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Real French Poodles
French Poodles from the Languedoc, South of France

Showing

All you need to know about showing poodles or any other dog is contained in the film "Best of Show".

If showing concerned itself with judging an animal's robust good health then the kennel clubs might avoid some of the criticism levelled at them. As it is they do damage to dog breeds in all sorts of ways - encouraging the creation of breeds that cannot breath (some bull-dogs), are guaranteed to get slipped-disks (dachshunds), or need caesarian operations to give birth.

For poodles the kennel clubs have not done as much damage, but their record is not good. Pedigree poodles in North America for example are renounded for their poor health caused by inbreeding in order to acheive a set of arbirary requirements for size, shape and colour..

Here are a few examples of utterly pointless show rules that do no-one any good, least of all the dogs:

  • Several Kennel Clubs in Europe have a maximum size for poodles. This means that traditional hunting poodles are not "officially" poodles at all.
  • Some breeders kill apricot coloured puppies because Kennel Clubs do not recognise the colour.
  • Some Kennel clubs have rules that appear to have no justification other than fashion. An example is requiring certain coloured noses to match certain coloured coats.

All that said, here is some information about Clubs and showing:

Standard Poodles are recognised by the following kennel clubs: (We have highlighted clubs that do not classify Poodles as Sporting Dogs, another example of their detachment from reality)

  • FCI = Fédération Cynologique Internationale: Group 9 Section 2 #172
  • UKC = United Kennel Club: Gun Dogs
  • KCGB = Kennel Club of Great Britain: Utility Dogs
  • ANKC = Australian National Kennel Club: Group 7 - Non-Sporting Dogs
  • NKC = National Kennel Club
  • NZKC = New Zealand Kennel Club: Non-Sporting Dogs
  • CKC = Continental Kennel Club: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
  • AKC = American Kennel Club: Non-sporting Dogs
  • CKC = Canadian Kennel Club: Group 6 - Non-Sporting Dogs
  • CCR = Canadian Canine Registry

Breed standards call for a coat of solid colour, one of black, white, brown, grey, blue. In some countries also apricot and champagne. Parti (partial), "phantom," and other coat colours exist, but are not acceptable in the show ring. Some kennel clubs do not even recognise apricot.

The coat can be clipped in various styles: the Continental or Lion clip (with a 'mane'), the English Saddle clip (with leg bracelets), the Kennel clip (fur same length all over). Other styles, such as the lamb, are generally variants of the Continental.

The traditional 'bracelets' of long fur covering the dog's leg joints date back to winter hunts, where most of the fur was clipped short to facilitate swimming. But the joints, lungs, heart, and kidneys needed protection from the cold. The pom-pom on the end of the tail served as a "flag" when the poodle dived under the water.

Europe. European Standards have a minimum height of 45 cm (18.75 inches) and some countries have a maximum of 60 cm (23.5 inches).

USA. Must be over 15 inches in height at the highest point of the shoulders. There is no upper height restriction although most standard poodles are between 21" and 27" at the shoulder, with females tending towards the lower end of the range.

 

Show Quality

A show quality puppy is one which stands a chance of becoming a champion. A pet quality puppy is unlikely to become a champion. It will generally have a "fault" which would disqualify it from being shown, such as a white spot. In many countries you still cannot show poodles unless their tail has been cropped.

Features that disqualify puppies from the show ring will generally not affect their quality as a companion.

 

 
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© James McDonald, 2007LinksContact by e-mail