Monday, December 2, 2013

Stop and Think a Minute....for the sake of our breed.

I know it is early, but Kate wants me to tell all of you to please have yourselves a Merry Christmas season. This photo was taken by Janet Gray, who graciously gave us permission to use it on our Christmas cards and other marketing materials back in 2002, when Kate was just a "tot". Hard to believe that adorable pup is eleven years old now.

Getting a puppy is such a happy time, when we look forward to all the dreams we have of what we will do with our dog. But, things don't always work out just "perfect".  After all, just like people, most dogs aren't perfect, and most of all, life isn't least it does not always go the way we have planned.

With Kate, since her half-sister had not turned out to be show quality, my hopes were that Kate would be, finally, a Poodle whom I could show in some venue.  We had gotten our first Standard Poodle back in the late 80s and I had always wanted a Poodle to show, since I loved showing my Siberian Huskies and had even shown a few other breeds through the years, mostly for other people, but I had finished championships on my Australian Shepherds.  Kate broke a leg while at the handler's, when she was only six months old, when she went for a groom.  Then she had other health problems, so she also was not to become our Poodle show dog. One might think that we would then just keep her to love,or even find her another home and find another Poodle to show, just like we always did if a Siberian Husky didn't "turn out".

But Poodles are different. Or perhaps I should say, Poodle people are different. Just the other day, another Poodle fancier and I were discussing this. She said, before she and her husband got their first Poodle years ago, they thought that Poodle people would be likely to "be like their dogs".  Most people know that Poodles are smart, entertaining, and overall, just plain FUN.  Just like my friend, I think I thought that when I really jumped "deep into the Poodle world", that I would meet some fun people.  After all, I had a network of Siberian Husky friends who had become close friends through the years.

I wish I could tell you that if you want to start showing Poodles, or have a goal of purchasing and even eventually breeding quality Poodles, that you will travel a road that will bring you a lot of joy. There is one part of the picture that WILL definitely bring you joy, and that is your relationship with your Poodle. 

But as for the rest of it, learning about the breed, learning which bloodlines are the most clear of hereditary problems, getting people to open up and teach you how to groom, how to research health issues, etc...I have owned Standard Poodles now for almost 25 years and I still cannot honestly tell you that learning about this breed has been fun. It has been a path that has been EXTREMELY different than the one that I took in my younger years, when I started showing Siberians back in the 70s.

For example, in Siberians, I had been in the breed only a year or so when someone volunteered to take me and one of my friends on a "kennel hopping tour". She took us to visit all of the matriarchs of our breed, at least those on the East Coast at the time. We went to the homes of people like Peggy Grant (Marlytuk), Jean Fournier, Adele Gray (Tawny Hill), Peggy Koehler (Alakazan) and more. I believe the year was 1978, maybe 79. We did not just visit show kennels but also visited racing kennels, both small and large (plus some of the breeders mentioned above had ran their dogs when they were younger, so they were still breeding multi-purpose dogs). While visiting Ms. Grant, she picked up the phone and called her friend Rachel Page Elliott, who came over for lunch and talked to us about structure (Ms. Elliott wrote the book and did the video called "DogSteps" so she was an expert on structure and movement in all breeds). We took turns moving Peggy's dogs while Ms. Elliott told us their good points, and their faults. Over the next few years, I also met people at specialties who actually were responsible for developing the breed in our country, such as Lorna Demidoff, who "held court" at specialty in New Hampshire while we sat around and asked her questions. It was not just educational, it was great fun.

I moved back east, and was welcomed at the home of Kathleen Kanzler, and her daughters Trish and Sheila, of Innisfree Kennels. I bought a pup from them in 1980, who became my first champion.  They allowed me to breed to their most famous dog, Ch. Innisfree's Sierra Cinnar, who was the top winning Siberian Husky of all time at that time, and who is still the only Siberian to have won Best in Show at Westminster. Anytime I went to visit, Kathleen would get the photo albums out, and sit on the couch and talk for hours about the dogs she had owned and loved.

Along the way, I made many friends who are still close friends to this day,such as the "Carolina girls" and my friends from the Tidewater area of Virginia. We worked in breed clubs together, worked at hospitality suites at our National specialty, worked together at the race in Hampton Roads years ago, back when there was a Siberian club in that area, and had great fun at Fall and Winter cart and sled outings in the Carolinas.  We sat together and studied pedigrees. When one of our dogs turned up with something like juvenile cataracts, we cried together. We clapped for one another when our dogs won, even as we competed against each other. We became acquainted with people from all around the world, as our dogs became well known, or as we ourselves did things like serve on the boards of national and international dog clubs of various types.  

And along the way, somehow we all got older. When one of our acquaintances became ill, we rallied together to find homes for their dogs and do everything we could to support them in their last months or years of life (one friend was gone in months, a few others were ill for several years).  We worked together on rescue committees, and also in rescuing individual dogs when we found out about dogs of our breed in need. Over thirty years later, most of us are still friends. Yes, there are a few breeders we avoid, for various reasons. But quite a few of us are as "tight" as any sports team or college buddies could ever be, even though perhaps the only true thing we have in common is our love for a certain breed of dog.

