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Meet Our Poodles... Our References... Web Page Links

Questions Answered... Whats New at Bijou...Bijou Difference

Contact us: brownpoodles@yahoo.com


CKC GRCH "Bijou's Red Poppy From Reva" - CKC's first Red Grand Champion
CKC GRCH, UKC GRCH "K-Lar's Chocolate Charm of Bijou" - CKC's first Female Brown Grand Champion

Special thanks to Allison Foley for finishing my kids, to this amazing, unbelievable Achievement !!

Questions I get asked all the time
About Showing My Red Standard Poodles

© 2012 (updated 2017) Bijou Standard Poodles
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

*Showing Information - (for Bijou puppy people, please ask for link)
*What to Pack for a Dog Show
*Dog Show Car Ideas
How To Win the Westminster Dog Show with a Poodle
School of Westminster
Grooming Trends over the Years

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It makes so much sense to take the Red to Red to improve colour and
to get deeper darker Reds, why has it been done sooner?

Breeding like colours to like colours is not a new idea and not "MY" idea.
It is how I have chosen to breed to achieve my dark brown and red colour.
I believe type can be improved at any time in a program, but without colour
well you just will never have the colour.

I'm going to talk about "Red" on this page, but all the same rules apply to Brown.

Breeding like colour to like colour 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:
The reason breeders run to use different colours is to immediately try to improve "type"
because they believe this practice will accomplish that goal for them, because "everyone" says it will.

My goal would to be to continue to offer information to people 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
and to a lesser extent not using whites.

Of course I should mention Parti colour, which can be lovely and yet to be destroyed
by show breeders exaggerating type, to win at shows, once in a program will take decades to loose.
If you have a poodle with Parti color and wish to breed, then you should only do Parti program
or if you wish to do a solid program, start over with new lines parti color free.
Once introduced, "pattern", is a very dominate gene.
As everyone also knows, Parti color as of 2017 is still a Disqualification in AKC and CKC
but is very welcome and can be shown in United Kennel Club Shows, and ABIDS shows.

To improve on type, if an outcross is needed, and there is no solid "Red" that can do this
then ideally a dominate black (carrying no other colours)
should be used that holds all the desired qualities needed
and a black that is prepotent enough, to pass those qualities on.

This means using a black that carries NO OTHER COLOUR other than black.
You will of course only produce, "visual" blacks that will carry and can produce red.
(ONLY the shade of red that is behind that black) black does not improve colour.

This is a bit of a long end game, type of breeding, to achieve the goal of improving reds.
As you have to keep black "carriers" and breed them to visual reds or other black "carriers"
in order to achieve visual red puppies eventually, but "hopefully" the resulting pups
will display the best qualities, ofI believe if enough dark red breeders practiced this, we would soon have
a greater gene pool for our reds, and achieve better body, coat and heads.
IF and only IF we use the best blacks, and reds to achieve this and NOT just the most "winning"
some of the most winning blacks have serious structural issues, that should just not be perpetuated.
It is really up to breeders to know the breed standard and know the difference.

A lot of breeders forget or don't know, that cream, apricot, white can NOT produce red.
To put it in a way that everyone will understand... apricot/cream actually BLOCKS the red gene from being produced.
THOUGH... such breedings can produce "pups" that as puppies appear very dark, but will all fade to apricot or cream.
What my statement actually means, is that recessives can not produce a dominate gene.
Black and Red are dominate genes (they can "carry/produce" other colors).
It does not make ANY sense to use those recessive colours
or any black carrying those recessive colors into a Red program.

However do not believe me, just because it is written here. Do your own research, and you will see
there are breeders that have been using dark apricot (they may call them red) and or cream
in their programs for over 10 years and still to this day, wondering why they have not improved type
and they can't produce a dark red, or a red that holds colour, beyond the first 1-3 years of age.
Then look at our Reds that at over 8 or 10 years of age are still dark red like our Razz
and you can see that we have achieved dark red colour that holds
and we have proven we also have type, through achieving Canadian Kennel Club
and UKC Grand Champion Titles on our 3rd and 4th generation of Red kids.

