Showsight Presents The Poodle

HEAD & EXPRESSION

Correct side view

Correct front view

Preferred

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

S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , S EPTEMBER 2017 • 257

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