I guess I thought that becoming a "Poodle person" would take me on a similar journey. It has not. The good news is, I am still learning and I will never give up on this breed, because I love them so very much. I have never, to this day, bred a litter of Poodles. I have put in my years doing Poodle rescue, and I have loved and trained numerous Poodles. In addition to Kate, pictured above, who is now 11, I also have a beautiful parti-colored boy, my "Hudson". Branching out into the world of multi-colored Poodles has allowed me to be able to show a dog on my own, because the grooming for the UKC ring  is not as difficult and we easily accomplished his UKC championship. At one time, I did own a Standard Poodle who was shown AKC by a handler. But I cannot say that I enjoyed that experience, since the majority of our time together was spent on his hair. Even at the UKC shows, much more informal than AKC, I did not discern that Standard Poodle exhibitors were "friends", instead I heard so much badmouthing of other breeders, I was quite turned off by the entire environment. Met some lovely people who showed other breeds however.

There are many health problems in Poodles. There are some people who are fighting hard to breed healthy Poodles and I applaud them.  But there are very few people who will admit that they have ever encountered any health issues in their dogs (and believe me, if they have bred more than a couple of litters of Poodles, they have encountered something!)  People seem a bit paranoid, I guess they are afraid that their bloodlines will be bad-mouthed if they admit to anything. Instead, they are badmouthed because they are dishonest, because people buy their dogs and talk among themselves when problems start popping up. Poodle people have some excellent resources, such as the Poodle pedigree website, and the Poodle Health Registry, but not nearly enough people use these websites to share important health information.

What about things other than health? Are you interested in a dog of a certain color?  Best wishes with that. Because in the AKC ring, a VERY large percentage of the dogs are dyed. So you cannot even tell which bloodlines hold their color, because even black dogs are dyed blacker. Most red and brown lines fade, not all of them, but it is rather hard to figure out when a breeder will not show a faded dog but instead they stand at ringside discussing the best dyes to use on various colors of dogs. A good dog should be a good dog, and if your AKC Standard promotes only "color", change it.  That's what I said, change it.  Add diversity in order to add better health, allow your breed to become known for their excellent movement, structure and temperaments, instead of the amount of hair they can carry around the ring. Color isn't everything. Sure, I wish my first Poodle had held her gorgeous dark brown color, but she did not, and it did not hurt her one bit when we did our therapy dog visits for years. It was her temperament, and her special soul, not her coat, that brought us the joy she brought us.

Want a dog with a good coat? That is pretty hard to figure out also, since, at AKC shows, not only are the majority of the Poodles being shown full of various grooming products, but they even have "wigs" in their topknots and necks. Yes, that's right. The dog who seems to have a very thick, gorgeous coat may have artificial hair stuck in there!  I was so totally shocked when I heard this, that it was an accepted practice in the AKC ring....that I was at first, actually angry. But then later on, I almost found it humorous. I just couldn't imagine wanting to win enough that I would fake it, as far as whether or not my dog had the needed amount of hair. It seemed bad enough that Poodle people ignored all the rules, standing at ringside with their comb and a bottle of hair spray (not concerned at all that the judge might excuse them from the ring for having foreign substances in the coat, since almost all their competitors were doing the same). But to find out that they actually took the time and effort to make "wiglets" and add hair down into those huge topknots? Good grief, I've seen good moving Siberian Huskies win when they are OUT OF COAT.  For those of you who don't own dogs with undercoats, out of coat means NAKED, the way a Siberian looks when they have blown their undercoat and it has been brushed out.  

Okay, so a lot goes on in the AKC Poodle ring. What about UKC? Many AKC breeders will say that a UKC championship doesn't mean anything. I know where they are coming from, it certainly is easier to finish a UKC championship than an AKC championship on a Poodle. But Poodle people everywhere have a choice RIGHT NOW.  You can change your breed by simply changing the venue in which you are showing. UKC is wide open right now. You can make things about structure, movement, and good health, instead of who is the best groomer or has the most well connected handler. Because things such as wigs and hairspray are not allowed in UKC events, and neither are professional handlers. Get your BEST dogs out in the UKC ring, show them in a bit less coat (and keep in mind you won't have to worry about all hairspray and wigs, etc, since they aren't allowed), and you can make the UKC a place where good dogs are shown and win. If you happen to own dogs that will still look good without their hair dyed and their wiglets in, then get them out in the UKC ring and show them to us! I think you will find that there are many ethical dog people who would love to purchase a Poodle, even to show in obedience, rally and things such as agility, from an honest Poodle breeder.

If you would like to compete in a venue that is going to be evaluating the dogs on what they ARE, versus who is at the other end of the lead, give UKC a try. If you see dogs that you think shouldn't have finished their championships, you can change that by adding more quality dogs to the competition in the UKC ring. No, professional handlers are not allowed, however, you CAN have a friend take your dog in the ring for you if you are not well enough to do so yourself.

Right now, what I have seen, in the few (only 4 circuits) UKC shows is that there are a good many novice people showing, who are not being particularly nice to one another, at least not when they turn their backs.I have seen experienced breeders help others groom their dogs, but then have had people come up to me for the pure purpose of badmouthing that breeder, about something that was none of my business.  Sure, I have met a handful of nice people at UKC, mostly in other breeds though, such as the English Springer folks who set up beside us and watched my dog so I could go rest for awhile one day when I wasn't feeling well.  I've had some nice things happen, such as a wonderful junior showman who even helped me groom my dog and stood at ringside in case I was not well enough to take my dog back in the Group ring (and she rescued me one day when I was NOT well enough). Thank you Cheyenne Maggart, for your help.

