Friday, 15 June 2012

Poodles are not posh

The poncing of the Poodle for the showring has undoubtedly done this breed, in all its sizes, a huge disservice, transforming the original, multi-skilled all-rounder into a hairdressers' dog. Inside most, though, still beats the heart of a super-bright, athletic animal that can do it all: round-up livestock, retrieve a rabbit or a bird, guard the home and nanny the children.

So it's irritating to read Eileen Geeson in  Dog World insisting: "... the Poodle is ‘posh’. It is a showy, fun loving, eye-catching exhibit."

It really isn't. This breed is a jack-of-all-trades and should be celebrated as such.

Worse, Geeson then goes on to write: "Some people have expressed a wish to show their dogs in what is classed as a pet trim, such as the lamb or sporting clip for ease of care and grooming. Also because they may not have the same talent as some of the professionals in the breed who turn out dogs to such perfection that competing with them is a hopeless case. Is that a good enough reason to change?
It is true to say that there are fans of the Poodle trimmed completely off – like a farm dog. We surely do not want to ever see this trimming in the show ring even if it brings great comfort to the dog...." (My bolding).

Yikes. 

Are we judging a dog or a topiary contest? 


And did you engage any part of your brain before writing that last sentence?

Trimming Poodles' coats into stupid shapes for the showring is not a new thing. Here are a couple of pix from that amazing source of old pix of dogs, Pietoro's Historical Dog Breed Pictures.

1895

Standard and Toy Poodle, 1938
But of course all sense of proportion has now been lost and to anyone outside the show-ring, the dogs look very silly indeed - particularly the crazy top-knots superglued into place with superhold hairspray.

A dog in there somewhere...

Now many dogs love being groomed but surely not this, not really. And prepping a Poodle for the showring is a really long process. Washing and drying them is done a day or more beforehand because it takes hours. So does the trimming and clipping. And once the process has started, these dogs are confined to barracks for danger that real life may stain their precious coats. Show breeders often tell me their dogs enjoy being hauled from one show to the next; that the dogs love struttin' their stuff in the ring (yep, for just a few minutes in an otherwise long and boring day).  "I wouldn't do it otherwise," they say.

Sure you wouldn't.

The extreme grooming has had other effects too - the Poodle's exaggerated prow used to be all coat. But now the Poodle's shoulder assembly has edged forward. This and a ewe neck is often rewarded because it contributes towards the flashy, hackney gait supposed to be a fault but often rewarded in the show-ring.

I am sure many would love to see the Poodle shown in less freaky coat - like this retriever/sporting trim. It would help remind us that there is a real - and very versatile -  dog in there.


And don't get me started on the breed's genetic diversity problems.

Another blog... another day.

149 comments:

  1. I agree with this so much. My own poodle (rescued from a hoarder) is crazy and fun, she loves to dig and play in the creek. She tolerates grooming admirably but it certainly doesn't rock her world. A show competitor on a poodle forum I frequent says she never even pets her poodle for fear of breaking coat. Right on lady that makes for a great life. In fact if we want to judge dogs for real shouldn't we be having them all naked and judging their real structure.

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  2. Those damned farm dogs. Always dirtying up the place with their common habits.

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  3. Sometimes I look at these show groomed poodles and can't actually see a dog in there and that's a sad indictment. The Poodle is a member of the Utility group, put there for a very good reason and as Jem says "a multi-skilled all-rounder". I can't see any of the show groomed poodles, with their coats in the condition they are, as being capable of performing any task other than assuaging the ego of their groomer!! As the Poodle was originally a hunting dog the poodles' clip was originally to keep their joints and vital organs (heart and lungs) warm when they were retrieving in the water. The rest of their coats had to be clipped short to keep it from weighing the dogs down in the water. That was the working clip that was the originator of the show clips that have gone on to be, as most things in the show world, over exagerrated.

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    1. im glad you mentioned about it being a trim for a purpose due to it being used to work. i have a st poo that i did conformation showing and now compete in agility with, do lure racing,and gunwork with and water work with and she was up until last week in full show trim. i would like to say that the majority of show dogs including the gundogs couldnt do a days work out in the field more to the fact they havent been trained to do so but i dare say if they were they still couldnt because the show lines are so completely differant to the working lines so it not ALL down to a coat and how its shaped.

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  4. Jem, you've missed something out in your emboldening above "It is a showy, fun loving, eye-catching exhibit." The word 'exhibit' in this instance is abhorrent to me as it shows that Eileen isn't looking at a dog at all, just a showpiece!!

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  5. Did you know that, in Canada at least, you can show poodles in their original, natural, "corded" coats? Much less extreme cording than in Pulis or Komondorok.

    I know someone who owned and showed the first corded poodle Champion in Canada, which she went on to dual title in performance, as well. I thought it was a lovely dog, but she did take a lot of grief from some people in the poodle community. Surprising, thought, a lot of the bigger name Poodle folks were very supportive.

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    1. I saw a poodle at a show in the uk the other week corded and i had a good look over it (as was sat next to me) and i was not over impressed with how filthy it looked bits of leaves dander and whatever else in it so i wouldnt say that them being corded is a selling point imo.

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    2. http://www.cordedpoodle.net/
      Look through the gallery here - I wouldn't call it "natural"

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  6. What's funny to me is that when defective dogs are bred, folks will turn the defect into a positive attribute! So when poodle coats got out of hand, and the dog's coat got waterlogged, they cut off the coat where it was too much, and it eventually became a topiary contest. Now, even though hunting with poodles is pretty rare, the topiary contest continues. Breed a dog with a proper coat for proper work? That's crazy talk!

    The Basenj is another defective dog -- so defective as a hunter that in cental Africa the dogs wear bells so they can be followed and so they will spook out duiker and other forest creatures. Barking dogs, of course, are superior for hunter driving game to nets, but never mind that. The show folks have turned the "voiceless" defect of the Basenji into a feature, even if they have lost all consideration of actually using the dog to hunt. And so it goes...

    Puli's with coats so out of control they cannot work, Afghan coats so thick the dog would have a heat stroke if it had to run across a field, spaniel coats thicker than mattres ticking, etc.

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    1. I asked a Puli breeder on her blog why they show in those coats if they would not work in them. I admit she was very kind, gave me answers to all my questions, and seemed to genuinely care about the dogs, but her answer to why they show in those coats did not quite register with me.

      When my husband and I were researching dog breeds, the standard poodle made my short list and my husband said an adamant "no." He did not want a frou-frou dog. Some time later we were at a river festival and some guy was there with his lovely puppy-clipped poodle. My husband fussed over the dog and called him handsome, and when we walked away I said "Do you know what that dog was?" and when he replied he did not, I said "A standard poodle." Silence from husband.... he'd never seen one except at a dog show.

      I have no problem with standards for short-haired dogs saying they CAN'T be clipped (i.e., a fluffy Corgi clipped down is still not standard coat and is a serious fault.) I do have a problem with saying that dogs whose coats grow continuously must be clipped in a particular set of styles. The style of the coat has NOTHING to do with function and totally blows out of the water the show exhibitors insistence that "form equals function." Which is hogwash anyway because conformation does not judge the toughness of bone or sinew. You can have a perfectly conformed dog who is still prone to unsoundness.

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    2. "Breed a dog with a proper coat for proper work? That's crazy talk!"

      ....so's cutting off parts of a dogs anatomy so that they can do 'proper work' - much better to clip of a bit of coat that clip off it's tail as so many working folk do !

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    3. so it clipping off parts of their reproductive anatomy but you won't see anything on this blog about that

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    4. Well you might... logically, one can't be pro diversity and support mandatory neutering at the same time.

      Jemima

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    5. Most show bred Afghan hounds are hindered by their structure more than their coat when it comes to being able to fulfill their original function. Most non-sighthound breeds are faster than the average Afghan hound.

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  7. As a groomer (pet not show) I don't think that painting a dog's nails or clipping a pattern into their coat is a cruel thing in the slightest - after all as pointed out in the article - Many dogs enjoy being groomed. Plus a dog that is never groomed is in a far worse state health-wise; nails curled into pads, mats that create infection etc. But, like anything, it is when these things are taken to the extreme that it causes a problem. Those dogs in the show ring put up with it because their owners tell them to and for better or worse they love their owner and will do anything to please them, even if that means sacrificing their right to just be a dog.

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    1. Taking your dog into a groomer every 4-8 weeks for a thorough fussing is far, far different than wrapping and banding their hair every day, stopping them from rubbing, rolling, and scratching, keeping them away from water and dirt, not letting them rough-house for fear of getting breaks or tangles in their topknot and mane. Oh, and keeping their nails in showing condition - one lady admitted that she has to quick her dog's nails every time she shows to get them down to the right length.
      One pet groomer told a story of cutting a retired show lhasa apso into a pet clip - the sedentary, lazy, sullen fusspot dog magically turned into a frolicking puppy once its mass of coat was gone. Showdog owners excuse how much the coat inhibits their dogs by saying, "My dog's just lazy anyways, it doesn't even want to do those things." Have you ever tried living in a full-body floor-length wig? You wouldn't want to be bothered either.

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  8. Corded coats are not natural at all, if a poodle coat is not regularly trimmed it will turn into one big matt. this is not good for the dog and can take a day to shave off.

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    1. "corded coats are not natural at all..." actually they are natural. the hair cords on its own. there is a difference between a cord and a matt. if not properly looked after a cord can turn into matts, but by regularly separating the cords(similar to dreadlocks) the coat can be healthily maintained. the pulli is another corded breed.

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  9. I'm totally ignorant about poodles, not sure what she means by "farm dogs" (sheepdogs?) but what does "completely trimmed off like farm dogs " mean?

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  10. Just out of interest, what country does that white poodle come from? Certainly not the UK, so it's a bit unfair to have a pop at UK exhibitors for another nation's actions.

