Poodle Breed Magazine - Showsight

Poodle Breed Magazine features information, expert articles, and stunning photos from AKC judges, breeders, and owners.


Let’s Talk Breed Education!

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Official Standard of the Poodle The Standard for the Poodle (Toy variety) is the same as for the Standard and Miniature varieties except as regards heights. General Appearance: Carriage and Condition - That of a very active, intelligent and elegant- appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself proudly. Properly clipped in the traditional fashion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself. Size, Proportion, Substance : Size - The Standard Poodle is over 15 inches at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle which is 15 inches or less in height shall be disqualified from competition as a Standard Poodle. The Miniature Poodle is 15 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders, with a minimum height in excess of 10 inches. Any Poodle which is over 15 inches or is 10 inches or less at the highest point of the shoulders shall be disqualified from competition as a Miniature Poodle. The Toy Poodle is 10 inches or under at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle which is more than 10 inches at the highest point of the shoulders shall be disqualified from competition as a Toy Poodle. As long as the Toy Poodle is definitely a Toy Poodle, and the Miniature Poodle a Miniature Poodle, both in balance and proportion for the Variety, diminutiveness shall be the deciding factor when all other points are equal. Proportion - To insure the desirable squarely built appearance, the length of body measured from the breastbone to the point of the rump approximates the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the ground. Substance - Bone and muscle of both forelegs and hindlegs are in proportion to size of dog. Head and Expression : (a) Eyes - very dark, oval in shape and set far enough apart and positioned to create an alert intelligent expression. Major fault: eyes round, protruding, large or very light. (b) Ears - hanging close to the head, set at or slightly below eye level. The ear leather is long, wide and thickly feathered; however, the ear fringe should not be of excessive length. (c) Skull - moderately rounded, with a slight but definite stop. Cheekbones and muscles flat. Length from occiput to stop about the same as length of muzzle. (d) Muzzle - long, straight and fine, with slight chiseling under the eyes. Strong without lippiness. The chin definite enough to preclude snipiness. Major fault: lack of chin. Teeth - white, strong and with a scissors bite . Major fault: undershot, overshot, wry mouth. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck well proportioned, strong and long enough to permit the head to be carried high and with dignity. Skin snug at throat. The neck rises from strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. Major fault: ewe neck. The topline is level, neither sloping nor roached, from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the base of the tail, with the exception of a slight hollow just behind the shoulder. Body - (a) Chest deep and moderately wide with well sprung ribs. (b) The loin is short, broad and muscular. (c) Tail straight, set on high and carried up, docked of sufficient length to insure a balanced outline. Major fault: set low, curled, or carried over the back. Forequarters : Strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. The shoulder blade is well laid back and approximately the same length as the upper foreleg. Major fault - steep shoulder. Forelegs - Straight and parallel when viewed from the front. When viewed from the side the elbow is

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directly below the highest point of the shoulder. The pasterns are strong. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet - The feet are rather small, oval in shape with toes well arched and cushioned on thick firm pads. Nails short but not excessively shortened. The feet turn neither in nor out. Major fault - paper or splay foot. Hindquarters : The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters. Hindlegs straight and parallel when viewed from the rear. Muscular with width in the region of the stifles which are well bent; femur and tibia are about equal in length; hock to heel short and perpendicular to the ground. When standing, the rear toes are only slightly behind the point of the rump. Major fault - cow-hocks. Coat : (a) Quality - (1) Curly: of naturally harsh texture, dense throughout. (2) Corded: hanging in tight even cords of varying length; longer on mane or body coat, head, and ears; shorter on puffs, bracelets, and pompons. (b) Clip - A Poodle under 12 months may be shown in the "Puppy" clip. In all regular classes, Poodles 12 months or over must be shown in the "English Saddle" or "Continental" clip. In the Stud Dog and Brood Bitch classes and in a non-competitive Parade of Champions, Poodles may be shown in the "Sporting" clip. A Poodle shown in any other type of clip shall be disqualified. (1) "Puppy" - A Poodle under a year old may be shown in the "Puppy" clip with the coat long. The face, throat, feet and base of the tail are shaved. The entire shaven foot is visible. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. In order to give a neat appearance and a smooth unbroken line, shaping of the coat is permissible. (2) "English Saddle" - In the "English Saddle" clip, the face, throat, feet, forelegs and base of the tail are shaved, leaving puffs on the forelegs and a pompon on the end of the tail. The hindquarters are covered with a short blanket of hair except for a curved shaved area on each flank and two shaved bands on each hindleg. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven leg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance. (3) "Continental" - In the "Continental" clip, the face, throat, feet, and base of the tail are shaved. The hindquarters are shaved with pompons (optional) on the hips. The legs are shaved, leaving bracelets on the hindlegs and puffs on the forelegs. There is a pompon on the end of the tail. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven foreleg above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped in order to insure overall balance. (4) "Sporting" - In the "Sporting" clip, a Poodle shall be shown with face, feet, throat, and base of tail shaved, leaving a scissored cap on the top of the head and a pompon on the end of the tail. The rest of the body, and legs are clipped or scissored to follow the outline of the dog leaving a short blanket of coat no longer than one inch in length. The hair on the legs may be slightly longer than that on the body. In all clips the hair of the topknot may be left free or held in place by elastic bands. The hair is only of sufficient length to present a smooth outline. "Topknot" refers only to hair on the skull, from stop to occiput. This is the only area where elastic bands may be used. Color : The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-au- laits, apricots and creams the coat may show varying shades of the same color. This is frequently present in the somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are definitely preferred, such natural variation in the shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault. Brown and cafe-au-lait Poodles have liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, dark toenails and dark amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream and white Poodles have black noses, eye-rims and lips, black or self colored toenails and very dark eyes. In the apricots while