Breeders will also use apricots, because it will give them visual reddish pups to sell (that will of course "fade")
because it is easier to sell visual red/apricot pups, or as breeder's they just like what they are doing.

1. NEVER EVER breed a red or brown that has silver, blue, cafe, apricot, white in the pedigree
2. Generally your puppy will appear like their parents. Faded or light parents will create that in their pups
3. Black (real black not a dyed blue) does not increase darkness of red or brown coats.
4. Black (real black, not a dyed blue) could be used in a red/brown program as long as does not carry any other colour
5. IF Black carries the red/brown gene it will not improve those colours, only produce the brown/red that is behind them.
5. Black will "carry" red/brown gene and not alter the red/brown gene.
6. Apricot/Cream will NOT carry red, which means apricot/cream will actually "block" the red gene
7. White (real white not a cream, called white) will cause mismarks.
7. Silver, Blue, Cafe DESTROY the red and brown colour in Poodles.
8. Silver and Blue should ONLY ever be used in a Silver, Blue, Sable, Brindle breeding programs.

Why do Reds do well in UKC and not AKC or CKC ?

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, of that day.
UKC judges are very hands on, and also rewards ability to function, over grooming or big show coats, unlike CKC or AKC.

In 2017 in the AKC/CKC show rings, many Poodles showing, are sickle hocked with gay tails
straight shoulders, no chest and chicken boning with either no angulation or, very VERY over angulated.
I have seen some that even crab and hop, to compensate for being so over angulated or straight shouldered.

So in UKC we see owners of AKC/CKC Champion blacks/whites/silvers come out to UKC
showing themselves, fully expecting to easily win, but without products and pro handlers
they end up VERY surprised and shocked, to loose to a Poodle in a Sporting Clip, that is structurally better
and can't figure out why and leave in a huff without asking the judge to learn more.
When I started out in UKC I ASKED the judges, why my kids were winning over these huge show coated poodles
because frankly I was amazed... then they told me, the coats were hiding sway backs, lack of chest and straight shoulders
that could only be detected through really watching the gait and putting hands on the poodles.

AND THAT, is the reason reds (and browns) may do better in UKC that other solid colours, of that day
because so far UKC Red Show breeders have not exaggerated the reds, to the point that they are "Flashy not Functional"
like the more common colours we see in the AKC/CKC rings.

Sadly in AKC/CKC the message being sent to Owners/Breeders is, CKC/AKC judges value Poodle grooming
and professional handlers, over a properly structured Poodles.
That type of judging just does not happen, or rarely happens, in UKC Shows.
UKC judges usually select the best moving, best structured Poodle
"DESPITE" any grooming be it good or bad.
In UKC, judges have told me, they consider which Poodle (Gun Dog Group) meet the breed standard
and could physically carry a bird well, doing retrieves all day long.

Well, a Poodle that runs on it's hocks (like a German Shepherd) is WRONG ! no matter how pretty.
A Poodle that is sickle hocked, is WRONG no matter how pretty or flashy it looks.
Tails curled or carried over the back (Gay Tail) is a Major Fault, no matter that judges over look
Breaking or flipping at the pasterns, having weak pasterns, and flat feet, is less than ideal
These are structural defects, that will destroy the structure, of our breed
if we keep importing, producing, awarding, these Poodles with these faults.

Better quality Poodles are also winning in UKC
because 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, unlike AKC and CKC.
Or like I like to say "no politics, no products".

Without all the fake hair and products, and professional presentation of a pro handler
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".

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Why is it that AKC/CKC show judges are so against Red poodles?

Judges have been brain washed to believe that recessive colours are weak and of less quality.
As of 2016 There are AKC judges that will refuse to put up a red no matter the quality.
Myself and another red breeder have been the brunt of their frankness on the matter.
hopefully most judges won't be "against" reds, if we present them
with an "OK" red and present this red in the same quality and of course manner
as the usual colours like black or whites are presented
which means using a Professional Handler who will use all their skills and grooming
and a red will 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 2017 there are only a handful
of 'real' dark red breeders and even fewer that have completed any or ALL 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 Working/Performance Events.

