Many people don’t believe poodles can hunt. However, this breed can be used in marshes and meadows to catch prey. Unfortunately, some factors have long masked this breed’s hunting talents from people’s view.
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Factors Masking the Poodle’s Hunting Abilities
Many people think that poodles are just a single breed. However, there are three sizes of poodles that exist. These are the standard (above 15 inches withers height), miniature (10 to 15 inches), and toy (below 10 inches). It can be difficult for someone who just knows about the toy poodle to imagine it tangling with an angry, crippled Canada goose. However, when people use poodles for hunting, they usually go for the standard size.
Secondly, it can be difficult to imagine a dog with all that hair tracking down and killing an animal because of its showy appearance. All people think about when they look at this dog is something that sits on the couch all day long.
Lastly, poodles have been used a lot as circus dogs, trick dogs, entertainers. However, what people don’t realize is that it takes a bright and talented dog to do all those tricks. Apart from that, poodles love to be trained, and they are eager to please. This makes them more than perfect for hunting.
Do Poodles Have the Right Temperament for Hunting?
Poodles possess the instincts and temperament of a true hunter. Being one of the most intelligent dog breeds, these dogs are ordinary hunters, but they are also excellent water retrievers. To top it all, they are also quite active, outgoing, and hard-working.
When it comes to temperament, the standard Poodle is the best. It is also quite protective and loyal. It can work for hours, and it will quickly bond with its human partner. This also makes it a good watchdog. One of the reasons why this dog has such a good hunting temperament is its faith in the owner. This makes it quite responsive. If you combine that with its eager-to-please attitude, it won’t be difficult to understand why poodles will always perform jobs to the highest ability.
What are Poodles Bred to Hunt
Poodles have always been used as duck dogs. They were initially bred to work as water retrievers. Most people don’t use them to chase down and hunt game. Instead, they are perfect for retrieving shot waterfowl from the swamps and lakes.
Are Poodles Easy to Train to Hunt?
Poodles are intelligent dogs, hence training them to hunt won’t be a difficult task. There are several skills that your dog will need to learn if you want to use them for hunting. However, it is advisable to train them when they are still young. While older dogs can also learn how to hunt, it might take a bit longer for them to master the skill, so you might need to be more patient with them.
Canine psychologists suggest that poodles are the second most intelligent dogs when it comes to work, training, and obedience. In studying how easy it is to train dogs, poodles only came second to the Border Collie. It has been shown that a poodle can learn a new command with fewer than five repetitions. Apart from that, these dogs will obey a known command with more than a 95% success rate! This means you won’t have a difficult time training a poodle to hunt.
With such high levels of intelligence and obedience, molding this fluffy dog into a lethal hunting machine would almost be a walk in the park. Additionally, poodles love to work just for the sake of working, and this dramatically reduces challenges for trainers and hunters.
The Basics of Training a Poodle to Hunt
If you want to quickly train a poodle to hunt in water, the trick is to get them used to it. Find a body of water that is healthy and clean, then teach the dog in that environment. It’s not advisable to try and guide them in rough or dirty water. As they progress in their training, you can start exposing them to rough, outdoor terrain and gunfire. This way, they can become aware of what they will be working with during hunting.
The dog should get accustomed to remaining calm when they hear loud noises. It is also essential to train them not to be put off by underbrush and rocks. Once it’s used to this kind of environment, then the rest will be easier to teach. Poodles also have a natural prey drive, and they will enjoy chasing their prey and flushing birds.
Lastly, you will also want to teach your doodle how to retrieve and release. This will take a bit of time, so you might need to be patient. Fetch and retrieval are essential skills when teaching a poodle how to hunt, but once it learns this final skill, the dog will become an efficient hunting machine.
Poodle Coat for the Water
Poodles also have other qualities that make them a perfect hunting companion apart from their instincts, prey drive and work ethic. What many people don’t know is that the Poodle’s coat is unique. These dogs rarely shed, and their coat provides them with protection against water.
When hunting with poodles, they will need to swim in the cold marshes and lakes to retrieve birds from the water. Since these dogs spend a lot of time in the water, it only makes sense that they have a waterproof coat.
This is one of the reasons why poodles have pompom cuts. A lot of people think it’s only for show. However, there is more to it. People leave the extra balls of fur in areas that protect the dog’s vital organs. This allows them to swim in freezing cold water without much difficulty. In addition, poodles have a dense single coat. This means they won’t be weighed down with a soggy fur coat while hunting, making them even more efficient at retrieving.
Advanced Poodle Hunting Tips
Apart from the basic hunting training, there are some things that you can do with your poodle to make it more efficient at hunting. For instance, you can play fetch with a tennis ball to ensure that the dog understands how and when to release a bird on command. While doing this, ensure that you reward the dog with treats. Positive reinforcement works wonders when you are dealing with poodles.
You need to spend time teaching your Poodle this command. It is one of the most important commands you will use while hunting with it. Once the dog is familiar with this command, you can start taking it on actual hunting trips. This will help it get used to the sights and sounds of hunting. As you progress with your training, you can switch from tennis balls to bird dummies. Using these for retrieval training is way more effective. You can plant a dummy at varying distances, or you can even throw it into the air and command your Poodle to retrieve it.
Poodles make great hunting dogs as long as they are well trained. They also have several characteristics that make them perfect for this job.