Showsight Presents The Poodle

“SHOWS ARE EXOTIC, GLAMOROUS AND EXCITING—THAT IS PART OF THE ALLURE; EXHIBITORS, JUDGES AND EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATES HELP TO PERPETUATE THIS MODERN VERSION OF THE DOG SHOW.”

When moving from the side, Poodles should maintain the profile they pos- sess standing and not lower themselves to the ground. Trim—ah yes—now we are truly through the looking glass. Entering our world requires a bit of, well, let’s say acceptance. The traditional Poodle trims are rooted in our history and you will have to do some homework to understand its origins and evolu- tion (that could also be the subject of a seminar or rather lengthy article). It is what it is and it is here to stay—don’t be doggin’ our trims. There are ways to approach your physical examination of the dogs that garner the information you need without smashing the hair on top of the head flat or rooting through the hair. To be judging Poodles requires that you learn these techniques. Ask any Poodle person to help and you will be surprised how eager they are to edu- cate prospective judges in this area. Coat texture is also an aspect of our heritage both genetic and vocational. Quite simply our coat and texture is a genetic attribute that was exploited and enhanced because it is both warm and it sheds water (what an asset for a job that requires you get wet). Unfortunately, for the most part you are not going to feel a lot of the best texture when you judge our breed. This is not because it no lon- ger exists but simply a reflection of our time. Most of the dogs in your ring will be immature specimens. In the past, when Poodle entries were much larger, it was easy for judges to get the sense of good Poodle coat texture. Many exhib- its were in the two and a half to four year range. Today mature exhibits are relegated to the specials class with the

median age remaining being under two. Find out what it should feel like but don’t expect it to be prevalent. Now to conclude the looking glass section. Dun—Dun—Dun—Hair Spray. Come on down to Glam-O-Rama or as I like to call it, your local dog show. Dog Shows are exotic, glamorous and excit- ing—that is part of the allure; exhibi- tors, judges and everyone who partici- pates help to perpetuate this modern version of the dog show. The evolution of our trims incorporated and increased the use of hair spray (and other prod- ucts) in the arsenal of tools to enhance, but we are hardly the only breed and in many instance not the worst offender. We are however the most obvious— really—we stand ten inches of hair on end. My advice in judging this phenom- enon, well let’s say you live in a part of the world where people prefer their hair purple and standing on end. If it offends you the problem is you have to get used to it or relocate, but if you point and scream each time you see it, they will relocate you. Can it be taken a bit too far—certainly, and you may act appropriately in those situations. Do, however, spend the time to define where the line is and what crossing it looks like. In conclusion, do your homework. Be reasonable. Be pleasant to exhibitors and Poodles alike. Be yourself. Don’t try to remake yourself to judge Poodles. It is important to bring your own per- sonal experience and knowledge into the equation. Judge with clarity and conviction, be consistent and, above all, be true to the basic tenet of judg- ing as you do effect the direction of the breed.

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

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