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the foregoing coloring is preferred, liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips, and amber eyes are permitted but are not desirable. Major fault: color of nose, lips and eye-rims incomplete, or of wrong color for color of dog. Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but is of two or more colors. Gait : A straightforward trot with light springy action and strong hindquarters drive. Head and tail carried up. Sound effortless movement is essential. Temperament : Carrying himself proudly, very active, intelligent, the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself. Major fault: shyness or sharpness. Major Faults : Any distinct deviation from the desired characteristics described in the Breed Standard. Disqualifications: Size - A dog over or under the height limits specified shall be disqualified. Clip - A dog in any type of clip other than those listed under coat shall be disqualified. Parti- colors - The coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but of two or more colors. Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. Value of Points General appearance, temperament, carriage and condition.......30 Head, expression, ears, eyes and teeth.......20 Body, neck, legs, feet and tail.......20 Gait.......20 Coat, color and texture.......10

Approved August 14, 1984 Reformatted March 27, 1990


by JULIE BORST REED, AKC Breeder of Merit

S tandard Poodle Fanciers were the first to work with Dr. Niels Pedersen at UC Davis in develop- ing a database of Poodle DNA to be tested for genetic diversity using a pro- cess to give a genome-wide result. This was born of the study granted by the Poodle Club of America Foundation to have the Pedersen research team determine inher- ited aspects of Sebaceous Adenitis (SA). After a few years, Dr. Pedersen explained that the study was at a standstill because the DNA submitted was so alike that there were no samples to utilize as controls for the effort. At that point, a small group of dedicat- ed hobbyist working to maintain genetic diversity in the Standard Poodle was con- tacted to work with Dr. Pedersen. Many of this group had started together in the late 1990s working with the all-breed email group, The Canine Diversity Project led by Dr. John Armstrong of Canada. Many Fanciers, after studying the pedigrees of Standard Poodles, were keen to break the high level of inbreeding seen in the most popular line which was quickly becoming the founder base of all Standard Poodles known. By 2002, worldwide, there were no longer any breeding age dogs in the variety known that did not descend from a set of 5 dogs that founded this wildly popu- lar line. Dr. Armstrong was a catalyst for

those studying with him that the time was growing late to set this more in balance with the less related dogs. Dr. Armstrong passed away in the latter half of 2001 or he and Dr. Pedersen would no doubt be the best of study associates.

worked as the coordinator of the Standard Poodle Project Breeders and the UC Davis study once it was indicated that the Ped- ersen team was in need of the less seen throughout the gene pool, pedigreed Stan- dard Poodle DNA. Lynn Brucker, assisted


Natalie Green Tessier, a newer breeder/ fancier of Standard Poodles in the fancy less than 10 years, has brought renewed vision. She has come to the Fancy like an angel of understanding. Much gratitude to Natalie in how she has led those interested in genetic diversity through the research phase and now into assisting those learn- ing about the results of their dog’s Canine Genetic Diversity DNA test. Natalie has

by Nancy Clifton, produce/maintain an incredible pedigree database for Standard Poodles that has been of great benefit in the research. Dr. Pedersen’s paper on this study is highly anticipated as to be published soon. Early on, just as he thought the research would end on the SA study, Dr. Pedersen is quoted as saying that the problem for this cherished variety of Poodle is that



ABOUT THE AUTHOR Julie has been active in Standard Poo- dles since 1972, producing a first litter in 1976 under the Tiara prefix. All Tiara dogs in her pedigrees today are CHIC des- ignated back to the mid-Eighties. Temper- ament, health and biddable natures are a hallmark of her efforts seen throughout many dog sport venues across the USA. Co-breeder and breeder of two gen- erations of his dam’s side, she achieved a childhood goal of producing the number 1 Poodle 1996 in AKC conformation. This was in concert with owner/co-breeder/ handler Kay Peiser. This handsome dog, one of the top producing sires for the breed named Am Ch Kaylen’s Cadil- lac Style is still today, an honor for Julie to discuss. From that time period of the mid-90s forward, diverse pedigrees for the ben- efit of the gene pool and greater longev- ity in the dogs she produces has been primary focus.