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    1. Guess it's from the States ....enlarge the photo ..look at the background.Regardless of that a Judge is looking underneath , if a dog isn't made correctly , it won't move correctly .Most of us who are in different breeds know the history of the poodle clip , presentation has become part of the show scene .Setting yourself up as a ringside judge is not acceptable, even if you did know one end of a poodle from another , which I strongly suspect you don't.

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    2. "Setting yourself up as a ringside judge is not acceptable, even if you did know ......"

      I just had to say this statement is totally fallacious. The anon poster is saying if you aren't part of the cult, you can't have an opinion.

      How parochial....Everyone in the audience is a ringside judge to one extent or another - same with gymnastics! Ballet! Football. I mean what would dance be without dance critics writing the show up, picking favorites, discussing personal preferences, even commenting on things they see as bad for the art?

      Why should poodles get a pass?

      Anon wouldn't dare to speak as him/herself- that says something right there.

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    3. Yep it says your all a bunch of bullies who get dirty the moment someone doesnt agree with you, i wouldnt want to post my details for fear of my bunnies getting boiled!

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  11. "super bright athletic dog that can do it all, round up livestock, retrieve a rabbit or bird, guard the home and nanny the children"
    Have you been reading too many show breeder blogs?
    Have a look at this video of a poodle "herding"
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-78SOFiHOw

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  12. I for one own poodles, I also show them. I can assure you IF a dog doesn't enjoy showing - it simply will not show, nor put its tail up in which case the dog is withdrawn from the ring & kept as a happy family pet. We live in the countryside surrounded by fields, behind our house is a field that ours dogs go in daily, they also have a large pool out there that while running regularly jump into for FUN (yes this is true..show dogs DO HAVE FUN - despite what the oracle may say)If a dog did NOT enjoy showing, would it still go into the ring with his or her tail up?? surely an unhappy dog would be a jibbering wreck with its tail clamped & freaking out??? WHAT exactly do you know about showing dogs Jemima?? How many breeders & exhibitors do you actually know to be able to make statements such as (I quote) "these dogs are confined to barracks" Quite frankly having read alot of what you write the majority is utter lies!! This is the woman who has slatted breeders for so long & says (I quote) "The extreme grooming has had other effects too - the Poodle's exaggerated prow used to be all coat. But now the Poodle's shoulder assembly has edged forward. This and a ewe neck is often rewarded because it contributes towards the flashy, hackney gait so loved in the show-ring. But it's abnormal." YET in the past this woman has backed cross breeding - which changes shape, type, coat,size, temperaments on dogs does it not?? & that is NORMAL is it?? or am I missing something?? This woman Ms Harrison, says only what SHE believes, not the truth, not the whole story. She knows very little of many things yet feels she has the knowledge to educate the world - Ask yourself, what the hell does she REALLY know, when all she has done to date is spout LIES & try to RESPONSIBLE dog owners???

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    1. Poodle girl wrote
      "But now the Poodle's shoulder assembly has edged forward. This and a ewe neck is often rewarded because it contributes towards the flashy, hackney gait so loved in the show-ring."

      You are so right, a correctly put together dog now looks the odd one out when it moves.

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    2. PoodleGirl15 June 2012 20:35

      "YET in the past this woman has backed cross breeding - which changes shape, type, coat,size, temperaments on dogs does it not?? & that is NORMAL is it?? or am I missing something??"

      Yes, sweetie, you are missing something. It does not take cross-breeding to "shape, type, coat,size, temperaments on dogs." How else would you responsible breeders 'improve' your dogs so much if you could not affect "shape, type, coat,size, temperaments on dogs"?

      Selective breeding is selective breeding, cross or pure. It's all based on SELECTION, after all.

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    3. Answer me this: who is the clip for? Are you saying the dogs enjoy all the grooming and blow-drying and hair-spraying? Does the coat help them do anything better than they would do it without that coat? Does the grooming impact the structure or function of the dog?

      Have at it. If you enjoy spending hours with styling products and your dogs are ok with it, that's fine. But why make it against the rules to have someone show in a puppy clip? Why is a puppy clip wrong? What is bad about it? Who does it hurt, exactly? What logic is there to saying that you must show a dog above a certain age in a particular clip? I'm not saying it's wrong to have the fancy cuts, but your club (unless I am misunderstanding) is the one saying it's wrong to have a dog with a puppy cut in the ring. I love dogs. I own show-bred dogs. And to me it just makes zero sense that the cut that is most practical for the dog to be a pet, run agility, hunt, or do obedience is illegal in the show ring.

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    4. Yes Beth you ARE missunderstanding as nowhere states a dog cannot be shown in a 'puppy clip' Nowhere at all. And as for breeding to change things, we breed to MEET the breed standard to improve our dogs so they DO meet the breed standard, we're not changing major things like the size, shape etc we change minor faults that could do with slight improvement so we CAN meet the breed standard, cross breeding changes the entire dog & people are trying to 'create' new breeds, nothing about that is normal as people are putting together 2 breeds with different breed related health problems creating a breed that then carries health problems from BOTH breeds (sometimes more!!) If a dog didn't enjoy being bathed etc it wouldnt stand for it, it would kick up a fuss, i can guarantee you that if you attended a dog show you wouldn't see dogs that were upset, down or unhappy at all!!

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    5. PoodleGirl, I am in the States. Read the standard. I assure you that an adult poodle is not allowed to be shown in a puppy clip. I checked it myself to be sure.

      Surely the clip has nothing to do with selecting breeding stock, so I question why it's required.

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    6. PoodleGirl, do you understand how dominant and recessive genes work?

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    7. Beth, we are referring to the UK at present. Here poodle can be shown in ANY trim, at present there are poodles being shown in puppy pants, continental, T Trim, Lamb Trim & even corded. Our breed standard does not specify that they must be shown in any particular trim.

      The coat isnt necessary BUT exhibitors do chose to show them in these trims, it causes no harm to the animals & they are actually bathed & kept cleaner than the majority of pet poodles as they are done regularly. The dog wouldnt let it be done IF it didn't enjoy it. We wouldn't put our animals through that. Our dogs are our PETS that we love & adore, that run through the fields, sleep on the beds & come to work with us. By no means do they have hard livees as Ms Harrison is implying & by no means are they 'Confined to barracks' as she so says.

      I would like to know how many poodle owners houses she has been in? In everyday life & the day before a show? Because clearly to spout all this knowledge she must have spent time with people that show & groom.

      I am a dog groomer & everyday we face another dog who hasn't been bathed in years, is matted, infested with fleas, ticks etc, never had their ears cleaned, nails cut, bathed, clipped etc. I sure as hell know which i would sooner see..a clean, healthy happy dog that is shown (without a doubt) or a neglected, dirty, smelly, flea infested dog that isnt shown & its coat is matted to its skin & comes off in one giant sheet as its in such an awful state.

      Just because a dog is shown, it does NOT make it an unhappy dog, it doesn't mean it's neglected or pushed into things or shut away like implied. i am sat here with 5 of my dogs on the bed with me under the duvet. They are well cared for & truth be told alot of dogs that are shown ARE better looked after than some pet dogs, they are fed the highest quality of food, not cheap muck, but fresh food. Whether people like it or not, we all try our best to breed happy, healthy, fit for function dogs that are up to the breed standard BUT most importantly, healthy. We are NOT the enemies, we spend thousands of pounds a year having every test available done for our dogs, we are the ones who when we do breed & sell our puppies, they go insured, with food, with bedding, blankets, toys, a large folder of info on our puppies & lifetime support 24/7. We are not the back yard breeders who breed anything & everything together to make money, not bothering to test anything, feeding them cheap crap & selling them to anyone via the internet without a second thought. (maybe Jemima should try putting her arguments to good use & try doing something about this?)

      The whole saga is based on Jemima trying to take down reputable, responsible dog breeders. Why??

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    8. Poodlegirl,,,,you really need to chill out you will have a heart attack girl. You only breed to the breed standard,yup that is true that is all you breeders do and that is why most pedigree dogs are in the mess they are,,,,I suggest you breed to health standards instead,,,,forget about how pretty you think they luck and make them healthy instead,,,

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    9. PoodleGirl: in the UK working lurchers are bred from a sighthound (usually racing Greyhound, Whippet or Saluki), and often a herding breed such as a working Border Collie or working Bearded Collie. Lurchers are healthy beasts; they're not riddled with health problems.

      Breeding to the breed standard does not say anything about how healthy or fit for function the dog is; this functionality can only tested by getting the dog to do whatever it was originally bred for. If you don't select for something; you will lose it. If you don't test the soundness of a dog's feet by having it do a day's work, day after day, year after year, you cannot know how good that dog's feet are just from looking at them. If you don't test the dog first before breeding from it, you could easily be passing on faulty feet.

      Sighthounds hunt by sight, yet nowhere in the breed standards for any of the sighthounds does it test that the dog can you know, actually see. And not just see, but spot fast moving, small prey from a long way off. If you don't test for this ability, how do you know that the dog you're breeding from has keen eyesight? You don't.

      I have a retired Greyhound who was retired from racing before she even raced, because she wouldn't chase. No Greyhound trainer would have bred from her - why breed from a dog that has clearly demonstrated it is not 'fit for function'? Yet if she'd been shown and won rosettes, she would probably have been bred from. Similarly, there are many show-bred Whippets with a poor chasing instinct - they have bred from the wrong dogs, because they won rosettes in the ring, yet the chase instinct is part of being a sighthound.

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    10. Oh dear here we go again Poodlegirl missing the whole point as it is seen by the public, the ones who actually buy your dogs. A person buying a dog for a pet, note PET, wont really care that much if it wont do all the things that it should do, ie a Retriever not wanting to swim or fetch a ball, what they do care about is if the dog they have bought and fallen in love with starts to become ill after a few years because of hereditery problems,,,GET IT !!!

