Thursday, March 01, 2007

This Poodle Hunts!

I had hinted at Penny’s new career/skill in a previous post. So here it is – she loves to bird hunt. She started hunting birds the day after we got her. Of course I had to “un-train” her, because I didn’t want her just killing birds that she found in the barn. Len started taking her hunting with him just for fun and she showed that she had a super nose. More importantly, our little couch-potato girl just loves bird hunting. Why shouldn’t she? Although she is our beloved housedog, she still is a predator. We decided to honor her nature and train her properly in her new job.

It was difficult finding a good trainer to train her. Len and I didn’t have the knowledge. Many hunting trainers don't want to mess with a poodle. Luckily, we found a fabulous trainer – Jennifer Broome at Quinebaug Kennels. Jennifer has the absolutely perfect combination of discipline and fun. Jennifer and her super staff did an incredible job with our little girl! Just as importantly (perhaps even more), is Jennifer provides training for us. This way we learn to properly handle Penny and continue her training. After all, it is harder to train the owners than the animal! Jennifer is a beautiful, talented young lady with a great sense of humor. She is an excellent teacher and could give lessons to the Dog Whisperer! We can’t recommend her highly enough and we are tough critics!

Now, some of you may still be laughing about a poodle hunting. Everyone pictures French poodles with those silly frou-frou hairdos. Poodles were originally hunting dogs, originating somewhere in central Europe or Russia back in the 16th century. The English name comes from the German word for puddle because poodles are water retrievers. Standard poodles are very smart and are very capable in a variety of jobs: hunting, service dogs, search and rescue, agility, and even sled dogs. I can’t tell you how Penny’s attitude has changed since she started hunting. She is so much happier and bouncier at home now. It is ideal because she loves Len and they both enjoy bird hunting. They get to go out together and do something they both love – a real win-win!

Update: In response to a comment that I did reply to at length in the comment section: yes, we do use all the birds that Len shoots although in this instance Len was not the shooter and thus did not receive the birds. Len does not shoot birds "just for fun" - he mostly just shoots clay targets.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Debbie, this is a great testament to Penny, Jennifer, and of course you and Len. Penny looks particularly pretty delivering the bird to hand. What a good job! It puts a smile on my face to see Penny doing something she so obviously enjoys and showing the training that went into performance. Keep up the good work Love, QK

Anonymous said...

Very nicely done! Not just the recent Penny posting, but all the items on your blogsite. Classy! JMB

Samhians said...

did you eat that bird? do you eat all your kills?

DEW said...

First question, we did not eat that bird because because Len was not the shooter - the shooters enjoyed those birds! Len was only there to handle Penny.

We eat any birds that Len shoots (always during hunting season in approved areas) or we give the birds as gifts to friends who love to eat wild game but don't like to shoot them.

Len never shoots just to kill unless the creature is rabid or sick in some other way a threat to our own animals (i.e. we have had coyote problems). Over 95% of Len's shooting is at clay targets. As any true hunter, Len has a profound love of wildlife and gives them the respect that they deserve. We are constantly improving our property to help support wildlife (turkey seeps, cover for grouse, etc.) and no, he doesn't shoot them. That would be like baiting and totally unethical!

Samhains said...

Thats good Dew.
I just have a personal problem with things like Control release hunting for instence..where the animal is born to die and never really gets a chance to be "Wild" just released in the wild to be shot really bothers me...

I feel sorry for them. Treating them like trophys and objects of sport...I understand people enjoy the hunt, but the birds sure don't.

I love that people eat them and their not just wasted.

The Object of sport really hurt as well too. Their alive with sould and fears..To me an object of sport is a baseball, basketball, hockey stick, puck..ect ect.

It is the equipment we play with that define the sport, and if phesant hunting is a sport I would then asume the phesant is an object of sport...

Anyways..thats my moment.

DEW said...

Ha! IMHO you haven't observed many pheasant hunts. I don't observe that many, but have been observng more now because of working Penny. I've found that the object of pheasant hunting is often the hunter - and/or the dog. Those cock pheasants, wild or raised, are a crafty bunch with a wicked sense of humor. And often the joke is on the hunters! I love watching "bird-brains" outsmarting the "superior" homosapiens! And I swear I've even "heard" the birds laughing at us. Who's sport is it? :)

I did hesitate for months putting up this post. This is not a forum for debating this very sensitive subject and all our friends have different viewpoints - pro and con. I've heard all the views - hunting is horrible, a least when you hunt the prey does have a chance to get away - a cow doesn't, etc. I even had one friend argue that what is the difference between eating plants and animals - plants are alive, just because they aren't like us we're still killing them - we have to face that in order for us to live we end up killing something. Sombering approach. I believe in whatever our eating choices that we should be thankful to mother nature for her bounty, be respectful of all life and not to abuse or waste in order to continue living ourselves. That's my moment I guess.

Our postings of Penny are not to offend anyone or make judgements. We love our little puppy and are proud of her acheivements although they may go against others belief systems. This blog is about my loves and she is one of them. We've taught her to respect life. She use to grab birds around the farm and kill them for sport. Now if she finds a downed bird, she brings them to us unharmed so we can put them somewhere safe. We're very proud of her.

Going For Greatness said...

Each breed of dog is bred for a 'job'. Seeing them in their element like that is seeing them in complete bliss!
Congrats to Penny on her new venture! I am sure she's excited and satisfied at the same time, on a level only known to a poodle!!
~Gabi

Luann said...

Not only were poodles bred as hunting dogs, you can tell if you look closely at their "cultural" heritage. Their coats are short and curly to protect them in water. Their funny haircuts derive from real "working" coats: short enough to protect them from cold water and thicker in areas to protect their more delicate "points" (ankles, head, etc.)

A beautiful dog! I've always loved standard poodels, they are smart as a whip when they aren't being treated as a runway model. :^)

I loved the dog puppet, too.

And I love the fact that you took time to post encouraging words to me this morning!! Thank you, kind lady.

samhains said...

Actually I'm from Nottingham, My Foster family was Scottish...

We used a Cockerspanial to fetch our birds. I have been on alot of Hunts, birds like phesent yes I have been on that hunt, Fox hunt as well I have been on... Here In canada I have been on deer and moose hunts... However I have never personally killed an animal in Sport..Only in servival when I was lost, but thats another story...

Controled release-Hunts are cruel I know this for a fact. My heart tells me so, the fear in the animal tells me so..and so does the God and Goddess tell me so.

samhians said...

Either way you try to put a humourious spin on whos hunting who..the bird, deer,moose or what ever still dies at the end of the day..

hunting is not really about man and his Dog. It is about hunting, and killing, gathering, domonation, sport and skill.

It feels very UNhuman to practise controled release hunting.

Digital Scott's illustrationblog said...

I enjoyed your story and hearing about your poodle. I like poodles, they are smart dogs. I have Yorkie, who is super smart. We're training to run agility! Yorkie's were also bred to work, so she's "in her element" when she's got a job to do! Like most people, we're happiest when we're doing what we're made for!