Neck, Topline, & Body: The ideal Poodle has a neck that is “well-proportioned, strong and long enough to permit the head to be carried high and with dignity.” The topline is “level, with the exception of a slight hollow just behind the shoulder.”
The shoulders should be strong and “smoothly muscled,” with the shoulder blade “well laid back and approximately the same length as the upper foreleg.” (Well-laid-back means about 45 degrees.) The forelegs should be straight and parallel when viewed from the front. When seen from the side, the elbow should be “directly below the highest point of the shoulder.”
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The feet are “rather small, oval in shape with toes well arched and cushioned on thick firm pads.” They should not turn in or out. The angle of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters. The hind legs should be “straight and parallel” when viewed from the rear.
The chest should be “deep and moderately wide with well-sprung ribs.” The loin is short, broad, and muscular. The tail is docked, “set on high and carried up.” A tail that is set low, curled, or carried over the back is a major fault.
Gait: The show ring gait (movement) of a Poodle should be “a straightforward trot with light springy action, and strong hindquarters drive.”
Coat: The coat can be “Curly of naturally harsh texture, dense throughout,” or “Corded: hanging in tight even cords of varying length, longer on mane or body coat, head, and ears; shorter on puffs, bracelets, and pompons.”
For showing, a Poodle must appear in one of the following traditional clips: a puppy clip, (for dogs under 12 months of age); the English saddle clip; the continental clip; or the sporting clip (for non-competitive classes like veterans or for stud classes).
Colors: Poodles may be of any solid color: apricot, black, blue, brown, cafe au lait, cream, gray, silver, or white, with black and white being the most common. Whatever the color, however, it must be solid. Any parti-colored Poodle, for instance a black dog with white paws or chest, is disqualified from the show ring-—although they make charming pets.