Standard Hunting Poodle running through a marsh.

Most people cannot imagine sitting with a poodle in a duck blind or running the fields for pheasant and shooting over a Poodle. Their first thoughts of a Poodle are the little white dogs with terrible haircuts.

Even the American Kennel Club classifies the Poodle in the “Non-Sporting Group”. The standard poodle, however, is one of the most underrated dog breeds for both upland and waterfowl hunting.

If you’ve never seen a Poodle in the field, you may be surprised to see a dog with an impressive intellect, drive, and intensity in the field.

Why Standard Poodles Make Great Hunting Dogs

If a dog has both intelligence and biddability, the sky is the limit in what you and a poodle can accomplish. The breed is highly intelligent, versatile, and deliberate in the way they work, using the wind and terrain to their advantage.

Poodles show high levels of drive and athleticism while working a field, letting their nose do the work to make calculated moves. A good Standard Poodle will show methodical quartering and bird finding ability.

Being strong swimmers, the Standard Poodle also makes a great choice for waterfowl hunting as well. The breed was in fact originally bred as a water dog.

In addition to displaying intelligence and versatility, the Poodle is taught very easily and can work extremely well with a trainer or handler. While the breed does not handle high pressure as well as others, it’s not necessary because the dog can be taught through repetition and proper training.

All things considered, the Standard Poodle has “the right stuff” as far as brains, temperament, and physical abilities to make a great waterfowl or upland hunting dog.

Poodle Temperament & Training

The Poodle is highly loyal, even-tempered, and does great in a family environment. These traits are not requirements for every hunter, but a dog that can be social and around other people and dogs is something many hunters will value. It can make owning and integrating your dog into your daily life easier and enjoyable.

The most crucial aspect when it comes to training the Poodle is adopting a “Teach – Don’t Train” mindset. Trainers using a heavy-handed approach, applying high pressure, are bound to struggle with the breed. Like many other breeds of high intelligence, a Poodle can associate negative responses with an apprehensive attitude, effectively holding a grudge.

The better approach is applying corrections that are immediate, and with precision. With a high level of intelligence, you will find they catch on quickly by simply taking time to teach the dog. The Poodle simply needs a trainer to show them what to do, and their natural drive and athleticism will let them develop quickly.

Physical Attributes of the Hunting Poodle

Hunting Poodle Origins

The Standard Hunting Poodle Surveying a Field

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Standard Poodles Make Good Hunting Dogs?

What Were Poodles Bred to Hunt?

How Do You Train a Poodle to Hunt?

Do Poodles Point?

Are Standard Poodles Hypoallergenic?

Are Standard Poodles Good with Kids?

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