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    11. Poodlegirl: First off, I am in the States so those are the standards I know. However, the UK standard "strongly encourages" or some other such wording the lion cut. Now, I own one retired show dog (not a poodle) and my other dog is from a show line. I have no problem with showing. What I DO have a problem with is show people saying the standard proves the dog is "fit for function" while never actually engaging the dog in the function. Breeding stock is shown, finished, health-tested, and bred, usually by 2 years old or maybe 3. If the dog has spent those two years clipped and shampooed and hair-sprayed into a just-so look, how can you get it out there and test its fitness for function (which for a poodle would involve doing water retrieves, flushing in heavy brush, etc)? You do know (I hope) that conformation does not test ACTUAL soundness, but just is the initial screening out of obvious flaws that would almost guarantee UNSOUNDNESS? Yet much of the show community takes step 1 of what should be a three or four step process regarding soundness and calls it a day.

      Let me put it another way: If you were looking for a show pony for your kids, and you found a breeder and they said "This one comes from a long line of ponies that are fit for function" and you asked what they'd done and they said, "Why, win halter classes, of courses?" would you suspect this was a sound show pony? What if the whole line of ponies had never been ridden by a child? Would you know how biddable they were? What if they had never jumped a course of fences? Despite their beautiful straight legs and sloping pasterns and short back, how would you know they would actually stay sound under work? I've known countless perfectly conformed horses who broke down under any sort of regular work because they lacked something-- in bone or joint or tendon-- that would have kept them sound.

      So yes, if you have a dog who is all coated up so that it can't do any hard work in the bushes (and I"m sure those top knots would impede flushing in brambles), you have no way of knowing if your dogs are sound enough (or have the nose or drive) to be "fit for function."

      Just admit that what you are doing has nothing to do with fitness for any function except winning shows and perhaps we'd both be starting from the same jumping-off point.

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    12. We DO breed for fit healthy dogs though - all our dogs are fully health tested. What is the difference between deciding to show or to work your dogs? how many pet people buy a puppy to work it?

      What i am saying is what is being said about poodles having a show coat & not being 'allowed' to work is crap. Just because they have a show coat, it doesn't make them any less of a dog or make them incapable of anything at all. All it means is the owner takes more care of the coat. it doesn't mean that are shut away as is being said also. 2 years a go i had a litter & chose to use a dog that was a sound & honest dog who was fit & healthy as opposed to a dog that comes from a top kennels & wins alot - would that have been done if i was aiming for just a dog that will win in the end?

      just because we show it DOESN'T make our dogs unhealthy, in fact they are bred FOR good health & health tested to AVOID health problems, my point being wouldn't Jemima have a better case if she focused on breeders who have litter after litter for money that DON'T health test? WHY focus on people who show who DO health test???

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    13. Health testing is a useful tool which should be done and not just by pedigree breeders but is not the be all and end all which many push it to be.

      When it comes down to it, it's not just the standards is it. It's how the standards are interpreted to be by the judges which make a difference. While staying in the framework of the standards this leaves an awful lot of leeway depending on the fashion of the moment.

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  13. I am one of these poodle exhibitors & can say that my dog, who is very successfully shown, leads a full and "normal" dog life. All my dogs are excersised on the beach, in the local country park and in the fields. None of this detracts from their presentation in the ring. Yes it does take time and effort to groom and make my dog look fabulous in the ring but there are many more breeds that take far longer!!! Would be interesting to learn how much time the author of this blog has spent with poodles & REAL dog enthusiasts. Maybe more time learning & printing positive facts rather than tarring all pedigree dog lovers with the same brush as Rogue breeders & puppy farmers would be time well spent!

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  14. JH--But of course all sense of proportion has now been lost and to anyone outside the show-ring, the dogs look very silly indeed
    Have you got any stats, quotes or indeed true facts regarding your above written info??

    As for the last pic imo the poodle looks very relaxed indeed so cannot bother it that much gettin groomed

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    1. Anon,,as usual when you exhibitors feel under attack you try very hard to deflect the blame, we all know about byb and puppy farms, but before you start on them get your own Pedigree House in order please.

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  15. *** try to ruin RESPONSIBLE breeders.

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  16. Anonymous:
    "Have you got any stats, quotes or indeed true facts regarding your above written info??"

    Sit back from ringside and listen to the general public. Most non dog show people think the poodles look ridiculous and mock the hairspray and hairdos.

    While I understand that concept that dogs enjoy spending time with people, and don't mind a dog show, I think the point is when you turn them into an "exhibit" as opposed to a bright working animal, you are not really improving a dog. Its like that show "Toddlers and Tiaras" where the moms insist they are only making their daughters better prepared for a world that elevates and promotes beauty. So rather than spending the same money and energy on helping their kids develop academically or musically and teach them their value is based on more than many layers of makeup, fake tans and acrylic nails. Do the kids enjoy playing extreme dress up? I would guess they do...but in the long run the focus on the superficial rather than the value intrinsic to them as humans does little to help kids in the long run and the rest of the world thinks they are creepy and nutso.

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    1. Dogs are not children..

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    2. I always thought those moms should be putting their kids in a dance class if their kids really want to perform and wear tutus. Similarly, if someone wants to show off their dog, they should be engaging it in competitive athletics to show off its wonderful structure and movement and how well it meets the requirements of soundness and working-suitability. Sigh.

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  17. I wonder how many women on this blog wash their hair or colour it ( a few men might do the latter too) or shave their hairy legs or wax bits!!! should we hold them up to public deabte to be so cruel and going agianst the way of nature and let them be as mother nature intended?

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    1. I wonder if the owner of this blog has ever visited a hairdresser and spent over an hour there having it styled
      My guess is that she has and why should the dogs we all adore not get the same treatment.
      Get a life Jemima, talk about health WITH FACTUAL EVIDENCE we will back you up, but this nonsense will only open you up to ridicule.

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    2. From the US Standard:

      "(b) Clip-- A Poodle under 12 months may be shown in the "Puppy" clip. In all regular classes, Poodles 12 months or over must be shown in the "English Saddle" or "Continental" clip. In the Stud Dog and Brood Bitch classes and in a non-competitive Parade of Champions, Poodles may be shown in the "Sporting" clip. A Poodle shown in any other type of clip shall be disqualified."

      Sure people shave their legs. But imagine going for a job interview and having them say "Well, we are sorry, but to work here you need to either have the Spiral Perm or the "The Rachel". If you have children, you are allowed a bob."

      I don't think the problem is that they do the fancy clips. I think the problem is that they HAVE to. And what on earth does the clip have to do with the structure of the dog? Why are they judging hairstyles? I understand including coat TYPE in a standard (different coats for different functions). But to say you can't do a practical clip and show.... I have never heard a single pet owner, by the way, say they like the show cuts. Nor have I seen a single pet owner have a poodle with a show cut; they all think they look ridiculous. It's a perfect example of show people mostly talking to each other and not realizing what the world thinks. And I'll bet you dollars to donuts that all of them give some version of a puppy cut to the dogs once they retire. Why? Because it's more practical, and more comfortable for the dog.

      Delete
    3. Certainly not grown women who are free to do whatever they want to themselves. You want a more valid comparison, use the one Beth F. made above. Do you think parents should be allowed to colour their toddlers' hair, shave their legs and wax their bits?

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    4. dogs are not children.. or adults. Pet owners may shave their dogs naked.. or grow their coats to the ground.. who cares No one is forcing them to participate in he show ring.

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    5. What I see, here in the US at the show ring is a steady parade of fat, dowdy, out of shape, homely people, dressed ridiculously for the occasion, galumphing around the ring with their pretty, perfect, critters who are the focus of their lives.

      I often think there there is a syndrome involved in that dynamic because it is so common. People who substitute shaping and loving their show dogs for work on their own personal health, for whom the only exercise is running the dogs around the ring on the weekend, and who have their self-worth invested in ribbons won, rather than personal achievements, especially sound scholarship on dogs in general and their breed, in particular..... Pygmalions, all. Or maybe Geppetos.

      I used to show Basenjis, back in the early 60's, but soon saw the dog fancy was an insular, parochial, community of people who thought they were the only entitled dog breeders, but were in the process of ruining many breeds from my own Basenjis, who died young of newly surfacing genetic problems due to the closed registry system, to German Shepherds and collies, to name the ones I was particularly askance about the changes I was seeing from earlier GS and collies.

      And all those anon posters have to say is one logical fallacy after another. Talk about skewed realities!

      Jemima acts as a great lever, one for whom I have waited for decades. Don't worry, history will prove the Fancy and "purebreeding" to be the worst things that ever happened to dogs.

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    6. Harrison Weir, who organized the first major cat show in the UK and often considered the father of the cat fancy wrote this in 1892:

      "In my former edition of "Our Cats," I wrote hopefully and expectantly of much good to be derived from the institution of the so-called National Cat Club, and of which I was then President; but I am sorry to say that none of those hopes or expectations have been realised, and I now feel the deepest regret that I was ever induced to be in any way associated with it. I do not care to go into particulars further than to say I found the principal idea of many of its members consisted not so much in promoting the welfare of the Cat as of winning prizes [...] I therefore felt it my duty to leave the club for that and other reasons. I have also left off judging of the Cats, even at my old much-loved show at the Crystal Palace, because I no longer cared to come into contact with such "Lovers of Cats.""

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  18. For heaven's sake, this blog thread has only been started because Jemima Harrison is worried that Mike Davidsohn's Facebook group has a bigger following than hers! She'll soon have other things to get her teeth into - wag wag!

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    1. A teensy bit presumptious given that I've never visited that Facebook site so have no idea how many followers it has. I mostly have better things to do with my time than eavesdrop on Davidsohn's ugly puddle of hate.

      Jemima

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    2. meow... claws are out..no problem publishing hate on here.. but when the gander follows suit.. well then tables turned.

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    3. The main source of hate on this blog are the anti-PDE comments.

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    4. And none of your remarks are teensy bit presumptious Jemina?

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  19. I think Jemima posted this just for the fun of getting poodle exhibitors to rise to the bait and respond.

