Poodles do shed. Like all furry animals, strands of hair will fall out naturally every day, and even more so during grooming. But while all dog breeds shed, the Poodle does earn its reputation as a low shedding breed. It’s down to the shape and texture of their fur, which tends to get tangled together instead of gracefully floating around the home.
Poodles can be a good choice for owners with pet allergies, but no dog is truly hypoallergenic. And low low shedding does not mean low maintenance. Expect to spend a considerable amount of time grooming, or be prepared to take your puppy to a professional groomer on a regular basis.
All mammals shed their hair. Hair goes through growth cycles. Hair falls out naturally at the end of its growth cycle, and then a new hair will start to grow. The amount of shedding can vary greatly in dogs. The Poodle and some other breeds are minimal shedders, while dogs with thick double coats shed quite a bit, especially seasonally.
It’s important to note that low shedding dogs like the Poodle can lose more hair than normal if they suffer from certain illnesses or skin conditions. Common causes of hair loss in dogs include skin infections, inflammatory diseases, hormonal imbalances, and nutritional deficiencies.
How Much Do Poodles Shed?
The Poodle coat is dense and curly, but shedding is relatively low because the breed has a single coat, not a double coat. Double coated dogs shed more than single coated dogs because, in addition to normal year-round shedding, their undercoats undergo heavy seasonal shedding as well. This heavy seasonal shedding of the undercoat is often called blowing the coat.
Poodles are low shedders that don’t blow their coats when the weather changes. Their individual curly strands of hair instead coil together as they loosen, and stay stuck in the bulk of their coat instead of floating away.
Are They Hypoallergenic?
No dog breed is 100% hypoallergenic, and responsible breeders will not make this claim about their dogs. Some dog breeds, like the Poodle, are light shedders and produce less dander than other breeds. This makes them easier to tolerate for people with allergies, but not completely hypoallergenic.
If you have pet allergies, the best way to determine if a Poodle is right for you is to spend time with Poodles in their home environments. Sadly, many dogs end up in shelters because people with pet allergies didn’t do their homework before getting one.
Dealing with Poodles Shedding
What hair a Poodle does shed may get caught in the curly coat, but it is maintenance of the coat itself that requires a good amount of time and attention.
A Poodle’s coat requires daily brushing and combing to keep it from matting. If you keep your Poodle in its full coat, you will need to go down to the skin with your grooming tools to prevent mats.
Home groomers use a variety of tools, including
- slicker (or pin) brushes
- steel combs
- scissors, and
- electric clippers.
Grooming your Poodle at home can be difficult and time consuming for many owners, which is why many prefer to take their dog to a professional groomer. You can set up a regular schedule with a groomer to bathe your dog and clip its coat. Many owners find that once a month grooming works well.
Poodle haircuts have a long history. They can range from practical to classic to extremely fancy. How you choose to groom your Poodle is a matter of personal preference. There are many different types of Poodle cuts, but here are a few of the most common.
- The puppy clip is used on Poodles under one year of age, but many owners like it for adult Poodles as well. In this cut, the hair on the body is trimmed with scissors and the hair on the head, paws, and tail is shaved, but not too closely.
- The sporting clip is very similar to the puppy clip. Shaved vs trimmed areas are similar in these two cuts, with a puff left on the top of the head and a pompom on the tip of the tail in the sporting clip.
- A fancier Poodle haircut is called the continental clip. Certain areas of the body are shaved very closely, while others are left very long and fluffy. There are pompoms on the legs, tail tip, and hips.
- The English saddle clip is somewhat like the continental, but there is less close shaving and more areas of the body are trimmed and sculpted.
- An increasingly popular cut, especially among miniature and toy Poodle owners, is known as the Asian style. This type of cut is designed to bring out a dog’s cuteness, like a teddy bear or an anime character.