“The majority of the Standard Poodles have the minority of the genetic diversity.” So very much an alert to many. This echoes the warnings of Dr. John Armstrong. Glad- ly there have been a handful of Standard Poodle breeders working to maintain diver- sity in the dogs they are producing hav- ing learned through the teachings at The Canine Diversity Project. The main tool has been coefficient of inbreeding (COI). The Canine Diversity Project website is now re- hosted and available with websearch—it is now history—but gives you an idea where the seed was planted that brings us to the remarkable test now offered since 8 January 2015 for Standard Poodles. Why it is history is that now we have a genome-wide estimate based on DNA! The future has arrived and not just for Standard Poodles. The entire purebred dog fancy and someday the purebred horse fancy will be thanking the work done this past year at UC Davis so that breeders wishing to assist not only the gene pool, but give better chance to producing longer-lived offspring from their breeding stock. This type of testing was in the past only available to scientists/conservationist working to assist wild animal populations or to those doing studies at universities and cost about $7,000. Dr. Pedersen and his team at Davis worked to bring the abil- ity to evaluate DNA in an individual (dog) to just $100! Breeders can now evaluate an entire litter just after microchipping and long before they are assigned new homes/careers. Sorry, there are no litter rates, as the test is set at this price and not available for discount past when a breed has their database building and then the price is $50. CURRENT PARTICIPATING BREEDS • Standard Poodles —Canine Genetic Diversity DNA Test publicly available

8 January 2015. https://www.vgl.ucda- vis.edu/services/dog/GeneticDiversi- tyInStandardPoodles.php • Italian Greyhounds —Canine Genetic Diversity DNA Test publicly available March 2015. https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/ser- vices/dog/GeneticDiversityInItalian- Greyhounds.php • Alaskan Klee Kai —Phase 2 Preliminary results/Research https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/ser- vices/dog/GeneticDiversityinAlas- kanKleeKai.php • Golden Retrievers —Phase 1 Research. https://www.vgl.ucdavis. edu/services/dog/GeneticDiversityIn- GoldenRetrievers.php • Black Russian Terriers —Phase 1 Research. https://www.vgl.ucdavis. edu/services/dog/GeneticDiversityIn- BlackRussianTerriers.php • Akitas —Phase 1 Research. https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/servic- es/dog/GeneticDiversityInAkita.php • Havanese —Serious Inquiry to the Research Congratulations to the dogs and their owners, breeders and their Fancies for this major leap into learning more about what is being produced and how best to breed the best! If your Fancy is interested in participating, here is an outline of the first steps: • Enrolling A Breed — https://www.vgl.ucdavis.edu/ services/dog/GeneticDiversityEnroll- ment.php • A wonderful slide presentation produced by Natalie Green Tessier concerning the issue at hand. http://poodlesdegrenier.com/genetic- spresentation Thank you to all that work so very hard to preserve the health of your chosen breeds.




Y ou know it won’t be easy when historians all agree on one point and historians all agree that the Poodle has “undefinable origins”. The existence of three varieties and the acceptance of any solid color won’t make the task of defining its history any easier. As any Poodle person will tell you, the breed is “one of a kind”; this suggests that its history will be as well. As early as 30 AD, Poodle-like dogs appeared on Roman tomb carvings and on Greek and Roman coins. By the 15th century, references to Poodles appeared in both writing and art and the art of that time portrayed the Poodle in a fac- simile of today’s traditional trims. Russia, Germany and France are generally believed to be the homes of the Poodle’s rootstock, but the histori- cal record suggests that there was con- siderable type variance from the start. The Russian dogs were somewhat more Greyhound-like in body type. In Ger- many, the Poodle was more thickset and heavy boned. Even though the Ger- man word “pudel” means “to splash in water” , in early times the German vari- ety was often used a as a cart dog. In France, where the Poodle is the national dog, we find early evidence of the different sizes that are evident in today’s US Poodles. The “Petite Barbet” was a toy-like version found in France long ago and many believe it included

the influence of the Toy Spaniel and the Maltese. However, it is doubtful that any of that early stock survived or is found in the current Toy pedigrees. France started the notion of size vari- ation and the breed’s popularity with the French aristocracy started the “fan- cification” of the Poodle trim. Where the Germans had taken all of the hair off the back half of their dogs, the French fanciers added the pompoms and cou- lettes. In part to protect the dog’s joints when in the water, it without question made the breed more decorative. The popularity of the breed spread to many other European countries. But it was England’s work with the breed that would prove of great significance to US breeders, as much of our modern Poodle foundation would come from English origin. While there were both the French type and the heavier stock found in England, the more refined type was preferred in general. Early impor- tations included dogs of both types. In the US, Poodle registrations were noted as early as the 1890s. English breeder Jane Lane (Nunsoe Kennels) was an early source for US fanciers. Her stock went back to the Labory Kennels of Madame Reichen- bach in Switzerland and was important on several fronts—particularly in the case of Tri Int CH Nunsoe Duc de la Ter- race. This dog popularized the Poodle following his ring career, capped off by

winning the Westminster Kennel Club Show in 1934. The Standards and Miniatures main- tained a separate registry with the AKC and Toys were not part of the scene. While various dogs were imported and recorded during the 1920s and a number of people began breeding pro- grams, the decade was viewed much as the “calm before the storm” by many breed historians. There was, indeed, a spike in Poodle interest, but it was the next decade when the “Poodlelization of America” became a reality. In 1931, the Poodle Club of America was started and while there was a bit of competi- tion among various facets of breeders, it was resolved with PCA becoming a force that has led and guided the breed’s evolution. During its beginning years, PCA National Specialties were held in conjunction with All-Breed shows. But in 1938, the first independent specialty show was held and from that time on, the national show has continued to develop and grow and is heralded by many as one of the most prestigious national specialties in the nation. In 1933, Whippedell Poli of Caril- lon won the Non-Sporting Group at the Westminster Kennel Club and that was a break-through point for the breed. In the same year, the Duc, mentioned ear- lier, came to Blakeen Kennels as the gift of Mrs. Sherman Hoyt’s mother. He did a great deal to launch this new, but rather


