Poodles are lovable, iconic dogs. Known for their unique, curly coats, prospective owners may expect their new poodle to have curly hair from the day they’re picked up, but this isn’t always the case.
Will your poodle’s coat get curly? Most purebred Poodles will develop a curly, dense coat as they get older. However, if one of the purebred Poodle parents has a wavy coat, there is a greater chance your Poodle will have a flat coat.
Keep reading for more information on when your Poodle’s coat should be getting curly and how you can know for sure if your Poodle will have a curly coat.
Will My Poodle’s Coat Get Curly?
If you have a purebred poodle, there is a good chance that their coat will end up being curly. However, not all Poodles are the same, and some may have wavy coats due to their parent’s genetics.
There’s no one-poodle-fits-all approach with these precious bundles of fluff; as a matter of fact, there are three versions of the breed. Each variety has a different look, but the majority will naturally develop a curly coat.
So, how will I know if my poodle will get a curly coat?
Before answering this question, we need to look at the characteristics and development of each type of poodle. There are three versions of the breed:
- Standard Poodle
- Miniature Poodle
- Toy Poodle
As puppies, each of the three poodle versions will have a reasonably flat, wavy coat. As they grow up, this coat will become curly and dense in the majority of cases.
This can be said for each of the three varieties, but it’s important to note that getting a curly coat may not be the case for all poodles.
It’s important to clarify that if your poodle has grown up and doesn’t have a curly coat, there isn’t anything ‘wrong’ with it.
Some grown-up poodles will have wavy coats, and this is often to do with the purpose they were bred for, unless they are a mixed-breed dog, such as a labradoodle. As with most dog characteristics, it’s all to do with the nature of the poodle’s parents.
Purebred poodles will likely develop the stereotypical curly coat by the time they are fully grown.
Purebred miniature, toy, and standard poodles can achieve a curly coat, regardless of their size variation. However, the point at which each variety’s coat turns curly is different.
Miniature and toy poodles’ coats will start to curl and get denser at around nine months of age. For standard poodles, curling occurs between nine and sixteen months of age, so if you’ve got a standard poodle puppy, their hair may be yet to curl.
However, if your poodle’s parents have a wavy coat – even just one of the parents – your poodle’s chances of also having a flat coat increase.
If you’re wondering whether your prospective poodle puppy will have a curly coat, then make sure you do go and see the parents before purchasing.
It’s highly recommended that you meet any new dog’s parents to ensure that they’re healthy and to get an idea of how your puppy may turn out!
What will it mean for my poodle if he or she doesn’t get a curly coat?
Not having a curly coat doesn’t mean that the poodle is unhealthy or that there’s something ‘wrong’ with it, but it does mean that there are certain things that you may not be able to do with your poodle.
The Kennel Club in the UK or the American Kennel Club (you guessed it) America are dog training, welfare, and health organizations.
In other words, they’re exclusive member clubs for dogs. They are also allowed to accept or reject dog memberships based on their look, dimensions, and physical build.
The KC and AKC recognize ‘breed standards’ for each breed of dog that can be registered – pretty much any breed in the world.
For example, Border Collies need to have specific markings. German Shepherds need to have a particular shaped back, and Golden Retrievers even need to have brown eyes ‘set well apart’ – talk about choosy!
Dogs that are KC or AKC registered are known as ‘pedigree’ dogs, and these are acceptable dogs to use in competitions.
Pedigrees are often thought of as the ‘ideal’ or ‘stereotypical’ version of a particular breed, but there is nothing wrong with a dog not being KC or AKC registered. Similarly, buying a KC or AKC registered dog does not guarantee the breeder’s responsibility.
Poodles with non-curly coats won’t be eligible for KC or AKC registration. So if you are buying a poodle you intend to enter into competitions, it may be better to buy a KC registered puppy or ensure that your prospective pooch has curly-haired parents.
However, as we’ve said, curly-haired parents don’t 100% guarantee a curly-haired pup.
Furthermore, dogs shouldn’t be bought purely for show. As they say, a dog is for life, and if you’re buying a dog for monetary gain in shows only, you need to reconsider. It won’t be fair on you or the dog.
How can I groom my poodles wavy or curly coat?
Poodles are considered to be hypoallergenic dogs. Many people wrongly believe that they don’t shed at all, but in truth, they do. However, due to a poodle’s coat’s nature, it’s harder to see this occur. Remember, no dog is entirely hypoallergenic, and no responsible breeder will make this claim.
Poodles do shed, but the hair doesn’t drop off them. Instead, it gets tangled in their coat (for both curly and wavy-haired dogs). Remember, no animal with fur doesn’t shed to some extent.
Even humans do – you’ve probably seen a few stray strands of hair lying at the bottom of the shower as you step out – so try not to fall for this trap if you do have severe pet allergies.
This is because animals’ hair goes through life cycles. It grows, dies, and needs to be replaced by new strands of hair.
Poodles do shed less than many other breeds, however, as they have a single coat.
But what exactly is a ‘single coat,’ you may ask? Well, it’s relatively self-explanatory, in all honesty.
A single-coated dog is, quite literally, a dog with one coat – the coat that you stroke has only skin underneath it. For reference, a double-coated dog has seasonal ‘blowouts’ where the entire undercoat sheds.
As such, poodles do not leave hair all over your couch or clothes. However, this doesn’t mean that they don’t need to be groomed.
Since their hair tends to tangle in their coats, it’s essential to brush your poodle to avoid hair matting regularly. This can be painful for the dog.
Slicker or pin brushes are suitable for grooming poodles.
Despite their low shedding, however, these sometimes-designer dogs are known to be hard work for grooming. This is especially true for show dogs.
Some poodle owners also like to clip their poodles’ coats (give them a haircut), but it’s recommended that you take your poodle to a professional groomer to do this to ensure both a safe and good-looking cut.
While many breeds have fur, poodles have actual hair. This can get very dense, which reinforces the need for proper grooming and coat care.
Grooming is recommended every six to eight weeks, but brushing needs to be done a few times a week at least. Hair can also grow in poodles’ ears, so this needs to be paid attention to as well.
What colors does a poodle’s coat come in?
Poodles, as a breed, come in countless different colors. Of course, not all of these colors are common or bred in many litters, but they can nonetheless look stunning. Poodle colors can include:
- Cafe au lait
- Silver beige
Poodles can also have uniquely patterned coats. These can include patterns such as:
- Parti (white base and secondary color)
- Abstract (light/white marking in the coat)
- Sable (black and brown/tan)
- Phantom (two-colored)
- Brindle (two-colored stripe)
What type of coats do the KC and AKC accept in a poodle?
There will be some variation in the specification for a poodle’s coat in the KC and AKC, but there are a few key things that both organizations look for.
According to The Kennel Club, the standard for a poodle coat is “very profuse and dense of good harsh texture. All short hair close, thick and curly. All traditional trims permissible in the show ring and the dogs judged on equal merit, as long as there is sufficient length to demonstrate color and quality of coat”.
The American Kennel Club has similar requirements. There are too many to list in one quote, so I’ll direct you towards the AKC for more information on the AKC Standard poodle requirements.
There you have it. Poodle coats are typically going to be curly unless there is some genetics in your Poodle from a parent with a wavy coat.
In that case, it isn’t a guarantee that your Poodle will have a curly coat, but it isn’t a guarantee they will have a wavy coat either. You’ll have to wait and see what happens as they get older.
It’ll take between nine to sixteen months for a Standard Poodle’s coat to begin to curl, so sit tight as it will be a while before you can know for sure.