cont. from page 37 really are “the most beautiful and versatile breed in
the world”. i was hooked, so hooked that when blue bonnet Poodle Club decided to offer the WC/WCX at the Texas regional in october 2003 and i was the hunt Test Chairman.
When my Poodles fail at what ever they are doing i al- ways view it as a failure in my training program – that some how i failed to see a problem in the test. i look at my Poodles as a whole package, and this is the issue i have with some trainers. i don’t think that because Joe blow has been training hunting dogs for over thirty years that gives him the insight to understand what is going on in my Poodle’s head. most hunting dogs live in kennels – my Poodles live in my home and we are a true pack, living together. That togetherness plays a big part in how my Poodles develop their thought processes, and in many good ways relates to how they perform in the field. It is a rare trainer who under- stands the Poodle’s mind. This can and does present a great problem for the Poodle in field work. Poodles are generally limited to training from their owners or with short stays with a pro trainer. Those of us who enter field events with our Poosles need to be ready for field trial and hunt test pros to look upon us as a nov- elty. do not look to them for admiration of the efforts you are making with your Poodle in the field. In many ways this is a good thing – what we don’t want is for the pros to start to have large numbers of Poodles living on trainer’s trucks and being exposed to the hardships that some field retrievers endure. My point is – do not be discouraged by other trainer’s lack of enthusiasm about your Poodle’s field work. Poodles do not – and never have – fit in to the mold of other breeds – and that is why we love them - because they truly break the mold in every way. i have watched trainers totally ig- nore canine instinct when training. an example – one morning i met a trainer on property which was being cleared of bush. Smoldering timber and flaming piles of brush were scattered over the grounds. The trainer put a blind at the far end of a pond, up over the top of a dam, and twenty yards to the left of the blind was a burning pile of brush. at the top of the dam the dog refused to handle to the blind, and every time the
trainer gave the cast the dog would refuse. a brutal battle within a short time. The approach the blind, sit down, and refuse to
it became dog would go any fur-
ther. to go over
no matter what the past a certain point. and stood about ten
trainer did the dog The trainer actually feet from the dog,
refused walked and the
came so frustrated he loaded up and left. i asked one of the other trainers if the flaming brush could have been the problem. his comment was “no! – that dog was just being a dog””. Well, duh! i thought the dog was afraid of the fire. As long as pro trainers think this way and never look outside the box it will be hard for the Poodle to advance in the field at a rapid pace. as a breed, Poodles are naturally suspicious of things that look out of place; they do not view things the way other dogs do. Training Poodles for field work I found that sometimes they need a little extra finesse, and I believe that training the Poodle for field work should be left up to those who know and understand the mind of a Poodle. The treatment that the lab received that day would have been devastating for a Poodle. Train- ers of Poodles have to understand the Poodle mind and to have that you have to live with one. The lab, more than likely, overcame the trainer’s poor understanding on that day. The Poodle would never forget the unfair treatment, and that would be the end of the Poodle’s enjoyment of field work.
in 2006 at the PCa national, deaux rey needed three PCA passes to be the first Poodle to receive the Gold medallion. he passed the WC and WCX on Saturday without a hiccup – two down, one to go. he needed to pass the Senior Test on Sunday and he would be good as gold. Sunday morning deaux rey had a re- ally good land series; he was without fault going into the water series. The blind was first and he did it in a two whistle. next was the marks; he swam out and retrieved the first mark – perfect! The second mark was right on the water edge. he came up on the land a little to the left of the duck and at that moment the sun came out from behind the blind and outlined the silhouette of the gunner. deaux rey turned and went in the opposite direction from the bird. no problem, i thought. i haven’t had a handle on a mark, so i will just handle him to the bird. i blew the whistle, he sat. i gave a right over, he went left. i blew the whistle again, he sat again. i gave the right over and once again he went left, which took him up the hill and fur- ther away from the bird. Two more tries, two more times he refused. game over; four refusals is a no pass, no gold today. how could this happen on the last bird, in the last test? best laid plans put to rest and we were going home needing one more Poodle Club pass. This is the life of living, loving and competing with a Poodle. i would have liked to walk up that hill and pull every Poodle hair out of the top of his head – but
dog still refused to approach the blind. The trainer be- The Poodle Papers /Winter Edition
cont. on page 39