BIJOU STANDARD POODLES
Questions I get asked all the time
© 2012 Laura Turner
About showing a Red Standard Poodle
I see my web page copied on many other Poodle Breeder's web pages.
Please if you enjoy what you read here, just link to my page, instead of copying it and
flaunting it as your own thoughts and words. Spend some time thinking for yourself, like I do.
You common offenders, know who you are
It makes so much sense to take the Red to Red to improve color and
to get deeper darker Reds, why has it been done sooner?
Breeding like colours to like colours is not a new idea.
This practise is why there are such great solid colours today.
It is also all blue printed out for breeders in this book:
The New Poodle [Hardcover] by Mackey J. Irick Jr. (Author).
This is a very informative about various lines and colour breeding.
Of course I have even simplified this more on my web page:
My goal would to be to continue to educate Poodle Breeders about the
importance to keep a dark solid colour, pure and not introducing dilutes such as cafe, silver, blue
which can totally destroy a dark solid colour breeding program, just because that is all they have to breed with.
Why is it that AKC show judges are so against Red poodles?
I don't think AKC judges are "against" reds so much as we need to present them
with a great red and present this red in the same manner as the usual colours like black or whites are presented
which means using all the same skills, training, cheats, tricks, choosing shows and judges carefully, filling the classes
getting our competitors to work with us for our wins, grooming and having them presented
by recognizable Pro handlers and a red might just stand a chance
at becoming a Champion "despite" it being a Red Standard Poodle.
Producing real reds of show quality, has taken a very long time.
This is because most red breeders are breeding for quick buck to mass produce the latest trend in colour,
that the public want, with no concern about proper Poodle Structure or health.
So finding healthy, sound "real" reds to start a red breeding program with, is difficult.
The path to 'create' deep dark reds with type and health, as a result, takes years and a small fortune.
Sadly, not many breeders will embark on this arduous task, so as of 2014 there are only a handful
of 'real' dark red breeders and even fewer that have completed any health testing and out of those very few
only one or two 'real' red breeders, that have gone to even higher standards
and proven their dog's ability and intelligence, through titling in events.
This is how we show our Poodles "naturally" - This is how the same Poodle would have to look to show in AKC
As of 2012 Bijou Poodles have Reds of quality that would rival any more common colour in the AKC show ring,
but we lack the desire to maintain that AKC show coat, because doing so would be depriving our Poodles of a normal lifestyle
that our Poodles so enjoy. We also do not agree with confining show Poodles or using the artifice required to show in AKC show ring
so we will continue to exhibit our Poodles "naturally" in UKC and appreciate the skill and ability of those that do compete with full AKC show coats.
The red breeders that are Reputable and out Showing and Trialing (breeding with a purpose)
are dealing with reds with generally thinner coats (just like red headed humans), light eye colour, round eyes, softer coats, lower tail sets, mismarks
poor or incomplete pigmentation and who are not hyper, pacey, or high strung in temperament, that does so well in the show ring.
The other problem I have seen for years, especially when reading online Poodle forums
and reading the many comments, is the lack of basic knowledge of the AKC Standard Poodle breed standard
by the public and even sadder by self proclaimed experts of the breed, "Breeders".
I have seen photos of blacks on forums that are either dish muzzled, or have a roman nose, are over angulated, round eyes
light eyes, dyed mismarks, no shelf, sickle hocked and with gay tails, that the majority of 'people' on these forums
claiming these Poodles are the good examples of our breed, that reds should be bred to, in order to improve type !
Let me be VERY clear ** a Poodle that runs on it's hocks (like a German Shepherd) is WRONG ! no matter how pretty.
A Poodle that is sickle hocked with a gay tail, is WRONG no matter how pretty or flashy it looks.
These are structural defects, that will destroy the health of our breed, if we keep importing and or producing these defective Poodles.
So bad type is also being perpetuated by those that just lack knowledge about correct breed standard (free online to read).
So not only are reds being poorly bred by those that don't care, but they are being poorly bred by those that lack basic knowledge.
This has prompted me to put together this page: Poodle Structure in hopes to not only educate by the use of illustrations
but also for myself to refer back to, to keep the breed "ideal" or breed's "blue print" fresh in my mind.
The public and especially those that call themselves 'breeders' need to be aware of is;
Just because a dog has championed does not mean it is a good example of our breed and of course alternately
just because a dog doesn't have a championship does not mean it is inferior.