But as far as seeing the type of sportsmanship that I have experienced showing my other breed, Siberians, AKC, I haven't seen that yet in Poodles.  I am finding that people who pretend to be "friends" are not really friends, not of mine or anyone else.  It is like they are copying the AKC Poodle environment, on a smaller scale.  It makes me sad.  Because I was told that UKC was a pleasant environment, friendly people helping one another.  I have met some friendly UKC people who show other breeds (in fact, I have some friends who are UKC judges, whom I consider to be very nice people; some of them are the very ones who encouraged my interest in UKC). Many of the people showing Poodles UKC are very young, and they have years ahead of them where they can make a difference, if they can stop the backbiting and learn to work together. Why do I call it backbiting? Because you cannot even tell fact from fiction! One will tell you one thing, another tells something else the moment that person's back is turned. They even waste time talking about me, and I am a nobody in Poodles, so they truly are wasting their breath!  But yes, I admit, I miss the fact that in Siberians, people are there to congratulate me and celebrate when I finish a dog's championship. We do things like clap for one another when it is obvious that one of our dogs is about to take a major win. They don't waste time trying to figure out what they can think of to say bad about me if they don't know me. Those that do know me, in Siberians, don't have to say it behind my back because we have the type of relationship where we can talk things out in person if we are aggravated about something!  

But, back to Poodles, good golly Miss Molly....our breed is in trouble.  And if we cannot learn how to work well together, being honest when a problem shows up in a litter, instead of eating one another for lunch, Poodle people will never be able to breed away from health problems. And we will never have quality competition at the UKC shows, if we treat newcomers as if they are idiots. Yep, that's what I said.  When an experienced dog person decides to show a Poodle, in addition to their other breeds, why not realize that they may bring a wealth of experience and they may actually HELP the breed in some way?  Instead, if they are treated the way I've been treated the few times I ventured into the conformation world of Poodles, they probably won't waste their time becoming involved in our breed. I think I am the exception to the rule, as far as keeping on keeping on, for years, until I found a nice Poodle to show. 

Also, as far as the arguments about solid color Poodle people versus multi-colored Poodle people, get over it. Take a look at the articles on websites like, that even show photographs of some of the oldest paintings of Poodles. And guess what? They were NOT solid-colored dogs. 

People are not unethical simply because they choose to breed dogs of different colors. I would rather have a sound, healthy dog who might be a parti colored dog with a bit too much "ticking" or a brown who has faded by the time it is two years old, than to have a jet black dog who is full of dye and hair spray and who cannot obtain any titles unless I pay a fortune for a professional handler. Plus one that is so heavily linebred that it is having seizures or has come down with Addison's disease before it is two or three years old.  And in addition to being sound and healthy, I'd like a dog who is sound in mind as well. One that can learn anything I want to teach it, whether or not I ever wish to show it in a performance venue or not. After all, isn't that what ALL Poodle owners want?  The majority of Poodle owners are not those of us who care about titles on either end of the dog's name. Instead, they are people who want a sweet, smart, healthy canine companion. I have been fortunate with most of the temperaments on the Poodles I have owned. I have not been so fortunate as far as health. As much as I love him and would like to put another title on him some day, my biggest wish for our young boy Hudson is that he will live a long, healthy life. Hopefully he will.

But don't get me wrong, I admit that I am a dog show person at heart, I've shown dogs in obedience, rally and mostly, in conformation, since 1976. They just don't happen to have been Poodles, since I like to show my dogs myself. There is nothing wrong with owning a Poodle who is shown AKC, in conformation by a professional handler.  If you want AKC titles and you are not extremely talented at grooming, you will probably HAVE to pay a handler, but also, you may, like me, have health problems that prevent you from running around the ring or it may simply be more convenient for your lifestyle to send dogs off with handlers instead of showing them yourself. That is your choice. But you can still make a difference, if you swim against the current. 

For example, stop and think about the fact that a good dog should NOT need to be dyed, or full of hair spray, to obtain a title. Sure, it will take a bit longer to finish his championship but if you have a nice, sound dog with proper type, he or she can achieve an AKC championship if you are willing to hire a professional handler.  And you might also, if you are looking for a sound, healthy dog, forget worrying about how many championships are in the pedigree.  Look instead at what health clearances the breeder can present to you, or what information they will share with you about the dogs in the puppy's pedigree. If you have the luxury of traveling, go see the parents, and even grandparents, so you know what the temperaments are like.  When I was breeding Siberian Huskies, I always had photos of practically every dog in a six generation pedigree, and many times I had personally met the first 3 or 4 generations of dogs in the pedigree!  But I was young, without many other responsibilities at the time so I had plenty of time to do the research. But now, in this day and age, we are blessed to have great cameras and even our PHONES can usually take short video clips! So if you are buying a dog site unseen, ask for video clips of the dogs moving, or interacting with people and other dogs. If the breeder doesn't want to take the time to answer your questions and send you this type of information, do you really want to buy a dog from them? 

All of the things that people in other breeds have been doing for years can be done in Poodles. People can get together and share information, even plan breedings together (it certainly gives one a lot more peace of mind if they are doing a breeding and know that there are good homes already lined up for the puppies). And these things can be done not just by a handful of people, it can be done by anyone who wants a good dog, or wants to become an ethical breeder. One can research (I don't mean gossip, I mean research by writing to owners of dogs in the pedigrees, for example, write the people who owned dogs in the pedigree and ask about the health of that dog and what he produced).  Yes, I know that seems impossible in Poodles and it may always be impossible to get people to work together. But it CAN be done, if people will open up and decide it is worth the effort to work with others instead of just criticizing one another.

