They all practice obedience, the standard poodle cut was origionally for hunting, long hair on joints, and tips of the ears and head to prevent frost bite, and short hair on back and legs to prevent burs, sticks, and other debris getting stuck in it.
Honestly, i don't think it matters much anymore especially for show dogs what they are bred to do, as it isn't practical to use them anymore i do feel most show dogs are very well taken care of.
Very interesting on the history of the poodle cut, I actually did not know that!
As far as the rest of it, I am not saying that dogs should only be bred for work, but rather that in the past because the criteria was work (over looks) that there was much more genetic diversity happening.
As far as treatment at dog shows, I think a huge number of people you might find at a dog show, love their dogs and treat the individual animals well. However, in terms of the big picture they are doing the animals a terrible disservice.
Hm, I read most of the article but I will finish it later.. After my nap
Wellllllll? Didjya like it huh?
Some people are so into confirmation that they breed useless dogs.
Again, I don't think it is so much a matter of utility here as it is the fact of inbreeding depression.
@All: Thanks for starting to put up some good and really interesting comments! Huge thanks to any and all of you who have shared the article on your blogs and Facebook and what not!