Anyone calling themselves a "Breeder" needs to know their Breed's breed standard !
Poodles are generally only finished by Professional Handlers.
TOP professional handlers will not usually take a red to show (cause they don't wish to loose)
so judge recognition (politics) also do not weigh in the favour of a red.
Top Professional handlers will also give best grooming, training and use all the tricks such has dying coats, plucking white hairs out
using the best products to thicken and coursen coats, wiggies or switches, product up the anus to keep tails held high
deprivation and or drugs, to get that poodle all hyped up for the ring, eye drops, nose and nail colour
all to best present a Poodle.
White Poodle getting ready for showing in Westminster.
Starting off with a Pink nose and no pigmentation..... with black nose and black pigmentation just in time for the ring
Tricks that the normal public would not even know to use or how to apply.
So that leaves red breeders hiring a lesser known handler or showing themselves and showing against the Top Pro Handlers
who are out every single weekend showing, whose faces are in every dog show magazine in full page color advertisements.
This is why showing a red standard Poodle as of 2013 and for a long time, will be a challenge.
OF course nothing is impossible.
As of 2013 there have been 7 Red Standard Poodles finishing their AKC championships as reds.
Selecting shows, hiring the best handlers you can, selecting judges that appreciate color, filling classes
starting with a decent quality Poodle, having superior grooming skills, having superior handling skills
are all methods one can use in order to have the best chance at finishing a Red.. or any Poodle.
When you look at the AKC breed standard and see how the "value of points" is awarded
you can see reds until recently would have come up lacking, based on these breed type.
(GrCh Bijou's Ooh la la UKC's 2011 #4 Poodle and GrCh Bijou's Dare to be Different UKC's 2011 #9 Poodle)
(GrCh "Bijou's Red Revolution UKC's 2013 #1 Poodle and GrCh "Bijou's Glorious Red of Rose" UKC's 2013 #6 Poodle)
People also have to realise that the first AKC Red Standard Poodle Championed in 1998.
From 1887-2013 (in 126 years !!) there have only been 7 AKC Champion Red Standard Poodles.
The first UKC Red Championed in 2000.
Reds were first accepted for showing in FCI in 2004.
The second UKC Red Standard Poodle Grand Championed in 2011 -
(Bijou's Red Razzberry of Majestic)
So considering Standard Poodles have been recognized by AKC since 1887 and United Kennel Club in 1914
you can see that it has been an up hill battle to perfect the red colour and to win in the show ring with a red.
Why do Reds do well in UKC and not AKC?
Reds are not so much a hit in UKC, but that the reds that are showing UKC have been better
quality Poodles than the other solid colours or Poodles that day, plus there are no professional handlers allowed
less political and no products or cheats can be used (or risk being excused) in UKC
so the best Poodle wins and not the handler or artifice wins, unlike AKC and CKC.
Or like I like to say "no politics, no products".
Without all the fake hair and products the poor quality AKC and CKC champions stand out like a sore thumb
UKC judges are also more aware and will reward correct structure and especially movement.
My Poodles are groomed on the Wednesday or Thursday before a UKC show and then
just fluffed or combed before entering the ring because UKC states,
"showing the dog naturally, with minimal grooming"
I love what AKC Judge Bonnie Linnell Clarke said about over grooming
"Fix it in the whelping box, not in the tack box".
Why is the type taking so long to improve on reds ?
Unfortunately, breeders that do not show or trial don't care about improving type, health or quality
as there is no profit in that. They only care about producing pups for profit $$ so type is not improved.
Alternately Reputable Breeders that get into reds, want to immediately improve type.
Nice blacks and apricots are common, so red breeders end up taking 1 step forward by breeding to a black carrying recessives or an apricot
and then they end up taking two steps back by producing a litter of blacks carrying dilutes or producing apricots.
They will then bred a puppy from that to another black carrying dilute. The result is they have lost colour, type and coat.
When they never obtain real dark reds, or reds that hold colour, they usually abandon the red program
or keep struggling to breed reds by using blacks carrying recessives or apricots and getting light reds or apricots again and again.
Two recessives bred together can not..I repeat..100% can not ....produce a dominate such as red.
This page contains links to information about *Colour Breeding
What is most often quoted to me about my focus on cementing the red gene is
"You don't paint the house before it is built"
Well I see amazing type already established in some Standard Poodle lines, so really what are breeders waiting for?
One should just be able to take a superior black poodle with type, breed it to a red and one should end up with superior reds... right ?
