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When you bring a Poodle into your life, their coat is likely very different than dogs you have had in the past. Poodle coats require more upkeep and grooming than many other breeds, because they have hair, not fur.

Poodles need their coat cut regularly, due to their hair growth. So, how long will Poodle hair grow?

Growth of Poodle Hair

Unlike fur, which grows depending upon the season, a Poodle’s hair grows almost continuously. The average Poodle’s coat grows anywhere from half of an inch to an inch every month. The rate of hair growth varies between these estimates based upon the individual dog’s genetics and health. Properly maintained, a Poodle’s hair will grow for several years.

A poodle’s hair goes through three growth phases:

Anagen: This is the period of active growth.
Catagen: This is a period of transition into the next phase.
Telogen: At this point the poodle’s hair will not grow any longer, until it eventually falls out.

Once a hair reaches the Telogen phase, an Anagen hair develops and the Telogen hair falls out.

Poodles are often kept well-groomed by brushing them and cutting the hair when it gets too long.

In some cases, this means cutting the fur to match a specific look for the show ring. This can take months as the fur lengthens in areas meant to be long, while other areas are kept practically devoid of any hair.

In many other cases, though, Poodles are simply cut shorter all over to allow for easy maintenance of their coat. If your Poodle will not be entering a conformation show, you have plenty of options for how you want to keep their coat.

Are you interested in our blog post: How often should you bathe your Poodle?

Poodle with long hair (as seen in a corded coat)

One coat option for the show ring that is often not seen is the corded coat. When cording a dog’s coat, it can take the better part of a year (or more) to carefully let their long hair collect into cords.

These cords are a small, tight, controlled mat that resemble a dreadlock. As with dreadlocks, cording a Poodle takes a lot of work, and there’s much more to it than just letting your Poodle mat and remain un-brushed.

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In fact, a corded Poodle is much more work to maintain in most cases. Not only does care need to be taken when cords are starting to prevent them from matting to your dog’s body, but they require frequent and careful bathing and drying to keep them clean.

The long hair look is worth it to many people though – and I certainly appreciate seeing corded dogs, such as the Poodle or Komondor, especially when seen in an action shot.

There have been several Poodles with corded coats that have reached upwards of 20 inches!

The actual length of the strands of hair is even longer because the hair is compact and matted. This is proof that a Poodle’s coat will truly continue to grow and grow… and grow, until it is cut!

How Long Should I Keep My Poodle’s Coat?

The majority of dog owners don’t desire to put in the work to grow a Poodle’s coat into 20-inch cords – and that’s more than OK.

One of the best things about a dog with constantly growing hair is that you have endless options when choosing your dog’s look.

The answer to how long you should keep your Poodle’s coat, regardless of how long their coat can be is this: Keep their coat whatever length you can maintain.

If you have the time and dedication to give frequent baths, have invested in a dog-specific blow dryer, and can brush your dog daily, then you’ll be able to keep your dog’s coat longer.

Even if you just commit to daily brushing and take your dog to a professional groomer for baths and blow-drying, your Poodle’s coat will likely be well-maintained.

However, you may have fallen in love with the Poodle personality and characteristics, but not in love with brushing your dog daily.

That’s OK, too. Instead, you’ll just want to keep your Poodle in a shorter haircut that doesn’t mat easily.

You’ll still need to brush your Poodle, paying special attention to areas that are often forgotten: behind the ears, under the collar, elbows, hips, and tail.

However, you can often keep your Poodle free of mats when their coat is short just with weekly brushing, instead of daily.

If you have time after brushing the areas that are more likely to become matted, it’s good to brush the rest of your Poodle’s body, too. However, their back is less likely to mat and needs less frequent brushing than other areas.

Your Poodle’s groomer will be able to advise you on specific areas of trouble with your dog, as well as how often they should be seen by a groomer for a haircut.

Depending on the texture of your Poodle’s hair and how long you want to keep their coat, they may need to visit the professional groomer anywhere from every 4 to 8 weeks.

Many dogs are easy to maintain when their coat is 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in length. Some groomers may recommend a shorter cut in order to go longer between grooms, or you may be able to leave your dog’s coat an inch or two in length if you are capable of grooming them yourself.

How to Care for a Poodle’s Coat

You’ll want to take excellent care of your Poodle’s coat, no matter the length or style. Keeping your Poodle well-groomed – clean and free of mats – is one step you can take to keep your Poodle’s skin happy and healthy.

You’ve probably heard before that a Poodle is hypoallergenic and doesn’t shed. This isn’t true, for a few reasons.

First, Poodles do shed – the same as humans still lose hair from their head. The curls often keep their shedding hair stuck in their coat, where it’s prone to mats unless brushed out.

Secondly, most allergies to dogs are due to their dander from their skin or their saliva – neither of which shedding changes.

However, keeping your Poodle well-groomed will cut down on the dander on their skin as well as any small amount of shedding.

At a minimum, you will need the following to groom your Poodle:

  • Slicker Brush
  • Pin Brush
  • Metal Comb

You may also consider the following items, but they require more skill as well as a higher investment, and you can take your Poodle to a professional groomer every month or two instead:

  • Blow Dryer For Dogs
  • Grooming Table
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Clippers
  • Grooming Shears

Both the slicker brush and the pin brush are good options for untangling mats in your Poodle’s coat, and keeping the fur tangle-free to prevent matting from occurring.

As these brushes both have longer, metal tines that will come in contact with your Poodle’s skin, it’s important to be gentle when brushing with these.

It’s also often worth the investment in a higher-quality brush that has rounded or rubber tips, to keep your dog’s skin even happier when being brushed.

A comb is also beneficial when grooming your Poodle. However, combs are not great options for untangling your dog’s coat.

Instead, after brushing with a pin brush or slicker brush, you can use the comb to verify that there are no tangles left. If you find some leftover, go back to the slicker brush or pin brush to try and work them out.

If you haven’t maintained your Poodle’s coat, and matting does occur, your dog will need to be shaved. De-matting a dog’s coat is a painful process for a dog, so the best thing to do when a dog has severe mats is shave them off and try again.

Matting itself can also be painful, which is why it’s critical to keep their hair well-brushed as well as ensure you are brushing all the way to your dog’s skin, and not only the top layer of hair.

By brushing the areas of your Poodle that are most likely to become matted first – including the beard, ears, elbows, hips, legs, and tail – you can ensure you can keep your Poodle at whatever length you desire.

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