IS THE STANDARD WRONG?
The AKC standard actually
says something quite different. But nonetheless it seems quite clear that some people are
adhering to the above imaginary paragraph. Our standard says, Coat-...Trimming is not
allowed except to tidy feet and, if desired, remove whiskers.
Why is it that so many people
seem to think this is completely wrong? Do we want to change the standard?
One of the major
characteristics of this breed which attracted me when I changed breeds was its
naturalness. I had handled any number of breeds, from Long-haired Chihuahuas to Old
English Sheepdogs to Pembrokes. I didn't want a breed which I had to trim, hand-strip,
fluff dry, etc. I
Yet now I see people
trimming, combing in and moussing in top lines, stripping, fluff drying, etc. This is
certainly an improvement from earlier days when this breed often came into the ring dirty
and smelling! But, haven't we gone just a little bit too far?
Certainly Cardigans need to
be washed properly and groomed before going into the ring. That means a full bath one or
two days before the show, depending on how harsh the coat is, followed by a full brushing
out. Then on the day of the show we comb, brush, chalk the white and do a belly bath if
needed. But that's all! Nails and feet should have been trimmed when we gave the full
bath, not the day of the show. A blow-dried Cardigan is not correct, the coat will stand
out from the body, giving the impression of an open coat (a fault).
Is the standard wrong? Are
our dogs really supposed to be that over-groomed? Or, maybe our quest for the ribbons is
taking us too far!