Well kind of. Taking an ideal dark black carrying no recessives and then breeding those progeny
to a dark red should accomplish type and colour on reds.
However almost every red breeder has tried this path and failed in their red program,
because the blacks they use carry dilutes and recessives
The real dark red gene is elusive. Without starting with a dominate "real" red, a breeder will never end up with
a real dominate red that holds colour. This is why still to this day, real dark reds are so rare and difficult to find and produce.
and why I have chosen to focus on 'attempting' to consistently producing deep dark red with type.
Standard Poodle type is established. What is not established is the red colour.
My approach is to perfect colour, using the best quality dominate real reds that I can,
remembering to "not throw the baby out with the bathwater".
Once Colour (of course health and temperament included) is established and cemented, it has been my experience,
that type can be easily tweeked and manipulated through select breeding to superior stock.
But I have to have the deep dark red colour to start with, or I just won't have real dark red colour.
As of 2013 I'm still trying to identify the dominate red gene carriers and producers, with all completed health testing.
You can read more about the history of Red Standard Poodles here:
You can read more about Colour Breeding here:
Producing real dark red that is dominate red and will hold colour is very difficult because breeders
that care, wish to maintain coat colour and try to improve type without loosing the colour.
Of course once dominate red gene is established, improving type will be a breeze with the aid
Of a SUPERIOR dominate black (carrying no recessives).
I intend to prove this once I have cemented and identified the dominate red gene
and hopefully when this happens we can establish DNA testing specifically for the rufus gene.
Showing the Poodle in AKC or CKC
Example of Wiggies or Switches that the pros put into their Show Poodles Top Knots
to make the coat look thicker and more even, for grooming.
Kind of like temporary hair extensions humans wear.
OK so you are thinking about showing AKC or CKC,
Great you are every Poodle Breeders dream owner.
The Poodle in the above photo is how your poodle needs to look.
How is this achieved ?
Skilled grooming for certain, Daily coat conditioning and of course Wiggies or Switches (fake hair).
According to this poodle's groomer, the poodle in the photo above had 4 wiggies woven in her top knot.
You don't weave them in, you place them in the bands on the head as you are banding up their topknots.
Since bands are only allowed to be placed back to the occiput for show poodles, generally you won't find any wiggies beyond that point.
The dog's natural hair must be about the same length as the wiggies for it to look ok. They are there to provide body and thickness.
On this particualr dog the groomer tried to show her once as an adult without wiggies, and she said "you could basically see right thru
her topknot when it was all sprayed up. She doesn' t have the natural thickness to pull it off without the switches".
And before anyone says this is not possible...YES I have seen pro-handlers/groomers do this at a CKC dog show.
The before and after is way too amazing to describe. You would have to see the difference extra fullness and height makes in person.
If done properly the judges will not feel them, because they are banded in with the elastics holding the real hair in place.
Yes it is forbidden and you would get disqualified if found, but because "everyone" does it, judges have been conditioned to
overlook it and not say anything in AKC or CKC show rings.
Handlers/pro groomers may also dye their dog's coats to brighten the coat, correct colour and or hide mismarks.
Noses and lips and eye rims can be dyed and or tatoo'd black if the pigmentation is incomplete
Missing, misaligned or broken teeth receive dental care, whitening, braces and or bonding to correct.
Hair is enhanced with numerous products left in, to thicken and coursen the coat.
Eye drops can be used to dilate the pupils on a light coloured dog.
Gaits are analysed with hawk like precision and videos to figure out the correct speed for that individual dog to obtain that perfect gait.
There are MANY more "tricks of the trade" that are used to show dogs and especially poodles.
You can have the best poodle in the world but how that 2 feet of show coat is presented, will soon seperate a novice from a pro.
Coupled with the fact that Poodle Pro Handlers have been doing grooming and showing often since the time they could walk
really has the novice at a disadvanage, especially with the Poodle breed and even more so with a rare colour like red or brown.
Of course NOTHING is ever impossible. You can certainly do it yourself but I feel it is important to not disallusion anyone to the
amount of daily work involved and what you will be up against so you can prepare yourself.
In UKC shows we are not allowed hair spray, chalking, or any of the usual grooming products used to spruce up Poodles and or any breed.
If anyone is caught using any "products" they will be disqualified.
Owners FINALLY have a venue to show their poodles in a natural state
and with other owner handlers, because UKC does not allow any professional handlers.
