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Hi! I have a petite standard girl. She's petite (30 lbs, 18.5-19 ins at not-quite 9 mo) because we wanted a smaller girl, and we deliberately chose a great breeder whose lines include European moyen/klein poodles. It's a hard size to find, and we get a lot of interest and questions because of her size. She's very pretty and looks like a well-bred SPoo.

I only know one other smaller standard around the same size, an older male, and the owner (like us) went looking for a moyen-sized poodle. Only this pup is...not quite right looking. He has a very short, triangular muzzle, and kinda weird proportions. It looks like his back legs are too long for his front and his torso is slightly too short. The difference between my girl and his boy is really obvious.

Question: what causes this? Is the boy an example of what happens with poor breeding of poodles? or did some disreputable breeder sneak a different type of dog into the mix somewhere? In other words, can you tell good breeding just by looking? or not?
 

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I've read that there aren't many true money/klein breeders here in the US. Some breeders are breeding a mini with a standard trying to get a smaller size and this I've read can cause the pups to be out of proportion. I don't really know too much about this, but that is what I have heard.
 

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Once you start going to conformation shows and being around well-bred poodles, you really get an eye for what a correct poodle looks like vs. poorly bred. I can easily spot a well-bred poodle vs. backyard bred in all sizes, even if the dog has some minor faults for the show ring. And I often guess correctly which breeder a nice looking spoo is from if I see them out and about town.
 

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My boy Bob (RIP) was poorly bred and you can tell that just by looking at him. I got him when he was 4 years old and do not have his pedigree, but I was told that he had a pedigree that showed that he was 100% poodle. My guess is that he was a puppy mill dog.

The photo shows how different a well bred poodle (Cammie -- cream) looks compared to Bob (black). Bob never had the beautiful poodle movement, and could never run as fast as other dogs. Just looking at their structures, I think it is easy to imagine Cammie moving beautifully (as she does), but Bob -- well he was just not put together right.

As has been mentioned, I have seen photos of very strange looking poodles that were standard x mini crosses. Often their legs are too short compared to the length of their body. My guess is that Bob was just bad breeding in general, not an intentional standard x mini breeding.
 

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Most often that is from mini x standard. I think as with various doodles when you do those crosses things go out of proportion.
 

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Thanks, all! The picture of Bob and Cammie is pretty much exactly what I'm seeing when I see the other dog with my girl. It's amazing how different two dogs of the same breed can be. And it's a great example of reasons why good breeders matter (sorry, Bob). If you're short and thick, you just can't do the poodle prance/run/jump routine.
 

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Thanks, all! The picture of Bob and Cammie is pretty much exactly what I'm seeing when I see the other dog with my girl. It's amazing how different two dogs of the same breed can be. And it's a great example of reasons why good breeders matter (sorry, Bob). If you're short and thick, you just can't do the poodle prance/run/jump routine.
I certainly agree that good breeders matter, for lots of reasons.

An interesting story about my poorly bred boy Bob: When he was old, I heard about a request for DNA samples from old poodles that are healthy. I responded asking if they wanted samples from old healthy poodles with no pedigree info. I attached a photo of Bob and said that some people had even suggested that he was not all poodle, but I had had his DNA tested and it came back 100% poodle. The person coordinating the collection of DNA samples got back to me saying from the photo, she definitely thought that Bob was all poodle. Apparently, before Jean Lyle/Wycliffe substantially changed the way standard poodles look, there was a line of poodles that looked just like Bob! While well bred poodles look a lot better than Bob and can do the prance/run/jump routine in a way that he could never come close to, Bob may have had some genetic diversity that is rare or possibly has been lost to the breed.
 

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I certainly agree that good breeders matter, for lots of reasons.

An interesting story about my poorly bred boy Bob: When he was old, I heard about a request for DNA samples from old poodles that are healthy. I responded asking if they wanted samples from old healthy poodles with no pedigree info. I attached a photo of Bob and said that some people had even suggested that he was not all poodle, but I had had his DNA tested and it came back 100% poodle. The person coordinating the collection of DNA samples got back to me saying from the photo, she definitely thought that Bob was all poodle. Apparently, before Jean Lyle/Wycliffe substantially changed the way standard poodles look, there was a line of poodles that looked just like Bob! While well bred poodles look a lot better than Bob and can do the prance/run/jump routine in a way that he could never come close to, Bob may have had some genetic diversity that is rare or possibly has been lost to the breed.
I think that's fascinating. And it sounds right to me. Did they use him in the old healthy poodle study?
 

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I think that's fascinating. And it sounds right to me. Did they use him in the old healthy poodle study?
I sent in a cheek swab, so I assume they used it. They were comparing old healthy DNA with DNA of poodles that had some disease(s), probably Addison's and/or subaceous adenitis.
 

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I've read that there aren't many true money/klein breeders here in the US. Some breeders are breeding a mini with a standard trying to get a smaller size and this I've read can cause the pups to be out of proportion. I don't really know too much about this, but that is what I have heard.


I always thought that all poodles are the same breed it’s just the hight that differentiates them.

Is this incorrect?
 

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Yes, poodles are all one breed with three varieties . . . BUT the size difference is huge. It took many generations to breed minis and toys to their size (although standards were not as big when people started breeding down to minis as they are now). A mini/toy cross would probably just produce a small mini, but that cross is unlikely since it is better to breed within the same size range. At one time there were, I think, plenty of mini/toy breedings in an effort to improve toys.
 
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