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Discussion Starter #1
So when I have time, I like to do my usual poodle research because why not?

I’m currently looking more into poodle health and I have stumbled across the different types of poodle coats. By the title of this topic you can tell I’ve never owned a poodle and my next question. What ruins a poodle’s coat?

I’ve read this a couple times when I go through different topics by those that show poodles and I’m more curious than ever about. I’ve heard about proper diets, some say an improper diet can ruin it. What’s a “proper diet” for a poodle and does it always have to be raw food?

I’ve also heard applying too much heat can ruin the coat too. How true is that? All answers are appreciated! I want to know if this also only applies to show dogs and not necessarily ones that are only companions.


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I want to know if this also only applies to show dogs and not necessarily ones that are only companions.
I’ll speak for myself, but both my dogs are companions and I don’t do anything specific and their hair is fine. I don’t see how I could ruin it. Even if you mess up when grooming yourself, it’s so easy to clip short and start again !

I’m sure it’s a different ball game with show dogs though. Poodles have the hardest show coat to maintain.
 

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Use a good conditioner and detangler. Brush regularly. Feed a diet with quality proteins, fats and omega fatty acids. Need fish or fish oil in the diet. Dry with mild heat. That's all I do. The only real damage I've had was from itching/chewing from fleas and from removal of burrs and sap-coated plant bits.
 

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I have heard that with some dogs like pomeranians you can ruin the coat by shaving it- it will never grow back the same. Scientifically I have a hard time understanding why this is true- why wouldn't the balance of guard hairs and undercoat eventually go back to what they were if the skin is undamaged?? I dunno.

Poodles though have no such problem. However, sometimes people talk about temporary issues with coat using such language as "ruin." For example, you could theoretically "ruin" a puppy's coat by shaving them down at 4-9 months or so because you aren't going to get back the same puppy coat. Poodles only grow puppy coat for <1 year and then it is adult coat. Losing a puppy coat prematurely would be something I might mourn, and say I/the groomer "ruined" it.

Also, people who enjoy showing the dog in conformation might likewise state the coat was "ruined" by something (bad haircut, chewed on, pine sap, poor job of banding the long hair) as a way of stating their frustration that the dog will be uncompetitive/"not able to be shown" for what will feel like quite a few months while their show coat grows back to the right length. It is not permanently ruined, however.

Some people are quite fussy about their poodle's hair, because why not? Poodles have fun hair and some of us enjoy trying to make it as perfect as possible. We might say a shampoo or conditioner we don't like "ruined" the dogs hair because perhaps a certain level of softness or manageability was "lost." This is just poodle owner drama, haha. Leave us alone or give us sympathy, we want to rant about our momentary poodle hair difficulties!

Diet: AKC champion poodles with gorgeous hair have been fed everything from high quality kibble to very complicated raw or home cooked meals formulated by veterinary dietitians. Many dog owners love to get into hot discussions about diet. Lots of strong opinions in this category, but a balanced diet whether kibble, home cooked or raw is not going to ruin a poodles coat. Some dogs with allergies might be able to maximize their coat by eliminating things they are allergic to. My hope/expectation is that the majority of well bred poodles do not have allergies (is this naive of me?).

Occasionally a poodle will pop up with a health problem that affects the coat like SA (Sebaceous Adenitis, an inherited disorder) or alopecia. These are the only situations where I think it can be accurately said the coat is ruined. The dog however is not ruined, just as lovable as ever. Assuming the dog is being well fed and cared for, with appropriate veterinary care, then this isn't something the owner has caused. We could go into a big discussion here about buying from reputable breeders who know their lines and do all the health testing, but you already understand that.