Just once more, let me bring it back to the world of Poodle breeders.... please consider this article my plea for the dogs who cannot speak for themselves. When a dog has a seizure, he or she suffers. When they are dying of bloat, they are suffering.  I'm sure they suffer emotionally if they are losing their sight at a young age, and can no longer see the ball they love to retrieve. Not to mention the suffering of their owners, some of whom spend thousands of dollars keeping their Addisonians alive, or having diagnostic tests done on dogs with weak immune systems and allergies. This article is already too long, so I won't even try to list all of the health problems our breed faces. I urge you to go to the Versatility in Poodles website to read about the various health problems in each size of Poodle.  If you are interested in a multi-colored Poodle, then you may wish to visit the website of the Multi-Colored Poodle Club of America. Members of this club must sign a Code of Ethics, so you are more likely to find an ehtical breeder there than elsewhere. I love parti colored Poodles, but there has been such an explosion of popularity of "rare colors" than it has allowed many unethical breeders to pop up on the internet, selling puppies for large prices but not bothering to have any health clearances done on the parents.

My plea is for Poodle breeders and owners to start working together to solve problems. After all, at the end of your life, when you look back at your life in dogs, I bet those red, white and blue Rosettes won't mean a hill of beans. The fact that you know what brand of hair coloring will not fade as quickly won't mean anything either.  Owning the world's best pair of shears won't mean anything, it will mean NOTHING in comparison to having made just one good friend who keeps putting a card in the mailbox to cheer you when you are down.  Having a healthy, happy Poodle at your side, who can bring joy to your loved ones even after you are gone, THAT might mean something  In fact, it might mean a lot to you, especially if you are fortunate enough to have that special dog at your side when you draw your last breath. 

Knowing that you bred healthy dogs for other's enjoyment, or that you gave to causes that promoted good Poodle health (if you yourself are not a breeder, you can still help by supporting research)....these things may leave a lasting legacy. You might even be able to help the breed you love for years after you are gone. Isn't that a wonderful thought?

Thanks for listening. Kate, the pup featured in the photo, may not still be with us at Christmas, but we have our hopes.  Every day with her has been a gift, but a Poodle who would live even longer, and be healthier, would have been a greater gift.  It can be done....I know it can, if people will consider changing.  It would be nice to think people will change because they believe in the Golden Rule, because they believe in treating others like they would like to be treated. But even if you don't like people, consider doing it for the sake of the dogs you love. After all, Poodles are worth it, aren't they?

Wishing you and your Poodles the very best of the season,

Melanie, Kate, Hudson and the rest of the Schlaginhaufen family

Melanie Schlaginhaufen, guest blogger

December 2013

Quick update:  It is now June of 2014, and Kate will be 12 next month!  If your Poodle does have health problems, be sure to investigate things such as supplements and proper diet. I have found these things to have more of a positive effect on an older dog's health than all the medication in the world. I also believe that adding Hudson, who came to me around the age of 8 months, actually has given Kate a reason to get up in the mornings and play. Hudson will soon be 2. I don't know if another Poodle will take Kate's place when she is gone, but I will continue to love Standard Poodles for as long as I live. I hope the somewhat negative tone of this article will not discourage you from looking for a healthy Poodle. The breed does have lots of problems (especially the Standard and Toy varieties) but honest, ethical breeders do exisit. Keep searching.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Parti Crew Reviews Winter Coats for Poodles

Joey's Journal (by a lovely parti Poodle named "Joey", with a little help from his secretary and Mom, Charlene Dunlap) comes to my in-box each week with news of what Joey and his family (canine and human) have been up to.  This week, the Journal contained wonderful photos of Charlene's Poodles in varying types of winter coats.  When I wrote to ask if I could share her reviews of "Poodle coats", Charlene was kind enough to not only allow me to share this entry, but also suggested that my readers might enjoy one of the articles on her website which actually has instructions for the "prize winning entry" (the best dog coat for Poodles, or at least, when I saw the photos and read about them, it certainly seemed like it would be, far and away, the very best coat for a male Standard Poodle!) You can read and look at the photos and decide which ones you like the best.   

Thank you so much Charlene, for these wonderful articles and being the Guest Blogger for us this week.  I don't know about the rest of you, but it is finally "winter" here, as far as colder temperatures, so it is a good time of year to think about dog coats! And if you have a sewing machine and a little bit of talent, make SURE you click on the link at the end of this article, where Charlene explains how she made the coats.  I bet your Poodle would love one of these, and also, what a wonderful gift for a friend of yours who might have a Poodle who could use a coat! My older girl has a thin coat now, and I know she would enjoy one on winter walks.

