When it comes to dog grooming, nothing is better suited than the poodle. In fact, a lot of people often wonder why poodle haircuts are so popular and we have the answer. Well, we have a short answer and a long one. The long answer is that poodles have a very soft coat that grows long and thick, which makes it perfect to be turned into any haircut you can dream of. The short answer is that poodle haircuts are simply the cutest!
Let’s dive into the history of poodle haircuts, what are the best styles, how to groom a poodle, tips and tricks, and more!
Where Did Poodle Haircuts Originate?
- Where Did Poodle Haircuts Originate?
- Poodle Haircuts Had a Practical Purpose
- Poodle Haircuts Develop Into an Aesthetic
- Poodle Haircuts vs Shaving a Poodle
- The Quality of Poodle Hair
- The Most Beloved Poodle Haircuts
- What about you?
Believe it or not, poodle haircuts are not a modern invention. What might seem even more unbelievable to you is that the famous classical poodle haircuts were not invented because they looked good. In fact, they had a very practical purpose, as you are about to see.
Most specialists tend to trace the poodle as well as its famous haircut back to the 16th and 17th century in Europe. They seem to come from a region in the center of Europe that we now refer to as Germany. At that moment in time, people bred this type of dogs as water retrievers.
In fact, the word itself, poodle, is one that has derived from another German word pudel. The latter is short for the word pudelhound which meant water dog. Therefore, as you can see, the dogs were specifically used to retrieve game out of the water when their masters went hunting.
Poodle Haircuts Had a Practical Purpose
The dogs’ fur used to grow long and thick. However, the poodles needed to swim a lot to retrieve game out of the water. Therefore, the humans reached the conclusion that the bottom part of the fur soaked up a lot of the water and weighed the dogs down. Therefore, they came up with the idea of shaving the lower half of their bodies. In this way, the poodles were free to swim better and were not at risk anymore.
However, owners at that point in time did not shave off the mane around their heads nor the thick hair around their chests. Seeing as they often dove in freezing water, the naturally thick hair would serve to protect the dogs’ vital organs and head.
Their owners also left tufts of hair intact around their paws and joints to help prevent the dogs from getting rheumatism. Another adjustment they made was to shave off the hair around the poodles’ eyes so that they could see well. They did the same for the hair around their mouths so that the dogs could retrieve game better from the water.
In time, the owners would also put the dogs’ hair up in a knot. They would tie it with a brightly colored ribbon so that they could tell their dogs apart from each other, especially when they were in nature. And that’s how poodle haircuts were born.
Poodle Haircuts Develop Into an Aesthetic
Soon enough the French discovered the poodle and adopted it mainly because of its intelligence and pleasant disposition. In fact, they loved poodles so much that the breed was introduced at the court of King Louis XVIth of France.
It was the French aristocracy who bred poodles into smaller and eventually Toy sizes, as we know them today. Since the ladies at court did not hunt, they had no use for the large size, so they needed pretty lap dogs. The poodles and their poodle haircuts were perfect for that.
Therefore, not only did they fashion the dogs themselves to fit their royal lifestyles better, but they also gave them more laborious hairstyles to match. As a consequence, the new poodle haircuts were now very extravagant. In fact, sometimes they could even look like the very pompadours all the aristocratic French women and men wore at that point in time at the Royal court. Imagine that. A poodle with a pompadour!
It is precisely because of this reason that the poodle still bears the name Caniche Royal or royal dog in a loose translation. It is in regard to the Standard poodle and harks back to the French court and their poodle haircuts.
But you’ll be happy to find out that in the last two decades poodles have started being used for their original purpose once more. For almost three centuries they have been nothing more than show and circus dogs. However, people are starting to discover once more that they are also highly intelligent as well as beautiful!
Poodle Haircuts vs Shaving a Poodle
A lot of people, you included, might have heard that poodle haircuts include shaving the dog or at least parts of its body. However, it’s very important to note that ‘shaving’ doesn’t actually mean what it does in human terms.
In other words, shaving a poodle doesn’t mean shaving it down to the skin, much like you would shave your face or your legs. That would, in fact, harm the animal. Poodle haircuts that include ‘shaving’ should be thought of more like shearing a sheep. This means cutting the hair extremely short, close to the skin.
It’s also important to put out a warning for everyone out there who owns a poodle and is thinking about giving it a haircut. Please do not attempt to shave your dog!
The Quality of Poodle Hair
Another important aspect that makes these dogs so special is this. Contrary to popular belief, poodles don’t actually grow fur, like most dogs. They grow hair which is somewhat similar to human hair in aspect and quality.
