The Poodle is one of the most instantly recognizable dog breeds in the world today. These dogs have some of the fanciest hair cuts ever imagined!
Poodle hair is quite different from many of the dog breeds in the world today. It can be hard to work with if you don’t know what you are doing.
And the Poodle coat is very high-maintenance. It needs daily brushing and attention and it grows quickly and constantly.
In this article, learn how long Poodle hair grows and what to expect in terms of coat maintenance if you choose a Poodle for your dog.
How Long Does Poodle Hair Grow?
Poodle hair grows constantly and quickly. This might lead you to wonder how long Poodle hair would grow if you never ever gave your Poodle a trim.
According to one popular Poodle owner forum, it will keep growing until you cut it. This means that – in theory at least – there is no set limit to how long your Poodle’s coat may grow if you don’t cut it.
Learn How to Brush and Groom Poodle Hair
In this professional dog groomer YouTube video, you can learn the proper way to brush a Poodle coat.
Most importantly, you will learn how to use different brushing and grooming tools to gently brush your Poodle’s coat all the way down to the skin without causing pain.
This is especially vital to know because the Poodle’s coat is so dense that it traps dead, shed hair in the surrounding hairs. This can lead to tangles and mats that are painful for your Poodle.
You don’t ever want to pull on a Poodle’s coat if you find a tangle or mat, because this can abrade the skin and lead to injury or infection.
How Fast Does Poodle Hair Grow?
Poodle hair can grow up to one inch per month. The average growth per month is between one-half and one inch.
Compare that with how fast the average human hair grows – about one-half inch per month, according to Healthline.
So your Poodle’s hair will grow up to twice as fast as your own. Imagine if you never cut your hair – this will give you a pretty good visual for how fast your Poodle’s coat could get very long indeed!
Different Types of Poodle Hair
Poodles may seem to have a signature look, but in actuality, these dogs can inherit different coat types based on the genetics of the parent dogs.
Classic coarse Poodle coat type
The classic Poodle coat is very coarse and harsh with tight curls.
Sometimes, as Furr Pet Spa and Wellness explains, this is nicknamed the “brillo pad” coat after its texture.
As the Enchanted Poodle Club of America points out, this classic coarse Poodle coat is extremely high maintenance to care for.
Typically, Poodle coats need to be brushed several times per week – as often as once per day – to keep tangles and mats from forming as hair sheds out and gets trapped in the coat.
As well, because Poodle hair is fast-growing and it grows constantly, it needs to be constantly trimmed and shaped. Some owners learn to do this at home while other owners choose to invest in professional grooming services, typically every four to six weeks.
Soft corded curly Poodle coat type
When you see a Poodle that looks like they are wearing dreadlocks, the proper term for this is “corded.” Curly Poodle coats that have a softer, silkier texture are often shaped into cords once the adult coat grows in.
Once the coat has been shaped into cords and those cords become established, this actually ends up being a relatively low-maintenance coat style to manage.
Why Can’t You Shave a Poodle’s Coat to Keep It Low Maintenance?
Because the Poodle coat is so fast-growing and so dense and curly, it can sound tempting to shave it off completely. This may sound like the fast track to no coat care and a neat, clean house.
But it is not a healthy choice for your Poodle. The Poodle’s coat has developed to be the way that it is for a reason. Poodles may look like fancy show dogs today, but they have a long and noble lineage as working dogs.
As the American Kennel Club (AKC) breed page points out, standard size Poodles, in particular, are amazing canine athletes – a true working dog breed.
These dogs can do it all – running, swimming, jumping, hunting, herding, protecting, and guarding. And they have historically needed the protection of all that hair to prevent injury and abrasion.
Not only is the Poodle coat thick and dense, but it is also a double layer. Most working dog breeds do have double layer coats, with a protective, water-repellant outer layer and a thick, soft, insulating inner layer.
So as much hair as you think your Poodle has, your dog actually has twice as much as that. There is a whole inner layer that lies close to the skin that you can’t even see – you can only feel it.
And this is exactly why you never want to shave an adult Poodle’s coat off. When the adult coat starts to grow in after puppyhood, the two layers grow separately. This way, all the soft, insulating hairs grow in together to form a layer next to the skin.
And all the coarse, curly, water-resistant outer hairs grow in together to keep water away from the inner layer of hair and the skin.
Once you shave the adult coat, when it grows back in it will not grow in two separate, fully functional layers. Rather, the hairs will mingle together as they grow back and your dog will lose the full protection of the coat.
What Happens When Tangles and Mats Form in the Poodle Coat?
This makes keeping your Poodle’s coat well maintained, brushed, trimmed and groomed even more important.
Sometimes Poodles are misidentified as “hypoallergenic” dogs because they don’t visibly shed out dead hair.
But as the Animal Health Foundation (AHF) explains, this is a myth. As good as it sounds, there is no such animal as a hypoallergenic dog breed.
There is only a dog breed that doesn’t shed visibly because the shed hair is caught by the surrounding coat hairs, which is how the Poodle sheds. As we mentioned here earlier, this shed hair gets trapped and then starts to tangle and mat.
A severe tangle that happens in a dog’s coat is called a “mat.” Once your Poodle’s coat tangles to the point where mats – big clumps of tangled hair – have formed, it usually is no longer possible to work them out with a comb or brush.
Trying to do this will cause too much discomfort to your dog and may also cause skin irritation or tearing that leads to infection. So at this point, the only humane option is to shave that portion of the coat all the way down to the skin.
You just learned what happens to the Poodle’s double layer coat when it is shaved – it doesn’t grow back in with the same degree of protective properties. This is why you never want to have to shave any part of the Poodle coat if you can avoid it.
The Best Haircut for An Active Adult Poodle
According to the Poodle Club of America, if you plan to show your Poodle in AKC canine competitions, the breed standard outlines the certain hair cuts that are required for show purposes.
But if you don’t plan to show your Poodle competitively, you can choose a more functional hair cut that is easier to manage and maintain.
The teddy bear clip (also called the puppy clip) is an easy short cut that young Poodles often get before being shown. It isn’t an elaborate cut like what adult Poodles have to have to be shown.
It is also sometimes called the teddy bear clip. You can see some cute photos of the teddy bear clip at Bijou Poodles breeder.
But basically the idea is to trim the hair to a relatively even short length around the body so the Poodle’s coat doesn’t in any way interfere with daily life or cause excess maintenance or expense.
When You Choose a Poodle, Poodle Coat Care Becomes a Huge Commitment
Poodles are smart, loyal, loving, and playful dogs. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), the Poodle is the seventh most popular purebred dog breed in the United States – out of nearly 200 registered breeds!
But choosing a Poodle means choosing a decade or more of near-daily coat care. Your Poodle will rely on you to keep their fast-growing, dense, curly, and tangle-prone coat free from mats, healthy, clean, and functional.
It is vital to know this before you decide the Poodle is the breed for you.