Showsight Presents The Poodle

FEET

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

GAIT

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

COAT

Classic

Modern

“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.

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

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