Poodle Winter Coat Reviews

                by guest blogger Charlene Dunlap of Canine Horizons

If any of you are thinking of buying or making coats for your Poodles, here's my experience.  Basically, I want my dog's body covered - including their underbelly.  Many coats I've seen are the horse blanket type which leaves the entire underbelly exposed.  Living in North Carolina, we usually have crisp winters with an occasional cold blast . . . so I would only rarely need thermal coats and boots for the dogs. 
Pic 1 & 2 - these are the HURTTA jackets we got last year.  They cover the belly and have a drawstring waist to snug the fit and elastic bands around the back legs to keep the coat from shifting.  They are warm and pliant.
 However, the size that fits Standard Poodles would also fit a Golden Retriever and the coats are made several inches longer in the body than are most Poodles (and also makes the jacket too long under the belly to accommodate boy dogs' equipment).  See length of back on Sydney.  Also, I don't care for the knitted leg openings in the front. 

These blue coats by Furminator are made to put on wet dogs (such as those just out of swimming at the lake) and not really for forest walks; however, they're a nice weight for not too cold days.   They're also made for longer backed dogs.  (I have quite a bit of material folded back under just above the tail).  
They are made of excellent quality terrycloth which is warm yet not too much so; however, terrycloth grabs leaf debris, which is almost impossible to pick out.  Theses coats do take tailoring to a Poodle's body, which I haven't done yet, but I like them pretty well. 

Jyah and Sydney outgrew (age weight) the coats I made for them several years ago, but they fit the boys quite well.  These are actually the best design as they don't have a collar,  which my Poodles (because of all the hair on their necks) don't need, and there is no restriction around the front legs.  
 Also, the belly band is far enough in front of their boy parts so as to not get soiled.  Pretty nifty, huh?  I don't sew anymore - but maybe I should. 

Charlene and the Parti-Four: Scotty, Joey, Jyah, and Sydney

From Melanie:  I LOVE these coats at the bottom, don't you?  Here is a link that will take you directly to the "Winter Coats for Poodles" article on Charlene's website that tells how to make them:

Attention:  other Poodle owners--if you make a coat for your Poodle, I would love to have a photo to share with Poodle Blogger's readers!

As always, thank you to Charlene Dunlap and the Parti-Four!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Breeders of Multi-Colored Poodles

This blog is for all things Poodle, not just parti-colored Poodles. It just happens that since we added Hudson to our home, we have gotten to know, via Facebook primarily, many other owners of multi-colored Poodles.

Often I am asked, "where can I buy a parti-colored Standard Poodle from a reputable breeder?"  First of all, "reputable" means different things to different people and I am probably not even the best person to ask, because my criteria is very high!   Please keep in mind that even when I post an article or interview with a Poodle breeder on this blog, I don't necessarily know that breeder personally, so you still need to do your homework and ask as many questions as possible if you contact them about a puppy.

The United Poodle Association is the UKC parent club, and UKC is the venue in which you can show multi-colored poodles I’m conformation for championships. However, partis and other multi-colored poodles can be registered by the AKC and shown in performance events (agility, rally, obedience, etc.) The parent club for AKC is the Poodles Club of America, also known as PCA. Their website contains good information about things such as what health clearances are recommended for each variety (size) of poodle. But unfortunately they are not yet “parti-friendly” since they do not allow anything other than solid colored poodles to be shown towards AKC championships. But if you are a serious poodle fancier, and love ALL colors and markings then I urge you to join the United Poodle Association! There you will also be able to connect with ethical breeders of multi-colored poodles as well as solid colors.

Anyway, this list is in no way fully inclusive, there are many other reputable breeders of Standard Poodles and other sizes! These are people who are on the Parti Poodle list, which means that some of their litters do contain that color of Poodle, and they do enough health clearances on their breeding stock to quality for their dogs to have a CHIC number with OFA, but those acronyms are subject for another article! However there is a link at the end of this article if you would like to read more on that subject.

I do NOT know all of these breeders personally so please use the list as a starting point in your search for a nice Poodle, not as a "be-all/end-all" endorsement.  Often a breeder will have a litter only occasionally, but they can refer you to another reputable breeder who may have a litter of puppies coming up. Rule # 1 re buying a puppy is always...don't get in a rush!                                                

*Kathy Esio-King                                   *Gloria Ogdhal 
Jackninc Kennel                                         Tintlet Poodles                   

*Maggie Laney                                         *Debbie Cole
Highfalutin' Poodles                                   Debonair Standard Poodles            

•Barbara Caissie                                        *Angela Bieber
Opus Poodles                                              Angel Standard Poodles                   

If you happen to have had a "good" or "excellent" experience with one of these breeders, please leave a comment!  Remember, comments are moderated so they won't show up immediately.  If you have had a negative experience, you can email me if you like--I am always here for moral support. But please don't post a negative comment on the blog as I cannot approve those for liability reasons.

Remember, this list originally came from the Parti Poodle Facebook site. I do happen to know numerous breeders personally who breed only SOLID colored Poodles.  The reason we felt a need for a list of responsible breeders of partis, is because this color pattern is becoming in greater demand, and we want to help you find a good breeder.  Please stay away from people who simply have a pretty website, but do not have proof of health clearances on the parents, breeders who post prices and say to just send a Paypal deposit without screening you first, breeders who have many litters of puppies per year but none of them are ever in the show ring, or show in performance venues, etc.

Also keep in mind that the breeders who are ethical will want to screen YOU before offering to sell you a pup, because they want to make sure that each and every Poodle puppy they ever produce goes to a GREAT home, a home that is matched as perfectly as possible to that dog's needs. They also want YOU  to be happy, and you are not going to be happy if you simply buy whatever is available and have it
shipped to you without knowing much about the puppy's parents or the breeder.

