If you’re an owner of one or someone interested in Poodles, you might have heard many people praising their intelligence, athleticism and coat. Yes, that’s right, their coat. It’s often talked a lot about by many in the dog world.
Unlike some breeds like the Border Collie, German Shepherd and Old English Sheepdog that have a merle coat, the Poodles coat tends to be mainly a single color. But, the color is not the reason that triggers a lot of conversation to be sparked nor the length either.
So what exactly is it?
Well, amongst the internet, Poodle owners and those in the dog world, there’s a common debate that often arises about the type of coat a Poodle has.
The main issue is, do they have hair or fur?
Because quite frankly, the two words have subtle differences between them. While Poodles won’t know the difference, it’s important for existing and potential Poodle owners to know what they have, so their coat can be looked after properly. Therefore to know more, keep on reading as I’m going to tell you everything you need to know on this matter in this article.
What Will I Learn? 👇
Poodles have hair and not fur like most dogs. They’re actually one of the select few breeds that have hair. Their coat consists of a single layer that’s extremely close to being hypoallergenic, meaning it hardly sheds. It’s also believed their hair can respond and adapt to hormonal changes to their body, exactly like your hair does!
Most of the time the hair on their coat continues to grow over time and hardly ever falls out in clumps or in large amounts. The only time you’ll really see this happening is when a Poodle is stressed, has underlying health issues are going through hormonal changes. In this context, if they had fur it would only grow to a certain length and then will fall off and shed. The hair of a Poodle tends to be silky and function like yours and mine.
Simply looking at a Poodle at first glance, you might be curious to know the difference. In fact, you may be skeptical to even think there is a variation. As when you brush it, there’s not a noticeable difference to the eyes.
But, there are actually subtle distinctions between the two and a lot of nuances. However in general they are mainly the same in terms of their identity, as they’re both made from a protein compound called keratin. The major difference between the two is the density.
Moreover hair constantly grows and does not fall out in large parts. On the contrary fur only grows to a certain length then must shed.
The key difference between the two is that fur on a dog tends to consist of a double layer whereas a Poodles with hair will have a single layer.
Out of the two types, hair is a lot smoother and can grow to longer lengths, pretty much as long as you wish for it to grow. Moreover, a Poodles hair type can vary either being wavy, curly or straight. Due to the different types of hair they have, it’s important that you pay strict attention to their hair and groom them accordingly as it can easily become tangled attracting a lot of dirt and debris.
On the contrary, dogs who have a fur coat will have both a top coat and undercoat. The two coats will produce a thick furry feeling. Because of this, fur tends to be a lot shorter and denser than hair. The reason behind this, is that their skin requires more follicles to ensure the fur grows properly.
The fur undercoat is often soft and fine, which helps regulate a dogs body temperature to achieve homeostasis during different seasons. It’s not always guaranteed that dogs will have this double coat, but it’s particularly common for dogs who have fur.
There are major differences in how fur and hair grows in dogs. To help you understand, it’s best you look at their growth cycles. But mainly, the growth cycle of a Poodle is a lot shorter as the hair hardly ever sheds. Both hair and fur have to pass through the same stages at growth, but they grow at different speeds.
- Anagen: In this stage the follicles become active and start to develop.
- Catagen: Next, the root sheath starts to bond with their hair and the growth stops.
- Telogen: This is known as the dormant phase, where their hair does not grow or shed.
- Exogen: The last phase of the cycle is exogen, where a Poodles hair sheds from the follicle.
Looking at the growth cycle, the main phase that stands out the most between hair and fur is anagen. This is because hair requires additional time in this period, which slows the whole growth cycle down. However, dogs who have fur undergo this process a lot quicker, shedding more and maintaining a healthy coat.
One of the main reasons there’s a lot of debate between hair and fur in the dog world, is due to the topic of allergens. A lot of people tend to believe that dogs who have hair instead of fur have less allergens and trigger few allergies in people.
But, this is not always accurate as it’s not always the cause of allergens. In fact, there are other things that could cause an emotional response in dog owners or others in the same household such as:
- Chemical compounds on their skin
- Dog’s urine
- Dust or pollen in the coat
It’s not always guaranteed that a Poodles coat will have fewer allergens. But the main reason people praise its coat is that the hair can quickly and easily trap dander.
The downside of this is that their coat does not shed and if you’re non on top of their grooming requirements it could easily cause a flare-up if you or someone else suffers from allergies associated with danders.
Conversely, dog fur sheds regularly and can cause the dander that clings onto it, to linger all over your home. If the dog sheds a lot, it could make your allergies worse and difficult to remove as the hair might be all over your home. Therefore, it’s not their hair or fur, it’s the dander and protein compounds on their skin that can cause you to have watery eyes, itchy skin and sneeze from time to time.
- Poodles were originally bred to be hunters for ducks and birds. It was their short hair that made them swim quicker in the water! But, because it was short they often struggled with cold temperatures. So back in Germany, owners would make sure their hair was puffy around certain joints and primary organs to ensure they stayed warm in the areas that needed heat the most.
- In the show world, Poodles must abide by specific rules and have a strict hairstyle. The hairstyles they can have are the English Saddle, Continental Clip and Modified Conventional Clip.
Overall, Poodles are dogs that have hair not fur, the main difference is the speed of growth. Hair on a Poodle is based on a single coat that can grow to long lengths without shedding. Whereas fur only grows to a certain length and sheds frequently. But, if you’re an allergy sufferer it’s not the hair or fur that causes the allergies you have, it’s actually the dander.
Therefore regardless of what dog you own and the coat type they have, it’s up to you to keep on top of their grooming requirements. This means you have to either brush them regularly or get them cut to stop fur lingering around your home.
Reading this, do you have a preference for owning a dog with fur or a hair-type coat? Let us know what you’d choose and why down below.