Do Poodles Need Haircuts? 

Poodles are famous for their stylish haircuts: big poofy mounds of hair around their heads, ears, and feet. However, are these necessary, or just for show? If you have a poodle, do you need to cut its hair, or can you just let it grow naturally so it doesn’t look like so much of a show dog? 

do poodles need haircuts
Do Poodles need haircuts?

Do Poodles Need Haircuts?

Poodles are a hypoallergenic breed of dog. Like most hypoallergenic breeds, they don’t shed because they have hair instead of fur. This is awesome for people who are allergic to dog fur because they can own a dog without worrying about reactions. However, it does mean that poodles need regular grooming and haircuts. 

Poodle got his new haircut
A Poodle got his new haircut. (Image: Instagram/@our_otto)

Why Do Poodles Need Haircuts? 

Poodles need haircuts and regular grooming because they have hair. It might seem like a silly statement, but there is a big difference between hair and fur. Most dog breeds have fur that grows to a certain length and then falls out. This is shedding as we know it. 

Poodles, on the other hand, have hair. Like humans, their hair won’t stop growing. To keep your poodle healthy, regular grooming is essential. This is why poodles have such a distinct look. 

Of course, you don’t have to give your poodle the classic “poodle cut.” If you don’t want your dog to look like a classic poodle, it’s okay to leave it a little longer on the edges and sides. Many poodle owners go for the “puppy cut” to preserve the puppy looks of their poodle and keep it from looking like a dog show contestant. 

What Happens If I Don’t Cut My Poodle’s Hair? 

You might be thinking that it would be fine if your poodle had a long, shaggy mane. After all, there are dogs with long fur, and they’re just fine. However, the length of a poodle’s hair will affect their skin and overall health after a while. If you want your poodle to stay healthy, you need to do their hair regularly. 

poodle sits on a outdoor lounge
A Tan Poodle sitting on an outdoor lounge. Beautiful!

Poodles have curly hair, and loose hairs can get caught within the hair as it grows. If not brushed and groomed properly, this can lead to dirty skin, ingrown hairs, and even infections in your dog. Avoid these health and skin issues by brushing your dog’s hair every other day and taking them to the groomer regularly. 

While you don’t need to shave them down, you can avoid trips to the groomer by giving your dog a closer cut every two months instead of keeping their fur longer for a month or so. It will be a more drastic change but can reduce the amount of time at the groomer. 

How Often Do Poodles Need a Haircut?

According to the American Kennel Club, it is optimal to take poodles to the groomer about every six to eight weeks. A poodle’s hair grows at about the same speed as humans, but we are not impeded when our hair grows a few inches (mostly because it doesn’t grow that fast all over our body). 

fur dad giving Poodle haircut
The fur dad is giving his Poodle a new haircut! (Image: Instagram/@winnieandfloyd)

If poodles aren’t groomed regularly, they could overheat and have health issues. The hair is a source of warmth in the winter but can quickly become an issue during the summer months. As it heats up, many poodle owners cut their dog’s hair shorter for comfort. 

Should I Brush my Dog Between Visits?

Regular grooming between haircuts is essential, or the dog’s hair could get matted and need to be shaved by the time they get to the groomer. Even with regular grooming, poodles can have skin issues if not given the proper care at home. 

best brush for poodle coats
A woman brushing a chocolate color Poodle

To care for your poodle properly, brush out their hair regularly. If your dog has a poodle or lion cut, take special care with the longer portions around the feet, shoulders, head, and ears. The more you brush your dog’s hair, the easier it will be to maintain a healthy grooming schedule. 

Hair vs Fur

A poodle needs constant care and grooming because it doesn’t shed. Instead, the hair grows. Most dogs, on the other hand, hardly ever go to the groomer (except to possibly get their nails clipped). This is because their hair isn’t hair. It’s fur, and it naturally falls out. 

matlese and poodle temperament
Both Maltese and Poodle dogs share affection for other dogs in their households

You might have picked a poodle for this very reason; poodles don’t shed and leave fur all over the house. It’s a very convenient daily thing, but the downside is that you’ll have to take your dog in for grooming every other month. 

Dogs shed because they have short fur, usually in two layers. As one layer ages, it falls out, leaving new and fresh fur to grow in. it’s a way to keep their skin healthy without needing baths as often and to protect them from the elements. 

Some dogs have hair; some have fur. It’s based on hair follicles and the makeup of their skin, not some elite in-breeding technique. Poodles have always had hair instead of fur since they originated in Germany hundreds of years ago. It simply means that their owners have to ensure they are safe and healthy by grooming them correctly. 

Which Kinds of Dogs Don’t Shed? 

Most breeds of dogs shed at least some. There are not as many hypoallergenic dogs that have hair instead of fur. These dogs are very popular amongst people who have pet allergies or sensitivities but still want to own pets. They are also great breeder dogs and have been combined with other breeds to make some of the most popular dogs available. 

Black shampoo for poodle
All black shampoos for Poodles can revitalise a coat and make it vibrant

Hypoallergenic dogs include: 

  • Poodles 
  • Affenpinscher 
  • American Hairless Terrier
  • Bichon Frise
  • Afghan Hound
  • Chinese Crested
  • Bolognese
  • Coton de Tulear
  • Schnauzer
  • Irish Water Spaniel 
  • Maltese
  • Portuguese Water Dog
  • Yorkshire Terrier

These are the purebred hypoallergenic dogs. However, they have been crossbred to create Goldendoodles, Bernedoodles, Maltipoos, and many other blended dogs. Poodles are a popular breed to cross with because they are intelligent, loyal, and don’t shed. However, they do require some extra grooming work. 

Final Thoughts

Poodles need haircuts for the simple fact that they have hair. They might not shed like the majority of other dogs, and this adds to their appeal as loyal, smart, and trainable pets. However, a poodle’s health needs to keep well-trimmed throughout the year, even if they’re not winning every dog show in the area.