Anyone who has purchased more than one dog in their life, has probably made a mistake or two! But why not, on your next dog, try to avoid mistakes as much as possible?

Many thanks to Tibby Rose for allowing me to post the above list for our readers. Remember, the list is not all inclusive, and we have not necessarily personally dealt with each breeder. So the list contains recommendations, not endorsements.

Huddy wishes everyone a happy holiday season! 

Understanding what a "Chic" number is, here is a link with more information on the requirements a Poodle must have before being given such a number:

*Note – In addition to the breed specific requirements above, a CHIC requirement across all participating breeds is that the dog must be permanently identified via microchip or tattoo in order to qualify for a CHIC number.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

News from Hudson, Before and After

I have been working on an interview with ? - it will be a surprise, but it will definitely be interesting to those of you who love Multi-colored Poodles, yet have trouble finding a breeder who is ethical and does health clearances. In addition, she has absolutely gorgeous dogs who are doing wonderfully well in the show ring and other venues.

For now, I thought you might enjoy seeing Hudson's before and after grooming photos. I truly gave it a good try, but was so very grateful that a very talented junior (junior showmanship), Cheyenne Maggart, offered to neaten him up and make him look a bit more like a show groom when we arrived at the show site.

Cheyenne, thank you again for all you did to help us. After showing AKC with another breed for over 3 decades, you wouldn't think I would be nervous but I was, terribly, about showing a Poodle for the first time in the UKC ring. And the grooming was the thing that was making me the most jittery, as I have always left the scissoring to the professionals!

Here is Hudson, pre-Cheyenne, before we left home, my efforts here at our grooming room at home:
Now here he is with Cheyenne, actually just before we left on the last day. He actually looked even prettier the first day, before he had played around all weekend. This is just a quick picture from my hubby's cell phone, please forgive lack of editing.
And lastly, here he is set up in the ring with me at the first show of this circuit:
We had a great time, and my little Huddy Buddy is getting close to his UKC Championship, he just needs one more competition win! Cannot wait to put the Ch. in front of Prodigy's Content of Character, his registered name. Sure wish AKC would accept our beautiful multi-colored Poodles so we could do that also, but for now, Huddy's plans are just to continue training, perhaps to go AKC for some Rally events when he is ready.  AKC does allow all colors of Poodles to be registered and shown in performance events.

He's pretty in the show ring, but the real treasure of this dog is the love he gives us on a daily basis. Right Huddy?  He got kicked out of my lap so I could type this post, so he is laying under the recliner right now, patiently waiting to see if there is any more playtime or lapdog time being offered this evening.  He stays as close as possible, but he is also a gentleman if he must be crated when we leave the house. 

But of course he's still a pup at heart, and sometimes gets the "zoomies" and chases poor Kate, our older Poodle, around until Mom puts a stop to it!  And he also knows exactly how to be a "Poodle clown", laying upside down in adorable postures or throwing his toys up in the air and retrieving them as if he is playing a game all by himself!

Thanks again Cheyenne, for all of your help at the Hickory, NC circuit this past weekend.  And as always, thanks to Hudson's breeder and co-owner, Heather Bryan of Prodigy Poodles for sharing him with us.

Poodles are truly wonderful, aren't they?


please visit my dog training site:

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Charlene's Scotty Looking Good!

Hudson says he wants me to be able to groom like this when I grow up!  Seriously, isn't my friend Charlene Dunlap, of Canine Horizons, a lovely groomer?  This is her gorgeous boy "Scotty".

You can read Poodle articles (including those about parti-Poodles, which are one of the original Poodle colors!), view training video clips and read many wonderful articles about how Charlene trains her dogs to do amazing behaviors for the Poodle movies she produces on her website:  Also, Scotty & Joey, the newest members of the Canine Horizon's crew, have their own website at:

Thank you Charlene, for being the person who introduced me to the beauty of Parti Colored Poodles.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Hudson asks friends to try Nu-Vet!

Poodle Supplements?  We all want healthy immune systems & beautiful coats!

Having shown Siberian Huskies for decades, I have tried many coat supplements through the years, as we all want gorgeous coats on our show dogs. With Poodles, often the supplements I have purchased have been more geared towards general health---something to stop allergies, itching and ear infections. Lovely coats were just a plus, since I didn't show my Poodles. But now that I have "Hudson" (Prodigy's Content of Character) who is being shown UKC, a lovely coat is also important!

Siberian Huskies of the show lines I have owned, will eat anything you put on top of their food. NOT so with Poodles. So when Heather Bryan of Prodigy Poodles told me about Nu-Vet, and how their regular formula would be great for Hudson, and their NuJoint Plus would help my older Standard Poodle, the first thing I thought was "I have spent so much on supplements that I could not get Poodles to eat!"  Right now I have huge containers in my refrigerator of another brand that requires me to add cottage cheese in order to get the dogs to touch their food if I add even half a teaspoon to their food!  And quality supplements are NOT inexpensive, so it is frustrating to invest in something you cannot get in to your dog!

We have 7 dogs here at the moment, including two young show dogs (a two year old Siberian Husky and our lovely parti-colored Poodle boy who is almost a year old now).  We also have some senior citizens with special health needs. The care, nutrition and training of our dogs is an important part of our life. When Heather of Prodigy Poodles said NuVet supplements were the best, we knew we had to at least try them.

