Protecting our Breed
Fellow Guardians of The Breed Unite!
That means You!
I particularly enjoy being contacted by the potential Standard Poodle parent who has found me through my website. These people have done some homework and generally know what they are looking for in a Standard Poodle. They have read about the breed on the web or other sources. Many have parented a Standard Poodle before or currently have a Standard that would like a buddy. They know that they just wouldnxt be happy with any other breed. So let’s look at the word “Breed”. MSN Encarta Dictionary defines “Breed” as:
- BIOLOGY distinct animal or plant: a strain of an animal or plant with identifiable characteristics that distinguish it from other members of its species, especially one whose characteristics are preserved by controlled mating or propagation
- somebody or something of particular type: a particular type of thing or person, especially one that can be easily distinguished from other similar things or people
In animal breeding, we refer to the “identifiable characteristics that distinguish it from other members of its species” as the “Breed Standard”.
MSN Encarta Dictionary defines “Standard” as:
2. level of quality accepted as norm: a level of quality or excellence that is accepted as the norm or by which actual attainments are judged (often used in the plural )
An educated breeder is working toward attaining the “Breed Standard” when breeding the animal of their choice.
The “Breed Standard” of an animal is determined by the top guardian bodies over the breed. This is the “Breed Club”. These Clubs are made up of individuals who, in many cases, have devoted their lives to the improvement of their breed of choice. In the case of the Standard Poodle, the governing body is the Poodle Club of America (PCA).
The purebred dogs we see today were developed long ago by individuals who had in mind specifications of what they fancied to be the perfect dog. These preferences were influenced by a) region, b) the practicality of utility needed, such as hunting, pulling, c) any other performance attributes, and of course d) what they felt the dog should look like.
Purebreds were developed by finding dogs that had those desired characteristics and breeding them to one another. Generations later, they had their dog of choice in looks, temperament and performance. In many cases there were familial breedings, as it was found that this amplified the desired traits hoped for. In other words, the purebreds didnxt just happen, they were DEVELOPED.
As the breeding of purebreds took on, interested communities were formed of like-minded individuals interested in a specific breed.
Newcomers looked to those who had been in the breeding world to validate that they were truly breeding toward the desired established “Standard”, thus the show dog world was born. People learned from those who had been around for years and years which animals they should choose for their breeding program, so that the breeding done would result in a dog that was to the “Standard of that Breed”. That’s why we show our dogs. It’s not just a fashion show so that our egos can bask in the glory of the “My dog is better than your dog” mentality. At least it’s not supposed to be.
When people inquire about possibly adopting a puppy and they say “I don’t want a show dog, just a pet” I wonder if they know that an educated breeder will always be breeding toward “the standard of the breed”. The dogs that hold championships or have immediate relatives who are champions are the only dogs that can truly claim they have been validated as being within the “Standard of the Breed”. That way when a prospective new parent takes their new puppy home they are truly getting a Standard Poodle, not a diluted version bred by someone who has no idea what “the standard of the breed” is. Not all puppies are show dogs, this is true. But those involved in breeding purebred dogs do have a responsibility to hold true to the guidelines set down by those who have devoted their lives to, studied what a Standard Poodle looks like, what the temperament of the breed should be and basically knows a poodle when they see one.
I mean honestly! Some of the websites I have visited claim they have poodles, but when I look at the pictures I donxt see poodles, I see something that has similar characteristics to the poodle but… Oh my goodness! What happened??? I think Joe public deserves to get a poodle when he purchases a poodle!
I am asking the public to “join in the ranks” and help us to protect our breed by demanding that breeders stay within the guidelines that have been set forth by those who know what a Standard Poodle is: a wonderful and devoted companion who happens to be a gorgeous descendant from royalty. Oh, sorry I got carried away!
The Standard Poodle is a joy to share your life with. When a Standard Poodle prances across your yard it should be like beautiful music in motion. A Standard Poodle is a Standard Poodle because those who bothered to become educated implemented proper breeding practices and made the REAL Standard Poodle what it is today.
This is a serious matter to those of us who love our breed. It should be a serious matter to those who want to share their home with a Standard Poodle. If breeders follow hit and miss guidelines and breed their Standard Poodle because “it says right here on these here AKC papers that I have a genuine Standard Poodle” (Strong hillbilly accent), we will lose our breed entirely! Very sad that day will be. The Standards will become so degraded that they will be hardly recognizable as a Standard Poodle. Believe me, it’s already happening!
An educated public can have influence over the future of our wonderful breed. The Standard Poodle needs you! Please purchase puppies from those who are educated. Minimally they should know what a Standard Poodle should look like, act like and what diseases the Standards are predisposed to. Make sure they test the parents of the puppies for the genetic illnesses that Standards are predisposed to. Ideally, the breeder has some Champions around and is active in the dog show world keeping up to date on the latest innovations that will make our beautiful Poodles even healthier and more gorgeous.
I speak about the Standard Poodle in this article but this situation is not exclusive to Standard Poodles. The same phenomenon is happening in all purebreds as they gain in popularity. Tell your friends and they can tell their friends and together we can keep our purebreds xpurex for all to enjoy for future generations.
Fellow Guardian of The Breed
Admiration Standard Poodles