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This is how we show our Poodles "naturally"     -     This is how the same Poodle would have to look to show in AKC/CKC

As of 2012 Bijou Poodles have Reds of quality that would rival any more common colour in the AKC/CKC show ring,
but we lack the desire to maintain that AKC/CKC show coat, because doing so would be depriving our Poodles of a normal lifestyle
that our Poodles so enjoy. Poodles left outside to play, will tug at each other's ears, chew each others necks because they
love to play tag with each other. Poodles in show coat also have to have their hair banded daily and washed weekly
(more care than most humans do for their hair). Treats or food given to a Show Poodle not wearing a snood means
that Poodle will probably be eating half of their ear hair off !
Most breeders just find it less damaging, to keep show Poodles isolated away from other dogs
and not running outside in the weather unless they are prepared to do 2 hours of grooming after.
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 and admire
from afar, the skill and ability, displayed by those that do compete with full AKC/CKC 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/CKC Standard Poodle breed standard
by the public and even sadder by self proclaimed experts of the breed, "Breeders".

One year I read that I was breeding Poodles that were Oversized on a Poodle forum.
Sadly the "breeder" (yes BREEDER) had no idea that the Standard Poodle has no height "limit"
and that a Standard Poodle is a poodle over 15" at the shoulder.
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
are claiming these Poodles are the good examples of our breed, that reds should be bred to, in order to improve type !

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 just 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' of red Poodles 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.
It is imperative that we BREEDERS know our breed standard, so we only use the best quality Poodles
in our breeding program, and not just use the most "winning", that might be inferior quality for a program.
In 2017 there is entire classes of over angulated, straight shouldered and poorly moving Standard Poodles
so these Poodles with serious defects are gaining their Championships, because there is nothing else for the judge to select from.

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, who is being owner handled
or by a lesser known handler (one not advertising their wins in all the dog magazines sent out free to judges)

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 courses coats, Wiggies or switches,
deprivation and or drugs, to get that poodle all hyped up for the ring, eye drops, nose and nail colour
and lets not forget also "Training", all to best present a Poodle.
I only know a lot of the tips and tricks I'm exposing here, because I have been showing many breeds
since 1989 right along side professional handlers.
Want to see who dyes their poodles, go to the washroom
after a big show and see the wiggies being washed out.
Tricks that the normal public would not even know to use or how to apply.

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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

So that leaves red breeders hiring a lesser known handler,
or, showing themselves, against the Top Pro Handlers who are out every single weekend showing,
whose faces are in every dog show magazine in full page colour advertisements.
This is why showing a red standard Poodle as of 2013 and for a long time,
will be a challenge for the Red "Breeder/Handler".

OF course nothing is impossible.
As of 2013 there have been 7 Red Standard Poodles finishing their American Kennel Club Championship (as reds).
As of 2016 there have been 13 Red Standard poodles finishing their Canadian Kennel Club Championship as reds.
As of 2017 there has been "1" Red Standard poodle finishing their Canadian Kennel Club Grand Championship (our own "Poppy")
Selecting shows, hiring the best handlers you can, selecting Foreign judges that don't know handlers
starting with an "OK" quality Poodle, having superior grooming skills, having superior handling skills
growing major length of show coat to enhance or hide any faults and really wow the judges
are all methods one can use, in order to have the best chance at finishing a Red.. or any Poodle.
CKC Championing a Red and or a Brown, has cost me around $4,000.00 - $5,000.00 each Poodle, just to give you an idea.
And we breeders do this, just to prove our Poodles are of quality to be reproduced.
Because anyone can "say" anything they want to, but titles are the ONLY tangible proof.


