Poodles have hair, something that isn’t typically associated with dogs. A handful of dogs have hair instead of fur, with poodles being one of the few. Their characteristic appearance is responsible for most of their renown, and it isn’t something you can get with fur.
Fur and hair are largely different, and each has different characteristics, despite being both associated with dogs.
Most dogs with coats as long as poodles have hair instead of fur, though a few still have fur. While they are smart and suited to several possible uses, they are mostly used as show dogs, thanks to their hair. Their hair allows them to get specific haircuts to show dogs and improve their overall appearance.
Difference Between Hair And Fur On A Dog
Hair and fur are essentially the same in terms of chemical composition, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to differentiate them. They both require different types of care to maintain, even though they share similar ones.
Understanding what your dog has enables you to provide the necessary care to their coat and prevent deterioration. There are a few notable differences between hair and fur that dog owners use to identify them. It may not always work, but it’s better than randomly treating your poodle’s coat. Some of the notable differences between hair and fur on a dog include:
The most obvious difference between hair and fur in a dog is density, with fur being the denser of the two. Both coat types will cover a dog’s body properly, but there seem to be gaps between hair compared to fur. On the other hand, fur is abundant and leaves less room, making it a perfect hiding place for pests.
The fur density is attributed to the number of pores present on the surface of the dog. Those with fur have fewer hair follicles than those with hair, which makes it denser. If your dog has a notably dense coat, then it has fur, not hair, like in the case of poodles.
The coat length is another way to identify the coat type, though it isn’t always accurate. Hair is typically longer than fur, but some dogs have long furs, making it more difficult to identify them. Their length also means they are less dense than fur, but it makes up for it by curling.
Any dog with a long coat can be expected to have hair, but with dogs like golden retrievers notable exceptions, further examination may be required. Instead, once the length is confirmed, the texture and density are considered before a conclusion is made. Thanks to their long hair, they tend to require more frequent grooming than those with fur.
Number Of Coats
The best confirmatory method to detect whether your dog has hair or fur is to check the number of coats. While fur is shorter than hair, it also has two coats, whereas hair has only one. Dogs with fur have an undercoat and an outer coat, which serve separate functions.
On the other hand, those with hair have only one coat, which is a mixture of both coats and serves all the functions. It is also important to note that some dogs with fur can have only a single coat layer. Hence, you can’t make a definite conclusion solely on the number of coats.
While it may not be something, you notice immediately, the critical difference between hair and fur is in how long they grow. Fur has a short growth cycle and is frequently replaced by new ones, leading to shedding. While some fur can grow long and take a bit longer, they tend to be replaced usually seasonally.
Hair, however, never stops growing, hence its large lengths. Dogs with hair may appear to have short coats, but that is only due to curling. Once hair strands get too long, they curl instead of falling off, hence the appearance of a short coat.
Shedding frequency is also different in hair and fur as part of their growth stages. Most dogs with hair don’t shed, at least not frequently. Your job to clean up the house after the dog is reduced compared to a dog with fur. With differing growth cycles in fur, there are several shedding periods where you’ll likely find fur around your home.
While shedding is seasonal, dogs shed fur all year round but in reduced quantities. With hair, there is no official shedding season, nor is shedding abundant. You’ll need to give them trims to maintain their hair growth. Haircuts may be needed rather frequently and can be styled to taste as hair doesn’t stop growing.
Do All Poodles Have Curly Hair?
Poodles are known for their curly hair, though it isn’t always that way. When they are born, they have straight hair, but that changes over time. By the time they mature, their hair will be in curls, which happens by the time they are around three years old. Growth rates vary from one poodle to the next, and some may take longer to achieve this.
Only poodles that have mixed blood may develop without developing curly hair. The hair type of the other breed can influence the outcome greatly, preventing them from achieving curly hair. Not all mixed breeds fall to this outcome, as genetics is the main factor and can play out differently.
Fun Fact: Styling and care can still play a key role in the final appearance of your poodle’s hair, however limited. Their curly hair doesn’t just give them a cute appearance but also protects them from extreme temperatures. It is also important to trim them instead of shaving them off.