However, this being said, more and more poodles are showing up in UKC that have "Continental" Clips
with owners who had hired pros to champion them in AKC or CKC and now want the opportunity to show their own poodles to a title
These same owners are used to using products and other enhancements, so we may see some "switches" and sprays
soon being used in UKC. It will be up to the "BETTER" judges to set a president that this will not be tolerated.
If one judge lets is slide then the others will as well. However if one judge disqualifies this then others will take notice as will exhibitors.
SHOWING AKC OR CKC .. THE RAW TRUTH
Everyone at shows will be friendly with you when you first start showing.
This is because you are a potential client or... a "filler" for the classes for points,
meaning will provide points for their dog that clients hired them to show and win with.
So of course when you first start showing, those with your breed will be very friendly as they
want you to keep coming out to shows, so they can finish their dog with majors that your dog provides.
So do keep this in mind. You will see their true colours, when you start beating everyone :)
Only the very very top Pro handlers will refuse a Poodle they don't think they will win with.
This is because they have a winning reputation to "maintain" and already have a full truck of show dogs.
They are not usually hurting for clients and so can be select with what they take.
Wil Alexander and Allison Foley are such handlers in Canada
In Ontario there is Alysia Reichertz, Peter Scott, Chrystal Murray
In USA there is Kaz Hosaka, Ann Rairigh
Of course who ever you choose, it would be a good idea
to make sure they are a member of one of the following associations:
Canadian Professional Handlers
Professional Handler's Directory
Average handlers are all hurting for money, and will "usually" take almost "any" Poodle to show
Poodles of course being more work...but also their biggest money maker, because handlers
charge for extra grooming they do. AND even a crappy poodle in a full stunning coat will beat a better dog
at group level because the judges know how much work goes into maintaining that coat
So handlers do like to take a Standard Poodle to show.
if you dont believe me... be at ringside when the group gets called in the ring and hear the groans
of "oh dang here comes a poodle" cause everyone knows this.
Flash tends to win and wins make a handler's reputation, so taking a mediocure poodle in the ring is worth the risk.
Most times regular handlers, will take anything, because they need it to fill a class for a long time client to finish their dogs.
So when looking for a handler always ask how many other Poodles they are showing.
Ask if they are showing a "champion" to Grand or to campaign or are they showing "class" dogs.
If they are showing Champions, that is OK cause yours is a class dog and will only have to beat
other class dogs to get points towards their championship, so your handler will give their best to your dog
at class level. But be aware that they will hand your Poodle off to their helpers and show their champion (specials)
Poodle for best of breed ring as that is their main focus.
IF they tell you they have a class Poodle to finish, well you will be paying them a few months
until that 1st Poodle is finished, before they will really concentrate on yours to finish.
They will use yours to give their first client's poodle the points to finish (yours will be the "filler")
now this is NOT unusual....
Every new Poodle show person will be paying their dues and your Poodle will be out learning the show ring
and getting experience , being trained and getting professionally groomed, basically used to the whole show idea.
Sooo you have to decide if you are comfortable with spending money on that or not.
OF course handlers will network with each other and wheel and deal to finish
a certain Poodle and then they pay that handler back by loosing to them at a different show.
Showing is a big game and you should learn the rules before you spend a fortune.
A handler that is really respected, will not be afraid to tell you
your poodles faults (every poodle even BOB at Westminster will have faults)
and they had better be able to spot them !!! They will also be able to share with you
how they will work around that... if poor side gait they will tell you what they will do to hide that
if poor topline they will have a solution, dish face they will share all this with you...
If they can't tell you any faults...RUN... cause they either don't know, or are blowing smoke up your butt.
Generally it is $1000.00-$1500.00 a month and could take up to a year if you send your puppy away.
That is including boarding, grooming, training, health care, gas, handling...
and with a poodle to maintain that coat...well they are earning that pay.
Another way to show is to get the Poodle professionally groomed every couple weeks and trian
them yourself at home and hand off puppy to the handler, the night before the show...
Most handlers will not be happy with this arrangement...
Handing off your Poodle at ring side or the night before the show to the handle
will save you the cost in boarding and maintanence, which hopefully you could do yourself at home.
Now the Problem with handing off your Poodle last minute is a couple things that can happen:
1. That your Poodle will be so preoccupied looking for "mommy" that your Poodle will not respond to the handler
or perform well because they are just too anxious or worried, basically too distracted and not focused.
