Versatility In Poodles

About VIP

How VIP Got Started

In the fall of 1992, a number of Poodle owners attended the same obedience workshop in Northern California. As they compared notes, they found to their dismay that each of them had at least one Poodle with a serious health problem. Everyone agreed that something needed to be done to address the health problems in Poodles. Versatility in Poodles (VIP) was formed by a group of those owners to meet this need. Since then, VIP has grown to a worldwide organization with members in several countries.

What Is VIP

VIP is a non-profit 501c-3e organization devoted to Poodles, whose two goals are to improve the health of Poodles and promote the many talents of this remarkable breed. VIP members come from a variety of lifestyles and countries. What we share is our dedication to the well-being of the Poodle.

What VIP Does

The more Poodle owners, breeders and the public know about the breed, the brighter the future for upcoming generations of Poodles will be. To that end, we produce a wide range of educational materials, from general information for the new Poodle owner to detailed health bulletins for owners and breeders. Most of these materials may be downloaded for free from the Versatility in Poodles website on our Education page.

VIP maintains a comprehensive site on the internet ( with extensive pages of educational, health, and performance information. The site also includes links to other useful sites such as the Poodle History Project, the Poodle Health Registry, the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, the Canine Health Foundation, and the Poodle Club of America.

Since the inception of VIP in 1992, a primary goal of VIP has been to fund genetic research relevant to the health of Poodles. To date, VIP has contributed over $100,000 to various research grants, including the study of epilepsy, Addison's disease, sebaceous adenitis, hip dysplasia, idiopathic pulmonary hypertension, and various eye diseases.

A Donor Advised Fund has been established at the Canine Health Foundation. All donations to VIP are tax deductible to the full extent of the law as VIP is a fully-accredited non-profit organization. For information on donating funds or securities please contact the Treasurer by going to “Who to Contact at VIP.”

Our members receive bimonthly newsletters via email describing current VIP activities as well as timely articles about Poodle health, breeding, and training.

A VIP email list has been established and new members are invited to join the VIP Yahoo online discussion group. VIP has a wide range of member expertise, and discussions are geared to help our members succeed in their endeavors and answer any questions related to life with our Poodles.

Every month there is a new topic for discussion on the list. The discussion is lead by someone with success and expertise in that area. Recent monthly topics have included grooming, puppy rearing by breeders and new owners, obedience, and tracking. The email list group also keeps members up-to-date on VIP news and information.

The VIP Versatility Certificate Program is designed to encourage owners and breeders to fully develop the many talents of their Poodles. This program provides a mechanism for formal recognition of high achievement in areas such as obedience, tracking, agility, conformation, field, temperament and health. Points are awarded for documented achievements. Although no special testing is required, owners must certify that their Poodles have met the particular requirements. Three achievement levels are recognized:

  • Versatility Certificate (VC) Awarded for high achievement
  • Versatility Certificate Excellent (VCX) Awarded for outstanding achievement
  • Versatility Certicate Master (VCM) Awarded for dual champions (one must be performance championship)

(Note: these are VIP certificates and are not officially recognized by the AKC, CKC, or any other national kennel club.)

VIP has educational materials to assist first-time owners in finding their first Poodle. These materials cover questions to ask breeders and health testing that should be done on the sire and dam. The email group which is open only to members also provides a safe forum where questions may be asked and answered by those knowledgeable in various sports.

To encourage the training of Poodles in obedience work, VIP offers a free, one-year VIP Newsletter subscription to high-scoring Novice A exhibitors in all North American Poodle specialty obedience trials.

VIP sponsors and co-sponsors events and seminars on topics related to performance. Past events and seminars include field work, tracking, rally, and herding.  Every two years the Canine Health Foundation (CHF) sponsors the AKC-CHF National Parent Club meeting, featuring seminars on the latest canine research topics as well as roundtable discussions on topics related to canine health.  As a member and consistent donor, VIP is invited to send a delegate to this meeting.  VIP sends a delegate to each CHF meeting.


VIP is the only open organization available to people who love the Poodle and who want to make a contribution to the breed. To meet the goal of funding research benefiting Poodles, VIP will continue to have fundraising projects. A popular fundraising project is the VIP Poodle Calendar which showcases Poodles engaged in a wide range of activities including agility, obedience, tracking, field work and conformation.

Through education, VIP encourages better breeding practices, continued progress on health issues, and works to inform people not only about Poodles, but about responsible dog ownership as well. We want to expand our involvement in all of the activities in which we now participate by encouraging members to try new sports. To this end, members sponsor events such as herding, in which certificates can be earned, and seminars on topics such as obedience, field work and tracking. Our Newsletter carries the latest news pertinent to Poodle owners. The VIP email list gives members access to a wealth of information and expertise. With members across North America, Europe, Japan, and Australia, we share information and news to enhance our appreciation of Poodles world-wide.


As a VIP member you can set up a VIP Educational Booth at a local canine event (we will provide you with suggestions and materials). Members are encouraged to write articles for the Newsletter on Poodle health, training, or another topic of your choice. Contribute to the email discussions, either sharing your expertise in some area or posing questions to boost discussions. Members also volunteer to serve on one of our committees, help to keep the website and information sources updated, and spearhead fundraising activities. Whatever your special interests, if you love Poodles and value their talents, versatility and good health, we welcome your involvement in VIP.

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