A group of Labory Standard Poodles in Switzerland at play in the 1930s, owned by Madame Lucrienne Reichenbach.


instantly, successful breeding establish- ment. And when he won Best in Show at the 1934 Westminster Kennel Club Show, his impact spread throughout the nation. The Duc’s Garden win and his extensive show career did much to popularize the Poodle. His career ben- efited Miniature Poodles, as well as the future of the Toy variety itself. By the mid-30s, the Miniature vari- ety was recognized by the PCA. For several years they and the Standard would define the breed. But then in the 1940s, there would be development and acceptance of Miniatures, as well as the legalization of the Toy variety. In 1943, toy breeders and the PCA came to an agreement and the third variety was acknowledged and opened to all colors, just as with the two larger varieties. In fact, just one breed standard serves all three varieties. The size differentia- tion is the key element: toys are 10" and under, Miniatures are over 10" but no more than 15" and Standards are more than 15". These size designations are uniquely American and different from all other countries. Miniatures began in earnest to win at the Group and Best in Show level and the popularity of Poodle continued to spread. Garnering breeder attention in the Midwest and throughout the nation, popularity grew especially fast in Cali- fornia. Florida, Texas, Washington and Oregon also became hotspots. At the 1945 Westminster show, two Standard dogs—half-brothers— drew attention by going Winners and Reserve Winners dogs. They were Car- illon Colin of Puttencove and Carillon

Jester. Colin was owned by Mr. and Mrs. George Putnam of Manchester, Massachusetts and he launched a sub- stantial show career winning many groups and Bests in Show. He also spearheaded a family of Standards and proved to be a sire of immense impor- tance to the Standard variety. Jester, however, finished his title, but probably did more to make the general public aware of Poodles than any dog ever in breed history. He was owned by Louise Branch, but it was with his breeder/handler Blanche Saunders that Jester’s contributions unfolded. In addi- tion to his bench title, Jester earned a UDT title in the US and an Int. CD title. Ms. Saunders launched an aggressive career as an obedience demonstrator that included Jester’s appearances in movies, television and at the National Dog Week observances held at the Rockefeller Plaza in New York City each September. The dog and handler logged thousands of miles traveling in a car and pulling a trailer to demonstrate Jester’s abilities in the new area of obedience. Many obedience enthusiasts credit him with advancing interest in that sport more than any other single dog. The Poodle breed is well served by its parent club, the Poodle Club of Ameri- ca. The PCA has established an effective foundation that has worked diligently to help solve the problems resulting from heritable diseases. Accomplishments have been great and work continues—it includes a structure of 48 affiliate clubs that serve the needs of breeders and exhibitors and host annual shows and present educational programs. The PCA

CH Acadia Command Performance CD, a distant descendant of Promise, won Westminster in 1973 wearing the English Saddle trim.

has also been responsive to breeder and exhibitor interests related to tracking, retrieving, rally and hunting activities as well as the more traditional obedi- ence and confirmation competitions. Competitive events to meet those inter- ests exist throughout the US and it is not far-fetched to imagine one day soon we’ll find the versatile Poodle herding sheep and other livestock and fowl in competitive events as well. The Poodle, as breed fanciers have long known, is a most versatile breed. It’s this versatility, as well as the will- ingness to accompany, serve and amuse people surrounding them, that makes the Poodle such a popular breed. Those people are not “masters”. Living with a Poodle is a unique experience. Their greatest strength is that they are companion dogs, devoted to those with whom they live, but never really mastered by them. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Del Dahl has been involved with Poo- dles for 40 years, breeding 26 cham- pions under the Fontella prefix. He has bred and owned All-Breed and Specialty Best of Breed winners, many owner/handled. A number of dogs he owned or bred have become impor- tant top producers in the Miniature variety, including the all-time top pro- ducing sire, CH Parade Kiss And Tell. Del owned Poodle Review Magazine and is the author of the popular book, The Complete Poodle. He continues freelance writing as well as the breed- ing and showing of Poodles today.

CH Wilber White Swan was the first Toy Poodle to win Westminster (1956). Notably, his handler Ann Rogers-Clark was the first female handler to win the big show.




F irst I feel you must look at the whole picture: this is a silhouette breed in three vatieties. Toy Poodles 10 inches, Miniatuare Poodles over 10 inches to include 15 inches, and Stan- dard Poodles are over 15 inches: an active, intelligent, squarely built, prop- erly groomed, elegant appearing, mov- ing soundly, carrying himself proudly, air of distinction “Poodley”, well-pro- portioned with proper boning for each of the three varieties. When they carry themselves around the ring effortlessly. I can tell you they are constructed cor- rectly! You then have to look and exam- ine the fine points to judge the whole Poodle picture. Then the class enters your ring.With observing them go around your ring. You might pick one or two that you think is the best, however until you get them on the examination table will you be able to see if the one that you thought was the best is still the best in the class. We can trim them to look per- fect. And this might all be the hair and trim. We can trim them to be square, with a great set back on the front and give them angles in the rear to match the front. What ring side sees may or may not be what is under the coat and the trim and where you will place them in this class. IN THE POODLE’S VALUE OF POINTS: IN THE VALUE OF 100 POINTS General appearance, temperament, car- riage and condition value of 30 points This is the whole picture: square- ly built, moving soundly, properly groomed. They must carry them- selves proudly! Head up—Tail up (or no ribbon!)

