The Sporting clip (see Figure 14-12) is used for dogs competing in the Stud or Brood Bitch classes and in the Parade of Champions. It's also a nice cut for pets, because it's easy to maintain. The face, feet, throat, and tail are shaved with a pompom on the tail and a smaller cap (or top knot) on the head. To groom your Poodle in a Sporting clip, try the following:
1. Save your dog's face using a No. 10, No. 15, or No. 30 blade (for very close cuts).
Work away from the eyes down to the base of the throat.
2. Clip your dog's abdomen using a No. 10 blade.
3. Shave your dog's feet and base of the tail using a No. 10, No. 15, or No. 30 blade (for very close cuts).
4. Shape your dog's body according to Figure 14-12 using a No. 5 blade for summer or a No. 4 blade for winter.
5. Trim the pompoms on the tail and legs and the cap (or topknot) in a rounded shape using scissors.
Preparing for Show
As you may have surmised, preparing a Poodle for show is just like everyday grooming times ten.
If you're preparing for a show, you have to begin preparing your Poodle's coat well in advance of the show. In fact, preparing your Poodle for a show takes months, not hours. So if you're planning to enter shows with your Poodle, you're going to have to start planning way ahead.
Much of the show planning is the equivalent of watching grass grow — waiting for the hair to grow. As your Poodle's hair grows out, you have to start shaping it into the eventual show coat. In puppies, that means the Puppy clip, which is just a simplified version of the Continental clip. When your puppy is out of the show Puppy competition and into the Open, Bred-by, American-bred, or other competitions, reshaping the coat into a Continental clip takes less than it would if you started from scratch.
If you're starting from scratch with an adult dog, you have to clip your Poodle in the basic Continental clip, but it won't have the amount of hair that a normal show coat has. From there you need to work on maintaining that style until the coat fills out and becomes more beautiful. Remember that Poodles can have up to a foot and a half of coat on them at show time, and it takes at least six months of constant maintenance to groom the show coat you want. You can count on trimming your dog about once a week to get the shape of the coat just right.
Don't expect to take your Poodle to a professional groomer and thereby get your dog done up into show condition overnight. Remember, these types of coiffures (fancy for hairdos) take considerable time and effort to create.
Although getting a Poodle ready for a show is time-consuming, grooming tasks that you need to do right before the show include:
^ Trimming toenails ^ Brushing out your dog's coat ^ Removing any tangles and mats ^ Clipping your dog prior to his bath ^ Bathing your dog
^ Drying your dog ^ Brushing out your dog again ^ Trimming your dog
^ Applying a coat dressing whenever appropriate
After you put all that work into getting your Poodle in top shape, you're probably wondering how you move him from home to the show without that gorgeous coat picking up lots of dirt and other debris.
To protect the hair, show people often wrap their dog's ears and manes. You can wrap your dog in a variety of ways, but the main issue is keeping the dog's hair clean. You can use:
^ VetWrap or another type of wrap or bandage that sticks to itself and not your dog's coat, to wrap the ears.
^ An ouchless pony tail holder (sometimes) to hold the topknot.
^ Towels and clips to keep the mane from rubbing against dirty things.
Be forewarned that after you use any of these devices, you have to totally brush out your Poodle once the two of you arrive at the show.
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There are over a hundred registered breeds of dogs. Recognizing the type of the dog is basically associated with its breed. A purebred animal belongs to a documented and acknowledged group of unmixed lineage. Before a breed of dog is recognized, it must be proven that mating two adult dogs of the sametype would have passed on their exact characteristics, both appearance and behavior, to their offspring.