Misinformation about poodle hair is about as common as the poodle himself.
It’s high time the facts come out about the gorgeous and luxurious coat that is the defining feature of the poodle.
Do poodles have fur or do they have hair?
Arguably, the question of fur or hair is the most misunderstood quality of the poodle.
The answer to the question is: hair
Poodles have hair not fur! A firm understanding of this fact, completely changes the way poodle coats are handled.
First Poodles are a breed of dog with hair. And, like human hair, poodle hair must have regular maintenance. Poodle hair needs to be regularly brushed and regularly washed. Lucky enough, unlike human hair, a thorough grooming of a poodle only needs to be done every 6 weeks.
Next Poodles have a single coat of hair. Many hairs will grow out of a single follicle and each hair has a life cycle. Eventually, a strand of hair will come to the end of its cycle and fall out of the follicle. When this happens, the loose hair becomes entangled in the other curly hairs on the poodle. And this is how mats get created. Again, exactly like human hair, poodle hair will mat and tangle. When managed carefully, these mats and tangles can be trained into lovely cords. However, unfortunately, it is more common for the poodle hair to be neglected. When this neglect happens, the hair follicles continue to grow and release hairs into the curly coat. As the coat hair grows, the mats tighten and twist to the skin. The result is painful sores and irritation on the poodle. The only solution to for these mats is to shave the hair off the poodle and start growing hair, all over again.
Finally Any poodle, any variety, even any poodle mix, must be regularly groomed. A visit to a reputable groomer every 6 weeks is a necessity for all poodles. At the grooming shop, the poodle will have his nails clipped, ears cleaned, bathed, dried, and scissored or shaved into a style of your choice. And this is possibly the most fun tidbit about poodle hair:
All the hairstyles!
I have to admit, I love poodle hairstyles! There are so many different looks for poodle hair. Truly, the imagination is the only limit to the variety of ways to style up a poodle.
Some styles require more maintenance from poodle owners than others. Any hairstyle with more than a couple of inches of hair, will require regular brushing. Remember, just like human hair, preventing tangles and mats in poodle hair will mean thorough brushing, from root to tip.
Poodles grow hair all over their body, including the face. Many poodle styles have the face shaved to show off the elegance of the poodle head. Shaving the face also gives an advantage for cleaning and proper hygiene. A shaved face eliminates issues with food or water being trapped in and around the eyes and the mouth.
But shaving a poodle’s face certainly isn’t required. A term called, asian fusion grooming has swept across America. And, I gotta be honest, I love this groom style! Rounded heads and teddy bear-esque faces on poodles are all the rage. It’s a pretty cute look. And a perfect look for the toy or mini variety of poodle.
The bottom line, when it comes to poodle hair, is just to remember that, like your own hair… poodle hair must be maintained. A poodle is considered at the top of the list for people with allergies. Poodles have hair and not fur. But poodle hair only has an advantage when it is properly cared for.
Remember; poodle hair does not shed like fur. Instead the hair gets caught up in the coat among other hair… the hair gets dirty… regular grooming is the number one way to make sure your allergy-friendly poodle remains as allergy-friendly as the day you first brought her home!