The Poodle is thought to have originated in Germany in the 1500’s as a water dog. The breed is believed to have been standardised in France, and is commonly thought of as a French breed. The Poodle breed was used as a water retriever and hunting dog throughout France, Germany and Great Britain well into the nineteenth century. There are a few facts which are little known about the Poodle breed, for instance many would not know the Poodle is the National dog of France, Poodles are very popular with European Royalty and feature as one of the top ten breeds for people with allergies. There are three main types of Poodles – the Standard Poodle, Miniature Poodle and Toy Poodle. Poodles can come in a range of different colours from apricot, black, blue, cafe-au-lair, cream to red, silver and white.
A Conformation Show is one of the most popular dog related shows. At a Conformation Show a judge will assess each dog on how well they conform to the breed standard. In these competitions the anatomy, structure and movement are taken into serious consideration. There are a number of grooming considerations taken into account to make the Poodles look glamorous in the ring. This kind of glamour for a show Poodle takes a great amount of effort for both dog and groomer. The coat is meticulously groomed and cared for and must never be damaged as this will end a Show dogs career in the ring. Show poodles are bathed every week and brushed every few days, they are clipped once a week and even moisturised to protect their coat.
The Poodle is considered a single breed with three main varieties – the Toy, Miniature and Standard. The Poodle is known to come in a number of different cuts and clips like the which change the look of the dog. Some of the popular cuts are the continental clip, corded coat, lamb clip, lion clip, poodle cut, and puppy clip. These shows specify typical breed characteristics such as their height, weight, head, the skull should be moderately rounded with a slight and definite stop, their ears should hang close to the head and set above the eye level, their feet should be rather small with arched toes, the tail should be straight, set high and carried up, the coat should be curly and dense, movement should be a straightforward trot with a light springy action and strong drive. Above all the poodle should carry himself proudly with a very active and intelligent appearance and an air of distinction and dignity.
The Poodle Club of Victoria holds many conformation shows, obedience trials, members competitions and more throughout the year at the KCC Park in Skye. On Sunday 13 April I attended the Poodle Conformation show to see a number of Poodles compete to earn points as conforming to the breed standard for a number of different characteristics. The Toy Poodle Club of Victoria and Poodle Club of Victoria were both competing at the KCC Park and this was a fantastic opportunity for members to compete in a home ground and show to receive feedback and points for their pooches.
The day began with owners carting in their dogs in wheeled cages. The dogs were prepped for almost an hour, were special Poodle hairdressers were brought in to cut and trim the Poodles, hairspray, hair ties, grooming, clipping, cutting and brushing all took place before each Poodle took to the ring to compete and be judged against others in their category. Each Poodle is inspected and asked to run and walk before the judges, and at the end of the day the winners of each round are awarded with prizes before they are packed and carried back out to the cars to go home. Each Poodle is extremely patient with the grooming and competing process and seemingly enjoy the love the attention from this wonderful experience and day.
Some beautiful photographs of the dogs today, here are just a few to share with you all.