Poodle Forum banner
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've noticed some thick wiry hair on Pavie several months ago when he started to go through his coat change. They've become more numerous over time. It took quite a lot of searching as I didn't know what key words to look for, but apparently they are "guard hairs". I'm curious what guard hairs look like in your poodles? And what is the normal ratio of guard hair vs undercoat? I've attached a couple of photos of Pavie's hair (which is quite short right now). They seem to grow a lot faster than the undercoat, so when his hair is long (sorry don't have a picture now), the surface will have a curly wooly harsh texture to it. It seems from some pictures that some poodles have cotton-like soft hair, maybe it's an improper coat, but I wonder if it has anything to do with grooming? For long hairstyles, do groomers trim the guard hairs so all hairs are equal length? Or are they made less curly during a blow out?

476777

476778
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,207 Posts
Sorry I can't help on the grooming question since I've been doing my own for my boys for so long.

This is what Remo's looked like almost 2 years ago. I feel like they're diminishing this last year but it may just be that I do some trimming after every bath.

476781


If my Neo has any, they're not very noticeable. Remo's are a darker color (more like he was as a baby) so they stand out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pavie

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,468 Posts
I've noticed some thick wiry hair on Pavie several months ago when he started to go through his coat change. They've become more numerous over time. It took quite a lot of searching as I didn't know what key words to look for, but apparently they are "guard hairs". I'm curious what guard hairs look like in your poodles? And what is the normal ratio of guard hair vs undercoat? I've attached a couple of photos of Pavie's hair (which is quite short right now). They seem to grow a lot faster than the undercoat, so when his hair is long (sorry don't have a picture now), the surface will have a curly wooly harsh texture to it. It seems from some pictures that some poodles have cotton-like soft hair, maybe it's an improper coat, but I wonder if it has anything to do with grooming? For long hairstyles, do groomers trim the guard hairs so all hairs are equal length? Or are they made less curly during a blow out
You made a good observation regarding guard hairs. They do grow faster and are more wiry. I had an apricot tpoo years ago and a silver minipoo now. In both dogs the guard hairs were a darker shade than the rest of the hair.

When grooming the dog, all hair is trimmed with scissors or clippers at the same time to the same length. If you are growing out a style from short to long, both the guard and regular hairs are neaten up together too. I can’t imagine any reason to just trim guard hairs separately, nor would it be practical.

When your dog is groomed, you might be surprised how much lighter in color they are once the guard and regular hair is the same length.

I find when my dog hasn’t been washed for 3 weeks her coat starts to feel more wiry, but after a bath and high velocity blow dry which straightens all hair, she feels soft and fluffy.

Puppies have a very soft coat.... but it’s an improper coat for an adult. Coats like that don’t have enough body to hold a top knot standing up, you’ll see the hair flop down, often splitting and laying down. Pompoms on the tail and legs don’t hold their shape either. Top knots and pompoms need to be kept shorter to hold their shape in softer hair. There’s nothing wrong with a softer coat in an adult, it’s just not a ideal for conformation. Softer coats are more common in tpoos and some colors. My apricot tpoo had a softer coat, my silver minipoo has a very thick wiry type coat ideal for conformation. My minipoo can have a very long top knot and huge pompoms hold their shape beautifully, but her coat is still soft to touch after a bath and blow dry.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pavie

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,681 Posts
I was initially confused about guard hairs too. I thought that meant that Normie's coat would change to the lighter color. It's lightened and is less red now that he's an adult, but his guard hairs remain lighter than his coat.

He was groomed about two weeks ago and this is how he looks now. You can see the guard hairs are already a bit longer than his coat but lighter in color.

476784
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Kara's guard hairs are very similar. I have a question, do these occur on the whole body? Because right now, I have only noticed these on her lower back and I was wondering what they were. Not a lot of them as well. But she has very coarse hair on her lower back, and semi-coarse on her head, whereas her legs/tummy is still obviously puppy hair (she is 10 months old).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the super helpful replies so far! I really appreciate your photos @Rose n Poos and @Dianaleez. I haven't seen many photos of poodle hair up close, so these are really helpful to know what is normal. My neighbors have a spoo, but it's a puppy, so very different hair.

Coats like that don’t have enough body to hold a top knot standing up, you’ll see the hair flop down, often splitting and laying down. Pompoms on the tail and legs don’t hold their shape either.
Oh! So that's how top knots and pompoms hold. I had no idea, lol. But it makes a lot of sense! Poodles can look so different depending on how they are groomed.

Kara's guard hairs are very similar. I have a question, do these occur on the whole body? Because right now, I have only noticed these on her lower back and I was wondering what they were. Not a lot of them as well. But she has very coarse hair on her lower back, and semi-coarse on her head, whereas her legs/tummy is still obviously puppy hair (she is 10 months old).
I actually have the same question, too. Most of Pavie's guard hairs are on his back and tail. The photos I attached above is what most of his back is like. However, there is a really high density patch on his lower back just before his tail. And he doesn't seem to have them on his head, chest, or legs (maybe that's why he's never been able to grow a top know or pom pom?). The hair on his tummy is actually quite straight and soft, like puppy hair. Today he is exactly 21 months old, so I don't know if his hair will continue to change.
476816

476819
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,468 Posts
Oh! So that's how top knots and pompoms hold. I had no idea, lol. But it makes a lot of sense! Poodles can look so different depending on how they are groomed.
I just want to clarify it is not guard hair that holds the top knot up, it’s the denseness and denier of the hair itself.

I’ve only noticed guard hairs on my dogs backs.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Pavie

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The full process is called a spray up. Here is an example of the process:

This guy, Blake Hernandez, is a master groomer in San Diego with entraining and poodle videos--
This is so cool! Thanks for sharing. I previously had no idea how it was done.

I just want to clarify it is not guard hair that holds the top knot up, it’s the denseness and denier of the hair itself.

I’ve only noticed guard hairs on my dogs backs.
Ah, thanks for the clarification! Pavie's hair is quite dense, so maybe I'll try a top knot some time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
33 Posts
Thanks for all the super helpful replies so far! I really appreciate your photos @Rose n Poos and @Dianaleez. I haven't seen many photos of poodle hair up close, so these are really helpful to know what is normal. My neighbors have a spoo, but it's a puppy, so very different hair.


Oh! So that's how top knots and pompoms hold. I had no idea, lol. But it makes a lot of sense! Poodles can look so different depending on how they are groomed.


I actually have the same question, too. Most of Pavie's guard hairs are on his back and tail. The photos I attached above is what most of his back is like. However, there is a really high density patch on his lower back just before his tail. And he doesn't seem to have them on his head, chest, or legs (maybe that's why he's never been able to grow a top know or pom pom?). The hair on his tummy is actually quite straight and soft, like puppy hair. Today he is exactly 21 months old, so I don't know if his hair will continue to change.
View attachment 476816
View attachment 476819
Yes, kara has the exact same difference between her lower back and tummy. My groomer (who works mostly with poodles) said that it is normal and that the hair can still be changing up to 2 years
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top