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    1. Anonymouse of 08.05, I hope she did. I hope she invented the comments, too. I must suppose there is little hope that she invented ms. Geeson?
      Again - did you ever take just one step back, to listen to what people outside your own bubble are saying? Did you ever consider how very few there are IN that bubble and how large the rest of the world is, and how very odd the preoccupation with best-dog-hairdresser trials look to us?

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    2. It is one of Jemima's standard tactics . Light the fuse, stand well back and wait for the explosion. Then click to allow the silliest, most personally abusive and extreme responses to be posted on this blog. The writers shoot themselves in the feet every time. Works like magic.

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    3. Anonymouse - I get it now! Ms Harrison intentionally creates THE ENTIRE SHOW DOG WORLD complete with hairdresser trials, dyspnoeic bracycephalics and extreme ectropion - just to trick a few fools that otherwise wouldn´t even have existed into revealing themselves as fools that do exist?
      How ingenious that woman is...

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    4. Bodil, wouldn't that be great if it were true?

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    5. Bodil Carlsson,,,no Anon doesnt know what it going on outside his very small and shrinking bubble, but when he does eventually take his head out of the sand he will get a shock bless him !!!

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  20. Long search for that picture of the white poodle then Jemima , 9th International dog show in Bangkok .

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    1. "9th International dog show in Bangkok ."

      That'll be the fault of the British Kennel Club then. *rolls eyes in despair*

      Straw man, Jemima!

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  21. If you have ever been around a Basenji you will know they are far from "voiceless' as Mr Burns would have you believe. No one has turned that into a "feature". It is just a fact

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    1. I can attest to that. Rather than making a normal dog bark the Basenji makes an even more annoying whining sound.

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  22. "But now the Poodle's shoulder assembly has edged forward. This and a ewe neck is often rewarded because it contributes towards the flashy, hackney gait supposed to be a fault but often rewarded in the show-ring."

    so now that blogger is an expert on shoulder assembly in the poodle and knows what a "flashy hackney gait" is in the show ring and that is is "often" rewarded.. how about giving us a few actual scenarios where you have done some "ringside judging" and come to this conclusion.. name some names .. which judges have done this.. whose dogs are you describing..let's hear which judges and breeders you have mentored under that has made you an expert in this area? under. The silence is deafening.. LOL

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    1. From an anonymous? Who can take someone who is just trolling behind anonymity seriously? She was expressing a general opinion, not writing a scholarly paper. Besides, I have noticed the same things as she has, long before I ever heard of her. I know exactly what she is talking about. Too bad you don't.

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    2. One does not have to be an expert when you watch Poodle handlers in the ring "poking" the dogs chest to get them to hold it correctly, because the front legs are IN FRONT of the dogs chest and the dog is sagging in the middle. Engineering 101 tells us that you put the supports under the weight they are designed to support, not in front of it.

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  23. Not sure if this has been said already because I haven't sifted through all the comments, but the United Kennel Club does allow poodles to be shown in whatever clip the owner wishes. Poodles at UKC shows are frequently shown in pet clips, and since UKC disallows the use of product in dog coats the fancy top knots and other traditional hairstyles tend to look less flashy in that context.

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    1. CuteLittleLapDogs16 June 2012 at 20:33

      The UKC gets a whole lot more right than the KC or the AKC- and any AKC, or other world KC recognized, dog can register easily.

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  24. I agree, Jemima, show cuts do the breed a massive disservice. I used to have a great standard poodle and I currently have a mini. I give them both a functional, short haircut. No one ever knows what kind of dog they are. They usually think they're some sort of labradoodle. He's just a happy poodle. http://instagr.am/p/L8W9YHCDgJ/

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    1. why so.. you have a poodle.. and have one in the past.. you keep it trimmed the way you refer.. why not let others do the same?

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  25. Can I just ask if you have any qualifications in dog genetics or animal health? You do seem to ramble and really have no real knowledge.

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    1. Anon,,,,do you?? and can you prove it please ,nope I thought not

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    2. Actually most of us who post under anon do have qualifications in dog behaviour , dog genetics , and animal health . But that's the reason we use anon . Some of us work in the field and have no wish to end up getting personally involved in this nonsense , but at the same time cannot resist commenting when such crass statements are made that really are just uneducated 'opinions'

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    3. "Actually most of us who post under anon do have qualifications in dog behaviour , dog genetics , and animal health."

      Really?! And how do you know that, exactly, Mr/Ms Anon?!? Do you have special investigatory and statistical powers for profiling all who post online as 'Anon'? Wow, I'm impressed. I'm Anon too. Go on, tell me about me.

      If you have so much as one scientific bone in your body I swear I'll eat one of my own!

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  26. @Beth F The number of people sitting at ringside seemingly talking about the poodle's hairdo's is in your opinion I presume as I sit ringside at quite a lot of shows and zilch said lol.
    As for the poodle being in a show coat. Well I would rather see this than a totally matted or shaved to the skin pet owned one that the owner cannot be bothered to comb let alone washj. Straight to groomers every 6 weeks lol

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  27. Looking at the older poodles, they looked like woolly labradors. Like retrievers. Sturdy and robust, but still lithe. Now they have a more fine-boned, elongated, doberman-like build. Like the difference between a gymnast and a ballerina.

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    1. Anon,,,,,you really do not get it do you,you breeders and exhibitors have had it all your own way for years, many breeds are in a terrible state health wise,,,,BUT the RSPCA and other orgs are wise to you now, but more importantly the PUBLIC are too,,,,the likes of you will be dragged screaming into better health for dogs, l;ike it or not buddy !!!

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    2. I love hysterical rantings,...perfect with tea a scones..
      Mark Evans you must stop this .. LOL

      by the way, public is singular

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  28. Dear Otto,

    I believe J.H has a very good and busy life fighting the dogs corner, while you might think that a dog having its coat messed around with for showing isnt a health issue, in actual fact it goes right to the heart of what these show breeders and exhibitors believe in, i.e, that a dog should look as they wish and tough luck on the dog if it isnt comfortable or intefers with its health !!!

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    1. perhaps we should allow dogs to look like they want to.. no baths.. no trimming.no brushing... no ear cleaning.. no nail clipping .. no teeth cleaning.. I rightly think that would be their choice even if it interferes with its health..

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    2. They can then also choose who they want to mate, which will be eveything in sight, mom, sister auntie whatever is closest.

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  29. Dear anonymous 17 June 2012 03:31
    I believe that JH has a good life making loads of money with programs full of hype and sensationalistic journalism on the back of good breeders. FYI a dog with a coat like a Poodle does become a health issue if it is left unclipped and ungroomed. It turns into a pile of matt. The facial hair gets into the eyes and food sticks to the coat around the mouth. Poodles have been around for 400 to 500 years and there has always been some grooming of their coats. Like any show dog if a Poodle does not like grooming or showing it will drop its tail (a complete no no in the ring) and nothing will make it raise that tail. So before you make numpty remarks, stop acting like the uninformed person that you are. Do your homework and engage brain before putting mouth in gear.

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    1. Otto,Oh dear i sense a little jealousy in your comments, you think JH has a little more money than you, damn it JH you have to be poor now to be taken serious lol, actually JH supports good breeders and she has said so many times, can you read ? If so please look outside your bubble and read her articles with an open mind. You silly person no one is saying you shouldnt groom a Poodle, what is being said is do you have to make it look like a thing from some other plant rather than a dog, just because you think it looks pretty for the show ring,,,here in lies the problem with SOME of you people you dont care if it is uncomfortable for the dog, all you care about is the esteem of winning, and that same attitude goes into the health of the dogs, never mind some cant breath, walk, run have heart conditions or have pups by themselves etc etc , just so long as you think they look good and are as near to the STUPID breed standards as you can get. The breed standard is really a good get out clause for you isnt it, you can always use it as a reason, why dont you have the bottle to say the breed standards of some breeds are wrong lets fix it,,,,, now that is a numpty remark by me ,,,people like you never will do that lol

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  30. "....you breeders and exhibitors have had it all your own way for years....."


    Goodness we are getting our proverbials in a twist !! ...of COURSE " breeders' have been getting things all their own way for years " and unless you, the RSPCA, Jemima, and all the hysterical nay sayers on here start breeding the 200 + individual and varied dog breeds we currently have then we'll continue to do so ! - all the frothing at the mouth in the world won't change a single thing - of course no-one is stopping YOU or anyone else from breeding your own dogs in your own way (and trimming them in any way you want too ! ) - I'm not sure where you get the idea that the public are 'wise' to breeders - the demand for Kc registered pups remains strong with thousands of enquiries to the Kc each month - and most breeders in my own breed have long waiting lists ...but then again I'm sure you can show us a better way - so go on, put your money where your mouth is, and breed generations of good tempered, totally healthy dogs of a numerically small specific breed all with low co-efficients of inbreeding ...



    .oops there goes another airborne Gloucester old Spot !!.........

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    1. @Bijou Should be Wiltshire Sheep Pig not Gloucester ..Wiltshire is 'Kingdom of the Pig' , don't you know ...Swindon comes from 'swine down'or 'dun'

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    2. Dear Bijou,,, rest assured no one could do any worse than you lot have over the last 100 years lol. I only see breeders on here getting their knickers in a twist because they do not like the truth and good breeders hate been lumped with the bad ones :-)

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    3. Bijou,,,,,, If that last part of your comment is true and I have no reason to doubt you (about long waiting lists etc), why do so many of your breeders get so upset about Crossbreeds? I have seen breeders spitting hate about people who breed them why? because people pay more for them than pedigrees ? because every sale is one less sale for a pedigree breeder ? The fact that people are still buying pedigree dogs does not mean they are healthier I am afraid, you see people that are critical of people like you understand there are good breeders out there, maybe you are one of them, but it isnt about good breeders is it, it is about BAD ones, you really have to think outside your bubble and stop taking critical remarks as if they are all aimed at you,,,,if you are a good breeder and trying to eliminate health problems in your breed then people will know that and buy from you,,its the bad ones that need sorting out, but it seems to me that the good breeders protect the bad ones it is almost like the breed clubs are some sort of Cult. lol

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    4. The reason cross breeds piss most of us off is because if you care to trawl all the doodle adds most are mated to whateve rround the corner for convienience sake and cheap costs, never any health tests and farmed out to whoever for silly money , that is hardly ethical breeding either!

