The aristocratic French Poodle is one of the most popular dogs overseas at present. Registrations proved them to be the second most popular dog in Great Britain today.
Some have been imported into the U.S. since the war and there is now a greater variety of colored Poodles here than ever before.
In prewar days the only color seen in the U.S. was white. We had heard of blacks, chocolates, blues and apricots, but few breeders thought that these colors would “take” here.
Events have proved that all of these colors have their admirers and the Poodle is making satisfactory progress in the U.S. Blacks are the most sought after color.
Poodles are often the subject of ribald comment, particularly when they are barbered for the show ring.
History of trimming
Actually, this exotic trimming has a rather interesting history. In the early days when the aristocratic “houses” of Franco ruled the country, each “house” had its Poodles trimmed with pompons, rings and the like to distinguish them from the ordinary run of dogs.
These trims created great interest in other countries and the practice has continued down the years.
The French style of trimming used to be taken advantage of by smugglers of lace and other valuables between the various European countries.
Valuables were tied around the animals’ necks and shoulders, hidden from view by the dogs’ long, heavy coats.
The Poodles would slip across the frontiers bearing the contraband, deliver the goods and return to their masters across the border later on.
The Dutch clip or trim is different. The body coat is cut short and hair on the legs and face is allowed to grow to its natural length.
Both trims are acceptable in the show ring, but the French clip is the orthodox style.
Poodles are very easy to train and make excellent trick dogs. They are usually found in “dog circuses” and most stage shows featuring dogs have a Poodle or two in the cast.
Fashion-crazy women in other parts of the world have them dyed to match their outfits.
Their long, dense coats require plenty of attention, but once trimmed properly, they can be kept in reasonable form throughout the year with a minimum of trouble.
They are quite hardy and fit into the life of their owners, whether it be in the city or country.
The average person regards the Poodle as being a spoilt housepet. Most of them are, but this is not the fault of the dog, which is “all dog and then some.”
Poodles are intelligent and make excellent watchdogs.
The show standard of Poodles is very good in the U.S. and new importations keep interest in the breed at a high level, but the breed is unlikely to reach the level of popularity it has in England.
There is a steady demand for puppies at high prices, which is a definite indication of interest.
Poodles are grouped with the non-sporting breeds and challenge certificates are awarded to both Miniatures (dogs under 15 inches at the shoulder) and Standards (dogs over 15 inches).
Many consider that the Miniature should be classed as a Toy breed, although moves to have this done have not met with success to date.
The Poodle’s head is long, straight and fine, but there should be plenty of strength in the jaw as well.
The lips are tight, eyes dark and almond-shaped and the ears long and wide and set low, hanging close to the face.
The neck is strong and well arched “to admit of the head being carried proudly and with dignity.”
Shoulders are fine and sloping and the back is short, strong and slightly hollowed, while the loin is broad and muscular.
Legs are straight in front with plenty of bone and muscle, while the hind legs are well turned with well let down hocks.
The feet are well arched and the tail, which is docked, is set on high and carried gaily.
The coat is an outstanding feature of the breed and maybe corded or curly. It is hard in texture and very profuse.
Corded specimens are rarely seen in the U.S. and have long, tight, even cords all over.
In the curly variety, this hair must be thick and strong, and free from knots or cords.
The basic style of trimming is varied according to the owner’s fancy, but must always show the outline of the dog and the face is always clipped short.
A bow of ribbon is generally used to keep the long hair from falling over the eyes and spoiling the dog’s vision.