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Corded Poodle: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Written by: Misty Layne

Last Updated on May 16, 2024 by Dogster Team

Happy Brown Corded Poodle Running

Corded Poodle: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Poodles come in all shapes and sizes, as well as with various hairstyles. One such hairstyle is known as cording (or, essentially, dreadlocks). Though less common than in the 1800s, you’ll still occasionally see a Poodle with a corded coat. But this is one style that requires a bit of time to do and maintain, so you likely won’t see it often.

Breed Overview

Height:

15 – 24 inches

Weight:

40 – 70 pounds

Lifespan:

12 – 15 years

Colors:

Apricot, brown, white, gray, black, cream, fawn

Suitable for:

New dog owners, families with older kids, people with allergies

Temperament:

Intelligent, active, friendly, mischievous

Want to learn more about corded Poodles and when cording their coats became popular? From the background of cording to unique facts about corded coats, we have the knowledge you seek!

Corded Poodle Characteristics

Energy
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High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Trainability
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Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Health
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Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Lifespan
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Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Sociability
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Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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The Earliest Records of Corded Poodles in History

Many people think Poodles with corded hair are a relatively new phenomenon, but corded Poodles go back much further than expected! In fact, the origins of Poodle cording date back to at least the 1800s, when Achilles the corded Poodle achieved the honor of being the first Poodle in England to win a championship. It wasn’t until 1886 that the breed standards set forth by the Poodle Club of England mentioned Poodles with corded coats at all, though, when they stated: “Coat: Very profuse and of good texture; if corded, hanging in tight, even cords.”

And when it came to The Kennel Club of England, the first Poodle was recognized in 1874. Throughout the 1800s, they allowed corded Poodles to be exempt from certain rules that applied to preparing dogs for exhibition (most likely in regards to a rule banning putting a foreign substance on a dog coat or changing its appearance via artificial means). The corded Poodle got a pass here because it was believed then that the cords on this hairstyle must be oiled or vaselined.

A corded poodle lying in the grass
Image By: Fotolisa12, Pixabay

How Corded Poodles Gained Popularity

Though corded Poodles were fairly abundant in the 1800s in England, then moved to the States in the 1890s, this hairstyle never really caught on (particularly in America). In fact, Hayes Blake Hoyt wrote in a 1951 book, “Fortunately, from the Poodle’s point of view, this type of coat was never popular in England or America, partly due to the fact that the dog itself cannot be permitted much freedom for fear of marring the cords.1” In fact, it’s fairly rare to see a corded Poodle these days. (And the fact that cording a Poodle can be a bit of a time-consuming task likely didn’t help the popularity of the hairstyle!)

Formal Recognition of Corded Poodles

The Poodle is widely recognized by dog clubs and has been for a while (though some clubs may not list cording among the breed’s standards). The Standard Poodle was formally recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1887, with cording being listed among the standards approved in 1984. And as stated above, The Kennel Club of England recognized its first Poodle in 1874; by 1910, corded and curly Poodles had been put into separate categories (it was believed at the time that the corded Poodle was a different breed). And the Poodle was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1914, with cording being listed in the standards.

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Top 3 Unique Facts About Corded Poodles

Want to find out more about corded Poodles? Below you’ll learn a few unique facts about them!

1. Bathing a Corded Poodle Is Difficult

Part of the reason cording fell out of fashion is because people believed bathing a corded Poodle was an unnecessarily difficult task that wasn’t worth the time. That meant in the early days, Poodles with this hairstyle had a tendency to be dirty and smelly.


2. Corded Poodle Coats Never Shed

There’s a reason corded Poodle coats seem like they never shed. A study done by Texas A&M’s vet school looked at hair from the coats of Poodles and Komondoroks and found that corded breeds shed differently than non-corded ones. This results in loose hair getting caught up in the cords before it can shed.

A Harlequin corded poodle sitting near the water
Image Credit: tarjamargitniemai0, Pixabay

3. Corded Poodle Coats Cord on Their Own

There are some Poodles whose coats will cord on their own. However, most of the time when this happens, the coat begins to mat.

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Do Corded Poodles Make a Good Pet?

The Poodle, in general, makes an excellent pet for the majority of people. The breed is affectionate, goofy, fun-loving, and incredibly active. They’re also very loyal to their people and highly intelligent. However, Poodles can also be quite sensitive to the emotions of those around them, so may be a bit high-strung at times.

If it’s a Poodle with a corded hairstyle you want, though, you should be aware that getting this look (and maintaining it) can be quite a time-consuming task. Keeping up with a corded Poodle requires grooming skills that are a bit different than those for a Poodle with a curly coat, so you’ll need to consider if you have the necessary time to devote to the upkeep of cording.

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Summary

Corded Poodles used to be relatively popular back in the 1800s in England, but the look never quite took off in the States. Cording also became less popular in England, thus making it fairly rare to see a Poodle with this hairstyle these days. Part of the reason this hairstyle remains less popular is likely due to the upkeep it requires, as cording a Poodle’s coat and maintaining it is a bit of a task! But if you’re interested in cording your Poodle’s coat, you should be able to accomplish the look with a bit of time and effort.


Featured Image Credit: Aneta Jungerova, Shutterstock

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