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Do Poodles Shed? Vet-Approved Care Facts & Tips

Kathryn Copeland

By Kathryn Copeland

little white toy poodle dog standing on the lawn

Vet approved

Dr. Amanda Charles Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Amanda Charles

Veterinarian, BVSc GPCert (Derm) MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Choosing a dog to become a part of your family can be tricky—there are just so many incredible breeds out there! If having a low-shedding dog is high on your list, that will naturally lead you to the Poodle. But do they shed?

Poodles do shed—all dogs shed to a certain degree. But Poodles don’t shed nearly as much as most other breeds.

If you want to learn more about the Poodle’s coat, and whether they are easier for allergy sufferers to live with, keep reading!

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The Poodle’s Coat & How It Sheds

Several qualities of the Poodle’s coat make it quite unique and low shedding. Poodles are famous for their curly coats, their hair is closer to human hair than dog fur and has a long period of growth.

The hair growth cycle consists of several phases. Anagen is the active growth phase, catagen is a transitional phase and telogen is a resting phase which lasts until the hair falls out. As Poodles have a long anagen (growth) phase, less hairs will be shed.

Also, they only have a single coat; most breeds tend to have a double coat, which is why they shed so much. Undercoats consist of dense, soft, downy fur that sheds regularly throughout the year but profusely during the fall and spring, when dogs “blow out” their coats.

The Poodle is not subject to this kind of shedding because of their single-layer coat. Additionally, their curly coats tend to trap some of the hair that falls out, which is typically later brushed out, hence why they seem to shed much less than many other single-coated breeds.

small golden poodle dog and his toy rubber basketball ball
Image Credit: Linas T, Shutterstock

Do Poodles “Blow Out” Their Coats?

Double-coated dogs blow out their coats, usually in spring and fall. The Poodle’s single coat sheds steadily throughout the year, which is a reason that you won’t see too much shedding all at once.

Bear in mind that the Poodle comes in three sizes: Standard, Miniature, and Toy. You’ll see more shedding from the Standard Poodle than the Toy, but that’s only because of the size of the dog.

Are Poodles Hypoallergenic?

There isn’t such a thing as a hypoallergenic dog.  Allergic reactions to dogs are caused by proteins (allergens) found in dogs’ dander, saliva and urine.

Dog dander is thought to be the main culprit for humans. The more a dog sheds, the more dander hitches a ride on the hair and is spread around the house, triggering the allergies.

All dogs have these proteins, but since Poodles don’t shed as often, they can be easier to live with for an allergy sufferer. But you’ll still need to keep on top of cleaning your home, clothes, and other surfaces where the dander might rest.

However, there are many other contributing factors to whether an individual person is allergic to a particular dog and so reactions can be hard to predict. There are different types of allergen proteins which allergy sufferers may react to, and the types and amounts of these proteins can vary between individual dogs, even if they are all Poodles.

curly little poodle on a beige background
Image Credit: dezy, Shutterstock

Some People Are Only Allergic to Male Dogs

If you have a dog allergy, there’s potentially some good news for you. About 30% of allergy sufferers are only allergic to male dogs. This is because one of the proteins that people can react to is produced in the prostate.

There’s a blood test that you can take that will let you know if you’re one of the 30%, in which case, you can own a female dog without any major allergy flare-ups!

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Maintaining a Poodle’s Coat

Most dogs with double coats don’t need to have haircuts because their fur doesn’t constantly grow. Poodles have hair closer to our own, which means it continuously grows and needs cutting. Also like us, when Poodles are stressed or going through something hormonal, such as pregnancy, their hair will fall out more than usual and might start to look thinner.

Owning a dog that doesn’t shed often comes with a price, including frequent visits to a professional groomer, usually every 6 to 8 weeks.

poodle being groomed
Image credit: Rasulov, Shutterstock

Brushing

It’s best to brush the Poodle every day but at the very least, every other day. Brushing them daily will help prevent loose hair from being spread around the house. It also helps prevent mats and makes for a healthier coat by distributing the natural oils.

A slicker brush and metal comb are the best tools to use on your Poodle. Just remember that you’ll need to brush them gently because they have sensitive skin and don’t have an undercoat.

Bathing

On average Poodles should be bathed with dog shampoo every 4-6 weeks or so. Don’t use any other shampoo meant for humans or other animals, as this can dry out the skin. Giving them baths too frequently can also dry out and irritate the skin, which will lead to more dander and shedding.

If you’re starting with a puppy, you should introduce the grooming process straight away. This will allow the puppy to get used to brushing, bathing, and trimming from a young age.

poodle puppy bath time
Image Credit: Zachary Pigott, Shutterstock

Diet

Taking care of your Poodle via their diet can help maintain the coat and prevent excessive shedding. This includes giving them high-quality balanced dog food and vet-approved supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which contribute to healthy skin and coat.

Speak to your vet about the best diet for your Poodle so you can ensure that they will stay healthy both inside and out.

What About Doodles?

A plethora of dog breeds have been mixed with Poodles, mainly because they are considered hypoallergenic. Breeders can get a partial Poodle coat with the characteristics of another breed.

However, crossbreeds like Goldendoodles (Golden Retriever/Poodle) and Labradoodles (Labrador Retriever/Poodle) will likely shed a fair bit. Any breeds like Goldens and Labs have double coats and tend to shed excessively, so even when they are crossed with Poodles, that won’t guarantee a dog that sheds less.

Breeds crossed with Poodles that also have hair (with a longer growth phase), rather than fur, will be better options for allergy sufferers. These include the Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle), Bich-Poo (Bichon Frise/Poodle), and the Yorkiepoo (Yorkshire Terrier/Poodle). These dog breeds have silky hair that doesn’t shed much, so crossing them with a Poodle will give you a low-shedding breed.

So, if you’re interested in a Doodle, but the low-shedding trait is important to you, investigate the breeds carefully before investing in a new dog.

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Conclusion

Poodles do shed but it’s fairly minimal. If you’re only concerned about the shedding from the standpoint of not wanting much dog hair to clean up, the Poodle is an excellent choice. They are  intelligent, playful, and loving dogs.

However, if you have dog allergies, a Poodle may still trigger your allergies. Although allergy sufferers may cope better with a low shedding breed such as a Poodle, the amount of allergen protein produced can vary significantly between individual dogs.

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Featured Image Credit: Raywoo, Shutterstock

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