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    5. anon but not so anon ,,,,, I actually agree with you that there is going to be loads of problems with croosbreeds in the future but that doent make the Pedigree situation any better does it :-)

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  31. While not siding with Eileen, I find your views Jemima, no less extreme. To assume that "everyone outside the show ring" shares them is crass arrogance. In effect here you say no more than "I hate show-groomed poodles", you don't prove that they suffer.
    They must be groomed for their own wellbeing, ours mostly sleep on the table. To me, a well-groomed poodle is a work of art. You say art is an ingrown world irrelevant to the rest of humanity. I say you lack the imagination to consider that others may see something you can't. However that may be, you certainly show no ability to see others' points of view.
    The opinion that matters most to me is that of my 4-legged friends, covering the floor here after morning run. One does object to grooming, the process not the result, he is now in pet trim. Would re-home, but he's too attached to "mum" - and vice versa. Another does just agility, no relish for showing. The other 2 both happily 'strut their stuff', proving that dogs, like people, are all different. Respect individuality, you've no right to set up as a model of normality.
    A dog's fitness for purpose must surely include fitting into human society. If show judging is to include some demonstration of ability, the requirements for pet poodles are: mins and toys, standing jump from floor to lady's lap: standards, onto grooming table. Human society has its eccentricities, poodle-showing a harmless one, can't you accept that?

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    1. Bob can you not accept that while there are very good breeders out there ,again you might well be one of them, there are also lots of bad breeders who do not want things to change, that believe there is nothing wrong with the present situation regarding Pedigree Dogs. The problem is that not enough good breeders will take on the bad and so improve the situation. i HAVE NO DOUBT YOUR DOGS HAVE A GOOD LIFE, please tell me how a show Shih Tzu with that lovely long coat to the ground and beyond runs in fields of mud like mine,,, come on it doesnt happen does it,,,,I think the problem is that each breeder sees a comment and thinks it is directly aimed at them personally,,,, YOU know if you are a good breeder or not AND you WILL know bad ones too!!

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    2. There would not exist in our language the phrase "buy a pup" if dog breeding were not altogether a murky business. JH is attacking the least murky end of it, yet I back her campaign because as you say, in every barrel a few rotten apples. In the pedigree world the means exist to put right what has gone wrong, we can already see those means being used. But JH cites no evidence that POODLES suffer through showing, because none exists.
      As for your Shih Tzu, my wife once showed yorkies; their similar coat was up in hairgrips, though she recommends the mown grass of your local park rather than a muddy field for his/her gambol.

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    3. I have to very much disagree with considering a dog a work of art. It degrades a living being capable of pain and emotions by putting it on the same level as an inanimate piece of canvas or a blob of clay.

      If you want to express yourself through art, I suggest you choose a medium that is unable to experience suffering as a result of your attempts.

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  32. I groom dogs and over all dont see a problem with the ridiculous show clips. However I do see a problem not allowing more functional clips in the ring. Even the puppy show clip is more functional than the continental. But the same can be said for american cocker spaniels, westies, scotties, bichons... You should be judging the conformation not the hair anyway...
    And you know if they started allowing much easier to manage hairstyles the continental and English saddle would soon disappear. Who's going to spend extra hours when you could still win your ribbons with much easier preperstions?

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  33. Well said Bob Grundy, I think you speak for all Poodle owners everywhere.

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  34. I want to qualify my previous remarks a bit. I have said, but not in every post, that I have no problem with showing. What I do have a problem with is breeders and judges and writers of standards saying that the purpose of conformation showing is to find dogs "fit for function" and then put up winning dogs who have traits that are deleterious to the function. Poodle coat falls into this category because I can guarantee you that no one who is hunting with a poodle (it's original function) would have it in one of the cuts that is required in the US show ring, and strongly encouraged in the UK show ring, and therefore those who are trying to preserve (or actually restore) hunting instincts in poodles have virtually 0% chance of winning in the conformation ring. So why reward traits that make it hard or impossible for a dog to actually do the function that the dog is meant to be judged as fit for?

    Why put up obese labs over properly weighted ones (a HUGE problem based on all the shows I've seen on telly in the past 5 years or so)? No one breeding a dog fit for the function of hunting rabbits would breed one as low and heavy as the current UK show basset, YET those dogs are put up as winners, indicating that the breeders and judges think the low heavy dogs are MORE fit for function than their lighter cousins who actually hunt.

    No one breeding a dog fit for bull fighting would breed one that looks like the current KC version of the English Bulldog.

    The crazy rear assembly on the GSD is selected to achieve the flying trot. Without a great flying trot, no GSD would win in the ring. Yet in which of its historical or current functions would a flying trot be used? Herding? Seeing eye work? Bomb-sniffing? Police work? Search and rescue? The answer, of course, is "none." There is NO FUNCTION of the GSD that requires the brilliant flying trot, yet to win in the ring the GSD MUST have one and is therefore bred uphill (check out videos of the Big Lick Tennessee Walkers and you get the same effect, but they attain it by using abusive shoeing).

    No one breeding a dog fit for working as a patrolling guard dog would breed one so heavy it can barely move, with such a short face it needs air conditioning to survive the heat. No one breeding a dog fit to herd sheep would breed one with so much cottony coat that it traps mud and dirt and odors. No one breeding a dog fit to flush game cocks would breed one with such heavy feathering that it would get caught in the brambles.

    So my question again to the poodle people is if you are breeding a dog fit for function, what function is improved by a hair-sprayed top knot? If it does not improve the function, why is it so heavily rewarded?

    Last dog show I watched, I was thrilled to hear of quite a few dogs working in their historical field. Nothing makes me happier than hearing that the winning Kuvasz guards his owner's llama herd in between shows, or that the winning Chessie is her breeder's personal gun dog. As I've said, I have nothing against shows. What I have a problem with is individual breeds whose club members happily chirp that they "breed form fit for function" while rewarding individual dogs whose prized traits actually preclude them from doing that function. I don't think poodle clips rank up there with wobbling hind ends, not even close. But I do think it's bizarre to reward a hair cut that would actually prevent the dog from doing its job. And I'll bet that even the dog most amenable to grooming would prefer to do other things with its time than have its top knot teased.

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    1. Just to point out that, the poodle clips were designed to protect the dog whilest working...it is not something made up by show people. I also know of a poodle thats 'works' on a well known shooting estate that was bred by a show kennel in the uk...fit for function? I think so...

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    2. I've heard that it's a legend about the old clips and it was actually the French circus that popularized them. Not sure if it's true or not, but considering folks did not have electricity when the poodle was developed and would have had to clip using hand shears, I have trouble believing the elaborate clips were historical (and have not seen old prints from pre-show days of dogs wearing those clips).

      Regardless, it's been taken to new extremes with modern appliances. And if someone who has never hunted a single dog in the entire line happens to have one who can hunt, that is luck, not intent.

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    3. You can call it luck if you want Beth, my point was that this show kennel is producing fit and heathly animals, good enough to do a days work as they were designed to do.

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  35. Jemima, you have a voice, be a voice for the poodles and all the other dogs "living" in hell holes like these detailed on the Commercial Breeding Kennels UK list, most are being used for cross breeding but that doesn't matter, it is the hell they go through that should be concerning all of us.

    http://dbelistuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/lincolnshire.html Little Rascals 110 breeding bitches only valued for their wombs

    http://dbelistuk.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/ceredigion.html DBE55 Mr & Mrs G Evans, 100 breeding bitches living in hell.

    Anyone can stir, it takes real commitment to make a difference. Do some good woman, there is plenty needing doing.

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  36. The argument seems to be here between dogs never being groomed and are matted, dirty and flea infested, to dogs who are weekly washed and groomed often
    But to me that shows how badly we are breeding the coat of some breeds
    I have two crossbreeds, crosses of working breeds
    I brush them when I feel like some bonding time with them, their coats although medium length does not mat
    I wash them about yearly - and whenever I do the water runs clean - they are not mucky at all, if they roll in something stinky I just walk for 10 min longer and it dries up and falls off

    imo a working breed (or any breed of dog) should not have a coat that needs constant attention else the dog suffers, a person who actually works with their dogs dont have endless hours for grooming, the average pet owner does not actually enjoy the amount of money to be splashed out every few weeks in grooming a dog

    Dogs coats shouldnt be so long it gets in the way of their day to day life, or that it needs so much attention that it becomes a wellfare issue if it cannot get groomed for a week or two

    Wolves have lovely coats - and no grooming places around for them

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    1. Ben, maybe you are deceived by JH's innuendo into believing dogs suffer when groomed. Our show poodles are done every 2-3 weeks and take it lying down; unlike yours, poodles are not low-maintenance. My wife clips & scissors to make them look pretty, rest of the time they charge around the countryside having fun - except the few hours between bath and show.
      You and your dogs clearly have an admirable modus vivendi, but that's no reason to assume no other can be mutually enjoyable.

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    2. Ben, I am glad you have dogs that suit your lifestyle. I also have a dog who suits mine. Without meaning any offence to you and yours, I dare say yours would not suit my lifestyle. I would probably find them rather smelly, and they would set off my spouse's asthma. This is why many different breeds of dog have been developed to suit different lifestyles. It is one thing to ask that a dog be bred differently because it has become so extreme that parts of its anatomy interfere with its normal day-to-day activity. It is another thing entirely, and the start of a slippery slope, to say that a breed should not be bred because it doesn't suit your particular lifestyle. That's saying people don't have rights to whatever behaviour feels natural to them, and opens the floodgates for people to say that nothing man-made should be bred because it is an abomination, and that humans should be exterminated to save other species. I also don't think many people would want a wolf living with them like a dog, regardless of how lovely its coat was.

