Okay, so, here is where I possibly stir some shit (or, you know, would stir some shit if anyone were actually reading this blog, which it doesn't appear they are. But hey, I've never minded talking to myself, so...
I have heard some Cardigan Welsh Corgi folks refer to "grooming fluffies" to take into the show ring. "Fluffies" are Cardis that carry a longer-than-desirable coat. What is desirable? Well, let's take a look at the AKC Standard, as written by the CWCCA:
"Medium length but dense as it is double."
All right class, everyone take out your rulers and find where it's marked "medium". What? Your ruler doesn't say that? It just has a bunch of numbers? Huh. Well, what would you guess is medium, then? Six inches is the midway mark on your typical 12-inch ruler. Go ahead: try to show a Cardi with a 6-inch long coat. (I wanna watch.) So what is "medium length" then? An inch? Two inches? Three? Well, since all the standard says is "medium", I guess that's up to the judge.
"Outer hairs slightly harsh in texture; never wiry, curly or silky. Lies relatively smooth and is weather resistant. The insulating undercoat is short, soft and thick. A correct coat has short hair on ears, head, the legs; medium hair on body; and slightly longer, thicker hair in ruff, on the backs of the thighs to form "pants," and on the underside of the tail."
Ah, okay; so we have "short", "medium" and "slightly longer" hair. That clears it right up!
"The coat should not be so exaggerated as to appear fluffy."
*gasp* They said the F-word! So, "fluffy" is an exaggerated coat. One that is... not short. Or medium. When you say exaggerated, how much is that? You can't say, exactly? Hey, I know! It's like porn: you can't really describe it, but you know it when you see it.
So what's the big deal? If the coat is too long, why not cut it and make it the right length before you go into the ring?
"Trimming is not allowed except to tidy feet and, if desired, remove whiskers."
Oh!!!!!! So when you say you're going to groom your fluffy for the show ring, you mean you're just going to give it a bath and brush it out and tidy its feet and hope the judge doesn't take out his ruler and measure the hair, which extends somewhat past "medium" on the ruler. Right?
No? Why not?
"A distinctly long or fluffy coat is an extremely serious fault."
Oh wow dude. Bummer. So, how exactly were you going to "groom" your fluffy?
But your fluffy has the best reach-and-drive you've seen in 20 years. His front is to die for, his earset is perfection, his tailset makes you weep tears of joy and gives fairies their wings. He's smart as a whip, and his lovely temperament charms everyone who meets him. His topline is so awesome that when the sun hits it, you see a little sparkle and hear that little "ting". With all this, why should something so superfluous as the length of his hair and those little whispies on his perfectly-set ears keep him out of the show ring? Why can't you just whip out the shears and "tidy" the coat a little so it's the right length?
Um, because the Standard says so: "Trimming is not allowed except to tidy feet and, if desired, remove whiskers."
And yet, it seems to be fairly commonly known and accepted that some fluffies are "groomed" and shown. I mean, really -- should an otherwise sound, typey dog be kept out of the show ring just because of a longer-than-desired coat? Does the existence of fluffies in a line signal the end of life on earth as we know it? Does it somehow break one of the biblical seals and thereby usher in the apocalypse? Of course not. But the Standard is explicit: "Trimming is not allowed except to tidy feet and, if desired, remove whiskers... A distinctly long or fluffy coat is an extremely serious fault."
So: If you "groom" your (otherwise) perfect Cardi and take him into the show ring, aren't you...