Regarding too much heat ruining the coat, hair can be burnt. Assuming the skin has not been damaged, the burnt part can be cut off and the hair will regrow, so no permanent damage. I truly hope we are not burning our poodles' hair! I imagine it is like with our own hair, if we do a poor job of blow drying it over a period of time we will get dull, dry hair that tends to break. For show poodles, or poodles with owners who love to do their hair, weekly baths and blow drying could be temporarily damaging to the coat if they are using poor technique or products. This is an area where the right tool for the job is needed. Companion pets who are always groomed by professional groomers every 4-6 weeks are not going to have coat problems. Many people with companion pets learn to do their own grooming (basic or quite professional). It is nice for a poodle owner to have a clipper (Bravura seems to be the basic clipper of choice for many pet owners), scissors (curved and/or straight), nail clippers or a dremel, a hi vac dryer (a Shelandy for $70 is a basic entry level for a companion), a slicker brush, and a greyhound comb. However, you can work up to this. A new puppy owner should start with nail clippers, brush and comb, along with finding a good groomer. A good groomer will coach you along and make your between-professional-groom efforts more effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@Dechi: That’s why I was so curious! I’ve seen very few terrible poodle coats even on companion-only poodles. Sure there are issues with the fur around the eyes, but I feel that happens with dogs? Or maybe. I’m wrong.

@Raindrops: What kind of detangler and conditioner do you use? Do people sometimes use certain products used in human hair? Interesting how much work people put into a raw diet! I do not do it myself only because one of my pups is extremely allergic to a lot of foods, but I do remember my dad feeding our bully dog some of what you’re mentioning here and there.

@Newport: You’ve answered a question I didn’t even specify and I’m so glad to hear it! I always thought those who showed poodles really meant it’s forever damaged and cannot be restored. Its garbage, no bueno, dog’s career is over lol. That really terrified me until now.

I completely understand though the poodle drama. I love poodle hair and I know if I damaged it, I would be distraught too. As a matter of fact, my own hair is very similar to poodle hair. I dyed the tips of it blonde almost two years ago and I’m in distraught even now on poorly I both dyed and managed the tips! Lesson learned though.

I cannot really speak on diets for dogs, but I hope I do not offend anyone by saying I do like kibble more than a raw diet. It has nothing to do with money or any scientific facts (I’m not knowledgeable on that just yet), I just like it more. And I cannot say that well-bred dogs do or do not have allergies, but from what I read it seems a lot of programs do their best to breed any signs of it out. But I’m used to dogs with allergies at this point, talks with the vet about it is nothing new.

I had the idea it was similar to human hair and as I said, I have hair similar to a poodle that needs conditioning, oils, and certain other products so that it grows happy and healthy. I know poodle hair needs a lot of expensive equipment to give it that show poodle look, but for those that just want that nice poof and volume...would the hi vac dryer do?


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That’s why I was so curious! I’ve seen very few terrible poodle coats even on companion-only poodles. Sure there are issues with the fur around the eyes, but I feel that happens with dogs? Or maybe. I’m wrong.
Genetics play a big part on what the coat looks like. Also, it’s harder to get the right poodle texture on a toy poodle, even when well bred or even show quality. I’ve only seen one with the correct coat. Their coat tends to be softer and not as tightly curled as well bred miniatures or standards.

Then, food and general health also plays a part. Dogs who eat grocery store food will tend to have a duller coat.

Lastly, grooming also plays a part. Some dogs have atrocious grooms. Take the same dog, give it a decent cut and you might find it’s coat is not half bad...
 

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Genetics play a big part on what the coat looks like. Also, it’s harder to get the right poodle texture on a toy poodle, even when well bred or even show quality. I’ve only seen one with the correct coat. Their coat tends to be softer and not as tightly curled as well bred miniatures or standards.

Then, food and general health also plays a part. Dogs who eat grocery store food will tend to have a duller coat.

Lastly, grooming also plays a part. Some dogs have atrocious grooms. Take the same dog, give it a decent cut and you might find it’s coat is not half bad...
I've always noticed the coat on some toys is slightly different. I just thought it had much to do with the slight difference in size though. I wonder what do toy poodle breeders do within their program to strengthen the poodle’s coats and improve the quality.

Maybe it depends on the kind of grocery store and grocery food you feed your pet? Such as Walmart or target grocery foods (target isnt exactly organic btw) versus an organic alternative? My chis eat a ingredient dry food and many are surprised that their coats are so shiny and healthy.