Head, expression, ears, eyes and teeth value of 20 points We are looking for in head is a mod- erately rounded, slight stop, flat cheek- bones with length from occiput to stop about the same as length of muzzle. Muzzle long, straight with slight chis- eling under the eyes. The ears are set on at or slightly below the eye with a long wide ear leathers handing close to the head with feathering. Eyes are very dark, oval and set far enough apart to give an alert intelligent expression. Teeth are strong white with a scissors bite. Body, neck, legs, feet and tail value of 20 points Chest deep moderate width with well sprung ribs, topline level, loin is short, forequarters strong smoothly muscled shoulder blade is well laid back with the hindquarters balanced with the forequarters. The forelegs are straight with the elbow set directly below the point of the shoulder. Hind legs are muscular with width in the region of the stifles that are well bent equal length of femur and tibia. Hock to heel short and perpendicular to the ground. When free standing the rear toes are only just behind the point of the rump. The neck is well propor- tioned, strong and long enough to car- ry the head proudly with it set well in to the muscled shoulder. The feet are small and oval and well arched toes with a thick cushioned thick pads nails to be short. The standard states that “entire foot is to be shaven and visible” tail is set on high straight and carried up. Docked to balance the outline of the whole picture of our Poodle. Gait value of 20 points A straight-forward trot, light springy action strong hindquarters drive.

Head and tail carried up. Sound effort- less movement is essential! So this is not the hackney movement, its not with the hindquarters under itself or placed behind the tail set, that has no drive off the rear. Its a trot in a light springy action that is correct!

Coat, color and texture is 10 points

Coat is curly (we bathe and blow it dry and this straightens it.) Naturally harsh texture dense throughout. Trims Puppy—six months to the first birth- day. On this first day of the birthday. It must be in one of the adult trims. If not this is a DQ! This is why you must ask your steward date of birth on the pup- py being entered any other class than puppy. Even in the BOV class, Group or Best In Show! The puppy trim is to be carefully trim to give a neat appearance with the coat long as to the age of the dog in hair growth stage. This puppy trim has no broken line or lines. The face, feet, neck and base of tail is to be shaved. The entire foot is to be visible! Carries a pompom on the tail. The english saddle trim is one of the great trims that not everyone can set and not every Poodle can carry. The Poodle must be balanced and up on leg to wear this trim. In order to wear this trim the Poodle must have a good driv- ing rear to wear it! This trim must have a shaved kid- ney patch , shaved bands to divide the hind legs, the hindquarters are covered with a shorter blanket of hair and can be tightly curly blanket or hair dryed straight to make and shape of the pack. It can be sprayed with water and patted to make darker and tighter curls. This is what the handler can do to make it the most outstanding trim! If you are




Major faults: • Eyes that are round, protruding, large or very light • Lack of underjaw (chin) • Bite undershot, overshot, wry mouth • Ewe neck • Tail set low, curled, or carried over the back • Steep shoulder • Paper or splay foot • Cow-hocks • Color of nose, lips and eye-rims incomplete or wrong color for color of Poodle • Temperament of shyness or sharpness • Any distinct deviation from the desired characteristics described in the breed standard Disquali fi cations: • Size: Toy’s over 10 inches, Miniature’s over 15 inches • Clip: any Poodle in any other type of clip other than that is specified under clip in standard • Parti-color the coat of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at the skin but or two or more colors. Everyone needs to make ones own list of the ten most important breed characteristic of what makes a Poo- dle a Poodle for them. This would be what they must have in the Poodle they award! If you have any additional questions after checking and re-reading the breed standard you may contact me. Nancy Hafner at nancyshafner@aol.com, AKC #7295 with the Toy and Non-Sporting groups, best and 14 Terrier breeds.

The puppy trim would not be seen in cords as it takes a great deal of time to accomplish these cords, with having to change the trim on first birthday you would run out of time! All of these trims, continental, eng- lish saddle and corded Poodles have bracelets on the hind legs and puffs on the front legs. We have the sporting trim. This trim is not shown in regular classes (non-competitive classes only) such as stud dog, broad bitch and the parade of champions. The breed standard states: “Require- ments for the topknot—in all clips. The hair maybe left free or held in place by elastic bands. The hair of sufficient length to present a smooth outline! Top- knot refers only to hair on the skull, from stop to occiput. This is the only area where elastic bands may be used! Rubber bands may not be placed under the ears or down the back of the neck, over the shoulders Color: The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. May show shading of any one color with many being born black that will start to clear to silver and will have darker tipping as they clear. Most likely the last places you will see this dark tipping will be ear feathering. Natural colors in shading will be in accepted in many of the other colors other than black and white Poodles. Brown and cafe-au-lait will have brown or liver nos- es, eye-rims and lips. This is accepted in apricots colors also, these can have amber eyes, this is correct for these col- ors. Do we prefer dark eyes. Yes. The Poodle colors of white, black, blue, gray, silver, cream have black noses and eye rims and lips.