This is one of the main reasons why it’s so easy to experiment with poodle haircuts. Since it grows so thickly and densely, barbers started noticing ever since the 17th century that they were able to treat it exactly like human hair. Apart from that, poodle hair also grows naturally curly. This means a lot of intricate designs and hairdos can be achieved by a skilled stylist.
However, all this also comes with a downside. As magnificent as all that mane is, it will require a lot of grooming. In other words, if you own a poodle, get ready for a lot of hard work! You will have to brush its hair every single day to make sure it doesn’t get tangled or matted.
You will also have to wash your dog a lot more often than if you owned any other type of dog. The reason is that they don’t shed. Therefore, they keep all their fur but also all the dirt they accumulate in it and that they would have lost had they shed. Now do you understand why dog owners prefer those crazy poodle haircuts?
Speaking of which, let’s take a look at some of the most famous poodle haircuts you and your best friend can actually try!
The Most Beloved Poodle Haircuts
As mentioned above, poodles don’t actually grow fur but hair. Hence, you can give them any haircut you want. However, let’s take a look at some of the most famous and beloved classic poodle haircuts of all time! They will undoubtedly put a smile on your face!
Lion Poodle Haircuts
This is, without a shred of a doubt the most famous as well as the most theatrical of all the types of poodle haircuts. In this one, the dog’s legs need to be shaved off. But he does need to have a puff of fur surrounding his paws and ankles.
His tail must also have a pompom which should be rounded into perfection. When it comes to the poodle’s chest, head, and stomach, they need to be covered in thick hair as tradition dictates poodles should have.
This is the poodle haircut you are most likely to see in all dog shows and competitions. It also goes by the name the Continental. It surely is dramatic but you need to know it takes a lot of effort as well as time to groom and keep it neat.
The English Saddle Cut
This type of poodle haircut is, in fact, super similar to the one we saw above – the Continental or the Lion cut. However, it does have a tiny difference. You must add a whole new pompom to the dog’s hind legs. Apart from that, the poodle’s hair on his bottom half needs to be the exact same length as the hair on his top half. In other words, you cannot shave him when it comes to the English Saddle Cut.
Modern Poodle Haircuts
The Modern Cut also goes by the name the European or Scandinavian Cut. It’s the perfect poodle haircut if you’re an owner and love to watch canine shows as well as keep in tune with all the recent trends they propose.
The Modern cut when it comes to poodle haircuts is one that tries to give the dogs a very clean and sleek look, almost professional some might say. The trick is that the Modern cut doesn’t like the flamboyancy of the more classic poodle haircuts. It is aesthetic but without being exaggerated in the least.
In other words, the Modern cut tends to follow the dog’s natural lines and his organic shape of the body as opposed to making him a bit of a clown or show dog.
The Dutch Cut
If you own a poodle and would like to enter him into pageants, exhibitions or dog contents, the Dutch cut is the one to go for as far as poodle haircuts are concerned. It’s also super simple to explain.
The Dutch cut means that the dog’s entire coat needs to be the exact same length all over. There is one little addition. You have to give him or her a cute pompom at the end of the tail. The haircut is also called a ‘sporting cut’ when it comes to the British Kennel Club.
The Puppy Cut
Is this the Puppy cut or the puppy cute? We’ll let you decide. As you might have already imagined given its name, this particular type of poodle haircuts was especially designed with Miniature Poodles in mind.
However, this doesn’t mean you can’t give your regular sized poodle the Puppy Cut as well. The purpose of the cut is to make the dog look like a puppy. Therefore, it shouldn’t be sharp or have focused lines at all. The fur should be a little tousled and natural with a pompom decorating the tail.
The Cupcake Cut
These just keep getting cuter and cuter by the second! What could work better on a poodle than a haircut that makes him look like a cupcake? Here’s what you need to do. Trim the fur on his body short but the same size all over.
The cupcake part needs to be defined around the poodle’s ears. The shape of the head should be cut into a point while the hair on the ears has to be trimmed into two round balls. In this way, it will look like a scrumptious cupcake.
The Teddy Bear Cut
Have you already guessed why these poodle haircuts are called the Teddy Bear? We’re sure you have! Because they will make your dog look like the prettiest little bear in the world!
It must all start with the poodle having long hair which must then be cut with scissors into the desired shape. Therefore, you should only take your lovely pet to someone who has a lot of experience in doing this haircut.
Apart from that, the dog’s hair needs to be medium in length. In this way, you will be able to see its natural curls better, so that he can resemble a small bear. All the extremities, head and paws included, should then be rounded using a scissors only.
Don’t forget to bathe your gorgeous poodle as often as you can because a lot of dirt and grime will get caught in his medium length, curly fur!
What about you?
Do you already own a poodle or are you thinking about become a proud parent soon? If so, will you give him or her any of the gorgeous poodle haircuts on our list? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comment section below!