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America's Best Hunting Dog Could be... a Poodle?

A recent field trial in Wisconsin proved poodles are as good, if not better, in the field than Labradors.

Imagine your four-legged companion patiently waiting by your side. The cold November wind pushes against your face and you look up to see a pair of mallards circling your way. You make the call and they respond by dropping their wings and sweeping directing towards your horseshoe-shaped decoy spread.

The dog wines slightly as you raise and drop one of the birds with a single shot. Your best friend excitedly returns the duck to hand and you reach down to say, "Good job, buddy."

Now imagine that the dog you're petting is a poodle. No, this isn't some Dr. Seuss twist to your favorite episode of Duck Commander. This is reality for a dedicated group of Wisconsin bird hunters and during a recent field trial the owners proved that poodles can do the job of a sporting dog and do it well.

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"For someone who hasn't seen poodles work, it can be a shock. The poodles hit the field as hard as any other breed." That's what Jaci Bowman, vice-president of Milwaukee Poodle Club, had to say about them.

Poodles are similar to spaniels in the fact that they flush their game instead of pointing it. They are hypoallergenic and do not shed. They've been popular in Europe for years but their use in the states has been minimal. But with help from organizations like the Poodle Club of America, you may see more and more curly haired show dogs in the bird haunts you visit. Who knows, you may even end up with one yourself.


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