not informed about this trim then you may not like it as it would seem odd. However, this was the main trim that all Poodles would wear at the dog shows in the earlier days of dog shows. As most of the Poodle world early on hated the shaved bare butt! You must learn to appreciate the whole dog and our trims is the icing on the Poodle! I have seen old pictures where the kidney patch was as large as a salad plate. So it’s up to the handler to do what they think looks best in trimming on the Poodle as long as it meets the requirements of our breed standard! Continental trim today this is the most popular trim that is being shown. Those with rears that are as straight as a stick it seems no one even notices for whatever reason; it seems to be the easy clip for the dog shows. Here you shave the hindquarter’s before every show along with face, neck, feet and front legs then scissor in the rest to fin- ish balance of the Poodle in the trim. The two pompoms (or rosettes) are on the hip, however they can also be shown without any pompoms. Again this is the handler’s option. When the front legs are bowed its like the judge doesn’t even think this is a factor in evaluation of this Poodle. In the adult trims is the only time this will be seen as the standard states forelegs straight and parallel when view from the front, when viewed from the side the elbow is directly below the highest point of the point of the shoulder” when in puppy trim you slide your hands down the front legs to feel for straight legs and where they are placed in all the puppy hair! Both of these trims can be corded hair but must be in the exact same lines as without cords.



by SCOTT WOLFE Illustrations courtesy of the Official AKC Standard for the Poodle

T he question of how to approach judging Poodles is one to which I have dedicat- ed much thought. Although judging is at its core the evaluation of breeding stock, the dog show in its modern incarnation often obscures this basic intent. With so much attention paid to “the glamour” at shows many times the flashy or dramatic exhibits steal the show to the detriment of this basic tenet of judging. Although they may appear to be the same, constraints of time and procedure separate the judging experience from evaluation in the role as a breeder. The standard for the breed is your touchstone, however, a simple reading is not enough, rather, it should serve as the framework and a starting point for study and conversation in order to reach understanding of how to apply it to the actual dog. What I would like to introduce here is nothing new or origi- nal; simplify things to make them mem- orable and accessible, keep the breed history and function at the heart of your decision making process and, finally, always remember to ask the question: if I were breeding this breed which one would I take home? Keep it simple; distill everything down to its most basic. Dog people are by and large visual people; this common- ality is like part of our genetic code and why we find a beautiful dog appealing in the first place. Focus on breed related basic shapes; the outline or silhouette is a shape defined by the arrangement of anatomical components. Get the shape right and the pieces and parts are usu- ally arranged properly. Details are also shapes, the eye, the foot, the profile of the head, even the negative space from underline to the ground between the front and rear legs is a shape relat- ing information pertinent to evaluating a breed. Be familiar with and apply basic ideas; the Poodle temperament, atti- tude and presence governs so much of

(Reprinted with permission from Poodle Variety 2011)




Correct side view

Correct front view


Squarely built: height equals length.

Broad, heavy head, throaty

Too broad and heavy

Too broad and heavy

Round skull, short snipey muzzle

Round head, snipey muzzle

The Standard for the Poodle (Toy variety) is the same as for the Standard and the Miniature varieties except as regards to heights.

Lack of chin, too narrow, snipey muzzle

Round skull, snipey muzzle, round eyes

Too narrow

the way it is perceived in the ring. How it greets its environment, people, plac- es and things is central to the concept we term Poodley. The Poodle outlook is self-assured, inquisitive and unflap- pable. This outlook is the key to why it carries and presents itself in a proud and elegant fashion. Breed history is paramount. What a breed looks like is the result of many generations of selective breed- ing that began with the desire to mold a dog ideally suited for a specific pur- pose. Although our breed wears many hats, its adaptability grows from traits emphasized to meet the requirements to perform well in its original role of water retriever. Each aspect of the Poo- dle relates to this history. General appearance is so succinctly and elegantly phrased in the standard there is little that can be written or said to further illuminate. It should be the benchmark in breeding and judg- ing. “That of a very active, intelligent and elegant-appearing dog, squarely built, well proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself proudly.

Properly clipped in the traditional fash- ion and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about an air of distinction and dig- nity peculiar to himself.” Whether breeding or judging you at times will have an individual dog or bitch that may possess attributes that make it a good dog but with no resem- blance to this description. It can be a good dog and not be a good Poodle. General descriptions are placed at the beginning of written standards precise- ly for this reason; everything that fol- lows is subjugated to this explanation of the essence of a breed. Put simply; be this first. I know this will come as a disap- pointment to some but I will not be retelling the standard here. So what I will do is go back to my original prem- ise that all things stem from the original purpose. Read the standard with an eye to why… oval eyes, smallish to medium size, relatively deep set (read between the lines here: large, round and pro- truding are taken out of our options by being deemed a major faults). The description of the skull and muzzle

envision a head that is streamlined yet strong with enough room to accommo- date a thoughtful capable brain. The ears described are large and placed in such a way as to be at or below eye level and close to the head. All of the above facilitate moving though tough marsh grasses and brush and diving in water without injury yet providing enough strength to carry a duck. Other details in this section are aesthetic. Dark eyes and chiseling may not enhance per- formance but the expression is more attractive as a result. The duck surely does not care but I do. The body is squarely built with a very precise approach outlined to arrive at this square; breastbone to point of rump approximating the height from the highest point of the shoulders to the ground. This formula, using the exterior most points to establish length, although mathematically square has the appearance of a dog taller than long. With additional Poodle specific embellishment (our trim) the effect can become even further exaggerated. The chest is deep, moderately wide, with



Flat hind foot

Cat foot front view

Paper foot side view

Correct foot front view

Correct hind foot

Cat foot side view

Splay foot front view

Correct oval foot side view


Pace: (incorrect) supported by legs on the same side. The dog will rock from side to side when moving. A gait used by Poodles that do not have balanced angulation between forequarters and hindquarters.

