Poodle puppies look like miniature teddy bears with their soft and wavy coats. As a new poodle-owner, you might wonder how long your puppy will keep this soft coat, when their adult coat will come in, and how much shedding you can expect in the process.
Here’s what you need to know about when poodles shed their puppy coats.
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What Is a Poodle Puppy Coat?
A dog’s fur or hair is very important because it helps them regulate their body temperature. Some dogs like Labradors have two layers of fur, which makes them ideal dogs for hunting waterfowl since they have an additional layer of hair to insulate them from water.
Other dogs like poodles have a single layer of hair. Because their coat is dense and wiry, it does a great job of protecting them from cold temperatures.
Puppies spend most of their time snuggling with their mother or with their littermates. As a result, they have little need for a dense and wiry coat. Puppies typically have hair that is soft and less dense than what you would find on an adult dog.
In the case of poodles, puppies are usually born with hair that is soft and straight. As your puppy gets older, their hair will start becoming wavy or curly at the base.
How Much Do Poodle Puppies Shed?
Your poodle will shed during the first few months of her life. Poodles are hypoallergenic dogs because they do very little shedding as adults, which means they release less pet dander than other dogs.
However, poodle puppies have fast hair growth cycles. Old hair has to fall out to make room for new growth, resulting in shedding.
Your poodle puppy will blow her puppy coat, but before it happens, you’ll have to deal with some regular shedding. Keep in mind that this shedding isn’t representative of how much your poodle will shed once she’s an adult.
When Do Poodle Puppies Blow Their Coats?
Most dogs shed their puppy coat to make room for their adult coat around four to six months of age. However, poodle puppies tend to blow their coat later:
- Standard poodles usually lose their puppy coat around nine to 16 months of age.
- Miniature and toy poodles tend to shed their puppy coat earlier at nine months.
This process is also longer than for other breeds. It can take up to three months for a Standard poodle to fully lose her puppy coat and grow her adult hair. Miniature and toy poodles can shed for as long as nine months before their adult coat comes in.
Note that shedding can vary a lot from one individual to another. If you got your poodle from a breeder, ask when the parents lost their puppy coat and how much shedding they did.
What Does It Look Like When Your Poodle Blows Her Puppy Coat?
You’ll know when your poodle starts shedding her puppy coat because you’ll find a lot more loose hair than before. You will typically see hair accumulate where your puppy sleeps, or even find hair clinging to your hands and clothes after petting your pooch.
You might also notice that your pet’s coat looks shaggy or patchy. It’s perfectly normal since hair falls out faster than it can grow.
The adult coat that grows will look very different. It should have a wiry or wooly texture and be denser than the puppy coat. It’s not unusual to see changes in color or pattern during this process.
Adult hair doesn’t feel as soft, but the good news is that you will only have to deal with minimal shedding once your poodle gets her adult coat.
How to Manage Shedding
There are a few things you can do to help your puppy shed her coat faster and prevent hair from accumulating in your home.
Brushing is important. It removes dead hair before it falls off and can prevent your puppy’s coat from becoming tangled or matted.
Plus, it stimulates circulation, which will help your pooch grow new hair. You should be able to remove most of the dead hair with a comb or slicker brush, but you might need a de-shedding tool if your puppy is losing a lot of hair. You should brush your puppy daily once she starts blowing her puppy coat.
Bathe your pooch regularly. Poodles need a bath every three weeks or so, but it’s fine to bathe your puppy more frequently when she blows her coat. Warm water will open follicles and help your puppy shed old hair faster.
You can use a de-shedding shampoo. These shampoos contain hydrating ingredients that support a healthy hair growth cycle.
A healthy diet and water intake are also important. You should feed a diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals to support a healthy skin and coat. It’s best to offer food formulated for puppies. You should talk to your vet if you aren’t sure which dog food is best.
What About Grooming?
As poodle owners know, regular grooming is an important part of taking care of your furry companion. Poodles have long hair that can become dirty and matted.
Trimming this hair helps keep it clean. It also helps your poodle regulate her body temperature, especially if you live in a warm area. On average, you should have your poodle’s hair trimmed once every two or three months.
It’s best to take your poodle puppy for a trim before they turn eight months old. Most poodle owners schedule their first grooming appointment between 11 and 16 weeks.
Your poodle puppy doesn’t need to have her hair trimmed, but it’s important to get used to the grooming process. The groomer will remove some hair, trim your puppy’s nails, and make sure your pooch has a positive experience by offering plenty of treats.
Because poodles need regular grooming as adults, it’s important to make sure they remain calm during this process and associate grooming with positive things.
During her first trim, your poodle will not need to have a lot of hair removed. The groomer will probably focus on hair that could get in her eyes, trim the coat around the genitals since it can become dirty, and get your puppy used to having her nails trimmed.
When your poodle starts blowing her puppy coat, you can take her to the groomer again for a warm bath and de-shedding shampoo. The groomer might not need to trim a lot of hair but bathing and brushing will help with managing shedding.
You should take your poodle to the groomer again once her adult coat comes in. This longer and denser coat can become dirty and matted quickly without proper grooming. Plus, this thicker and denser hair can cause your poodle to become overheated if you live in a warm area.
Poodle puppies tend to blow their puppy coat later than other breeds. You should start seeing a lot of shedding around nine months of age, but it can happen later for Standard poodles.
You can manage to shed with brushing and bathing. The good news is that your poodle will shed very little once she grows her adult coat, but it also means you will have to take your pooch to the groomer regularly to prevent this coat from getting too long.