If someone asked us to name the ‘ best dressed’ dogs in the world, that title would undoubtedly go to poodles. The simple reason being that poodle haircuts might just be the most famous and most fashionable in the whole canine world.
But did you know that, originally, the famous poodle haircuts actually had a practical reason rather than an aesthetic one? Here is all you need to know about poodle haircuts and how to groom you beloved pet!
The Origins of Poodle Haircuts
Despite popular belief, poodle haircuts are not modern day thing. In reality, poodle haircuts were invented in 16th or 17th century. Specialists believe they originated in the center of Europe, in the part that we now refer to as Germany.
Not only that, but poodle haircuts had nothing to do with style or aesthetics. They were, in fact, very practical. Back in those days, poodles were not pets, lap dogs, or show dogs as they are today. They were water retrievers.
The word in itself is a derivation from the German word pudelhound, which translates to water dog. Naturally, the dogs retrieved the game for their masters out of water during hunting.
Since they needed to swim so much, and since their coats were very long and lucious, people of the 16th century came up with an ingenious and practical haircut for their beloved poodles.
This is how poodle haircuts were born. The lower part of the dog’s body was always shaved because it soaked up water as the dog swam. Therefore, it put the animal in danger of drowning.
However, they kept the hair around the dogs’ chest and head. As they swam in freezing water, this thick mane of hair would protect their vital organs from harsh temperatures.
The same goes for their paws. The owners left tufts of hair around the dog’s paws to protect them against cold and possible rheumatism. The fur was also shaved off around the animal’s eyes and mouth so that they could see better and grip the game easier with their teeth.
Poodle Haircuts as an Aesthetic
As time went by, the owners also began tying their dogs’ hair with a ribbon on top of their heads. Usually, the ribbon was colored so that they could tell their dogs apart, especially when they were out hunting. All of these original traits of poodle haircuts still exist today.
So how did poodle haircuts go from a purely practical way of grooming a hunting dog to an aesthetic albeit fashionable hairstyle for pooches? Well, the French had a word to say in the matter.
Soon enough, the breed was adopted at the court of King Louis the XVIth of France. The French aristocrats loved poodles not for their hunting skills but for their sweet disposition and fierce intelligence.
However, since the aristocracy needed lap dogs and not a big breed that hunted, they soon developed smaller poodles as well as the famous Toy size, which still exists today.
Evidently, being an aristocratic dog that rested day and night in the lap of some of the most regal ladies at the French court, also meant the dogs needed some haircuts to match. French poodle haircuts became all the rage. They included pompadours, and extravagant styles that bore fake curls and multicolored ribbons.
This is also the reason why the poodle is still called the Caniche Royal or the Regal Dog in translation from French.
However, some happy news for poodle lovers around the world says that in the past few years people have started using poodles for their original intended purpose once more. This is excellent, as poodles are incredibly smart and perfect hunters, fitted for so much more than being just lap or show dogs!
What You Need to Know about Poodle Hair
If you’re planning on getting a poodle or if you already have one, here is an important piece of information.
Poodles don’t grow fur like other dogs, but a type of hair that can be likened to the one that humans grow. As a result, it’s super easy to experiment when it comes to poodle haircuts. Moreover, poodle hair is naturally curly, which means they are all the more beautiful.
However, you need to be careful about one thing. A poodle’s mane requires all the grooming you can give it. Therefore, make sure you put in as much work as you can!
Brush you poodle every single day so that its coat doesn’t get tangled or matted.
At the same time, wash your dog as often as you possibly can. As you will notice soon enough, poodles don’t shed. Therefore, it will be up to you to help your beloved pet to get rid of all the excess fur, but also dirt and knots they accumulate.
This might help you understand a little better why seasoned poodle owners love to give their dogs haircuts that look eccentric at first glance. Not only are they beautiful, but they also help the dog stay healthy. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the most popular poodle haircuts in vogue right now.
Poodle Haircuts You Will Love
Seeing as poodles don’t grow traditional dog fur but a type of hair, you can practically give them any kind of haircut you choose. Here are some examples that will help you decide!
Lion Poodle Haircuts
We’ll start with the lion haircut because it might be the most famous one of all. You will have to shave his legs, but leave a puff of fur around his paws and ankles.
You will also have to leave a tuff of hair around his tail. This tuff of hair has to look perfectly rounded. Just like tradition has it, the dog’s chest, stomach, and head must always be covered in hair, so don’t remove any in these regions.
The lion haircut is also called the Continental, and you are most likely to see it in dog competitions or shows. However, you should know that it takes a lot of grooming to keep it looking neat. You have been warned!
The English Saddle Cut
These poodle haircuts are super similar to the Lion or Continental haircut. There is only one, tiny difference. The English Saddle Haircut adds another pom of hair to the dog’s hind legs.
You also need to make sure the hair on his bottom half is the exact same length as the hair on his top half. Therefore, you will not be able to shave your dog if you’re planning on giving him this hairstyle.
The Puppy Cut
Despite their name, these poodle haircuts were not designed for the puppies of the breed, but for Miniature Poodles. But this doesn’t mean that if your are the owner of a traditional type of poodle and you have your mind set on this haircut, you can’t choose it. The idea is that you and your dog are happy with the poodle haircuts you choose together!
Modern Poodle Haircuts
They also go by the name Scandinavian or European Cuts. The difference between this approach and the classic or traditional ones is that modern poodle hairstyles are very sleek and try to move away from all the flamboyancy of the old ages.
They still keep the aesthetic, but without any exaggerations, pump and frills. Instead, modern poodle haircuts like to follow the natural lines of the dog’s body and not make it into a clown.
The Dutch Cut
If you are the proud owner of a lovely poodle and your goal is to enter him into competitions, shows, or pageants, than this is the haircut for you.
Not to mention that it’s as simple to understand as possible. The dog’s coat has to be the same length all over his body. The only addition is a small pompom at the end of his tail.
You will also find the Dutch Cut under the name The Sporting Cut, harking back to the British Kennel Club.
The Cupcake Cut
Is there anything that would look better on an already gorgeous poodle than a haircut that might make him look like a delicious cupcake? We think not. Than get ready for these poodle haircuts because they will turn your precious pup into a pupcake!
The idea behind this haircut is that you have to trim the dog’s hair very short all over his body. Make it the same size on every part. Transform the shape of his head into a point by defining the ears. Trim the hair on both sides in two round balls. When you’re finished, the pupper will look like a cupcake.
What do you think about poodle haircuts?
They started off as a practical hairstyle for a breed of dogs used for hunting and retrieving game. But nowadays, poodle haircuts have a much more aesthetic purpose to them. Nonetheless, one cannot deny that poodles are some of the most beautiful and outstanding looking dogs in the world. And much of that is due to the wonderful haircuts they carry so proudly!