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Discussion Starter #1
We have had our Mercury for a week now and I have already given him 2 baths. The first one was because he was FILTHY when we brought him home and stunk, the second because he got carsick on himself. I was wondering if he needs a weekly or monthly bath or if less often would be better for his coat and skin.

He had very bad dandruff when we brough him home, probably because he was outside 24/7. It seems better now but am wondering what to use on him to condition his coat and skin. I am planning to put him in a show clip once he has enough hair. Any other advise to keep a 15 week old's coat in show condition as he grows would be greatly appreciated.
 

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We have had our Mercury for a week now and I have already given him 2 baths. The first one was because he was FILTHY when we brought him home and stunk, the second because he got carsick on himself. I was wondering if he needs a weekly or monthly bath or if less often would be better for his coat and skin.

He had very bad dandruff when we brough him home, probably because he was outside 24/7. It seems better now but am wondering what to use on him to condition his coat and skin. I am planning to put him in a show clip once he has enough hair. Any other advise to keep a 15 week old's coat in show condition as he grows would be greatly appreciated.
Wash him every 10 days to two weeks, (maybe stretch it out to every three weeks until his skin gets better) make sure you are brushing all the hair and making sure there are no matts or tangles before you wash him.

feeding a good quality food will make his skin and coat better especially the foods with fish as the protien source.

make sure you brush him completly every 3 days...seriously every three, because if you only do it once a week, he will get matted, heck with some dogs if you wait one extra day they will matt LOL

oh, and if you have other dogs, do not let them bite the puppy's hair, or ears.... really they shouldnt chew on him at all, playing is ok as long as you supervise, and they arent getting too rough
 

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I would also recommend bitter apple spray for your puppies ears if you have other dogs. It has worked for me to keep my dogs from chewing each others ears. I only had to apply it twice for them to get the idea. Wouldn't use it for a prolonged time though, it dries out the coat. Are you planning to show? If not a show clip on a pet is not worth the time in my opinion.
 

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He had very bad dandruff when we brough him home, probably because he was outside 24/7. It seems better now but am wondering what to use on him to condition his coat and skin. I am planning to put him in a show clip once he has enough hair. Any other advise to keep a 15 week old's coat in show condition as he grows would be greatly appreciated.
Are you still thinking of showing this dog? If he has a white chest spot, that would disqualify him from showing in AKC.

Even if you are going to show in UKC you are going to need some special equipment to care for the coat:

table
stand dryer or blaster
clippers and blades
real scissors... straights and curves
pin brush, slicker, poodle comb, greyhound comb, bands, dremel
Gallons of anti-stat spray (welcome to Poodles in Colorado)

Note.... Poodles are not trimmed into a Continental until after age 1. Until then they are shown in puppy trim. In UKC you don't have to show them in a Continental if you don't want to. You can show them in a simple kennel trim.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all the great info. I am still planning to show Mercury, however not in conformation. I believe a mismarked spoo can show in AKC obedience, right? I have watched the AKC shows here and all the poodles have a show coat, even if not showing in conformation, so think that if Mercury is going to have a chance he'll need to have a show cut as well. It will also be good experience for if/when I do get a show puppy but without as much pressure.

My 9yr old son is going to be showing Mercury in 4H as well, and although a show coat certainly isn't necessary for that. Any dog is welcome to show for 4H, even mixed breeds. My son wants to breed and show spoos when he grows up so helping me maintain a show coat will be a good experience for him as well. I think the hardest part is probably going to be when he goes through the coat change and finding a decent groomer. I am able to maintain the clip but need help setting the pattern for the first time (I hope). The puppy show clip is going to be a lot harder to maintain myself I think. I had my last spoo in a lion clip when he was a few years old and was able to maintain the clip fairly well myself, although it was a shorter lion clip than a show spoo has. Of course that was over 10 years ago and I didn't have 3 kids, just my spoo and a few cats, lol. Im probably going to need all the help I can get as time goes on with Mercury's coat.

I have several kinds of brushes and combs, a blower, as well as a decent pair of clippers, but don't know much about the rest of the equiptment

I have one more unrelated question. Since Mercury can't show in conformation can I have him fixed and still show him in obedience, agility, etc?
 

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I have one more unrelated question. Since Mercury can't show in conformation can I have him fixed and still show him in obedience, agility, etc?
Yes!!! :) I'm going to be having Lucy spayed and we are hoping to compete in rally (maybe obedience someday!)
 

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Yep. Spayed and neutered dogs are welcome to participate in all AKC performance sports and they are NOT required to be in any sort of show coat when they do.