We were thrilled to find out that they come not only in powder form, but also in a tasty chewable tablet that dogs gobble down like a treat!  And yes, ALL SEVEN of our dogs, including the elderly picky Poodle who is on the joint formula, are all tail wags when I pick up the NuVet bottle and shake it!  Hasn't even been quite a month, but coat seems to be regrowing on the elderly Dachshund whose skin made her an unhappy camper, no matter what type of diet she was on.

We are expecting everything that NuVet and our Poodle mentor have told us about Nu-Vet products, which is beautiful, shiny coats, strong clean teeth, healthy vision and strong immune systems. NuVet Plus is designed to combat free radicals and assist in providing your pet with vitamins, minerals, herbas and antioxidants needed to maintain a healthy lifestyle into old age. And after all, isn't that what we want for our dogs, a healthy life and longevity? And no more working hard to get the healthy ingredients into my dogs, beause the dogs LOVE the tablets, they think they are treats!  But they are not treats, they are full of goodness, take a look at the ingredents in Nu-Vet Plus:

Alfalfa -- Helps to increase appetite and aids in poor digestion.
Alpha Amylase -- Aids in the absorption of NuVet Plus into your pet's cellular network as efficiently as possible.
Beta Carotene -- A form of Vitamin A production, which is required for skeletal growth, embryonic function, and reduces cancerous tumors in animals.
Blue Green Algae -- Strengthens the immune system, promotes intestinal regularity, purifies the blood and assists in the smooth operation of the brain and nervous system.
Brewers Yeast -- A balanced natural source of the B-Complex Vitamins that has been proven to reduce the number of fleas in our companion pets.
Cats Claw -- An herb that has amazing healing properties, it aids in treating cancer, viral and respiratory infections, allergies, arthritis and rheumatism.
Desiccated Liver -- A rich source of B-Complex Vitamins.  It strengthens the nervous system, aids in digestion, tissue formation and production of red blood cells.
Evening Primrose Oil -- Digestive stimulant, aids in management of arthritis and rheumatism, decreases blood clotting.
L Methionine -- Improves skin and coat, reduces fatigue, prevents excess fat buildup in the liver.
Oyster Shell -- Rich source of calcium required by the structural framework of the bones.  It also aids in the proper functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles.
Papain -- Aids in protein digestion, and helps to cleanse the tissues and intestinal walls of all waste matter.
Pine Bark -- The most powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidativec damage to the cells and vital tissues.  It reduces cardiovascular disease, osteoarthritis and helps prevent premature aging.
Potassium -- Required for the proper function of the muscles and regulates the amount of water in the cells.
Selenium -- Studies have shown it to help protect cancers of the lungs, colon, rectum and prostate.
Shark Cartilage -- Anti-inflammatory healing agent that has also been shown to be effective in hip dysplasia, arthritis and may shrink tumors by impeding the formation of blood vessels to the tumor.
Taurine -- An amino acid that promotes healthy hearts and is needed for normal vision. (Note from Melanie:  Also I have founr taurine is an amino acid that has calming properties for nervous dogs)
Vitamin C -- A key factor in the immune system, including white blood cell function and interferon levels.  It combats the effects of frree radicals and promotes growth and tissue repair.  Many breeders use Vitamin C and Vitamin E to help in prevention of cataracts caused by environmental components.
Vitamin E -- The most effective chain-breaking lipid-soluble antioxidant.  It protects the cell structure against free radicals.  It significantly improves the immune system and reduces heart disease, anemia, nutritional "muscular dystrophy" and neurological abnormalities.
Whey Protein -- Builds and maintains muscle mass.  Boosts the immune system which protects against viruses and bacteria.  We all want good muscle tone on our show dogs and our pets!
Zinc -- A component of over 1200 enzymes that work with the red blood cells to move carbon dioxide from t he tisseus to the lungs.  It promotes normal growth and aids in wound healing, cell division and maintains normal levels of Vitamin A. (Another note from Melanie---many breeds, such as Siberian Huskies, are prone to zinc deficency syndromes, so they need additional zinc to prevent this condition)

Using NuVet Plus helps our dogs to build a strong immune system and they market the product as one that greatly reduces the onset of these all too common problems:

� Scratching                 
� Itching
� Hot Spots
� Allergies
� Arthritis
� Premature Aging
� Low Energy Levels
� Cataracts
� Digestive Problems
� Heart Disease
� Tumors

Allergies, skin and coat problems, arthritis, tumors, cancer, cataracts, strokes and heart disease are just a few of the 50 major diseases caused by free radicals.  Unfortunately these diseases lead to suffering and premature death in our pets.  The Veterinarians, Physicians, Pharmacists, and Nutritional Scientists of NuVet Labs have blended a precise combination of human grade, natural vitamins, minerals, herbs and antioxidants proven to combat the ravages of free radicals. This is a supplement that benefits dogs throughout their lifetime, from pups to senior dogs, so all of my guys are getting this to keep their immune systems healthy and their coats beautiful.  After all, when my Poodle mentor sent me a dog with a gorgeous coat like this, what could be a better advertisement?
                                             Photo copyrighted by Veronica Kelso

