POODLE CLUB OF AMERICA, INC.
Breed Standard 1990
Veiw the Illustrated
Breed Standard HERE
Non-Sporting Group (AKC)
Gun Dog Group
General Appearance, Carriage and Condition
That of a very active, intelligent and
elegant-appearing dog, squarely built, well
proportioned, moving soundly and carrying himself
proudly. Properly clipped in the traditional fashion
and carefully groomed, the Poodle has about him an
air of distinction and dignity peculiar to himself.
Size, Proportion, Substance
The Standard Poodle is over 15 inches
at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle
which is 15 inches or less in height shall be
disqualified from competition as a Standard Poodle.
The Miniature Poodle is 15 inches or under at the highest
point of the shoulders, with a minimum height in
excess of 10 inches. Any Poodle which is over 15
inches or is 10 inches or less at the highest point
of the shoulders shall be disqualified from
competition as a Miniature Poodle.
The Toy Poodle is 10 inches or under
at the highest point of the shoulders. Any Poodle
which is more than 10 inches at the highest point of
the shoulders shall be disqualified from competition
as a Toy Poodle.
As long as the Toy Poodle is definitely a Toy
Poodle, and the Miniature Poodle a Miniature Poodle,
both in balance and proportion for the Variety,
diminutiveness shall be the deciding factor when all
other points are equal.
Proportion - To insure the desirable
squarely built appearance, the length of body
measured from the breastbone to the point of the
rump approximates the height from the highest point
of the shoulders to the ground.
Substance - Bone and muscle of both forelegs and hindlegs
are in proportion to size of dog.
Head and Expression
(a) Eyes-- very dark, oval in shape
and set far enough apart and positioned to create an
alert intelligent expression. Major fault: eyes
round, protruding, large or very light.
(b) Ears-- hanging close to the head,
set at or slightly below eye level. The ear leather
is long, wide and thickly feathered; however, the
ear fringe should not be of excessive length.
(c) Skull-- moderately rounded, with a
slight but definite stop. Cheekbones and muscles
flat. Length from occiput to stop about the same as
length of muzzle.
(d) Muzzle-- long, straight and fine,
with slight chiseling under the eyes. Strong without
lippiness. The chin definite enough to preclude
snipiness. Major fault: lack of chin.
Teeth-- white, strong and with a scissors
bite. Major fault: undershot, overshot, wry mouth.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck well proportioned, strong and
long enough to permit the head to be carried high
and with dignity. Skin snug at throat. The neck
rises from strong, smoothly muscled shoulders.
Major fault: ewe neck.
The topline is level, neither sloping
nor roached, from the highest point of the shoulder
blade to the base of the tail, with the exception of
a slight hollow just behind the shoulder.
(a) Chest deep and moderately wide
with well sprung ribs. (b) The loin is
short, broad and muscular. (c) Tail
straight, set on high and carried up, docked of
sufficient length to insure a balanced outline.
Major fault: set low, curled, or carried over the
Strong, smoothly muscled shoulders. The shoulder
blade is well laid back and approximately the same
length as the upper foreleg. Major fault: steep
(a) Forelegs - Straight and parallel
when viewed from the front. When viewed from the
side the elbow is directly below the highest point
of the shoulder. The pasterns are strong. Dewclaws
may be removed.
Feet - The feet are rather small,
oval in shape with toes well arched and cushioned on
thick firm pads. Nails short but not excessively
shortened. The feet turn neither in nor out.
Major fault: paper or splay foot.
The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of
(a) Hind legs straight and parallel
when viewed from the rear. Muscular with width in
the region of the stifles which are well bent; femur
and tibia are about equal in length; hock to heel
short and perpendicular to the ground. When
standing, the rear toes are only slightly behind the
point of the rump. Major fault: cow-hocks.
(a) Quality--(1) Curly: of naturally
harsh texture, dense throughout. (2) Corded: hanging
in tight even cords of varying length; longer on
mane or body coat, head, and ears; shorter on puffs,
bracelets, and pompons.