Correct: trot supported by legs on diagonal

Incorrect: over reaching

Incorrect: Hackney front, also lacks drive




“Continental” clip

Puppy clip

well-sprung ribs allowing maximum lung capacity. This overall design makes for a powerful agile swimmer, facili- tates moving through brush and has the added bonus of being elegant. The head is the hardest thing to grasp and teach to both novice breed- ers and judges. Why this is true I am not quite sure, the initial reaction is usu- ally correct. Most people understand that one expression is prettier than the other but the why is more difficult to grasp or impart (you could spend the time allotted for a seminar on this topic alone). Read the standard, talk to knowledgeable people and look at a lot of faces. Comparison in the midst of a group of dogs can be the most enlight- ening experience when tackling this feature of the Poodle. The legs are straight and parallel (we will avoid the round bone/ oval bone controversy for now). The amount of bone is also a difficult topic and the pro- portional concepts are somewhat sub- jective. What is the proper bone to size ratio? To do the job the bone only needs

to be substantial enough to remain strong and finer bone contributes to the overall elegance. There is also the argument of the “swimmer or runner’s build”. Long, fine bones and the elon- gated muscles that usually accompany them are strong efficient and require less oxygen. That’s all I got—it still remains relatively subjective, there will always be breeders and judges who like them by the pound. Feet are seemingly straightforward, or are they? “Rather small, oval in shape with toes well arched and cushioned on thick firm pads.” These are strong and flexible, great for rugged terrain, mud and water. If you spread the toes (not in the ring please) they are moderately webbed although not like Aqua Man. The paper or splayed foot that is a major fault would most certainly hinder the dog in its task. However, there is some- thing to consider that is not addressed in the standard and rarely discussed. Breeders and spectators alike usually laud the cat foot we see with some frequency; nonetheless they would be

equally as detrimental as the splayed foot and contrary to our breed’s pur- pose. A dog possessing those feet would sink to his elbows in mud and have to be rescued. Now, before I get the email and angry phone calls, I am not trying to rewrite the standard nor do I foster some sinister agenda. I include this merely to demonstrate some of the logical questions that arise when read- ing from this perspective. Contrasting those rather extreme options helps to clarify the significance of the foot described in our standard. Poodles should be moved at a straightforward trot and not at the all- out run becoming more prevalent with each passing show. Movement is very basic; they are a sound, double-tracking breed. The additional description pro- vided is significant and what separates ours from many other breeds. “Light springy action” and “effortless” were included to define the way that the movement should be accomplished and contributes to the elegant, proud, air of distinction in our general description.



A ll judges are expected to be experts and very knowl- edgeable when they step into the ring wearing a judge’s badge. They must know their breed standards from start to finish and to recognize quality when they find it. Over the years, most judges develop a pattern for breed evaluation and fol- low it. Most knowledgeable exhibitors are aware of a judge’s track record and what their background is in the breed they are judging. Over time, the experienced exhibi- tor frequently knows what type of dog within a breed is favored by the judge. And almost any judge will openly tell you that the most difficult class to judge is a class lacking in quality. The routine we follow when judg- ing Poodles (or any other breed) seldom varies, although it may be influenced by the size of the ring. After a class is checked in, we move the dogs around the ring. We want our first impression to be acquired from looking at the total picture of each individual dog moving in comparison to the remainder of the class. We are able to identify which ones move with a long ground cover- ing stride while remaining relaxed and tuned in to its handler. Big classes in a small ring are divided to move only five or six dogs at a time for the first go, round. When all of the entries have been moved around the ring for the first time, we begin the individual examina- tions. We first look at the total picture. Is the dog squarely built, elegant in over- all appearance, correctly groomed and watching us as we approach? We don’t rush in and grab the dogs muzzle and pry open the mouth. Before we exam- ine dentition, we look at eye expres- sion, size and color and whether or not the topknot has been carefully pulled forward to shade the eyes to make them appear darker or has been arranged to change the shape of the eye or make it appear smaller. We also check for elas- tic bands illegally placed behind the

occiput in addition to ear placement, size and shape. At this point we can check the mouth for correct dentition, the strength of the muzzle, for lippiness and excessive loose skin at the throat. It takes longer to describe this than to do it. From the throat we move one hand down to evaluate the forechest and hope to find it well-developed. If the dog has straight shoulders or shoulders set too far forward, there may be little or no forechest and we find a hollow. We may also find elbows set out away from the chest. From here we move a hand down the front leg to check for size of bone and to check feet to see if they are properly well knuckled. Flat, splayed feet are a major fault and are frequently well-cov- ered with a long puff to try to hide the fact. If we cannot see the feet without lifting the puff of hair, we do lift it. We next check the depth of chest that should come down to the elbows. We move to the shoulders that should be strong and smoothly muscled with the shoulder blade and the upper fore- leg the same length, the elbow placed directly beneath the highest point of the shoulder blade. And we do this care- fully, remembering that there may be numerous inches of hair covering this structure. Too many judges have said, “But I didn’t want to mess up the coat!” If it is a good coat with correct texture, you will not mess it up by a correct and thorough examination. We also exam- ine the spring of rib followed by a check of the length and depth of loin. The Poodles topline is described as, “level, neither sloping nor roached, from the highest point of the shoulder blade to the base of the tail, with the exception of a slight hollow just behind the shoul- der”. This slight hollow has been called a swimmers dip referring to their use as a skilled water retriever. We check the base of the tail which gives a testimony to the width and strength of the vertebra in the spine.