I actually have a funny story about showing a Poodle in Obedience in full show coat. Sabrina was showing in obedience while she was out of the breed ring growing coat. She was my 1st Obedience dog and I wanted to make sure that I was following all the rules correctly. The regs say that an Obedience dog must be presented "as for the breed ring."

I took this to mean NO BANDS in the ears. So there we are doing our Retrieve over the High Jump. Sabrina clears the jump and picks up the dumbbell. However, in the process, both her super long show ears flop over her muzzle completely obstructing her vision.

She turns to come back but because she can't see, she totally crashes into the jump. FAIL!!!!! :fish: After that I braided her ears before she went into the ring. No judge has ever questioned me about it. Although "not as for the breed ring" I would in the future explain to any judge that it was a safety issue.

I will note too that Poodle show coat is very, very hot in the summer time. You will be hard pressed to do any training during the day with a poodle in coat.
 

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Thanks for all the great info. I am still planning to show Mercury, however not in conformation. I believe a mismarked spoo can show in AKC obedience, right? I have watched the AKC shows here and all the poodles have a show coat, even if not showing in conformation, so think that if Mercury is going to have a chance he'll need to have a show cut as well. It will also be good experience for if/when I do get a show puppy but without as much pressure.
I'm confused by this statement. Do you think that you are competing as in conformation against other poodles? Isn't obedience the ability of the dog not the haircut? I've seen poodles in regular kennel clip haircuts compete in obedience. I don't think it matters.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I didn't think spoos had to be in a show clip for obedience, but all the spoos Ive seen here are and when I talked to a spoo owner who shows here she stated that only people who don't take the breed seriously show their dogs in anything but a lion clip. Do you think that is just her opinion or do you think the local judges will discount him if not in full coat? It had been my understanding that it is the dogs training and ability that counts in obedience, but perhaps here they are biased? I want to give Mercury every advantage. I hadn't thought about the summer heat. He is an inside dog, but we do do a lot of activites outside in the summer. Hum...lots to consider.
 

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I'm not planning on a show coat for Lucy when we compete in rally... She's a pet first, I want her to be able to play with her pack and not worry about show coat and I want to be able to focus on her training, not on her looks - however it is my opinion that well groomed standard poodles are show stoppers no matter what clip they're in; they're ALL beautiful!

As far as the judges being biased, I guess I'm not going to worry about that... if they're biased because of a haircut in a performance event, then they're likely biased towards certain breeds/dogs/owners/breeders/ etc... and I can't cover all those bases. The best I can do is make sure my Lucy is clean, well groomed and that she knows her stuff and as long as all that is taken care of we know we did the best we can. Good luck!
 

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I didn't think spoos had to be in a show clip for obedience, but all the spoos Ive seen here are and when I talked to a spoo owner who shows here she stated that only people who don't take the breed seriously show their dogs in anything but a lion clip. Do you think that is just her opinion or do you think the local judges will discount him if not in full coat? It had been my understanding that it is the dogs training and ability that counts in obedience, but perhaps here they are biased? I want to give Mercury every advantage. I hadn't thought about the summer heat. He is an inside dog, but we do do a lot of activites outside in the summer. Hum...lots to consider.
Ok... who is this person because she does not know what she is talking about. PM me if you want to. Seriously, I show in Obedience in Colorado and I hang out with a bunch of the agility people and the only folks who EVER show in full coat are the folks who are simultaneously showing in breed and performance. Even then, I can only think of a handful who do. The very minute their dogs finish in Conformation, they shave them down.

Seriously, full coat on a performance dog is just Hell. It also causes all kinds of sub-issues. One that comes to mind is that your dog can appear to be crowding you on the finish if its full jacket is up against your leg.

The Obedience judges are going to judge you on snappy heeling and straight fronts and finishes NOT on how your dog is groomed! Want to give Mercury an advantage? Lay a correct and solid training foundation. Find a competition trainer who can help you get started right. Avoid the Petsmart trainers like the plague. Oh... and consider either changing his name or using a training nick name like Merc or Ree. The three syllables of Mercury will be very hard to get out in a competition setting. For this very reason, my Delilah is called Lilah when we train.
 

