Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Prim poodles from across the US compete for honors

OCEANSIDE — The American Kennel Club (AKC) confirmation poodle show will judge the best in toy, miniature and standard poodles Sept. 8 and Sept. 9 at Buddy Todd Park. “This is a specialty show just for poodles,” Brandon Melanese, show chair and president of the San Diego Poodle Club, said.

Dog handlers and owners from across the U.S. will show their dogs and vie for the best in the breed.

Brandon Melanese (center) shows Austin at last year’s Poodle Specialty event held by the San Diego Poodle Club. Austin earned Best in Show. Photo courtesy of Brandon Melanese

Most participants come form the Southwest.

About 70 percent of them are professional handlers.

The show awards ribbons and prizes for best in breed and best puppy. Winners also earn points toward classifying their dogs as AKC champions.

Finish champions qualify to complete for best poodle in the show, which earns a cash prize.

“The standard is the same for all three types,” Melanese said. “The perfect poodle confirmation includes headpiece, chest and movements.”

Melanese said there is no special training for showmanship. It comes naturally to the dogs.

What is essential in preparing dogs for the show is breed-specific grooming.

Dogs’ hair is grown out 6 inches on toy poodles and 10 inches on standard poodles so it can be groomed into a pom pom look.

The show gives owners an opportunity to move their dogs closer to becoming AKC champions. Another goal of the show is to educate the public.

“What I like best about poodles is their love, intelligence and loyalty,” Melanese said. “They don’t shed, they’re hypoallergenic and are excellent companions.”

In addition to the dog show there will also be a microchip clinic at the event. A veterinarian will be on site to implant security mircochips in dogs for $25. The chip allows Humane Societies across the U.S. to identify a dog’s owner.

There will be citizenship testing for dogs as well, which recognizes good behavior and promotes responsible dog ownership.

Dogs that pass the test earn a citizenship certificate and are eligible to serve as therapy dogs.

The test costs $15.

Admission to the poodle show is free. It runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 8 and Sept. 9.


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