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Questions about the poodle coat

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Can you tell me about the various coat types of poodles? I know there is coarse, which is preferred, and then soft, but that's about all I'm aware of. The coarse is better for shaping trims, right? Does this mean it's thicker and stronger, or is it just stronger & doesn't flop down like the soft coats?
Is there any way to make a "soft" coat stronger and coarser to help shape the coat in grooming?

Another question (sorry haha), when does the coat change from puppy to adult fur occur and how long does it usually last? How exactly can I tell if Des is going through his coat change?
His fur is curly on his back, but it's not really tight or strong curls, it only curls at the very end, and the rest is fluffy. And it's usually surrounded by a lot of straight thick fluff, but it still looks cotton-y and is very soft. I use Miracle Coat's Leave in Conditioner but only on his body/legs to help with brushing out & preventing tangles (it does the job!! smells great too). I've only used it twice though.. is using this going to cause a noticeable change to his coat?
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How can you tell if a 15 week old pup will have a cottony coat or nice springy coat when he is an adult? Mercury is pretty cottony but kinks up pretty tightly when wet. I couldn't tell anything from his parents as his dad is corded and dam was sheared almost to the skin. Its been over 11yrs since I had a spoo pup and cant remember what my old boy's coat felt like. Mercury feels like a cloud.
 
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