NuVet Plus Canine (Dogs)
30 Tablets = $19.95
90 Tablets = $55.50
180 Tablets = $107.70
360 Tablets = $199.90
NuVet Plus Feline (Cats)
1 Jar = $19.95
3 Jars = $55.50
6 Jars = $107.70
12 Jars = $199.90
Also available in powder form, call Nu-Vet for prices and more information if you prefer powders. My dogs love the chewables so much, we are going to stick with them for now.
To Order NuVet Plus call 800-474-7044
                         You need the ID Code: 20869
NuJoint Plus
Natural Anti-Inflammatory Hip and Joint TherapyAvailable for Dogs
Hip Dysplasia, Osteoarthritis and Joint Damage

NuJoint Plus contains the finest pharmaceutical, human quality ingredients including precise percentages of Glucosamine, Chondroitin, Methysulfonymethane (MSM) and Vitamin C which will help to quickly and effectively reverse and heal the devastating effects of osteoarthritis.  Major considerations in formulating NuJoint Plus were the pharmaceutical grade quality of ingredients and their healing values, as well as the bio-digestability and utilization into the cellular framework. This supplement is great not only for older dogs, but also for performance dogs that are always at risk for orthopedic problems due to jumping, etc Also, if you have a dog healing from an injury like an ACL surgery, please consider this supplement. And just like Nu-Vet Plus, my older dogs gobble these up just like a treat!    Here are the ingredients:

MSM supplies biologically active sulfur to animals joints which has been shown to reduce the rigidity of cells in the soft tissues of the body.  By increasing flexibility, fluids are able to pass more freely from the cell and this helps to reduce cell pressure and in turn reduce flammation and pain.
Glucosamine provides the joints with the building blocks needed for repair of damage caused by osteoarthritis.  Acting as a catalyst it aids in the production of new cartilage to replace damaged cartilage.  Hip dysplasia occurs when normal wear and tear break down cartilage.
Chondroitin attacts and hold fluids within cartilage helping to lubricate joints, increase mobility and reduce discomfort caused by hip dysplasia.  It also reduces the destructive enzymes which break down cartilage.
Vitamin C promotes cartilage growth and tissue repair and is a key factor in the immune factor.

NuJoint Plus (Dogs)
180 Tablets = $55.50
360 Tablets = $107.70
720 Tablets = $199.90

Also available in powder, call 800 # for prices and more information.

To Order NuJoint Plus
You will need Order Code 20869
I hope you will join me in using these wonderful products and let me know the results so I can feature your Nu-Vet dog on the blog. Before and after photos are always wonderful too!  If you are a regular reader, you know I do NOT push products. This post is about Nu-Vet because I feel I have found something that will be helpful to all of us!    Melanie, Poodle Blogger

Thursday, July 25, 2013


The picture was taken in spa Podebrady - Czech Republic.
 Lying poodles are Standard Poodle females - Haky and Fini, and the small one sitting on Adela is female Jessie.

Aren't they just absolutely beautiful, both Poodles and their mom?  Thank you Adéla Hlavatá for sharing this gorgeous photo with Poodle Blog readers!   

You can see more beautiful photos of her dogs on her webiste, which is not in English, but still worth taking a few minutes to visit!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


We are so happy that Karen Kearney of Ciel Poodles shared this photo of her boy Chaz in order to bring us a smile for the Fourth of July holiday!  He is quite an accomplished fellow, not just a UKC champion, but in addition to also being shown in AKC, he has performance titles galore, as you can see at the end of his name underneath his photo. Congratultions Karen, on all of his accomplishments and on your lovely creative grooming skills!
"Chaz" U-CH UWP URO1 Paux de Deux Ciel, CGC, RN, NA, NAJ, OAJ, OAP, AJP,  CL1, OBT1, WP1
For more about Karen and Chaz, visit her website:

Thank you Karen, Happy Fourth of July!

Note:  Photos on this blog are the property of the individual photographer and are not to be re-used in any form or fashion.  Thank you for respecting our copyright.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Thank You, from Hudson's Mom!

Prodigy's Content of Character (Hudson)

Thank you to my friend, photographer Veronica Kelso, for all the beautiful photos she took of our sweet parti-colored Poodle boy, "Hudson".

Not much news this week, have been glued to the television watching the horrible storm tragedies. Please donate via reputable organizations.  As I mentioned on a Facebook post....some can go, some can donate, all can pray.  So there is something all of us can do.

Coming soon to Poodle Blogger - an interview with a well known breeder of both AKC and UKC solid color and parti-colored champions, as well as an article from a Poodle fancier who enjoys agility with her dogs. It has been lots of fun getting to know reputable Poodle breeders on Facebook Poodle groups since Hudson joined our family.

I have spread myself a bit thin recently with too many writing projects at once, but I promise to have something interesting for Poodle bloggers to read soon!  Also, I confess, training Mr. Hudson, plus just watching him do adorable things each day, takes up a good bit of time every day!

It has been a long time since we have had so much puppy fun.  Thank you again to his breeder, Heather Bryan of Prodigy Poodles, for sharing Hudson with us.  Thank you also to his many new Facebook friends who have been so kind with compliments about his photos.  And once more, thank you Veronica, for taking such lovely photos of our boy when you visited and met him at the Carolina Classic circuit back in March.  Not many 8 month old pups have the benefit of a photo shoot the first weekend they arrive, can never thank you enough for the wonderful birthday present!  It is very special having these photos that captured the memory of our very first weekend with him.  We feel very blessed.

 Melanie Schlaginhaufen, Hudson's Mom

Please note:  Hudson's photos are copyrighted and may not be reproduced, in any form or fashion, without the permission of the photographer.