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.