Why do show poodles get those stupid haircuts?

The standard poodle is a fine and handsome breed, in its natural state - well-proportioned, with a short and curly coat good for shedding water, helpful in its original role of a hunter’s helper.

The toy poodle, the same dog bred down in size to a ridiculous size, is a different matter - but heck, toy dogs are supposed to be ridiculous. The teacup poodle is the same thing to an extreme.

But why, oh why, do any of the poodle breeds have to tolerate the humiliation of those clownish haircuts? You know what I mean - the hair is left to grow long over the front of the body and most of the head, but the snouts and legs and aft body and tail are clipped back with only cottonball tufts over the paws and the tip of the tail. The hips get those “plumber’s butt things” (see “Best in Show” sometime, it’s hilarious).

Who the hell invented the ridiculous poodle haircut? How the hell did it catch on? If there’s a practical reason, why didn’t any other breeds get it?

Well, as told to me by my long time SO who was a breeder and handler of show poodles (I’ve slept with many a champion), poodles were originally working dogs, used as retrievers. Such work necessitated their jumping in and swimming out to the object to be retrieved. The story goes that the now fru-fru’d to the max 'do evolved from cutting their hair so they could more easily swim, while leaving tufts around jointed areas to ward off rheumatism.

What better way to find the truth behind that than to offer it up to the TM?

BTW, I wonder about your terminology. Standards are the big ones, and miniatures are those that stand about 18" - still pretty cool pooches. Toys I can just barely tolerate (I think they’re not really even the same breed - they just take to similar haircuts). Teacups? Eh?

Yup, that’s the reason. To operate in and around water, the poodles’ hair was cut to insulate the joints and chest, while not bogging the dogs down in the water. It has become stylized and formalized for the dog shows.