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Glory (red female), Kahlua (brown female), Spice (brown female), Pyro (red female), Charm (brown female)

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Poppy (red female), Bell (red female), Flame (red female), Cherub (brown female), Brightly (red female)

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Blush (red female), Daisy (brown female), Lily (brown female), Oscar (brown male), Mira (brown female

*New as of 2016
While attending a Canadian Kennel Club dog show in over 15 years absence
I was really horrified by some of the poor quality Poodles winning.
So much so, that I felt it was time to bring out my 3rd generation of properly structured Poodles to CKC
I really hoped that structure and movement would be rewarded, over immensely coiffed hair do's.
AND Thankfully it was !!

However, I knew I could not do this endeavour alone.
As I mentioned before, I have no idea or desire to learn how to keep CKC/AKC show coats.
So after great debate my mentor/friend helped me maintain the crazy long, knot free, show coats
at weekly intervals and extreme expense and hours of maintenance, because I insisted they still romp
and play with each other and enjoy the freedom of running in a yard.
My Poodles could still enjoy their usual lifestyle
and I was very fortunate to have the "Rock Star" of Dog Show Handling World
"Allison Foley", agree to handle these Poodle colours of red and brown
that I was told for years "will never win".
In twelve months time "5" of Bijou Standard Poodles Red Poodles CKC Championed.
My Red Poodles finished by winning Best of Breed and Group Placements, to CKC Champion
To top it all off, we also made Canadian Kennel Club History by producing the first
Grand Champion Red Standard Poodle in 127 years of CKC History
So Bijou Standard Poodles is forever in the CKC History books.


Every year UKC announces it's Top Ten Breed winners
this Award is achieved by earning a point for every dog in that breed, that is defeated
this is over competition from All of Canada, 50 USA States and 25 foreign Countries !
UKC Premier Dog Show has a greater entry, than Westminster Dog Show !!

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(GrCh Bijou's Ooh la la UKC's 2011 #4 Poodle     and     GrCh Bijou's Dare to be Different UKC's 2011 #9 Poodle)

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(GrCh "Bijou's Red Revolution UKC's 2013 #1 Poodle        and     GrCh "Bijou's Glorious Red of Rose" UKC's 2013 #6 Poodle)

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UKC 2x BIS, UKC RBIS, BPIS, RBPIS, UKC Grand Champion, CKC Champion
"Bijou's Glorious Red of Rose"
~ UKC's #3 Standard Poodle 2014 ~
~ UKC's #6 Standard Poodle 2013 ~

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CKC Grand Champion, UKC Grand Champion
"K-lar's Chocolate Charm of Bijou"
~ UKC's #3 Standard Poodle for 2016 ~

Reds were first accepted for showing in FCI in 2004.
People also have to realize 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 CKC Red Standard Poodle Championed in 2008.
From 1888 - 2015 (127 years !!) there have been only 15 CKC Champion Red Standard Poodles
With our own breeding, "Glory", "Pyro", "Poppy", "Bell", Flame being among the honoured.
From 1888-2015 (127 years) there has been only "1" CKC Red Grand Champion which was our own "Poppy" in 2016.
The first UKC Red Championed in 2000.
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 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"
The dominate 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.
Without colour you will not get colour.
So my plan in 2006 was to start with the colour I wanted and then selectively breed in type
and in 2010 I met my goal by producing "Ula". Unfortunately still unable to maintain a proper show coat
I never did get to have her shown in AKC or CKC but her half sister Glory did accomplish this in 2015.
I always say "proof is in the pudding".

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).

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(Blossom, Dare, Ula)

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.
Poodle owners and Red Standard Poodle breeders
were shocked when I shared this, in 2006, expressing their disbelief loudly.

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.
The groomer answers how this is 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 particular 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 analyzed 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 separate 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 disadvantage, 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.


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 :)

When looking for a handler, always ask how many other Poodles they are showing.
Ask if they are showing a "Specials" aka "champion" to Grand, or to campaign, or are they showing "class" dogs.
If they are showing Specials, 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, they will NOT have time for yours.
You will just be paying them a few months of boarding and coat maintenance until they have the time to show and focus on yours.
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....
Some handlers will say 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 in CKC and or AKC 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 features the breeder wishes to improve on)
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, entry fees...
and with a poodle to maintain that coat.

