Are you a new Poodle owner? Maybe you didn’t realize that your puppy’s coat isn’t the same coat he’ll have as an adult. But it’s true. Poodles shed their puppy coats.
When can you expect your puppy to lose his puppy coat? First, you’ll want to be ready. After all, you’ll end up with a hassle if you don’t know what you’re doing.
Understanding the kind of Poodle you have matters in order to answer this question adequately. Do you have a Standard Poodle? Or is your pet the Miniature or Toy variety?
If your puppy is a Standard Poodle, the age for puppy coat shedding usually ranges between 9 and 16 months.
Toy and Miniature Poodles, on the other hand, tend to be younger when they lose their puppy coats. It usually happens before the age of nine months.
Differences Between the Puppy and Adult Poodle Coats
The significant difference between the puppy and adult Poodle coats is their textures. Puppy hair is always softer. Another difference is that adult Poodles are low-shedding, while puppies aren’t.
The adult Poodle coat is curly and coarser than the puppy coat. When your Poodle is a puppy, his coat will be wavy rather than curly. The coat won’t be as thick as it will be when your pet grows up.
Remember, Poodles grow hair instead of fur. Hair has a much longer growth cycle than fur, meaning it can grow long. Poodle puppy hair tends not to grow as long, but you’ll see more growth potential as the adult coat comes in. And this can quickly end up tangling and matting if you don’t step up the grooming.
The Puppy Coat Shedding Process
The Poodle puppy coat shedding process may last between three months and nine months. Toy and Miniature Poodles usually take longer to shed their puppy coats, and Standard Poodles get it done more quickly.
Don’t make assumptions about how long your puppy’s coat shedding process will take. Even within Poodle types, it’s hard to predict how long it will take for a particular Poodle to lose its puppy coat. There seems to be a genetic component. In other words, your pet may follow the same pattern as his parents.
You may notice your Poodle puppy looking unkempt even though you’re grooming him during puppy coat shedding. Just continue doing correct grooming and keep your dog healthy.
How to Manage the Mess
Brushing your dog every day is the best way to cut down on the amount of hair that will end up all over your furniture. We’ll learn more about grooming in the next section.
You’re bound to end up with at least some hair around the house. Try covering your furniture with throws and invest in a good vacuum.
Many Poodle owners chose that breed because it’s low-shedding, so puppy coat shedding can be disconcerting. But don’t worry too much. Once the process is over, your pet will have the adult Poodle coat that is famously good for people with allergies.
Poodle Grooming During and After Puppy Coat Shedding
Grooming is more important than ever after the puppy coat sheds and the adult coat starts growing in.
As the adult coat grows in, your dog will be especially prone to matting. Brush your dog every day to prevent this matting from developing. Of course, matting starts with tangling, so don’t let that problem take hold.
Use a brush with pin bristles on your Poodle daily during this period. You won’t have to do it quite as often once the entire adult coat has grown in.
What Is Matting?
Coat matting is extreme tangling. If you leave tangling in a dog’s fur, it will likely end up matted. Active (and sometimes hyper) dogs like Poodles with single coats are prone to matting.
Once matting has formed, it’s tricky to get out. If it’s moderate to severe, it might be impossible to get out without cutting it away (!).
Never risk hurting your dog by trying to tackle serious matting with a brush.
The leading cause of matting is inadequate grooming. You’ll cut down on the risk of matting if you brush your Poodle every day, wash him if he gets muddy, and blow-dry them thoroughly after washing.
Why Is Matting a Problem?
Coat matting is harmful to your Poodle. It will cause severe problems if you ignore it.
It’s unsightly, but it also quickly leads to skin irritation and itching. In addition, your dog will probably scratch and even bite at it, leading to a dangerous infection.
Once cuts and lesions develop under the mats, they have trouble healing because of the moist atmosphere and debris trapped in the coat.
How To Prevent Matting
As I mentioned, the Poodle coat is especially likely to end up matted when the adult coat is growing in. However, this breed’s coat tends to mat throughout the dog’s life.
Daily brushing with an appropriate pin bristle brush is key to preventing matting. Also, be aware that your Poodle is more likely to have this problem if it gets mud on its coat. So when you bring your dog outdoors for play, and he gets dirty, wash off the mud right away.
If you have any doubts that you can get out the matting without hurting your dog, cut out the matting yourself or bring your pooch to the groomer.
Do the Correct Grooming
First things first: get the right kind of brush. Many experts say that slicker brushes with stiff wire, short bristles are best for Poodles. Find one that is rectangular or square in shape.
Always brush thoroughly, getting down to the skin. Make sure the brush isn’t causing any scratches or discomfort for your dog. If it is, you need a different brush.
You should bathe your dog at least once every one or two months. But, of course, you’ll have to do this more frequently if your dog gets dirty and muddy.
Poodle owners usually bring their pooches to professional groomers for their trims. If you want the most low-maintenance dog, get your dog a short or “sport” trim.
Shampooing a Poodle
Only use a shampoo that is formulated for dogs. Never use human shampoo on a dog, as it’s not the proper pH and doesn’t have appropriate ingredients.
Always fully blow dry your Poodle’s coat after you shampoo him. If you leave any hair wet, it’s likely to get tangled and even matted.
How To Deal With Matting
But what should you do if matting develops on your Poodle? This depends on the severity of the matting.
You may be able to take out mild matting with a high-quality dog grooming brush with pin bristles. Look for grooming tools specially designed for de-matting.
If the matting is more stubborn, use a detangling spray or conditioner formulated for dogs. Don’t attempt to use human hair care products, as they will probably cause irritation and other issues.
If the matting is severe, you’ll probably have to cut it out of the coat with clippers. If you’re like many Poodle owners, you’ll bring your dog to a professional groomer for this process.
If you have to clip off matting, make sure you regularly groom the new hair that grows in.
Are Poodle Puppies Hypoallergenic?
Yes, adult Poodles are considered hypoallergenic. Well, as hypoallergenic as a dog can be. But this doesn’t apply to shedding Poodle puppies. That is because of the shedding it will do when it loses its puppy coat.
However, if you can deal with this short stage, you shouldn’t have any problems with the adult poodle coat. Adult poodles have extremely minimal shedding, which is why they’re considered one of the hypoallergenic breeds.
Also, keep in mind that no breed is completely hypoallergenic. If you don’t regularly groom your Poodle, you may end up with problems.
Other Potential Causes of Hair Loss
It’s completely normal for Poodles to lose their puppy coats. However, if you notice specific other symptoms along with hair loss, your dog may have a separate underlying problem that needs veterinary attention.
Worrying symptoms include:
- Constant scratching
- Noticeably patchy hair loss
- Skin inflammation and redness
- Skin scaliness (or skin color change)
Some of the medical and other conditions that may be behind these symptoms include:
- Inadequate nutrition
- Anxiety or stress
- Infections (bacterial and fungal)
- Infestations (mites, ticks, or fleas)
- Cushing’s disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Final Thoughts: When Do Poodles Shed Their Puppy Coat?
As we discussed earlier, your Poodle puppy will shed its puppy coat before it’s 16 months old.
Standard Poodle puppies tend to lose their coats when they’re between 9 and 16 months old, while Miniature and Toy varieties lose their puppy coats earlier on. In some cases, a Miniature or Toy Poodle may lose its puppy coat when younger than nine months old.
If you’re going to adopt a Poodle, keep an eye out for signs of the puppy coat shed. You’ll want to be more meticulous with grooming to avoid tangling and matting.