Showsight Presents The Poodle

concepts are somewhat subjective. 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. Th ere is also the argument of the “swimmer or run- ner’s build”. Long, fine bones and the elon- gated muscles that usually accompany them are strong e ffi cient, and require less oxygen. Th at’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.” Th ese are strong and flex- ible, 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. Th e paper or splayed foot that is a major fault would most certainly hinder the dog in its task. However, there is something 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 purpose. 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 demon- strate some of the logical questions that arise when reading 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 straight- forward trot and not at the all-out run becoming more prevalent with each pass- ing show. Movement is very basic; they are a sound double-tracking breed. How- ever, the additional description provided is significant and what separates ours from many other breeds. “Light springy action” and “e ff ortless” 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. Moving from the side Poodles should maintain the profile they possess 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 accep- tance. Th e traditional Poodle trims are rooted in our history and you will have to do some homework to understand its origins and evolution (that could also be the sub- ject of a seminar or rather lengthy article). It is what it is and it is here to stay… don’t be doggin’ our trims. Th ere 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 educate 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

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