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    3. No I dont think dogs suffer when they are groomed, that was not the point I was making. Mine quite enjoy being groomed.
      But a dog is a dog first of all - not a poodle, GSD or a mutt - firstly they are a dog, and imo ALL dogs should be able to stand, walk, run, jump and many other things - without being impeaded by their build, flesh or hair, a poodle is supposed to be a breed with a job to do, in a lion cut they are impeaded by their coat.
      Fair enough with the point that some people need non shedding dogs, personally I am not a fan of creating animals that need constant grooming attention simply because there are still contries and times when dogs cannot always get that attention - not ideal I know, but it happens, then dogs like poodles will suffer more.
      :) Oh and my dogs do not smell, plenty people comment on that - yes they shed - but they do not smell

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    4. They don't need constant grooming attention. A poodle with its adult coat grown fully in and in a moderately long clip needs brushing and combing every few days and a clip and trim every six weeks. You do not have to pay someone else to do it, as you can learn to do it yourself. You also don't have to keep a poodle in long coat. You can buy very basic clippers and shear it very short all over every six weeks and then all you will have to do is give it a quick going-over with a slicker brush once a week, if even that. If you can't be bothered even with that because you live in a country or a time where it is somehow prevented, you shouldn't own a poodle as it's not an appropriate breed for you. There seems to be a pervasive attitude these days that animals should have the right to do whatever they like, but that humans are somehow exempt and can't do what they like just in case someone might not be responsible, and that anything perceived to be 'natural' is pure and wonderful and anything manmade is worthless. That's nonsense. There is nothing wrong in terms of welfare about a breed of animal with long fur. The logic that the fur is a welfare hazard because the owner might not be able to care for it properly is like claiming that a dog having a digestive system is a welfare hazard because its owner might forget to feed it.

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    5. I cant possibly see how they couldnt smell. I have been in contact with many breeds, show poodles, working english springer spaniels to name just two. The English Springer spaniels, working animals that were kept groomed but like yours bathed once a year...but im afraid, stunk!

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    6. Wolves have lovely coats - and no grooming places around for them

      really?? ever smell a den of wolves..

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    7. Many functional dogs with functional coats don't get a "doggy odor" like other more oily coats. My Border Collie gets bathed once or twice a year and usually only because I throw him in the tub when the other dogs need washed. I can, and do, bury my nose in his fur regularly and he smells good. Just because he doesn't have an elaborate hair-do, mousse, hairspray, etc in his hair doesn't mean he is unkempt. My Papillons get bathed more frequently but that's mainly because dirt particles attract tangles and they never really get smelly either (unless they roll in something dead). They don't smell like perfume, hairspray and shampoo but they don't smell bad, either.

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    8. All unbathed dogs smell simple as that, some smell more stronger than others but when you live with them you get used to it. i went round my friends today who keeps her dogs to a good standard and first thing i could smell was her dogs even though i can't smell my own because i was not used to their smell.
      This nonesense about some dogs being superiour to others just because you can be a lazy and not bother giving them the odd bath makes me laugh, there is some many on this blog who need to get off their "i know best" high horse then maybe others may start listening to them.

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    9. well maybe we all have different tolerants to smells and what we find acceptable to live with.

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    10. "This nonesense about some dogs being superiour to others just because you can be a lazy and not bother giving them the odd bath makes me laugh, there is some many on this blog who need to get off their "i know best" high horse then maybe others may start listening to them."

      Oh, the irony...

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    11. Beth f you are one of the worse all you do is talk at us telling us how we all fail why we fail etc etc so no no irony there, I know my own flaws shame you don't .

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  37. Fascinating to see how divided opinions can be when egos get in the way of common sense animal welfare. Yes bathe and clip your dogs to prevent painful matting, skin problems and infestation. Maintain teeth and clip claws to prevent pain. These are basics and common sense to anyone who has a dog. Any vet will tell you this. But spend hours turning your dog into an exhibit? These are sentient beings. They may love to be groomed or they may not. But I've also seen the lengths some go to in order to get the right 'effect'. The spraying, the teasing, the rollers and then making sure these super models don't disturb the display until they've been trotted around to show how clever their mum or dad is. Were these people deprived of doing their barbie doll's hair as children? Are they frustrated hair dressers? There is clearly something very imbalanced about anyone who wants to take things to such extremes. Why do these 'standards' apply in the show ring at all. Especially when you have someone stating publicly that they don't care about whether the clip the dog endures causes the dog discomfort. Alarm bells ringing rather loudly here!

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  38. Gervase Markham's instructions on how to trim a water spaniel/poodle in Hunger's Prevention (1621)
    "Now for the cutting or shaving him from the navel downward--or backward--it is two ways well to be allowed of: that is, for summer hunting, or for water. Because these water dogs naturally are ever most laden with hair on the hinder parts; nature as it were labouring to defend that part most, which is continually to be employed in the most extremity, and because the hinder parts are ever deeper in the water than the foreparts, therefore nature hath given them the greater armour of hair to defend the wet and coldness; yet this defence in the summer time by the violence of the head of the sun, and the greatness of the dog's labour is very noisome and troublesome, and not only maketh him sooner to faint [lose heart] and give over [abandon] his sport but also makes him by his overheating, more subject to take the mange. And so likewise in matter of water, it is a very heavy burden to the dog, and makes him swim less nimbly and slower, besides the former offences before recited.

    But for the cutting or shaving of a dog all quite over, even from the foot to the nostril, that I utterly dislike, for it not only takes from him the general benefits which nature hath lent him, but also brings such a tenderness and chillness over all his body, that the water in the end will grow irksome unto him; for...[although] men may argue that keeping any creature cold will make it the better endure cold, yet we find by true experience both in these and divers other such things, that when nature is thus continually kept at her uttermost ability of endurance, when any little drop more is added to that extremity, presently she faints and grows distempered, whereas, keep nature in her full strength and she will very hardly be conquered, and hence it doth come that you shall see an ordinary land Spaniel, being hastily and well kept, will tire twenty of these over-shaven curs in the cold water: whereas, let them have the rights nature hath bestowed upon them, and the water is as familiar unto them as the land any way can be.

    Therefore, to conclude this point, I would have the skillful fowler, if he keep his water dog only for his use of fowling as to attend his nets, limerods, fowling-piece or such like, which is only for the most part appropriate to the winter season, then not to shave his dog at all, for he shall find in the sharp frost and snow, when the air shall freeze the drops of water faster on the hair than the dog can cast them off; that the uttermost benefit that nature hath granted, is no more but sufficient, and the carefull master should rather seek to increase them than diminish them"

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  39. I own poodles and I think some of the opinions in this post and some of the comments on it stem from ignorance. Just to explain my position, I don't show and I don't like the way shows restrict gene pools and tend to produce more and more extreme animals, and I particularly don't like how they are held up to be some kind of holy grail that should decide what dog is fit to breed or not. On the other hand, I have been to shows (to watch) and it is fun to see pretty dogs having fun with their handlers and what people can do with their coats.

    The show clip usually used in the UK is called the Scandinavian clip. There are no clips that are disallowed, but the standard does say that 'a traditional lion clip' (whatever that is) is recommended. It's just fashion. In America, they generally use the Continental clip but have a choice of one other and a few more for dogs in certain categories. My own pet bitch is in a non-show clip called a Modern clip. It doesn't have the really long hair on the head like the show clips, but the leg and tail hair is roughly the same length and the dog does have reasonably long hair on its head and chest. She needs to be brushed and combed through every few days to stop her coat from matting. I groom her myself and it's fun to wash, dry, and trim her coat every 6 weeks or so to see how nice I can get it. It doesn't harm her to be groomed like this and she doesn't dislike it, although she is a bit of a fidget and likes to turn her head to look at what I am doing. After I have groomed her, I step back and admire/criticise my skill, perhaps take a few pictures of her, and generally enjoy how nice she feels and looks. Then I let her get on with whatever she was doing. I live on a farm and her day-to-day activities include bouncing around a soggy meadow/dry meadow full of grass seed and burrs, paddling in a stream, riding with me in a tractor full of mouse turds, rounding up chickens, tearing about a muddy wood after rabbits, and retrieving things. I have recently started the KC Good Citizen obedience scheme and will be starting agility soon, and my dog can do all these things with her coat, and anything that does get stuck in her can be carefully brushed out. Show people will also 'band' their dogs long hair to stop it getting tangled in things and put jumpsuits on their dogs so they can go out and do mucky things if they are really paranoid about their coats.

    If you really want to see what is harming the standard poodle breed, google Wycliffe bottleneck. The main problem poodles face is that in the 60s people who didn't know any better inbred them, and because the resulting offspring had this pretty look and did well at shows, they were used all over the world, and it's now impossible to find a line free of these ancestors. Poodles need breeders to stop taking shows so seriously and start making good use of the diverse genetics they have left. The hairstyle they are in is immaterial.

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    1. Anon, there are many dogs whose coats need the sort of attention you describe, and I have no problem with it. Again, what is the problem is that hairstyles seem to take precedence, so someone who has a poodle that fits the standard ideally will probably NEVER win if they don't do up the elaborate, highly stylized, clip. From the DogWorld article Jemima linked from (which no one seems to be commenting on; everyone is commenting on Jemima's critique of it):

      ""Fake hair pieces are becoming the norm in so many of the winning Poodles and it’s an area of the ‘just hairdressing’ argument I abhor more than any other."

      Why are fake hair pieces becoming the norm if lovely dogs win all the time without perfect hair? If people feel that fake hair pieces give the SAME DOG an advantage over one without a fake hairpiece, there must be a reason for that, right?

      From the same article:

      " However I did not start out in Poodles to show them cut down, part of the attraction has to be the coat.”

      But why?

      Is there a way to bold here, because all the people saying "It's the dog underneath that's judged, not the coat" need to read this:

      "We have seen Poodles win at Crufts – we know that they would never have done so if these same dogs had been trimmed in a cut down style at the time. "

      So you take a perfect dog, cut it down, and by the words of this international poodle judge, author, and vice-chair of the club, that dog would NOT WIN. I repeat, the club itself admits that a dog who wins in the "proper" cut would never win in a short cut.

