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I was reading something n another thread about pulis and other corded dog breeds, and I was just curious:
What happens if you don't work on the cords and separate them when they start coming in? Does the hair just all mat together?
Do people ever clip their coat short and not do cords at all? Or would that be bad for the dog.
What is the purpose of the cords? Are they for protection or just appearance?
 

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1). Yeah, will become a few large mattes and cause inadequate air exposure for skin etc if left alone.

2) Many people shave them down. Their undercoats are extremely soft, so as they grow in they are amazingly fluffy....

3) They are (my dog) herding dogs. Cords are there to protect the dog from brush and snow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
1). Yeah, will become a few large mattes and cause inadequate air exposure for skin etc if left alone.

2) Many people shave them down. Their undercoats are extremely soft, so as they grow in they are amazingly fluffy....

3) They are (my dog) herding dogs. Cords are there to protect the dog from brush and snow.
Thank you!
 

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I've also heard - at least with Komondors - that they're to help the dog be accepted by the sheep and fool predators into not being sure when the dog is around, but I don't know how true that is. I don't doubt they do protect from predator attacks to some extent though - humans didn't invent gambesons densely packed with sheep's wool as padded armor because it doesn't work. Couldn't pay me to maintain one, though. I do groom my curly boys myself, but I wouldn't trust myself to keep up with the work well enough to keep the dog's skin healthy and hair low-odor.

Slightly related topic, but a breed I'm more familiar with, Lagotti have a less extreme version - sometimes called rustica - where the coat is essentially allowed to felt (with some minor maintenance to prevent matting close to the skin or in uncomfortable areas) and then given a total shave-down once or twice a year, no brushing required. Practical when they were working water dogs in marshlands, I'm sure, because they required so little upkeep and it's incredibly waterproof. Possibly less so once they were revived as a more specialized truffle hunting dog. But the feel of a 'felted' coat would drive me crazy. Frodo's never going to have a totally smooth coat that's easy to run a comb through, even with regular brushing and fancy conditioners/detangling products, and he develops some felts despite our best efforts unless we keep him really short. But the texture is very pleasant, not super soft but also not that super crisp feel you get with poodles who have a really nice coat, because unlike poodles he has an undercoat as well as the waterproof guard hairs. I imagine corded breeds to have a similar texture when kept shaved, though I've never felt one personally. Lagotti can be corded, but I've never seen one and only know it's possible because it's a DQ in the showring, haha.
 

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The same thing that would happen to an unkempt Poodle. Corded breeds are just dogs with curly continuously growing hair, you can cord a poodle or any other similar breed. Not separating and defining the cords would result in clump matting.
The cords are more tradition than anything else anymore, considering most LGD breeds guard perfectly fine without cords.
 

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The same thing that would happen to an unkempt Poodle. Corded breeds are just dogs with curly continuously growing hair, you can cord a poodle or any other similar breed. Not separating and defining the cords would result in clump matting.
The cords are more tradition than anything else anymore, considering most LGD breeds guard perfectly fine without cords.
I was told, from a veterinarian who breeds and shows Pulik, at Westminster this year actually, that she had personally known a Puli from a breeder who’s undercoat wasn’t sufficient and the dog couldn’t be corded....... Simply a long top-coat without the proper undercoat “could” be corded I suppose, if you back-comb it, use wax/products etc...... but then you’re talking about cording a dog’s hair in the same fashion you would cord a human’s hair.

Corded dog hair is done by a process of ripping the hair apart down to the base as each matte starts...... I don’t think you could do that with a poodle for instance, as they don’t have the same type of hair. We would probably see several poodles corded otherwise, but not all long curly hair is created equal

Edit: Google says corded poodles are a thing. I did not know that, as I’ve never seen one.
 

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@Beta Man Corded Poodles are not really a thing in the show ring, and what few are working as retrievers are kept relatively short, so that leaves experimental pet owners who are willing to do the upkeep to have a corded Poodle. In person I have seen a corded poodle ONCE, it was two from the same family and they corded only the heads of the dogs. I realize non shedding breeds have varying coat textures, but those kinky curls help cording without excessive effort.

Splitting cords is just maintenance, humans with dreads do the same thing because their locks will start to form together just as a dogs cords do.
 

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Corded poodles used to be much more popular - back in the late 1800s I think it was even considered a separate 'coat type'. They don't cord exactly like Pulis or Komondors - the cords tend to be much thinner and and rounder rather than flat, probably because they lack undercoat so their hair behaves differently - but I know a couple people still do it. Ton of work though, and you can't get away with it on a dog like my poodle, whose hair is super soft and limp. Got to have a really nice quality coat with those real crisp, tight curls. It's a pretty wild look when it's well maintained, I'll admit!
 

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Corded poodles can be shown in AKC conformation. It's not common but you'll see a few at shows. A poodle with a long enough breed standard coat should be able to be put into cords readily, but a lot of poodles have soft coats that probably would be iffy to cord. Out of curiosity I tried making a couple of cords on my Standard the way you'd roll starter locs on a person, and it worked well enough. I think the results would have bonded into cords given some time to age.
 
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