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Old 03-08-2012, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Curly Tail... Don't Breed?

Here's Nimbus again (7 months old), in a proper stack I hope, the hair on his body isn't longer than 1 inch (he's just been clipped) so it shows his topline quite nicely




he does have a curly tail, I call it his monkey tail. This is how he usually holds his tail. In a tight curl



Aside from that being a major fault... how is the rest of him? People say not to throw out the baby with the bathwater, but is it ethical to breed from a poodle like him with such a curly tail? A lot of them have curved tails that are carried over the back (that I've seen at least), including the one at Crufts that was on TV earlier today. Not bad, but the tip was curved over the back which is against the breed standard. It certainly wasn't straight and held away from the body, anyway. But if all of the poodles with such curly tails were not bred, it would shrink the gene pool an aweful lot. What do you think?
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You live in a country that no longer docks. If you look at your boys tail, it is straight to the point where people used to dock. It is going to take years and years of careful breeding for straight tails to finally get them with regularity. My girl has a super long dock (only one or two joints removed) and her tail curls at about four inches up, also. If I breed her, I would make sure the male had a straight tail. For you, don't breed him to any girl without a straight tail.

To me the only major things your boy lacks (I do not consider a tail a major thing) is an elegant head, perhaps his back isn't flat (can't tell from this picture) and his shoulders are too far forward (along with 80% of all poodles). He has too much skin under his head (it should be tight- this is fairly minor). He is holding his head up very nicely, is a pretty color (same as my girl ) and appears to have some muscle and substance, which I prefer as long as he is still prancy and poodly in movement. His feet are near perfect. He looks square. His neck appears long enough, too. In your country, the heads are bulkier than they are here, but if you breed try to find a girl with a longer foreface and more chiseling under the eyes. Your dog has a nice straight nose- good.

I posted my girl for others thoughts. It is brave to do, but was helpful to me. I solidfied what I thought were her weaknesses and clarified the things to try and improve. You have to take your emotion out of it and look at your dog with a very critical eye.

There is a lot more to breeding than looks, also. I assume you would do all the health testing?
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Ditto what Outwest said. If his tail were docked, the flaw would not be visible.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you're putting him to stud, unless you have your own bitch you want to breed him with, then it will likely be others making the choice as to whether he is suitable to put with their bitch. :-)

The KC breed standard does not precisely say that a curly tail is a fault. It just says 'as straight as possible' for an undocked tail. It certainly doesn't say anything about it being a major fault, although it does say a few things about docked tails being carried wrong as faults. There's no uniformity in what their tails look like as the curly portion was historically removed and has not been selected for or fixed within the breed. Your curly-tailed dog is just as likely to produce a 'banana tail' (which seems to be the straightest you can get it on a poodle) as two banana tails are likely to produce a curly one.

(I think he is a nice boy, but his chest could be improved and he is too jowly. If you do breed him and decide to take a pick of the litter, I would go for the one with the tautest face as this seems to be something that is hard to breed out. The 'lump' in his back where his tail curls over may be an artifact of how he's been trimmed, or it may not.)

