Do Poodles Need Haircuts? [The TRUTH]

Dogs have been a man’s best friend since the beginning of time. The only price for their companionship is to take care of them. They rely on us to feed them and groom them and exercise them.

Needs will differ between breeds, though. For example, some are more energetic, some have low-maintenance fur, and some are more social than others. Therefore, we must know how to cater to the specific needs of their breed.

Poodles are beautiful, curly-haired dogs. Their hair is different from most dogs, so you may want to know their care needs. Read on to find out how to keep your Poodle looking sharp.

do poodles need haircuts

What Are Poodles Like?

We think Poodles originated in Germany as far back as the middle ages. Their original purpose was to hunt waterfowl like ducks. Like all working dogs, Poodles are highly intelligent and train well. Now they mostly live in our houses and bark at the doorbell.

Standard Poodles will grow to be at least 15” tall at the shoulder, usually taller. Males weigh 60-70 pounds. Females weigh 40-50 pounds.

Despite being a larger breed, these dogs have a long life expectancy from 10-18 years. A smaller Poodle variation is more likely to live to the higher end of the spectrum, while larger dogs are more likely to live to the lower end.

They make a great pet, loving children, other dogs, and family time. They need daily exercise and a job to keep them mentally stimulated.

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You can teach your Poodle how to pick up their toys and carry their things when you go out for a walk by giving them a backpack, similar to how Saint Bernards like to pull their carts.

a poodle getting a haircut

What’s The Verdict?

The typical haircut of a Poodle, the Continental Cut, is used for function. It leaves enough fur to keep them warm while still allowing them to swim efficiently. Even if you don’t opt to style your Poodle traditionally, you still need to keep up with trimming.

Poodles are high-maintenance when it comes to their coat. A Poodle has hair instead of fur, acting more like our hair. Their hair will grow continuously like ours. Their curly hair makes them more prone to matting.

To ensure their hair isn’t getting matted from being too long, you should regularly trim your dog’s hair. Longer hair will also obscure their vision. Regular grooming will help you monitor their skin health.

Haircuts For Your Poodle

When you take your Poodle to the groomer or get ready to cut their hair yourself, you need to decide what haircut to give them. There is a wide variety of cuts, with some shorter and some longer. As mentioned, the Continental Cut, also known as the Lion Cut, will give your dog the classic Poodle look.

The Teddy Bear haircut typically rounds out their face while keeping length, which remains a uniform medium length, giving your dog, as the name suggests, a teddy bear look. Owners choose this cut for the simplicity and the cuteness factor.

poodle being groomed

Another cut would be the Bikini Cut, a shorter cut that is pretty low maintenance. Their tail, paws, and ears are allowed to grow out while the rest of their body is kept short, making it a good cut for the summer months or if you live in a hotter area.

The Puppy Cut is similar to the Teddy Bear Cut, where it’s mostly chosen because it makes your dog look cute. This cut gives your dog the look of a puppy, even when they’re older. The difference between the cuts is in the face.

While Teddy Bear goes for a rounded face, a Puppy Cut will leave their features more visible with a more proportional head. Some people consider the two cuts the same because they nearly are.

Poodle Grooming Needs

Because of their curls, a Poodle will seem like they don’t shed much. The shed hair will tangle with their curls, potentially matting their hair, so it is essential to brush them regularly.

Poodle puppies will be born with their puppy coat, which is different from their adult coat. A puppy coat will be softer and less dense than an adult coat. The adult coat can start growing from 3 months old. This process can take up to a year to finish.

During this time, your puppy will shed a lot more than they will with their adult coat. As a result, they will need to be brushed more often. In this transitional period, their hair will mat more easily.

Along with brushing your Poodle’s locks, you need to clean their ears out regularly. Like all dogs whose ears flop down, they are more susceptible to infections due to the warm, damp environment.

Dogs need regular nail trimming. Without it, their nails can grow into their paws and cause infection. A general rule is to cut your dog’s nails every 3-4 weeks.

nail clip a poodle
You can safely clip Poodle nails at home (with practice)

Do it more often if you hear them clicking on the sidewalk. If your Poodle’s nails naturally stay maintained from walking on sidewalks, you may not need to trim their nails as often.

Be careful when trimming their nails. If you cut them too short, you can cut past the quick, which will result in your dog being in pain and bleeding.

Poodles need to be bathed every 3-4 weeks, too. It is important to remove any dead skin cells or debris trapped under their fur. Like regularly brushing your dog, bathing them can help you monitor their skin for any issues.

Because the considerable grooming needs have to be done at similar intervals of time, you can cut your Poodle’s hair and nails when you bathe them.

Poodle Variations and Their Needs

Aside from your standard Poodle, there are a few variations. These include the Miniature Poodle, the Toy Poodle, and the Teacup Poodle.

how often to bathe a poodle
How often do Poodles need baths?

Along with the variations, there are also several Poodle mixes with the same hair care requirements. The Goldendoodle, which is a Golden Retriever/Poodle mix, the Labradoodle, which is a Labrador Retriever/Poodle mix, or even the Cockapoo, a Cocker Spaniel/Poodle mix.

These mixed breed dogs often inherit the Poodle’s curly hair, meaning you need to trim their hair and bathe them regularly, too.

The Miniature Poodle weighs 5-10 pounds and is about 15” tall. Their life expectancy is 10-18 years. This variation has the same needs as a Standard Poodle, including the need for regular exercise, a job for mental stimulation, and regular grooming.

A Toy Poodle will be 10” tall, at most, and weigh around 5 pounds. Their life expectancy is also 10-18 years. They have the same care needs as the Standard and Miniature.

Due to the mixes having other dog breeds involved, their characteristics will differ. For example, a Goldendoodle can be taller and weigh more than a Standard Poodle. They have a lower tendency to bark and are more friendly to other dogs.

Like the Miniature Poodle, a Cockapoo tends to be smaller but with Cocker Spaniel characteristics. They may be more likely to shed than Poodles because of the difference in their coat.


Poodles may have some rigid care needs, especially with high grooming requirements, but they make for a beautiful dog and a great companion. There are a variety of cuts to give them to keep it fresh.

These intelligent pups will always be there to keep you company, and because they’re so trainable, you may never have to pick up their toys. Hopefully, now your Poodle is looking sharp!

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