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The Toy Poodle – A Historic Rise to Fame

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232 – September, 2017

by Amy Fernandez

An underdog’s triumphant revenge always makes for a great story. This one’s about the year Toy Poodles hit this game like a high-speed crash.

After centuries of sporadic popularity, Poodles finally found their groove in the late 1920s and it truly was their Golden Age by 1956 when our saga commences. Obviously, Toy Poodles were always part of the scene. But in terms of status, there was never any question about where they belonged. This was partly ingrained bad attitude, partly genetic reality. The patronizing official view relegated them to that assemblage of breeds euphemistically called ‘ladies pets’- even though their popularity long predated AKC’s creation of Standard and Mini varieties in 1931. Although Poodles had been recognized since 1887, Toys didn’t get into the studbook until 1912 when AKC designated them as a separate breed, which also explains the mystery of how and why Poodles wound up in two different groups.

That was two years after the first Toy earned an AKC championship, (the system was somewhat different at that time). By the late ‘20s Toys also far surpassed Minis and Standards in that respect. But it didn’t matter since they were technically another breed. Likewise, they received no recog- nition as one of the few breeds- and the only Poodle variety- developed from American bloodlines, at a time when that was rare. For decades almost all champion and big winning Minis and Standards were either imports or their descendants. In contrast, White Toy Poodles –and white was it back then – derived from stock established and bred in America since anyone started keeping records around 1880. Even so, AKC didn’t approve a Toy Poodle standard until 1928, which admittedly didn’t enhance their credibility. But in 1928 Toy Poodles had a standard, a club, and healthy base of breeders headed by club president Thomas Hartmann. As Popular Dogs reported on January 27, 1928 his Little Wonder kennel in Philadelphia had produced 48 champions by then. “He is known for bringing out his little Poodles at shows from coast to coast. Just two more will make it an even 50 and his work of 17 years in this direction will make him feel that he has been well repaid. Fifty champions in one breed is some achievement.”

Click here to read the complete article
232 – September, 2017

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