When Do Poodles Get Their Curls?

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One of the biggest reasons people adore Poodles is their silky, curly, fluffy coat—nothing there’s like arriving home after a hard day to be welcomed by a veritable ball of fluff and curls.

The athletic, enthusiastic, and highly-intelligent Poodle’s claim to fame is its hypoallergenic coat.

By Adeline Ee.

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However, puppy Poodles are born with a straight, thick puppy coat, so straight that they don’t look like Poodles at all!

Ever wondered when do Poodles get their curls? Read on for more insights into the famous hypoallergenic coats of the Einsteins of the canine world – Poodles.

So When Do Poodles Get Their Curls?

When do Poodles get their curls largely depends on the individual dog, but as a general rule, at around 3-6 months, their straight puppy coats eventually start going wavy.

By 9 months, those gentle waves transition into long, tight curls which will last the remainder of their lifespan.

Poodles should have their full, curly adult coat by the time they are 12 months old, although some pooches take as long as 18 months for their adult coats to be set in stone.

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Puppy Coats vs Adult Coats

Poodles’ coats are typically significantly different when they are born than they would be as adults.

Instead of a thick coat of tight curls, your Poodle puppy will most likely have a smooth and fluffy straight or slightly wavy coat.

This is the typical puppy coat for many Poodles, and it will change with growth.

Grooming A Puppy Coat

When doing the majority of the growing at about 6 to 12 months, your Poodle’s coat is significantly more prone to matting than normal, and if their hair is maintained long, they will require daily brushing to keep the tangles at bay.

If not properly managed, the soft puppy coat that’s on its way out can tangle with the coarse and thick adult coat that is coming in.

Do All Poodles Have Curly Hair?

Between the ages of 6 and 18 months, the coats are doing a lot of growing and evolving.

If your poodle is younger than 18 months, they are likely to still have their less curly, more wavy puppy coat, so you will have to wait for the curls to peek out.

Even in adult Poodles, there is some natural variance in the coat texture, which can vary significantly when it comes to the curly-ness.

While there are exceptions to every rule, Poodles with red, cream, and apricot coats tend to have looser curls than their black and white counterparts.

Why Do Poodles Have Curly Hair?

In sharp contrast to their media-portrayed image as fluffy snobs adorned with fancy haircuts rhinestone collars, Poodles are athletic working dogs originally bred by German hunters to retrieve waterfowl.

Originally bred as waterfowl retrieving dogs, Poodles have long, tight curls that can repel modest amounts of water.

In addition, they are single-coated dogs, so when they do enter the cold water and get soaked, a quick shake is all it takes for them to eliminate most of the water and dry off.

However, their curly coats belie their athleticism.

Under that pretty coat and fluffy hair-do lies a muscular, powerful build that can run many miles a day!

The word “Poodle” comes from the German word “pudel”, which is translated to “to splash in water”.

What’s The Best Way To Get A Poodle’s Coat To Curl?

It’s probably nothing to worry about if your poodle is over 18 months old and their hair isn’t highly curly. It’s a normal variation.

However, there are a few things you can do at home to encourage your poodle’s coat to be curlier.

  1. Ensure that your poodle is getting all of the nutrition it needs. If a poodle is malnourished, it will show in its hair, much like people. If in doubt, check with your vet and feed only high-quality kibble.
  2. Allow your poodle to air dry after washing it with a mild dog shampoo. Before the bath, give your pooch a thorough brush to remove any tangles and dead hair. Your drain plug will thank you for it!
  3. Use an organic and natural conditioner.
  4. Finally, apply a finishing spray or coat treatment to your poodle’s coat to enhance gloss and repel dirt.

Are Poodles Hypoallergenic Because of Their Curls?

The curly coat of the Poodle is now greatly sought after by dog owners. Even Poodle crosses are on the rise, with a strong likelihood that a hybrid with Poodle genes will have a hypoallergenic coat, making these pooches suitable for those with allergies.

How Much Do Curly Poodles Shed?

Poodles are low-sheddding dogs that are unlikely to trigger allergies. Allergies are not triggered by the hair, but rather, by the dander and saliva that the fur might contain.

Like all dogs, Poodles will shed and replace their hair, although they do not have seasonal molts, and their fur is lost in small amounts compared to other breeds.

Due to their tight curls, dead fur tends to stay in the coat, so brush your pooch every day or two to remove all the dead fur and dander to keep the home allergen-free.


The curly coat of the Poodle is a dream come true for folks with allergies. Don’t worry if your Poodle’s coat takes a while to turn curly, all coats aren’t created equal and your pooch will be the cutest thing in the world anyway!

Thanks for reading, and happy curls!

Photo by Tran.