poodle Q&A Q&A
WITH LUIS AIZCORBE, JORDAN CHAMBERLAIN, DORIS COZART, BRAD ODAGIRI & JOHNNY SHOEMAKER WITH LUIS AIZCORBE, JORDAN CHAMBERLAIN, DORIS COZART, BRAD ODAGIRI & JOHNNY SHOEMAKER
and proportion. I have always believed that Poodles should be approached more with an artistic than an engineering perspective. Granted, a fault is a fault, but if the Poodle looks right and harmonious, acts right, moves right and feels right, the faults it has are minor compared to other faults that additionally affect the appearance, either moving or standing. This brings us to the topic of compensating faults. A squirrel tail and a tail carried low is undesirable. Now let’s say Poodle 1 has a high tail set carried slightly over the back such as Terriers often do. Poodle 2 carries its tail at one o’clock. At face value, I would consider both faults comparable; however, Poodle 1’s fault makes him look shorter backed and more cohesive, while Poodle 2’s fault makes him appear longer backed and more extended. So how can these faults be considered equal to each other in gravity. This exempli- fies the interesting topic of compensating faults. One trait that I do not find as often as I wish I did is proper rib spring and body substance. Those that have these virtues are often lacking the type and elegance that are at the forefront of the breeds requirements. This is especially true in Standards. Those that combine body substance and forechest with type and the proper gait are easily rewarded and treasured. Another requirement that one seldom finds in the show ring in the smaller two varieties is a wiry, thick coat. Many Poodles with soft, incorrect coats can be done up to look the part. I know first-hand that the typiest and soundest Poodles can be bred with substantial bodies and wiry coats on a consistent basis. Maybe because at the time more emphasis was placed on body substance, and coats, while longer, were still expected to be naturally self standing. Here again, breeding decisions were influenced by the grooming style and priorities of the day. As someone that, while on the PCA Board and Chairman of the Standard Com- mittee, unsuccessfully tried to modify some other parts of the Poodle Standard. I recommend that all prospec- tive and new judges of the breed carefully read the first paragraph dealing with “General Appearance, Carriage and Condition”. It is a gem. JC: The standard of the breed must not change as it has in other parts of the world. In my opinion, the Poodles in America are the best in the world right now. Not to say there are not outstanding examples from other countries, there certainly are. DC: It is a special breed. A very versatile breed. Each variety is special in its own way. From companion dogs to Field Trials, there is something for everyone in this breed. JS: I think that for any breed that has a Sporting background, such as the Poodle, you must remember what the breed was bred for. A Poodle was bred as a water retriever and was one of the original water dogs. It had to get through swampland and have a good chest and powerful hind- quarters to get through the water and land. Judges should judge our breed on type first and include soundness in
that evaluation. We are more than just a pretty breed, we are a breed with history that judges should read. That does not mean that a Poodle should be overdone in any respect but to maintain the elegance and the qualities it was bred for. 7. And, for a bit of humor: What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever experienced at a dog show? LA: I must admit that as a young man I had a bit of a chip on my shoulder due to my early successes in the show ring, which a judge exploited to her delight. I was 22 or 23 years old, when I showed this brown Miniature Poodle in a group under a judge named Rosella Austin, whom I had never shown under before. The dog had done a lot of winning and I expected to either win or place high in the group. Ms. Austin examined and gaited every dog and then proceeded to direct me to the end of the line. Then she re-gaited every single dog except mine and lined them up as she placed them behind me in the mat at a 90 degree angle. It seemed she took over an hour judging the group without ever glancing in my direction after the original examination. I was the only one ignored and facing in the wrong direction. To say I was fuming and embarrassed is an understatement. After lining up her presumed winners, she finally approached me and asked me to face my dog in the same direction as the others. Since I was the last in line on the other mat I wound up heading the line. When she gave me the blue rosette, Ms. Austin was cracking up. She told me she had never enjoyed an assignment as much. JC: Many years ago, I was standing ringside watching Standard Poodles at Wilmington KC in Wilmington, Delaware. The late Connie Rodgers of Denevillette Standards was showing her own dog. When she won the class, she was so excited, she ran over to the marker and started jumping up and down. The next thing I knew, her panties were around her ankles. She looked down, and without missing a beat, stepped out of them and jammed them in her pocket! It was hysterical. DC: At a show I was judging, there was a new exhibitor, she had a lovely example of the breed and I awarded her BOW. I was marking my book and said, “Arm band please.” She took off her arm band and handed it to me. I now say, “Armband number please!” BO: The funniest thing was at Hawaiian Kennel Club Show in Honolulu in the early 80s. Streaking was the fad to run naked in a crowd. Well, it did happen and a couple decided to do it at a dog show. I remember it was like a chain reaction from one end to the other end of the exhibition hall with heads quickly turned and laughter erupted. The funniest part is that it did not stop the show because it was quick, fast and very entertaining. JS: Anytime I showed a Poodle it was a funny experience as I am the “World’s Worst Handler” as any Poodle person can tell you. I had to go to therapy for years to get over it!
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