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I have noticed that Poppy's very soft, floppy puppy coat is gradually thickening up into a more adult texture (Hurray! - much easier to cut successfully!). The thicker curls seem to have started on her head, and are now coming through on her body, while her legs and tail are nearly as soft and wavy as ever. Is this a usual pattern? Or does it mean I am going to be struggling with soft fluff on her legs for ever more?!
 

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Genarally the adult coat starts to come in along the spine first. Riley has a great correct coat. Along his back and sides are the best, but his legs dont have as many guard hairs. More fluffy in the legs.
 

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guard hairs are the REALLY stiff coarse thick hairs that are also often darker than the softer fuzzier 'undercoat'. When they're freshly groomed you have trouble finding the difference in the hairs, but when they're a bit overgrown you'll see the guard hairs are a bit longer than the rest and you can see them more easily. That's why a lot of dogs appear darker with longer hair (in particular, creams, browns and silvers) cos the darker guard hairs are coming up more!
 

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The last hairs to coarsen are underneath the chest, belly and armpits. You will be fighting coat change and matting till at least 2-3 years of age. My 9 year old never mats but 'alcom has the longest coat at 3 yrs and he STILL mats.
 

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Paris too has an awesome coat over her topline, but it gets progressively 'worse' down her sides and is cotton-soft on her chest and underarms and I'm always fighting matting there. This is her adult coat and what I'm stuck with... but it's half good at least! LOL!
 
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