What sort of groomer should a poodle owner look for? Are places like Petco okay? Or should I find a sort of pet grooming boutique? I know some prefer one over the other.


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Maybe it depends on the kind of grocery store and grocery food you feed your pet?
. Around here I would say all grocery store food is bad or really bad, except Costco. I’ve never tried it but apparently their food is acceptable.

What sort of groomer should a poodle owner look for? Are places like Petco okay? Or should I find a sort of pet grooming boutique? I know some prefer one over the other.
If I had the money and time, I would want a true poodle groomer. Someone who has experience with grooming show poodles. But alas they are very rare and costly. Best is to find someone who will do what you want and bring pictures. If she’s good enough, then your dog shouldn’t be half bad. I groom my dogs, so no surprise, even if they don’t look like magazine poodles...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
. Around here I would say all grocery store food is bad or really bad, except Costco. I’ve never tried it but apparently their food is acceptable.



If I had the money and time, I would want a true poodle groomer. Someone who has experience with grooming show poodles. But alas they are very rare and costly. Best is to find someone who will domwhat you want and being pictures. If she’s good enough, then your dog shouldn’t be half bad. I groom my dogs, so no surprise, even if they don’t look like magazine poodles...
I’ve been looking at different groomers in my area. Manhattan has a lot of different grooming boutiques, however, I fear I may not like them. I’m not a fan groomers that do not give price ideas or even images for reference and that seems to be the new trend nowadays when it comes to the more expensive groomers . And sometimes I feel it is almost rude to ask the price lol, I guess people believe right off the bat that you can’t afford it if you have to question it. I’ve always hated the assumption, it’s absolutely ridiculous considering the day and age we live in.

All poodles are pretty poodles ;) I absolutely adore most cuts on poodles. All magazine worthy!


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. Around here I would say all grocery store food is bad or really bad, except Costco. I’ve never tried it but apparently their food is acceptable.
Off topic, but my vet recommends Presidents Choice if you cant afford the premium dog foods. They have improved their recipes, last time i looked i was actually impressed with the ingredients list/nutritional information listed. Several relatives feed it to their dogs and cats now. I fed their cans to Annie for a bit when i was giving her meds and they were surprisingly few ingredients and cheap.
 

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So it was mentioned that new owners can always start with the basic equipment listed and my question is could basic groomig equipment produce this coat:




P.S. I know the equipment most groomers have can do it. But I'm wondering if a hi vac dryer and basic brushes and combs can do it to at least some extent too.


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IMO the key to a good groom is the blow out. My best grooms have been after having the dogs cleaned at the groomer's, and finished by me at home. I have never achieved the softness of the coat in the picture you posted on my own with a HV dryer, though perhaps if you have a helper willing to spend several hours holding the dryer at the precise angle needed while you brush, you might be able to achieve 90% of the finish. My recommendation is to learn to wash and dry, and invest in a quality stand dryer.
 

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The photo shows a coat that has been blown out and clipped. It will probably only look perfect like this for a day or so and then it will start to curl a bit. That is my experience. Also coat type will affect outcome. Misha has a type of hair on the back of his legs that is highly resistant to straightening and never gets the desired texture. His sister has the same coat texture I think and she had no problem winning in shows. His brother has a better coat. But I still get a pretty decent result grooming him. He tends to have that perfect look for a day or so. Blowouts after the clipping don't have quite the same effect since the hair is shorter and I condition more when not clipping. I don't use a stand dryer. But I feel the improvement would be minimal.
 

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@Luluspoo I'm as novice as they come with a 21 week old SPOO and your poodle will feel like a plush microfleece pillow with the above mentioned set of tools... Your poodle will feel like your favorite blanket fresh out of the dryer 😍

(Top: fresh from drying + slicker brushed)
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(Bottom: fresh from the dryer, not yet slicker brushed)
469776


(Note: I've only ever trimmed her feet, face, and ears.. the goal trim is a german cut look, but I want to grow her coat out.)
 
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