The lively and intelligent Poodle has long been a favorite breed among dog lovers, but if you want to know ‘do Poodles shed?’ then you’ve come to the right place.
Many potential owners become interested in the three different types of Poodle (standard, miniature, and toy) when they hear about the breed’s reputation as a low shedding “hypoallergenic” dog.
Is this reputation true? The answer to this question can be especially important if you have pet allergies.
But even if you don’t have allergies, the idea of a dog that doesn’t shed excessively is appealing to many potential owners.
We’ll tell you all you need to know about Poodle shedding and grooming so you can make the best choice about your next canine companion.
Do Poodles Shed?
Yes, Poodles shed. Like all animals with hair (including humans), sometimes a Poodle’s hair will fall out naturally or during grooming. This is normal.
Why do Poodles shed less than some other dogs?
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.
What about the Poodle’s reputation as a hypoallergenic dog?
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.
So, 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.
Remember that dogs are a lifetime commitment. Many dogs end up in shelters because people with pet allergies didn’t do their homework before getting one.
Why Do Dogs Shed?
As we mentioned, 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?
What exactly does the term “low shedding” mean? How much can you expect your Poodle to shed?
It’s unlikely that many people sit around and count the number of hairs that their Poodle sheds naturally from day to day.
We do know that a normal human will lose about 100 hairs a day.
A good rule of thumb for Poodles is to keep in mind that larger dogs have more coat area, which of course means more hairs to lose.
A miniature or toy Poodle might be a better choice than a standard Poodle if you’re really concerned about shedding.
Dealing with Poodles Shedding
Poodles require a great deal of grooming. Since Poodles are minimal shedders, grooming them is not about brushing out a heavily shedding coat.
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.
Many Poodle owners prefer to clip and trim their dog’s coat in short cut, rather than keep it long.
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.
There’s a wide variety of Poodle haircut styles to choose from. Here’s a brief overview.
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.
Do Poodles Shed Too Much?
While a Poodle’s hair can grow out to very long lengths when left untrimmed, the Poodle is a low shedding dog breed.
Any excessive shedding in a Poodle could be the sign of a health problem, so be sure to take your dog to the veterinarian if you see a lot of shedding.
Even though Poodles are low shedders, remember that there is no such thing as a 100% hypoallergenic dog.
Poodles can be a good choice for owners with pet allergies, but you should always spend plenty of time with Poodles in their home environments before getting one of your own.
A final point to keep in mind is that with Poodles, low shedding does not mean low maintenance.
Expect to spend a considerable amount of time grooming your Poodle…or be prepared to take your dog to a professional groomer on a regular basis.
Are you a Poodle parent? What are your experiences with shedding and allergies? Tell us about your dog in the comments!
References and Resources
- The Poodle Club of America.
- Myers, P., Hair, Animal Diversity Web.
- Moriello, K.A., Hair Loss (Alopecia) in Dogs, Merck Veterinary Manual.
- Pellettieri, J.H., 2004, Why are Poodle Haircuts So Weird? How Their Coifs Once Helped Them Hunt.