      Yet they say that the most important thing is the dog underneath. I say hogwash. They admit themselves when they think they are talking to a closed audience that judges are putting up haircuts, not dogs.

      And finally, for those saying the dogs love the cuts:

      "Jackie would welcome the demise of topknot bands completely. There are several reasons for this, one being the over-riding factor that our dogs would be so much more comfortable without them in their daily lives. "

      Again, I'm quoting the original pro-cut article, NOT Jemima.

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    2. Beth, I agree in that I don't like the sentiments expressed by the author of the article, or the opinions given of some of the people in it, and I don't really like what dog showing does to dogs. The point I'm making is that there is no law in the rules of the show that the dog must be in one of these clips and so extremely executed, and that the trend could and just well might change some day if someone shows up with a dog in a Modern or a shorter Scandinavian without the banding (presumably it did in order for the Scandinavian to catch on in the first place). The judge is supposed to evaluate the structure of the dog underneath and not how well someone has groomed it. I don't know how much this is true, but if the judge doesn't, then the judge is wrong because that's what the standard says.

      I'm not sure that hairbands on dogs are particularly uncomfortable either. I have known of some children whose mothers would not cut their hair when they asked and insisted instead on tying it into a 'pony tail' or doing plaits in it, which the children would pull out as soon as the mother wasn't looking. Is the mother inhumane to do this? Some workplaces also have a rule that long hair must be tied back. Does this infringe the worker's rights because it might make them uncomfortable? I've never tied my bitch's hair up, but I have tied her ears behind her head when I feed her meat or give her a chewie (to stop her getting blood caked in them or chewing them into the chewie) and she sits down and waits for me to do it before she eats the food with gusto, which I'm sure she wouldn't do if it hurt her. With my new pup, I might even try more of a Scandinavian look, perhaps even with the tied-up hair, to see if I can do it. Obviously I won't do it if he hates it, 'though.

      I agree that a dog in a more moderate clip should be welcome in a show, but I'm not sure if it's the case that one isn't anyway. I'm also in favour of letting other people do their dogs' coats how they like, even if it might look a bit silly. There are even some people who like to dye their dogs (with mild, non-irritating vegetable dyes) and scissor patterns into them -- I would be extremely angry if someone did that to my dog -- but these people are not doing any harm and I don't see a problem with them.

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    3. Also, I do kind of hope that the hairstyle has a protective effect on the conformation getting too extreme. Modern show-type poodles have very upright necks, short, straight backs, and high tailsets compared to older types. Show breeders sometimes bemoan how they don't like the chests on the poodles and that nobody pays much attention to how their shoulders are put together because of the hairy clips. If a dog with an old-type appearance and a genetically diverse pedigree could win because it was in a silly clip, I would be happy.

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    4. Wycliffe bottleneck, theoretically, is bad news. When someone shows me some actual ill-effects I'll take it seriously. I read somewhere that DNA research had shown most of today's human European population descended from one woman who arrived here from Africa 30,000 years ago. Doesn't seem to have done us much harm, does it?

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    5. Judging by most of these comments (and the original article- christ, get a hedge!) it seems to have done us a fair bit of harm...

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  40. There are several good reasons for breed people to dislike people deliberately doing crossbreeds, calling them silly names, and selling them for large sums of money under outlandish claims about their characteristics. Firstly, a dog bred this way is a genetic dead end. The breeder does nothing to address any of the health conditions that may be likely in the parent breeds, the genetic risk being likely still present in the offspring. Secondly, a 'designer' mutt takes a home from an equivalent dog in a shelter, or from a puppy from a reputable breeder. And some breeds are endangered and need people to own them so breeders can breed them and they can be kept diverse. A poodle breeder trying to preserve the lines that are being lost is going to run into difficulties if they face little demand for the pups they need to find nice owners for if they are to keep their programme going. A mutt someone bred with no testing and no pedigree research so they could sell a cute puppy and have money is not contributing anything to the future survival of a breed. It's exactly the same with rare breed farm animals losing diversity because people only want the most productive, the easiest, the biggest, etc. Thirdly, breeders don't like deliberate silly crossbreeds because they don't like to see the appearance of the dogs they know spoilt by interbreeding it with dogs with incompatible features, like the simultaneously shedding and matting nightmare coats 'oodle' dogs tend to have.

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  41. Scraping the bottom of the barrel with this little piece Jemima. What's wrong? Not much else for you to rant about given that the majority of your journalism is a load of crap.

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  42. I have lived with poodles since I was very small, they are tough little critters and love to roll and swim and get filthy the same as any dog. Ours used to come to the stables with us and mooch around. I have 8 now (1 is a recent rescue) I lost one recently at 19 years old and his card at the vets was very sparse. Fit and healthy I am very happy with my dogs. I have shown them and have even won well with one in a pet trim! I also take them over the fields and do agility and obedience with them. I breed and I only breed with my dogs if I am happy with their temperament and health. I have had one or two spayed if I thought they were too small to breed with. Most love being wet and dirty; but they also love being groomed, I have 2 in show trim but even the others are scissored not all clipped off. They are very strutty when groomed and will often pose and show off afterwards. I know lots of other breeders and their dogs have very similar lives to mine. You can't show a dog that doesn't like it! I know for a fact, some don't enjoy it, and you are wasting your time trying to, far better to show the mega confident ones who love being the centre of attention.

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  43. Ach: so many comments are missing the point: yes, you feel your dog enjoys showing, they fall asleep while grooming, etc etc. But the point is the person talking in the original post described the dog as an "exhibit" and stated that it was more important to consider the appeal of the show clip and its ability to demonstrate the skill of the groomer than to consider the dogs comfort.
    Dog shows are supposed to reward the "best dog" regardless of handler, haircut, etc. When you turn them into "exhibits" its completely stopped being about the dog.

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  44. People on here are getting wholly wrong ideas of Ms Geeson. Not that she needs any defence from me, her own words are perfectly eloquent. No-one reading her book The Complete Standard Poodle (Ringpress 1998)can doubt the writer's deep understanding of, and love for, her own dogs in particular and the breed in general. Many a poodle down the years has cause to be grateful for her welfare work.
    Having shared 10 wonderful years with a border collie, I hotly take issue with anyone who looks down their nose at farm dogs. But actually Eileen is saying that they don't belong in a show ring: there both she and I - and perhaps JH - are in agreement. Nor do I agree with her apparent view that il faut suffrir pour etre belle. Indeed, a poodle suffering discomfort would be useless at show, they are well able to think for themselves and express their feelings: I needn't own one to know that, it's all in EG's book.

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  45. Showcoats degrade poodles' daily lives, do they? OK, they're barred from briar patches: that leaves them much non-brambly open space, not to mention a beach in my locale, where they can do their doggy thing. When a fox dives through a hedge and they cannot continue the chase, they do find that frustrating: but it's for their own good, if you saw the mangy state of those foxes you'd not want them anywhere near your dogs.
    And if you think it impairs movement, come down our agility session sometime, where ours are far from the only ones bounding around in showcoats. In fact on winter evenings, frost twinkling under floodlights, I wish I had one. Even in summer, they drink by far the most water after the car journey there (memo: get the aircon re-gassed). The only sign of discomfort I've seen is one pup scrabbling at his topknot hair bands. Though still an awful fidget in other ways, he soon got used to those.
    Of course no single form of competition can decide, based on all the various poodle capabilities, the "best dog". JH tells us dogs should be fit for purpose, and we should live in the real world. So what, in today's 'real world', is a poodle's purpose? Our puppy buyers all want pets, to get them on their feet for regular exercise, and to be lively, intelligent, affectionate, and yes good-looking, companions. To discount appearance altogether is to ignore the real world, stylable coat is a poodle capability more important to them than retrieving dead ducks. I believe it would better promote the breed if pet trims, which can be very attractive, got more recognition at shows. But it would be a shame to lose the traditional styles, however silly they may look to JH.

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  46. JH stated: "And don't get me started on the breed's genetic diversity problems."

    Everybody seems to be familiar with, and have an attitude about, poodle clips. Why not bring up the genetic diversity problems? They're much deeper problems, and less well understood by the public.

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    1. Jennifer, you echo JH's style of oblique references and vague innuendo. If you can show that these "problems" are any more than theoretical, then we'll know what we're talking about and can have a sensible discussion.

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    2. Bob. Speaking of innuendo: I know nothing about genetic diversity problems in poodles. Thanks, Anne, for a review (below). I'm glad to know poodle breeders have been working to resolve problems and prevent degradation of the breed through inbreeding.
      I know a little about genetic diversity problems in general and feel they need more discussion. . . . and are in general far more serious than cosmetic issues relating to grooming. That was an honest request for more information, and an unsuccessful attempt to change the subject in a discussion that has gotten repetitive.

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    3. Jennifer, If it was you that prompted Alan Brown's contribution below, many thanks for doing so: it is authoritative and reassuring. I thought when you mentioned "the genetic diversity problems", you referred to something you knew and I didn't. Like you, I know a little and would like to know more.

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  47. The breed clubs have been working on health problems for many years now, they have managed to get a DNA for PRA and as such have almost eradicated it from Miniatures and Toys. They have a screening for Sebacious Adenitis and they have seen off that disease as well. In conjunction with the KC and the BVA they have hip and eye schemes which has almost seen off Hereditary Cataracts and There have been no cases of Hip Dysplasia for quite a few years now. The Standard Poodle Club have been raising money for Autoimmune problems and have been funding the Animal Health Trust to do the research. The bottleneck was back in the 1980's with the Wycliffe breeding but once again the diligent poodle breeders have been ablwe to resolve that issue and COI's using the Poodle Health Registry software which is far more accurate than mate select have come down to below the breed average. In some cases COI's of zero % have been reached. SO before we start trashing this breed we might want to do the homework first. You will find that it is one of the healthiest breeds around.

