The June/July issue of Gun Dog magazine landed in my mailbox last week with an intriguing cover teaser: "Making a Comeback: The Standard Poodle." The author of the article, James B. Spencer, comes out swinging against the thought running through most of your minds right now:
"Poodles hunt? You gotta be kiddin' me!"
Spencer explains there are in fact three different sizes of poodles; toy, miniature and standard. Although AKC categorizes all poodles into the non-sporting group, the standard poodle does in fact have a long hunting history. Spencer writes that standard poodles have been a popular breed of bird dog since Middle Age times.
Here are a few key nuggets about the standard poodle:
Personally, I have only hunted with a standard poodle on one occasion. Although the pup was a mere eight months old during that particular hunt, I was impressed by the dog's natural ability, interest in birds, enthusiasm to retrieve and overall obedience. In fact, I know two Pheasants Forever colleagues with standard poodles as their hunting dogs.
So tell me, have you hunted birds behind a standard poodle? How did the pup stack up as a bird dog?
The Pointer is written by Bob St.Pierre, Pheasants Forever's Vice President of Marketing.