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I didn't think spoos had to be in a show clip for obedience, but all the spoos Ive seen here are and when I talked to a spoo owner who shows here she stated that only people who don't take the breed seriously show their dogs in anything but a lion clip. Do you think that is just her opinion or do you think the local judges will discount him if not in full coat? It had been my understanding that it is the dogs training and ability that counts in obedience, but perhaps here they are biased? I want to give Mercury every advantage. I hadn't thought about the summer heat. He is an inside dog, but we do do a lot of activites outside in the summer. Hum...lots to consider.
Again I don't think you are understanding that your dog isn't going to be judged by it's coat in obedience. This is my confusion with what you are saying. Conformation is a different thing entirely so you do have to keep up with a show coat for that. One of the great things about performance is that you don't have to worry about coats and you can spay or neuter your dog and compete. Maybe that person meant if you were showing in conformation and doing performance you should maintain a show clip. Otherwise I'd have to say they are idiots.
 

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Just a little thought about your dogs' dandruff and dry skin. When I got my first poodle and whilst growing her show coat, a conformation judge told me to make absolutely certain I washed all shampoo out of the dog's coat. When I thought it was squeaky clean, rinse it some more. Their coat can be so dense that suds lurk close to the skin and cause all sorts of problems.

As soon as we left the show ring, Inca's coat came off and we have a much more manageable 7F with puppy pants legs.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Its nice to know that keeping him in a show coat won't be necessary after all. I do love the look of it but was getting kind of overwhelmed by what goes into growing and maintaining it. I was also a bit worried about taking him to nursing homes etc in full coat. He is training to be a therapy dog as well as for the obedience ring after all. I loved grooming my old spoo into a variety of clips and even had him corded for a year so am glad Mercury wont be stuck in one clip.

I have books upon books about poodles but none have much info on what is required for a dog in the obedience ring. Are certain clips not allowed or does anything go? What doo would you recemend I put him in for obedience? I would like to keep his ears long and a bit more hair on him than not (because of his therapy work) and would like something other than the average lamb or utility clip. I love pretty much all clips but since he has so much hair we might as well have fun with it.

I have a friend of mine, Noell, who shows rotts helping me with training and I know what you mean about keeping away from the social puppy classes at petsmart. I see them as a waste of $. I watched a few sessions there and think they are geared toward socialization and not what Im after. I can socialize him for free. He already gets along with every dog we've met, infact he sniffs them and ignores them, and because he is going to be a therapy dog he goes a lot of strange places as well to get him used to everything. He is a great, calm boy who seems to know when to be a prince, like at church, and when its ok to play.

I will pm you her name as soon as I find it, I know I have it written down somewhere. I believe she only has 2 spoos (a black and a white) and no kids and seems like she knows EVERYTHING there is to know about spoos (or at least thinks she does) She lives here in Grand Junction.

I have already started to call Mercury Merc when working with him without meaning to. Merc seems to grab and hold his attention better. I hadn't given that much thouth when I named him. I really appreciate everyone's input. There is only so much one can learn from reading.
 

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My daughter keeps her standard poodle in a modified continental - but manageable for the pet home... If she were my dog, I'd probably take those bracelets quite a bit shorter, but Katy likes them like this... It's the poodle "look" without a lot of upkeep and work since she keeps the jacket on the shorter side - the topknot and bracelets are a little long for me though. Katy makes sure Meau stays mat-free which helps a lot.

The nice thing about poodles is that you can go as involved or as simple as you want!

 

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Thanks Harley! Katy LOVES, LOVES, LOVES this cut on Meau! So much so that she's soon going to be paying upwards of $100 - $130 each time she gets it done at the groomers! If she'd practice more on her own, she could probably keep this looking at least "pet nice" for a good long time before taking Meau to a groomer... Meau was the first one to get the "fancy pants" moniker in our house, now we call Lucy fancy pants, too even though she's still in all her puppy glory with no "clip" to speak of (but I've been keeping her FFT trimmed - it's FUN!) :)
 

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I might try this on Harry next! I don't want him to be cold though. He seems cold now and he's got a lot more hair on his butt than Meau does.;)
 

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Meau's a NORTH DAKOTA girl! :) I am not kidding... she SITS in the snowy backyard with that nekkid butt!! I don't know if she's so hearty or just sort of dumb...? SORRY KATY!!! MEAU'S not DUMB!! I take it back!! She's SOOOOOO smart!! :) She just has a really warm butt!
 

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Meau's a NORTH DAKOTA girl! :) I am not kidding... she SITS in the snowy backyard with that nekkid butt!! I don't know if she's so hearty or just sort of dumb...? SORRY KATY!!! MEAU'S not DUMB!! I take it back!! She's SOOOOOO smart!! :) She just has a really warm butt!
Awww grandma she's just got more junk in the trunk to keep her warm.:lol:
 
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