The hindquarters are examined by both appearance and touch in order to gauge the muscle. We do not want over angu- lation with the hocks placed far out behind. The hind toes should be slight- ly behind the point of the rump. A Poodle’s movement often betrays the beautiful picture we have seen standing still. It is well described in the Breed Standard and calls for “light springy action and strong hindquar- ter drive” in addition to “sound effort- less movement is essential”. We gauge movement not just by how fast a dog might travel around the ring, but by how many strides it takes him to do so. It is also the proof of balance between a beautifully angulated front assembly and a well muscled set of hindquarters. Dogs which move at an angle coming and going often have more drive from their hindquarters then the front assem- bly is able to absorb. Skillful handlers are tuned in to the speed at which his Poodle looks the best. Unfortunately, some of these dogs carry huge bubble coats which roll from side to side and adds to the illustration of the problem. A skilled groomer is able to hide a myriad of faults and knows where to exaggerate the amount of hair or to direct the judge’s eye away from some- thing well hidden. An experienced judge has learned to look through hair and to see the dog beneath it. It’s unfortunate that exhibitors believe that the more hair the better and who frequently are rewarded by judges. We often observe Poodles that appear to have been attired for a fancy dress ball rather than a serious sporting event. We do not find attractive the Poo- dle that waltzes into the ring wearing what appears to be Marie Antoinette’s hoop skirt and the bejewled towering wig carefully balanced on its head. We hope that judges will truly judge what is under the hair and to find those Poodles which are correctly built both front and rear and to reward them for being a credit to their breed.


!"#$%&'()*+$,#-.$,/.$+,#0.1 !"#$%&#'(()*&#+*,-#(.#/0&123#4,52(1#6),7382(5#+(00288&& 9253#:2&;&1<#=%31(5#=>(-()3<#6*325&#?(&*<#+"58%23#$"*&5)3#@#$&112#A&"&1; ! he Poodle Club of Amer- ica has long held Junior Showmanship Com- petition, but this year launched an exciting PCA Junior Education A wonderful Poodle quilt was crafted and generously donated by one of our Junior’s moms. Th e start of an annual Quilt ra ffl e far exceeded our expectations in raising funds for the program. Th e funds will be used to establish vouchers and scholarships to assist our Junior’s in their future endeavors.

Program. Th e Parent Club program was created to inspire, educate and encourage young Poodle enthusiasts. Th rough this program we hope to lay a foundation for generations of good ethical sportsmen, breeders, handlers, owners, club members, photographers, groomers and anything else dogs, not just Poodles. Many think that our world is simply grooming, show- ing and of course a ribbon. For programs such as 4-H, it is most important to first understand why a breed is put on the earth. Th e process of learning any breed from the bottom up is of great value when develop- ing a young person’s ability to understand function as related to form, balance and proportion. Feeding a young mind is like building a skyscraper; it all starts with a sound foundation. Who better to teach the youth the future of the Poodle, than those that live it? Conformation is not for everyone, so our goal is to broaden the spectrum encompassing all types of events (field, obedience, agility, tracking, therapy, service) and open doors for many young people with Poodles. Last year we were fortunate enough to have 10 Junior entrants, which is excellent attendance at a National, of any breed. Th is year we had 7 entries in JS con- formation and 1 in agility—again a very good entry. Th e 2014 PCA Junior’s Education kicked o ff with several Junior’s assisting with set up and stewarding for Agility and Obedience on Monday and Tuesday.

A Just-for-Junior’s pizza luncheon in the afternoon stirred great discussion and exchange of the youth’s common interest in Poodles. A newly established Juniors Ref- erence Library was introduced. Each child borrowed two books for the year to expand their interest and knowledge of dogs. Several interactive presentations by members encouraged the Juniors to get involved in hunting trials and performance events by explaining the history of the breed and their versatility. A presentation on the importance of being involved with the community and how our world would change without purebred dogs captivated the group. Journals were provided to encourage the Juniors to record their dog experienc- es throughout the year and share at PCA 2015. A PCA Junior pin and a Purina® bag for each Junior contained various dona- tions of hair-parters, dog hygiene/main- tenance/health laminated posters, combs, dog treats, etc. Following regular class judging on Wednesday was a well-attended hands on mentoring clinic. Volunteering their time was the breed’s finest professional Poodle handlers and the 2013 PCA Best Junior, Lindsay Gorder. Th e Juniors brought their own dogs and had the opportunity to work one on one with each of the handlers. Each Junior received various perspectives on all aspects of Poodle conformation handling,

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as well as an exercise in Obedience and Rally. Th is experience is sure to leave an impression that will last for their lifetime. In the end, it was clear—there is a wonderful new generation of Poodle enthusiasts eager to continue exhibiting their Poodles. Mission Statement for the PCA Junior’s Education Program: Foster and reward youth participation, teach ethics in animal care, handling and training practic- es, encourage young people to become actively involved in the sport, instill good sportsman- ship, generate pride in accomplishments earned competing with Poodles.

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