Judging The Poodle: Any Variety From the Poodle Standard, we must ascertain what is the correct type for the Poodle. Type to me is what makes the dog look like its breed, and I must for my own logic, start at one point and continue on from there. Correct type in a Poodle of any size, in my opinion, is apparent in examining the animal in direct profile. What is its proportion? Its balance of height to length of body? The Poodle is square. Its balance of bone to size (sturdy bone with refinement). It's balance of neck length to body length (a neck long enough to carry it's head proudly) Its proportion of head length to size of dog? Is the topline of the foreface straight, neither dished nor roman? Does the topline of the body appear level, neither sloping or roached? Does the elbow appear to be set directly under the highest point of the shoulder? Does the hindquarter place the rear foot just behind an imaginary line dropped from the pin bone to the ground, and stand with a nicely bent stifle and a short metatarsus? Is the tail docked to a pleasing length, does it appear straight, and is it high set, carried up, and is there a shelf or point of the ischium out behind the set on of tail? Does it seem that the tail was put on as an afterthought? If the Poodle is on the floor, a table, or on closely cropped grass, can you see that it has a beautiful, tightly formed, small Poodle foot--slightly spoon shaped, with short but not mutilated toenails. Is the color solid, and is the Poodle presented in correct trim, well groomed, and owning an air peculiar to-himself. If all of this is pleasing, the Poodle on my first impression is typical, or can be considered to be within the guidelines set down in the standard to make him an acceptable specimen to do the work for which he was originally bred (a water retriever par excellence). How does the Poodle move going around the ring? Side gait is the truest test of the balance and fit of its individual parts. Does the Poodle move as a unit, not dissolving into a mass of unrelated pieces? As it covers the ground, does the Poodle remain up and square, not lowering it's self as the German Shepherd does in motion? Is the head held in a pleasing position high with a gracefully arched neck; does the top line remain steady, the tail up and carried with confidence? Do the four legs move in correct tempo carrying the Poodle over the ground with grace and elegance. Does the front leg extend freely with no laboring action? Does the rear leg take a good forward stride-the rear foot actually covering the space just vacated by the front foot-at the trot? Is the rear leg able to follow thru its rearward push-unimpeded by a too sharply sloped croup? Hopefully the dog being gaited has been taught to move on a loose lead and at a moderate speed. Temperament may be observed at this time "Carrying himself proudly, very active, intelligent, the poodle has about him an air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself." Also the Poodle may exhibit a sense of humorand may play to the crowd for applause or appreciation!! All of this may be observed before you have touched the animal or really looked at this head, body and relative lengths of the bones of the skeleton relating to correct movement.
Check structure: • Head (fore face and backskull of equal lengths) • Eye, expression, mouth, ear leathers (proportionate to variety) • Fit and placement of the shoulder and forearm • Slight depression just behind the shoulder at the top of the back (the swimming dip)
•Good length of rib cage, short very muscular loin, depth of chest •Forechest apparent in front of the fore legs •Beautiful Poodle feet, good weight and muscle •Carefully groomed and trimmed coat of correct texture, in proper trim. •Correct heart shaped rib
Check movement: Coming and going: soundness; and once more around the ring to let you see that typical, useful functional Poodle in side movement, The truest test, in my opinion, of the fit and function of all parts. What you have done is to judge the overall picture, made your first cut on type, and rewarded the soundest of your typical specimens. An untypical Poodle that is sound is useless. A typical Poodle that is sound, IS PRICELESS! Information for these handouts was provided and prepared by: POODLE Club of America, Inc. 2007 Judges Education Committee Doris Cozart, President of PCA and William Cunningham, Committee Chair