(b) Clip-- A Poodle under 12 months
may be shown in the "Puppy" clip. In all regular
classes, Poodles 12 months or over must be shown in
the "English Saddle" or "Continental" clip. In the
Stud Dog and Brood Bitch classes and in a
non-competitive Parade of Champions, Poodles may be
shown in the "Sporting" clip. A Poodle shown in any
other type of clip shall be disqualified.
(1) "Puppy"--A Poodle under a year old may be shown
in the "Puppy" clip with the coat long. The face,
throat, feet and base of the tail are shaved. The
entire shaven foot is visible. There is a pompon on
the end of the tail. In order to give a neat
appearance and a smooth unbroken line, shaping of
the coat is permissible. (2) "English Saddle"--In
the "English Saddle" clip the face, throat, feet,
forelegs and base of the tail are shaved, leaving
puffs on the forelegs and a pompon on the end of the
tail. The hindquarters are covered with a short
blanket of hair except for a curved shaved area on
each flank and two shaved bands on each hindleg. The
entire shaven foot and a portion of the shaven leg
above the puff are visible. The rest of the body is
left in full coat but may be shaped in order to
insure overall balance. (3) "Continental"--In the
"Continental" clip, the face, throat, feet, and base
of the tail are shaved. The hindquarters are shaved
with pompons (optional) on the hips. The legs are
shaved, leaving bracelets on the hindlegs and puffs
on the forelegs. There is a pompon on the end of the
tail. The entire shaven foot and a portion of the
shaven foreleg above the puff are visible. The rest
of the body is left in full coat but may be shaped
in order to insure overall balance. (4)
"Sporting"--In the "Sporting" clip, a Poodle shall
be shown with face, feet, throat, and base of tail
shaved, leaving a scissored cap on the top of the
head and a pompon on the end of the tail. The rest
of the body, and legs are clipped or scissored to
follow the outline of the dog leaving a short
blanket of coat no longer than one inch in length.
The hair on the legs may be slightly longer than
that on the body.
In all clips the hair of the topknot may be left
free or held in place by elastic bands. The hair is
only of sufficient length to present a smooth
outline. "Topknot" refers only to hair on the skull,
from stop to occiput. This is the only area where
elastic bands may be used.
The coat is an even and solid color at the skin. In
blues, grays, silvers, browns, cafe-au-laits,
apricots and creams the coat may show varying shades
of the same color. This is frequently present in the
somewhat darker feathering of the ears and in the
tipping of the ruff. While clear colors are
definitely preferred, such natural variation in the
shading of the coat is not to be considered a fault.
Brown and cafe-au-lait Poodles have liver-colored
noses, eye-rims and lips, dark toenails and dark
amber eyes. Black, blue, gray, silver, cream and
white Poodles have black noses, eye-rims and lips,
black or self colored toenails and very dark eyes.
In the apricots while the foregoing coloring is
preferred, liver-colored noses, eye-rims and lips,
and amber eyes are permitted but are not desirable.
Major fault: color of nose, lips and eye-rims
incomplete, or of wrong color for color of dog.
Parti-colored dogs shall be disqualified. The coat
of a parti-colored dog is not an even solid color at
the skin but is of two or more colors.
A straightforward trot with light springy action and
strong hindquarters drive. Head and tail carried up.
Sound effortless movement is essential.
Carrying himself proudly, very active, intelligent,
the Poodle has about him an air of distinction and
dignity peculiar to himself. Major fault: shyness
Any distinct deviation from the desired
characteristics described in the Breed Standard.
Size-- A dog over or under the
height limits specified shall be disqualified.
Clip-- A dog in any type of clip other than
those listed under coat shall be disqualified.
Parti-colors-- The coat of a parti-colored dog
is not an even solid color at the skin but of two or
more colors. Parti-colored dogs shall be
Value of Points
General appearance, temperament, carriage and
Head, expression, ears, eyes and teeth.......20
Body, neck, legs, feet and tail.......20
Coat, color and texture.......10