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Poodle Puppy Coat Grooming & FAQs (All You Need to Know)

Many owners wonder when their poodle will lose their puppy coat and gain their full adult coat. This article has everything an owner needs to know about their poodle puppy’s coat.


When Do Poodles Develop Their Adult Coat?

Poodles lose their puppy coat between 8-12 months of age. And it could take several months for the new adult coat to fully develop. All poodles should have a fully developed adult coat by the age of 2.

For standard poodles, the process typically starts at around 12 months of age and takes around 3 months to fully develop. Most standard poodles have their full adult coat by 18 months of age.

For Toy and Miniature Poodles, the process starts around 9 months of age and can take up to 9 more months before the process is complete.

It’s important to keep in mind that poodle puppies often have very different coats to how they will be in the future.

Most poodle puppies have gentle waves that are very soft and fluffy, which is fairly different from most adults that have thick, tightly curled coats.

Do You Need To Brush a Poodle Puppy’s Coat?

Yes! it is essential to brush out your poodle puppy’s coat. And it’s particularly important to do this leading up to, and throughout the transition from her puppy coat to her adult coat.

Throughout this transition the coat often becomes matted, and although some tangles can work themselves out, they often get worse, until they need to be cut off. Which isn’t what you want to do during the transition.

Most owners have success with a simple pin and bristle brush (using the pin side mostly) to gently pull through the coat, detangling as you go.

It’s a good idea to do this on a daily basis, especially once your poodle begins her transition.

Are Poodle Puppy Coats The Same as Adult Coats?

In the vast majority of cases, a poodle puppy will have a fairly different coat to that of an adult poodle.

The first big difference is how soft puppy coats are. Puppies boast an incredibly soft and fluffy coat that is significantly different from an adult’s thicker coarser feeling coat.

Puppies also have more wavey hair than curly hair. But for most, this will change once they have their full adult coat.

Most adult poodles can be described as having thick curly hair that’s slightly coarse to touch. This is rather different from a puppy’s soft loosely waved appearance.

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When To Give Poodle Puppy Their First Haircut

Perhaps one of the most frequently discussed topics surrounding poodles is when to trim their puppy’s coat for the first time.

There isn’t an entirely right or wrong answer to this. It depends on how much maintenance you enjoy doing. Many owners say that as long as you are on top of the curls and prevent matting then don’t rush their first haircut.

However, with that being said many owners also say that it’s wise to give them their first trim before the transition to their adult coat. By giving your puppy their first trim no later than 6-8 months old you are better preparing them for the transition.

Other owners don’t wait this long, and they give their poodle puppy the first trim as early as 4 months old. At around 4 months old most puppies have substantially more hair on their bodies than they do their legs which can irritate some of them.

But honestly, after speaking to many poodle owners, there is no right or wrong answer. But if you do want to push the haircut back all the way to 6-8 months, you MUST keep on top of the curls and prevent matting from happening yourself with sufficient brushing.

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What Is a Puppy Cut On a Poodle?

Puppy cuts are not just for poodle puppies, they for adults too. And in fact, this is one of the most popular types of cut that adult poodles get.

Over the years there have been many different variations of the puppy cut and most professional groomers will probably ask you to confirm “which” style of puppy cut you would like.

The typical puppy cut is one that leaves your poodle with an even length all over her body. Sometimes the hair around the ears is styled independently depending on your aesthetic preferences. The overall body length is usually 1-2 inches.

Puppy cuts are a favorite choice for many owners due to the benefit of reduced maintenance. By keeping her coat trimmed you give yourself an easier time with brushing. The chances of matting and tangling become less with a trimmed coat.

How Often Should Brush a Poodle Puppy?

When it comes to brushing, little and often should be your mantra.

Little and often is key here and this will keep on top of matting and tangling much more effectively compared to infrequent but long sessions.

If you were to give your poodle puppy 10 minutes of brushing every day, she will remain tangle-free without getting irritated by the brush.

The best brush to use would be a pin and bristle brush. Especially while she’s a puppy. The pin side of the brush works well to gently pull out and de-tangle hair.

The reason it’s so crucial to prevent matting in poodles is that it can ruin their coat. If certain tangles become too tightly matted together, the only option is to cut it off. This is not something that should be done all the time. And brushing is the key to preventing tangles in the first place.

When Should You Start Grooming a Poodle?

As long as you remain gentle, brushing lightly with a pin and bristle brush right from 8 weeks if perfectly fine.

At this stage, it’s important to remember her skin is very fragile and if you think any irritation is happening, stop the brushing and consult a veterinarian.

But other than that, the earlier you start, the more familiar your poodle will be with the brush for when she really needs it.

Matting happens to puppies as well as adults so brushing will be necessary as soon as her wavey puppy curls start growing to significant lengths.

As mentioned earlier, this is entirely down to you and there isn’t a “wrong or right answer” to this.

If you don’t want to risk her coat getting matted or tangled OR you don’t want to do as much brushing as necessary to keep her tangle-free then her first haircut can be as early as 4 months of age.

Some other owners prefer waiting until around 6-8 months, but always try to give her a cut before the transition to her adult coat starts.

With bathing, you have to wait until at least 2 weeks after the final round of vaccinations to even get her wet. This is due to her immune system being weak and vulnerable to catching illnesses while wet.

This should bring you to around the 4 months mark which at that point, she will be ready to have her first bath.

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Before making any decisions that could affect the health and/or safety of your dog, you should always consult a trained veterinarian in your local area. Even though this content may have been written/reviewed by a trained veterinarian, our advice to you is to always consult your own local veterinarian in person. Please read our full dislcaimer if you have any questions.