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    1. p.s After a little homework, I'd say your accusation of 'trashing the breed' is disingenuous.
      I've been looking at the Poodle Health Registry Database (which doesn't seem to give averages, medians, or other statistics by which you can generalize about the state of the breed) and generally Googling "poodle COI". I keep finding the figure for COI of ~15% quoted from work by Armstrong about 10 years ago. That's awful! Moreover, if you go to documentation on Armstrong's study of poodle longevity:
      http://www.netpets.org/dogs/healthspa/longevity.html

      the values given are lifespan, in years, as a function of COI, for quartiles of the population

      Inbreeding 75% 50% 25% N
      0-6.25% 12.8 14.3 15.0 39
      6.25-12.5% 8.2 11.7 14.3 63
      12.5-25% 7.5 10.8 13.0 141
      over 25% 7.2 10.5 13.8 71
      This shows a MAJOR decline in lifespan with rising COI. Technical documents aren't provided, so it's hard to see how many generations were used to calculate COI . . . if the number was small,


      It would be a major, expensive, research project to see if inbreeding was causing health problems in poodles or any other breed, but lifespan as a function of COI is an excellent quick and dirty indicator. A good next step would be looking at results of genetic tests for homozygosity in the MHC . . . which gives a meaningful index of the extent to which immune system capability is depressed by inbreeding. Can you direct me to such information for poodles . . . standard or otherwise?

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    2. You cannot have a COI of ZERO, without opening the registry to new founders.

      It is disingenuous to a say dog has a COI of zero just by looking at a few generations, which is the only way you're going to get a zero in a closed registry.

      There seems to be a misconception that lowering the average COI in a breed is equivalent to 'adding diversity.' This is not true, all lowering the average COI does is reduce the rate of gene loss. As long as the registry remains closed to new founders you will lose genes, period. You can lose'em fast, or you can lose'em slow, but you will still lose'em. You cannot create 'new diversity' by altering breeding practices within a closed registry.

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    3. Jess,
      If you're referring to the table I posted, that was COI of 0 to 6.25, not 0. I added spaces to make the table readable, then the system took out all the spaces I added. It would have been better to cite the text than the table: "The difference between those inbred to less than 6.25%, the equivalent of a mating between first cousins sharing no other common ancestry, and those over 25%, is striking. Half of the latter die by 10.5 yrs while more than 3/4 of the low-bred dogs are still alive. The average lifespan differs by almost four years! Furthermore, if the data for the under 6.25% group is compared to human survival, multiplying by 5.5, the match is almost perfect."

      I found some more recent data.
      http://www.standardpoodleproject.com/Standard%20Poodle%20Population%20Statistics%20for%202000.htm

      This shows that while the COI for standard poodles has declined since 2000, the COI of show champions has barely budged, and was over 20% in 2009.

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    4. I find the MHC study I advocated as a 'good next step' has been done. A study was done of Poodle MHC DLA Class II Haplotypes. 46% were found to be homozygous, most of those are homozygous for the same haplotype.

      See:http://www.standardpoodleproject.com/New%20-%20Poodle%20MHC%20DLA%20Class%20II%20Haplotypes.htm

      p.s. Jess . . . I see you were referring to Alan Brown's ZERO not something in my post. Sorry to overreact.

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    5. De nada, Jennifer. I was indeed referring to the lie perpetuated by Alan Brown, that one can have a zero COI within a closed registry. You can't, unless you are looking at only a portion of the pedigree. It is lying to say so, because it misleads people into believing that you can stop gene loss within a closed registry. You can't.

      Unless you've added new founders. I own three dogs that have COIs of zero, due to founders either as parents (two of them) or close up in the pedigrees. Of course, these are Azawakh and Salukis, which have registries that are open to country of origin dogs.

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    6. You can't have a zero COI anywhere assuming computers are powerful enough to crunch enough generations. Everything is related if you go back far enough. With natural selection in a wild environment, or responsible preservation of diversity in a man-made environment, a population will diversify gradually through processes of natural mutation and genetic drift. That's why humans don't need to outcross themselves to bonobos in order to remain diverse. And even bonobos wouldn't produce zero COI, because if you go back far enough, there will be an ancestor in common, the same as if you go back far enough we all have some primordial slime genetics in common.

      I said in my original reply (which for some reason, hasn't appeared) poodles are awesome dogs however you want to trim them, and you can support the breed by buying from a breeder who is aware of the Wycliffe stuff and the current DLA haplotype research and is working towards diversity and low COI, not just breeding pretty dogs to enter in beauty pageants. They *do* exist.

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  48. I apologise if I am about to repeat anything that has been previously mentioned but I stopped reading the comments when it dipped into a bun fight, not necessary in my opinion.

    I fear JH you have completely missed the point of the 'show' trim. It was in fact derived from the gamekeepers when using poodles as water dogs (also where the name poodle derives). Some of the hair is clipped off so as to avoid being water logged but hair left on the joints and chest to protect joints and internal organs from the cold. The ribbon placed in the top knot was tied by the gamekeeper so he could tell which was his dog in the water when multiple guns were on the shoot together.

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    1. Then let's get back to those roots, and dip all dogs in water before sending them in the ring.

      I have also heard from breeders that they need to breed the head and neck behind the shoulder so the dog can keep his head upright in water. It's a bad excuse for bad structure, but maybe someone actually buys it?

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    2. Anon, the whole post was triggered by a show poodle person saying that the show trim was important, even if the dogs would be more "comfortable" in a sporting trim. That, in my view, was quite an admission.

      Now I do not think - and actually have never claimed - that the show trim presents much of a welfare problem in and of itself (asphyxiation by hair spray notwithstanding).

      The point I was making mostly is that to many people outside of the show-world, it looks ridiculous. It's mobile topiary, not a dog, and I think it does the breed a disservice. Poodle breeders bemoan the Labradoodle, but should take a moment to consider why the Labradoodle appeals and a Poodle doesn't. It's the image. The poncey trim. Believe me. And yet in a more relaxed trim, a Poodle can boast all the shabby chic appeal of a Labradoodle.

      Finally, I can't tell you also how mad it sounds to justify the trim on the grounds that it is in some authentic while demanding absolutely no proof of the function for which the trim was supposedly developed. It's like presenting a toy calculator to a mathemetician. It doesn't add up. And that remains the problem with much of the show world, I'm afraid. While there are still some dual purpose dogs, in the main you are producing simulcrums, not the real McCoy.

      Now that's OK - unless it gets out of hand in terms of the consequence to health and welfare. Unfortunately, as we know, in some breeds it has.

      Jemima

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  49. I can see this from both sides. On the one hand the breeders/ show fancy are correct in that the trim itself causes no harm to the dog (though as Jemima says - all that hairspray, you do have to wonder). On the other hand to the outsider it does appear to be a best hairstyle contest rather than best dog. A real shame, but I don't really think it's a welfare issue, not when you compare it to what is happening with many other breeds.

    Please Jem, stick to health and welfare issues. You do a stellar job and you know you have my support, but in highlighting something that isn't really harmful to the dogs you run the risk of undoing all your hard work over the past few years by alienating people (in this case poodle people) who might otherwise have been on your side. I agree with you that many of the show trims look ridiculous, but I'd rather have a Poodle with a daft haircut than a bi-laterally deaf Dal with kidney stones or a Bulldog that couldn't breathe. Bigger fish to fry.

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  50. I would also like to know if the poodles coat type has been changed over the years since it was first developed as a water retriever?

    Most of the poodle people i know are extremely reluctant to let their dogs play in the water or get wet at all. They tell me it takes hours for their coat to dry and it holds dirt really well so the dog must be bathed frequently.

    This doesn't sound very practical for a dog bred to retrieve from water?

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  51. So much hair drama! I do rally and tracking with my black standard in California, and heat management is always an issue. As of late I have been using a very short Continental Clip without the kidney patches or anklets. Its an easy clip to maintain and helps to prevent overheating. I think the clip you need for you dog entirely depends on what you are doing with it. As far as show clips, I would like to see something more like the Portuguese Water Dog's functional clip for poodles.

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  52. WHATEVER bitch!

    I had a standard sized poodle, a human society 'found' dog that had been hit by a car, but, no owner ever came forward. Full breed, chocolate un-neutered male, obviously a breeder, a few years old, very well trained - he understood 'sit, stay, go, come, lay down, shake or gimme yer paw' and obeyed instantly. Very serious dog.
    After awhile, of course, he would sniff my hand for food & stopped doing 'tricks' if I wouldn't give him a 'treat', would give me the stink eye if I tried to make him do something he didn't want to do; eventually becoming a wild and happy free doggie, who would up my purse when he 'felt' I was standing up to go out. He could always tell. People stand up to change rooms, go to the kitchen, bathroom, etc., but, when I was going out somewhere he would run and find a sweater or a purse and bring it to me (of course expecting he was coming with). He would often gently grab my forearm with his mouth & try to drag me to the front door, wagging his butt furiously.
    Sometimes if I left on foot, he would sneak out (somehow) and follow me surreptitiously, hanging 2 houses back up at the bushes around the house & not by the sidewalk, pretending to be sniffing at 'stuff' and 'not looking at me. I would say GO HOME & he would act like 'huh? me? I'm not doing anything' and would slowly walk a little way towards home (sneak peeking at me) until I would give in; ALLRIGHT - COME ON! He would almost pirouette with happiness before running towards me smiling so big his eyes were almost shut and walking right at my ankles. He was a person, a part of my family. He would stare at me and quiet whine so I'd pet him until I would get irritated & say STOP LOOKING AT ME, and he would look away-if I turned my head real fast to 'catch him' staring he would jerk his head into a different direction as fast as I did. hahaaa He actually understood me telling him not to look at me.
    Everybody loved him so much; he was the smartest dog I ever had - he grew old and died with us; without ever any major health problems until old age like anybody would start getting some kind of problem.

    I don't like your anti-poodle ATTITUDE LADY ಠ_ಠ or man or whatever you are. >:( ಠ_ಠ

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