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Discussion Starter #1
Somewhat of a random what do you think type thought;

Yeahhh, so I have to much time on my hands all of a sudden (you might have noticed the increase in posting haha) and after reading the docked tail thread and after having thought about cold feet on my own poodles for two days now I am curious where the practice of clean feet came from. I tried looking it up and can't really find much of anything. I understand the purpose to the continental trim in it's earliest form and also understand that it seems to have come a long way since then. Were clean feet originally part of the clip? I can find really old art that suggest that yes they were but nothing really that explains the actual clipping of the feet. Only of the hair on the hind end and legs and such. Curious what the purpose to that was. wouldn't kind of hairy feet been more of a protection against the cold/water/various debris in the field? Off the top of my head I can't think of other dogs that were used for hunting that had clean feet but I could be off there since I'm having a hard time concentrating on any one subject for very long.

I am dying but because it has been sooo cold here in florida I have been holding off on clippering my girls feet, as crazy as it makes me to see them getting fuzzy. Was talking about it with a friend of mine yesterday and we joked that their toes must certainly be cold. I wouldn't want to go outside barefoot right now if I could help it.
Just another warning to me that I do indeed need to be reorganizing my thoughts and focusing perhaps on more important things. Like finishing the nursery...

But I am curious.
 

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Well, you always read that the cont. cut was used to keep their joints warm while the shaved parts were believed to reduce drag when swimming in water (nice idea, but I don't think the idea really served the purpose lol.)

I googled it.. and the only thing I'm getting from the question "Why are poodle feet shaved" is descriptions on grooms saying that they are shaved.. :doh:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Fluffy, I also read that it kept the dog from drowning with all that hair which I found to be kind of funny in a warped oh poor dog sort of way. I know they aren't the only breed clipped for the water but I couldn't think of any other that has all four feet shaved. I think it's important to remember that the dogs of the day weren't as bald as the dogs today are because they didn't have clippers way back then. They did it with all sorts of various scissor type instruments so it wasn't likely to have been as clean as a 40 blade on the feet.

even the poodle grooming bible that I use, by that I mean the S. Kalstone book, is a little vauge on the history. Just curious if anyone knew.
 

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Poodle coat is notoriously velcro like and it picks up burrs and foxtails like nothing else. Sometimes a burr can actually work itself in the the foot and cause a nasty abscess. Shaved feet are one guard against this.

Shaved feet are also the first line of defense against toe cancer in a Black Standard.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Shaved feet are also the first line of defense against toe cancer in a Black Standard.
Sorry, what?? I'd love more info on that, never heard of such a thing. Anything new to think/learn about would be great... something to take my mind of smothering my husband while he sleeps tonight.
 

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maybe because constantly wet,hairy feet get yeasty

Maddie is terrible for her feet (bites) and so I avoid doing them and just trimmed the hair the last couple of grooms, but this last time they were pretty skanky and had to be shaved, and afterwards they smelled pretty bad (like a cocker)
 

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I think cbrand is right about burrs and other debris. Trimming the hair definitely makes a difference on the amount of stuff that gets stuck.

On the subject of cocker spaniels, we had one. He had terrible problems with ice balls forming on his legs and between his toes in winter. We would take in to the groomer every autumn to get all his feathers shorn off in an effort to minimize the problem. It helped a bit, in that he carried about a third less ice simply because we'd reduced the real estate available for ice to cling to. It definitely didn't eliminate the problem,though, especially later in winter when he was growing out the cut. Then one year for whatever reason we skipped the grooming appointment. His leg feathers were three or four inches long. No ice balls! Letting his fur get extra thick and long insulated his legs enough that the snow never melted enough to form ice.
 

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I think cbrand is right about burrs and other debris. Trimming the hair definitely makes a difference on the amount of stuff that gets stuck.

On the subject of cocker spaniels, we had one. He had terrible problems with ice balls forming on his legs and between his toes in winter. We would take in to the groomer every autumn to get all his feathers shorn off in an effort to minimize the problem. It helped a bit, in that he carried about a third less ice simply because we'd reduced the real estate available for ice to cling to. It definitely didn't eliminate the problem,though, especially later in winter when he was growing out the cut. Then one year for whatever reason we skipped the grooming appointment. His leg feathers were three or four inches long. No ice balls! Letting his fur get extra thick and long insulated his legs enough that the snow never melted enough to form ice.
That's a really interesting story. So, doing the opposite of what you believed to be the right way to handle it actually was what worked! That's great!
 

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I agree w/ the burr reason too, simply b/c I've experienced the joy of picking the darn things out of Bailey's feet many times. He brings them in the house and then they end up on blankets, socks, house shoes, etc.

My grandfather raised Brittany Spaniels (that's what they were called when he raised them) and I can still remember hearing about the burrs and the boots that were supposed to prevent them. Long story short, the dogs wouldn't even walk in the boots, so Granddad just pulled burrs out after every hunting trip.
 

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I've always thought it was to avoid buildup of ice on the feet/between toys as that could seriously get a poodle into trouble when they're swimming around in cold waters... as its not that hair that's keeping them afloat! LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
For those of you who agree with the burr reason and for the yeast reason (and why would a wet foot stay wet and not dry out at the end of the day?) answer me this

Why is this practice mostly only used on poodles? Other breeds that are not smooth coated and work in either field or water or both do not have issues like that and they have long hair on the feet about the same length that you would have if you sheared a poodle down with say a 4 or 5 blade to work. Wish I had a time machine to go back and see what those first dogs actually looked like because it is unlikely they were truely bald anywhere, just shorter hair than the rest of their body.


(I am so glad I don't live anywhere that has a real burr issue)
 

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Discussion Starter #17
actualy that brings another question to mind, do today's poodles still work with clean feet or are the feet left the same as on the body in most of them? I saw a picture of a dog int he field that had the same lenth hair on foot as body but thats the only photo I've seen reccently of a poodle working in the field. So I'm curious about that now too.
 

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looking at old poodle photos they had 'high water' feet done on them, possibly to reduce mud etc???

And I do shave a lot of working hunting dogs feet clean to help prevent barley grass/ foxtails....
 
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