out if they’re not groomed frequently and looked after well. Therefore if you’re a Poodle owner, you must brush them daily, feed them the right diet, supplements and visit the vet to see if they have any underlying health conditions.
What are your thoughts on a Poodles curly coat? Let us know in the comments down below.
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Marko is the founder and author at PoodleHQ, where he blends profound expertise with formal training in Animal Behavior and Canine Genetics. With multiple generations of poodles under his care, he’s a breed connoisseur, honored with the Canine Care Excellence Award and lauded by the International Pet Enthusiasts Association.