2. That your Poodle won't be really "ON" for the show.
When a dog is at home they usually get plenty of attention and are "relaxed" at the show.
A dog sent off with a handler... well that dog is pretty isolated and confined to save the coat...
and because they have other dogs to work with... so the result is when your Poodle or that dog gets to the show
and gets attention and gets to move and is pampered over, oh boy they are "ON"
and really show excited and animated, which is what all the judges wish to see.
Truthfully a Poodle and a nice apricot, should do well and be able to finish at the right shows, under the right judges
This is when a handler is an asset, as most them know what "types" of Poodles each judge likes
and what is a good show to go to, they will also contact their buddies to fill the classes for them
and a handler will groom a Poodle perfectly and show them wonderfully as well.
Many times novices or people new to Poodles and new to Poodle breeding think I'm exaggerating the show game.
I have finished Black Russian Terriers, Rottweilers, Bulldogs, whippets, greyhounds, bulldogs,
Bostons, Dalmatians, toy Poodles, Chinese Crested, pugs, you name the breed and I have probably shown it.
As a result of my experience I know the many tips and tricks to hide many faults, gaits, temperaments.
Most new conformation people don't believe me when I tell them the truth about the show game.
But then again in 2006 when I posted on the forum about people dying their Poodle coats and putting
in wiggies or switches in their coats, no one had ever heard of that or believed me then about that either...LOL
But of course none of the "experts" on the Poodle forums, had ever championed a dog before ...LOL
My show experiences stems from the fact that I have been in the game, handling "non-coated"
breeds for 24 years to Best in Specialty wins, many Group wins and have CKC Championed
many dogs of all breeds against the top handlers in Canada, and I'm very familiar with the sport.
As for learning conformation... I did put together this web page to not only help others
but for me to refer back to, because yes I do need refreshers now and again ;)
One last tip, NEVER EVER share with any of your competition (other standard Poodle breeders)
ANY faults that you feel your show dog has. They will find enough on your dog, all on their own
without you helping them out or arming anyone with this information to use against you.
Don't be afraid to make friends with people with "other" breeds at the shows.
1. they won't be afraid to give you helpful tips
2. they can help you and you them
3. they will openly share helpful information on breeding, networking, grooming, because you won't be their competion.
People new to the sport or the breed, often think they can only learn from people with the same breed.
What they forget or might not realise is that a lot of information that can be learned or shared, is not breed specific.
AND what a huge missed opportunity, to learn from others.
Banding your poodle's precious hair will be required if you are growing in coat for show.
I can't say enough about this AMAZING Grooming web page by Ridgewood Poodles !!
VIDEOS ON HOW TO GROOM
Super Styling Session - Continental Trim
Educational Master Grooming Video Series
Muddy Creek Grooming Video
Wizard of Paws Grooming
Video Grooming Show Poodles
LIST OF GROOMERS THAT HAVE BEEN RECOMMENDED TO ME:
Cillas Canine Coiffure
Groomer: Priscilla Suddard (AWARD WINNING GROOMER !!!)
756 Albert Street, Oshawa ON, L1H4T6
Phone: (905) 432-1806
Bryson Academy of Grooming/Dogs (AWARD WINNING GROOMER !!!)
Groomer: Nancy Bryson
15964 Airport Road, Caledon East ON, L7C1K5
Brielle Poodle Grooming
Michelle and Peter Scott and Katheryn Murray - Professional Handlers and Groomers
RR#3, 56 Gilmour Rd.
Guelph, ON, N1H 6H9
Phone: (519) 763-1689
B-Pro Dog Grooming Academy
23 Conservation Drive or 8460 Torbram Road
Brampton, Ontario L6Z 4R3
(905) 840-0499 or 905-792-3093
Simply the Best Dog-Gone Salon
Groomer: Valerie Weston
135 Avenue Rd (2nd floor) Toronto, Ontario Canada M5R 2H7
Byron Pet Salon
1304 Commissioners Road West
London, ON N6K 1E1
Telephone : 519-473-3214
Groom 'n' Style
2 Wignall Cres (on Hwy 7)
Unit B, Markham, ON L3P 1C1
Groomer: Kelli Gilliss
The Puppy Spa
Groomer: Jodi Murphy
Great Meadows, NJ 908-637-0388
The Dog From Ipanema
Groomer: Jarbas Godoy is Copper's Groomer
7230 SW 57th Avenue
South Miami, Florida 33143
(305) 663-1712 or email@example.com