The Kiss (and Swoon)

August 4, 2023

Historically, the Poodle is a German breed, bred for the retrieving of downed game birds in the water. The elaborate coat trims have evolved from those early days when long hair in some portions of the body helped keep the dog warm while shaved portions helped streamline its swimming in the water.

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Today's trims are for looks and enhance this extremely elegant and graceful breed.

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Poodles are also extremely intelligent, argued by some the most intelligent of all dogs. The esteemed Poodle fancier and judge Mrs. Anne Rogers Clark used to say: "Poodles are Labrador Retrievers with a college education...."

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I grew up with miniature and toy Poodles and have a deep appreciation for them. My grandmother raised and groomed them; they were not show dogs but they were smart, affectionate, and made the best companions.

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I spent my childhood on the farm accompanied for several years by a miniature named "Tammy" who was up for anything we kids wanted to get into.

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Poodles have always seemed to me to be a breed that you must have a relationship with in order to get the best out of them. They're not a "hand 'em off" breed at ringside. They want to feel special, they want to have conversations, talk about their feelings, express themselves. They want intimacy. To be a real Poodle person, I think you have to understand that. I've captured a few such moments in the show ring at Grayslake, Illinois last month.

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The exhibitor is Jody Garcini, the dog is GCH Huffish Born This Way. The pair were Best of Breed and also won the Non-Sporting group that day.

© 2017 Vicki DeGruy, all rights reserved. See more photos from this show here: Grayslake cluster 2017

Canon 1DX II, f/2.8, 1/200, ISO 5000

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