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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Understanding Breed Standards

    Breed Standards
    There are a lot of comments about grooming to the Breed Standard. I often wonder how many of these posters have actually read the Breed Standard for the given breed that they are posting about.

    What I feel is a misconception as to what the actual Breed Standards are written for. They are not for grooming. They are written by the parent club for the breeder and the judge as a guide to the ideal of that breed. It generally covers the ideal conformation of the breed. There are a few exceptions discussing within certain breeds as to the proper styles or clips that are allowed. We most all know that the poodle can only be shown in three clips. Puppy, Continental, and the English Saddle. These trims are discussed in the Breed Standard, with a description on each trim. There is one other trim discussed which is called the Sporting clip. This trim is only allowed for non-regular classes such as Veteran Sweepstakes and Parade of Champions.

    On most terriers Breed Standards it does discuss coat texture, but it doesn’t describe how to accomplish the wiry texture that is preferred. The standards give a complete description of what the Ideal terrier should look like and the movement.
    It bugs me to see a person slam another person for putting a dog in a trim that may not be acceptable in the show ring and use the term “not grooming according to the breed standard.” Again the breed standards are written for the breeder and the judge as a guide to the ideal dog.

    The grooming guides such as “Notes” and Nash’s website are the guide for grooming techniques and styles to attain that “special” look of the individual breeds.

    My point is this,,,, if you groom a poodle in any other clip other then what is described by the Parent club you are not conforming to the breed standard. How about when a Yorkie is done in a modified Westie type trim…it goes against the breed standard. We as pet groomers have come to accept these styles as the norm, but certainly these styles would not be accepted in the show ring.
    Certainly, I’m just as guilty of not grooming all my Yorkies in full flowing coat, or my Shih Tzu’s, and I do clip most all my terriers. Heaven help me, my poodles are running around with no coat at all. Also over the years, I’ve taken a Bouvier made it into a Schn trim, Kerry into a schn. How many OES are clipped down, or done with a Teddy head and scissored legs? Not my choice but requested by the owner.

    These are my thoughts and opinions on this subject. It’s fine to make remarks about an Airedale with big bloomers, or cockers with big hula skirts. Its one thing to say that the dog isn’t groomed in the correct pattern or the style for that breed, but it’s incorrect to say the dog isn’t groomed according to the breed standard, in most cases.

    Grooming for the show ring and the techniques used to accomplish the look of the “ideal” dog according to the breed standard is far different then grooming a pet. Very few pets are groomed using techniques to accomplish the look of the ideal breed according to that individual dog’s breed standard.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
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    1,976

    Default

    Well said...
    "The gift which I am sending you is called a dog, and is in fact the most precious and valuable possession of mankind"-Theodorus Gaza

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    South Carolina
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    Default

    I agree, very well said! I am very happy that at my age, I was able to learn to groom and make a living, just being a Pet Groomer!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    6,071

    Default

    Many "breed standard" styles and methods are not practical at all for pet dogs and pet owners. Way too much work, fluff and nonsense.

    The only "standard" I groom to is what the owner wants. Their dog and their check book, so who am I to tell them they have to do something different, impractical, or that doesn't work for them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    2,682

    Default

    Great point FE. I agree! But where does this leave us when a doodle walksin the door? (J/K)


    sittingpretty

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,308

    Default

    ...which is why achieving the title of Master with any of the grooming organizations is a sham....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    2,657

    Default

    That is and interesting comment...can you explain why you think that? And just to make sure since sometimes written words don't relay sentiment very well, this is not a derogatory remark...just curious.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    GA
    Posts
    10,888

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A1Mobile View Post
    ...which is why achieving the title of Master with any of the grooming organizations is a sham....
    REALLY? I disagree because it shows you k now your standards (written questions) and can groom dogs to the requested profile and do them WELL!
    My Blog The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why. –Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Posts
    6,606

    Default

    Interesting point (and well worded) FE. I guess I've never given it much thought as I've never really interpreted a breed's "Standard" as a "how to" (groom) as relates to 99.9% of the grooming most of us do.
    I can easily see where the words "Breed Standard" are subject to misapplication in the world of pet grooming.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    1,926

    Default

    What I understand by the phrase of grooming to the breed standard would be grooming the dog in an appropriate trim that would give the illusion that the dog is built correctly, such as on a poodle creating a chest with hair and altering the length of hair on the legs to create the correct silhouette, or on a schnauzer, altering the pattern if say you have a really fat dog with muffin tops above the elbows, you would leave your lines a bit higher to not accentuate that shape, and to give the illusion the dog is built correctly. Sacking is another term that would apply to breed standard, if the standard states the coat is flat or slightly wavy and you have a GSD with the wildest cowlicks ever on its hindquarters, you would sack that area, because in the standard, it is a fault to have curly hair.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    New Mexico
    Posts
    558

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by A1Mobile View Post
    ...which is why achieving the title of Master with any of the grooming organizations is a sham....
    Dictionary: sham is
    something that is not what it purports to be; a spurious imitation; fraud or hoax.

    A1 I think you are looking for a different word. Masters are not frauds or hoaxes. They simply know both breed standard and commercial grooming.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    6,236

    Default

    Stephen: My stepfather was a brilliant show groomer turned commercial groomer, I am glad to see the term commercial grooming used here. That's exactly what my mother used to say that grooming as we know it in America for the millions of pet owners is simply commercial grooming, and most groomers are commercial groomers.

    Knowing breed standards can be of good use though. In any mix we see the dominant breed and can design around that adding the desires of the pet owners. If a pet owner doesn't know what they want I used to like to describe possibilities starting with breed standards and of course many would say, well I just need him short all over in Summer etc. Yep, you know, that's commercial grooming but knowing breed standards is still essential to being capable of serving clients with that level of grooming, and we always were able to deliver that.

    Perhaps that becomes more important the larger your business because certainly the larger businesses do get a percentage of clientele that want that type of grooming, expect it actually to get their patronage. If your area has well known breeders of purebreds it really helps too. We had several and for that reason we got a fair amount of purebred pet owners that pretty much or totally stuck with breed standard, and all the rest which was still the majority, was commercial grooming.

    It's fun to be capable at both.
    Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the FAQ section, or in the Board Help Forum. Thanks for coming to PetGroomer.com http://www.petgroomer.com.

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