Caring For Your Poodle’s Hair
As poodles have plenty of hair, they need a lot of care to prevent pests and parasites. Additionally, hair care keeps poodles looking characteristically cute and makes them excellent show dogs. Luckily, you don’t always require a professional and can keep your poodle both healthy and adorable on your own.
There aren’t many hair care practices that are needed daily but brushing hair is one. The main reason you need to brush your poodle daily is to prevent its hair from forming mats. Brushing or combing is acceptable so long as it is done regularly. Matted fur can cause several possible problems, including possible skin irritation and infections.
Mats can hide pests and possible infections, allowing them to worsen. A well-brushed or combed hair, on the other hand, makes early detection easier. While combing or bruising, you’ll likely come across anything unnatural in your poodle’s hair.
Where your dog has a lot of hair, bathing frequently is expected. However, unlike humans, who can bathe daily, Poodles should be bathed less frequently. At least they can be bathed more regularly than other dogs, at least once a week. When bathing them, be sure you use the right products or risk damaging the coat.
Soak the coat totally to make sure the coat is cleansed alongside the fur. Once it is fully washed, the next thing to do is dry the dog. Towel drying is better as air drying doesn’t always dry it up to the skin. Bathing is also better with warm water for the best effect.
Trimming is mostly used to keep a poodle more appealing, hence the abundance of haircuts. However, trimming serves a much larger purpose beyond aesthetics and involves pest control. It may not be as frequent as bathing, but you should trim your poodle at least once a month or at six-week intervals.
Regarding aesthetics, there are numerous possible hairstyles for your poodle, but not all are widely accepted. If you are grooming one for a show, your options are somewhat limited compared to personal pets. Trims can be done at home, but some more complex styles will require a professional, especially if you want it done right.
Much like human hair, a poodle’s hair needs to be shampooed and conditioned, especially when bathing them. Poodles have special shampoos and conditioners, separate from those used by humans or other dogs. Never use any product other than the recommended one, as you may do more harm than good.
Finding the appropriate shampoo or conditioner isn’t too difficult, and your vet can always offer some recommendations. With the right products, not only will your Poodle’s hair maintain its natural texture, but it can also be improved. It is also important to note that shampoo and conditioner residues can irritate, hence the need to rinse and dry properly.
Blow-drying isn’t the only option available after a bath, but it may be the best. Not only is it faster and more efficient, but it also helps prevent the formation of mats down the line. On the other hand, air or towel drying increases the chances of mats or tight curls forming.
The more you bathe your poodle, the greater the need for a blow-dryer. If you don’t have one at home already, it is advisable to get one. Blow dry all over the dog, using a comb to lift the hair off any covered areas to allow the air to reach it all and prevent infections.
How Often Do Poodles Shed Their Hair?
Poodles shed once in a few weeks, unlike most dogs that shed once in a few days. Poodles generally don’t shed too much; even when they do, it is minimal. A poodle will be a welcome relief if you’re used to having a regular dog around the house. Not only do they shed less frequently than others, but the volume is also reduced.
The amount of shedding your Poodle will depend on its age. Younger poodles are plagued with a similar growth cycle to other dogs, hence the need for shedding. You can expect shedding a few days a week in the first few months of its life. Fortunately, there is no direct relationship between how much they shed as puppies and how much as adults.
Interestingly, poodles shed late, even when losing their puppy hair. Of course, they don’t lose it like other dogs, but it grows into the adult coat.
The growth process takes longer, with normal dogs changing fur at about six months, but some poodles take up to three years. The adult fur is denser than the puppy’s though the puppy is still a part of it.
Conclusion: Do Poodles Have Hair Or Fur?
Poodles have hair, which isn’t normally associated with dogs, though a few share this trait. Their hair tends to keep growing, never ceasing, and once maximum height is reached, it starts to curl. The nature and texture of a poodle’s hair make them ideal for showcases, a common use for many.
They also require a different care process than normal dogs, causing a few people to deem them high maintenance.