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Old 03-09-2012, 05:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just an FYI...
one of the reasons you do not want a curly tail on a poodle is that the tail can get caught on weeds etc when they are swimming, and they could potentially drown. Especially scary if the dog is going to be used for hunting and will likely encounter weed infested waters.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:09 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luvmyspoos View Post
Just an FYI...
one of the reasons you do not want a curly tail on a poodle is that the tail can get caught on weeds etc when they are swimming, and they could potentially drown. Especially scary if the dog is going to be used for hunting and will likely encounter weed infested waters.
I've never heard of a dog getting caught in the water and drowning because of the shape of its tail, and I suspect this may be one of the many tail docking myths in circulation. A curled tail isn't fixed rigidly in that shape like a boat hook -- it's just the position the dog habitually carries its tail in. The dog is able to straighten its tail, and frequently does when it is running and jumping. Dogs usually swim with their tails straight and level behind them to act as a rudder, and even if the curl in a dog's tail did get caught in reeds, the dog should be able to straighten its tail in order to extricate itself. :-)
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by outwest View Post
To me the only major things your boy lacks (I do not consider a tail a major thing) is an elegant head, perhaps his back isn't flat (can't tell from this picture) and his shoulders are too far forward (along with 80% of all poodles). He has too much skin under his head (it should be tight- this is fairly minor). He is holding his head up very nicely, is a pretty color (same as my girl ) and appears to have some muscle and substance, which I prefer as long as he is still prancy and poodly in movement. His feet are near perfect. He looks square. His neck appears long enough, too. In your country, the heads are bulkier than they are here, but if you breed try to find a girl with a longer foreface and more chiseling under the eyes. Your dog has a nice straight nose- good.
Quote:
Originally Posted by zyrcona View Post
(I think he is a nice boy, but his chest could be improved and he is too jowly. If you do breed him and decide to take a pick of the litter, I would go for the one with the tautest face as this seems to be something that is hard to breed out. The 'lump' in his back where his tail curls over may be an artifact of how he's been trimmed, or it may not.)
so his lacking points are coarse head, shoulders too far forward, jowls and of course that tightly curled tail. His good points are he's square, great feet, good neck, I'd say good ears too, they are long and poodley, leathers almost reaching the end of his nose when pulled forward. His movement is lovely to watch, from behind he looks like he is 'skipping' because he lifts his feet up when trotting

so, what is his chest supposed to be like? Anyone got pics?

This is his 'wet' photo before I blow-dried him, you can see his outline in case his back looked dodgy. to me it looks ok though?




Head shot




different angle, earlier pic so he is more fluffy




p.s. of course he will be health tested first! Health, temperament, THEN conformation is the criteria I think should be followed. His temperament is beautiful by the way. There's not a single bad bone in him!
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Old 03-10-2012, 02:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think a curly tail is going to bee seen more and more as they get docked longer and longer. Madonnas mom has a tail that curls but doesn't lay on the back...she finished very quickly. If you go to judges standard poodles and to their champion pages you can see her, "judges one way or another". With long hair trimmed the rig way you can barely tell. Madonnas tail curls over and I actually love it. It will look better when hair grows but it's ALWAYS up..a curly tail seems to be that way. I'd say from seeing how many finished dogs and bitches have this "fault" it is not a major consideration. Your boy is a handsome guy.
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Old 03-10-2012, 04:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I have a video of a puppy with the same type tail. I don't want to post it publicly as it was sent by the buyer, but will share if you email me godgahl @ frontier.com ( take out the spaces). This is the first time he learned to swim..and you will notice his tail goes out straight behind him and acts as a rudder. Unless a curled tail is calcified in place, it will stretch out.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:42 AM   #10 (permalink)
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You know, his shoulders don't look too bad in that wet picture. If you draw a line up the front leg it shouldn't intersect with the neck and his look further back then I thought. People trim the hair on the back short near the tail to make that area look flatter. He seems to have a lot of skin on his back, too. Maybe he will grow into all that skin .

He's a very good looking boy, but my understanding is that dogs almost always have a title of some kind. Many females do, but not as many. Mine has a UKC GrCh and isn't a particolored dog, so the UKC title doesn't mean nearly as much as an AKC CH. In a particolored dog, the UKC title is as much as you can get, so it means a little more for them. This means a dogs owner can refuse to breed to my bitch if they don't consider her good enough. If I breed my girl, I would like to find a dog with an AKC Ch. that would accept her.

Conformation titles aren't the only thing people look for, though. Some are more interested in preformance titles or the holy grail - both. Since my dog only has a UKC title and showing AKC isn't in the cards, I have been thinking about getting some kind of preformance title on her. That may make her more desireable to a nicer male. Right now we are working on tricks, though, and tricks don't have a title. You might like search and rescue or agility. There are companion and obedience titles, too.

If you are serious about it, you might want to look into working on one of these things for your dog since you aren't showing him for conformation.

Last edited by outwest; 03-10-2012 at 07:50 AM.
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