BEWARE....I have been ripped off by a few handlers during my learning process.
Handling is an unregulated industry. Breeders with a coated breed, or full time employment will often NEED
to use a handler to finish their dog. Handlers know this and feel very empowered as a result
and will often have "carte blanche" to rip owners off. It is up to owners to net work and share stories
to ensure we all send our fur kids, to only the handlers that will do the best by us and our dogs.

Handler #1
courted me at the shows, saying how they would love to get their hands on my puppy as they
could finish so quickly and easily, then for 8 months never even taking that poodle near a show
telling me to enter a few and then never attending the show (millions of excuses)
just charging me monthly boarding $$ and never sending me full body stacked photos !
and getting very belligerent, when I finally had to ask for "proof of life"

Handler #2
took my Poodle to a show and never ended up showing for 3 out of 4 shows
and if not busted by my friends attending the show,
they would have charged me handling for the full 4 shows !

Handler #3
assured me they would only show my Poodles, ended up bringing out
their own Poodle pups to show, and finish them, over mine.
I paid full entry and handling and grooming and boarding while this was going on
only to loose to their perfectly coiffed and trained poodles they spent time on !!
I only found this was going on, after a friend attending the show sent me photos
of the show catalog and videos.

Handler #4
Took my poodle puppy and never toiletted her and she soiled herself in the cage
at the dog show and needed to be bathed again
(I had already paid a groomer $80.00 to bath and blow the day before)
and charged me $200.00 to bath her, even though it was their negligence that lead to the bath !
They didn't find her until it was 2 hours before she had to go in the ring and didn't have time
they said, to get her ready to show, so she missed 2 shows !!
AND he still charged me full handling fee !

Handler #5
known for showing various breeds including Poodles I trusted this handler that was local.
My poodle's coat was clipped short leg poms cut way too short
and my friend captured this handler on video ignoring the judge, not stacking my Poodle
and basically walking around the ring with a Poodle known for movement.
The other competitor was an owner handler doing a very poor job of showing.
We can only surmise this handler was under the influence at the time, as they were so out of it.
When confronted, of course they were VERY indignant.
This same handler I referred a friend to, that had an AKC bronze Grand Champion white male
He was returned to her after maybe 8 months, 20 lbs underweight and with the neck coat
all cut to maybe 8" loosing all his stunning show coat he arrived with.
She did finish his CKC Championship though despite is depression, and lack of care.

Handler #6 Terry Bernier

took my brown wiggies to use ($150.00 a switch) and never returned them
That is 16 x $150.00 = $2,400.00 taken from me !!!

Other Breeder/Owners have had dogs die being left under dryers
dogs injured and or returned sickly with kennel cough pneumonia.

Despite all the bad, I have obviously also had some fantastic Handler experiences
and those handlers I thank on my individual Poodle web pages ;)


Another way to show is to get the Poodle professionally groomed every couple weeks and train
them yourself at home and hand off puppy to the handler, the night before the show...
Handing off your Poodle at ring side, or the night before the show, to the handler
will save you the cost in boarding and maintanence, which hopefully you could do yourself at home.
and also ensure your poodle is getting the care and attention they should have.

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.

The only 100 % safe way to ensure your Poodle is being cared for mentally and physically
is to learn how to do it and handle and groom yourself.

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 "usually" groom perfectly and show wonderfully, especially if you are there.

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..
But of course none of the "experts" on the Poodle forums, had ever championed a dog they bred before !

My show experiences, stems from the fact that I have been in the game, handling "non-coated"
breeds since 1989 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 ;)
Poodle Structure

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 in the ring.
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.
Also most long time reputable breeders have had a few different breeds in their journey and may have owned Poodles before.
AND what a huge missed opportunity, to learn from others.


Leading Edge Dog Show Academy

Tips and tricks to make the grooming process easier for both you and your poodle.
An online tutorial on how to show groom a Poodle, along with DVD's
Poodle grooming classes, taught by one of the most sought after, winning Poodle Handlers
All breed handling classes and Junior handling classes.
Allison also gives you feedback should you have any questions.
All online to learn at your own pace with interactive feedback.
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