Puppy coat VS Adult Coat
Poodles do have a puppy coat. This is the coat that a pup is born with. Often, this coat will look and feel much different than the future adult coat. Many Poodle puppies have very soft, wavy hair as opposed to the adult's thick and curly coat.
For Miniature & Toy Poodles, beginning at approximately 9 months old, a Poodle's coat will steadily change over to their adult coat. This process usually takes about 9 months. Therefore, when a Poodle is approximately 18 months old, they will have their full adult coat. In some cases it will be 24 months until the adult coat comes in. During this time, the coat can become very matted. Large matts (tangles) can ruin a coat, often needing to be clipped off if they cannot be worked out by hand. For this reason, it is important to brush the coat with a pin brush very often and thoroughly during this stage. Once this change over is complete, the coat will be easier to maintain.
This above also happens with Standard Poodles, however this stage does not last quite as long. The Standard Poodle will go through a coat change starting anytime between 9 and 16 months. The changeover will last approximately 3 months.
It is said that a Poodle does not shed. This can be looked at 2 ways. A Poodle does not have the plush double coat that many breeds have. Poodles have a single, dense coat of wiry hair. Just like human hair, it grows and some hairs do fall out. When the hairs fall out of a Poodle's coat, they often fall back into the coat. Therefore, a Poodle does not shed in the traditional sense of canine shedding.