What sets Poodles apart from other dog breeds is their fur. Or wait, is it the hair? Many pet lovers get confused over this, so don’t worry, you aren’t alone.
After researching and asking the experts, we found out that Poodles have hair and not fur. That’s a defining feature Poodles have against other dog breeds, which have fur. Read on to learn more about the Poodle’s hair coat.
Do Poodles Have Fur or Hair?
As mentioned, Poodles have hair, and they only have a single layer coat that doesn’t shed as much as other dogs.
But Poodles have extensive grooming requirements even if they don’t shed much, so what’s the real difference between hair and fur?
At their core, both are generally the same, besides a few minor differences. Both are made of a protein compound called keratin, having the same genetics. However, there are differences based on the way they feel, look, and how you care for them.
Fur and Hair Texture
The significant difference between hair and fur is the texture. Dogs with hair only have a single layer coat, while dogs with fur usually have a double layer coat.
How will you know which breed would be better for you?
You should know what kind of lifestyle you want before getting a new companion. The right dog breed depends on how much time you spend outside, whether you live in a rural area with lots of hiking trails, and even if you plan to travel often.
The following factors should help you decide which dog breeds are best suited for you:
What Are Your Goals?
Hair on Poodles feels smoother and grows longer than fur. Dogs should shed fur once it reaches a specific length, while the other continues growing for as long as desired. That’s why Poodles need regular clipping to prevent mats and tangles from long hair.
Furthermore, it can be curly, wavy, or straight, tangling easily. If you don’t brush your Poodle daily, their coat is more susceptible to mats and tangles.
Dogs with fur would feel furrier and thicker because of their double coat. It will also feel denser and shorter, as fur requires more follicles on the skin for proper growth.
The fur undercoat is usually soft and fine, which helps regulate body temperature regardless of the season. Not all dogs with fur have the undercoat, but it’s a fairly common characteristic.
Fur and Hair Growth Cycle
People can also find a slight difference in the growth cycles, which shows why they have a unique look and feel, which results in varying daily grooming requirements.
While the Poodle’s coat grows longer, they have a shorter growth cycle, shed minimally. Here are the stages of the typical growth cycle:
- Anagen Phase – when the hair follicles become active
- Catagen Phase – the roots’ sheaths start bonding with the coat, with growth coming to a pause.
- Telogen Phase – nothing grows or dies off during the dormant phase.
- Exogen Phase – coat sheds from the follicles, and the growth cycle begin again. Dogs tend to shed more throughout summer, with the phase going faster to shed the winter coat.
Anagen is their differentiating factor. The former requires more time during this phase, which slows the process down. For fur coats, the process is faster to shed more to maintain healthy coats.
Which Triggers Allergies?
That is a long-standing debate, as people think that Poodle hair would cause fewer pet allergies. While it doesn’t cause an allergy issue, Poodles have other things that may cause them, such as:
- Dust or pollen in the coat
- Chemical compounds from their skin
Because of this, we know Poodles as suitable for people with allergies. Many people know Poodles have a hypoallergenic coat! So, why do they still trigger allergies to some people?
The Poodle’s curly coat of hair efficiently traps dander underneath, but it doesn’t shed. If the dander builds up, it may cause allergies to those allergic to dander. To prevent dander-related allergies, Poodles require daily brushing and extensive grooming to remove dander and avoid build-ups.
However, the Poodle coat is better than those with dog fur, as they frequently shed, with both fur and dander shedding and spreading around the house. That would cause even more allergy symptoms, whether you’re allergic to fur, dander, or other protein compounds from your dog’s skin!
In general, Poodles are better for allergy sufferers, mainly because of their shedding cycles. We consider them to have a hypoallergenic coat, but other things like dander or saliva can cause allergies.
While dogs with fur will shed every 3-4 days, Poodles and those with hair coats would only shed dander or unnecessary skin particles every 21 days. With little shedding, Poodles are more allergy-friendly than other dogs with fur.
That said, the dog breed’s regular grooming requirements are pretty high, so you need to ensure you’re doing everything you can to encourage healthy hair growth with no mats or tangles. You’ll need to use high-quality dog shampoos and conditioners, a good pet brush and take them to a professional groomer for clipping.
Do Poodles Shed?
There are times that Poodles shed due to several reasons like:
- Your Poodle might feel stressed and would scratch to relieve themselves. Excessive scratching can cause shedding from dead hair or loose hair.
- Poodles may have burnt areas on their skin, may it come from clippers or other reasons that cause irritated skin. Irritated skin would cause itchiness, which can cause shedding from your dog trying to scratch.
- Rubbing or excessive petting may cause exposed hair to fall out.
- Poodles have sensitive skin and are more susceptible to developing skin problems and pet allergies. If they are allergic to dust mites or pollen, they can develop skin rashes, causing shedding.
- Maybe you use the wrong dog shampoos or have unhealthy cleaning products that cause skin damage.
- As mentioned, Poodles are susceptible to conditions like sebaceous adenitis or Cushing’s disease, which have shedding listed as a symptom. Have him checked with his veterinarian if your dog experiences Poodle shedding, hair thinning, and other suspicious symptoms.
Do Poodles Have Human Hair?
Poodle hair is similar to humans, which would grow then fall out from stress or skin conditions. Also, like humans, they need daily brushing and more care for better health and appearance.
Do Some Poodles Have Straight Hair?
The Poodle has a dense coat that catches any dander or dead hair, or excess hair. However, the Poodle’s typical coat will go through a long active growth stage that minimizes shedding, making them suitable for allergy-suffering animal lovers.
Some Poodles have a straight coat if they have a dominant straight hair gene. However, it’s rare to find Poodles with entirely straight hair when they reach two years old.
If your Poodle puppy has a straight coat, he will most likely grow curly hair once he reaches two years old, which we consider as an adult Poodle. A puppy’s future adult coat will most likely grow curly, or at least wavy.
Some Poodles Mixes have straight coats through selective breeding. Either way, as long as we keep Poodles’ coats and skin healthy, they will become great pets for families with luxurious coats to show off!