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Hey guys! I’m new to the world of poodles and dogs for that matter and looking to find a good breeder to get one soon! I’m a falconer who’s looking for a good miniature poodle to help me and the hawk out in the field and just to be a lovely house pet too. Do you guys know of any miniature poodle breeders that specialize in hunting dogs? I live in the San Francisco Bay Area but happy to drive a good distance for the right breeder! Thank you so much for any help!!
 

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Are you looking for a dog to flush small game for the hawk?

I'm not aware of anyone currently using miniature poodles to hunt, although I'm sure someone is out there doing it. Cocker spaniels were more commonly used for flushing smaller birds, and Miniature poodles aren't quite big enough to retrieve a big duck or a goose. However, miniature poodles are certainly smart, athletic, and trainable.

Since you will need a more specialized personality, you would want to avoid the kind of breeder who lets the buyers select puppies by cuteness or color at age 2 weeks. I would look for a breeder who titles their dogs in obedience and sports; these breeders are selecting for drive and trainability. I would also look for a breeder who evaluates their dogs using the something like the Volhard aptitude test. This test needs to happen at around 7 weeks - the sweet spot when the dog is old enough to start showing its innate personality but young enough not to have been overly influenced by outside experiences.

There are definitely some Standard kennels specializing in hunting. Louter Creek in Georgia is one. Bellini in Quebec is another. I'm not sure which other kennels are active right now; a few of the ones I used to follow have retired.

Here is a link to an article with more information and resources:
Gun Dog Breeds: Standard Poodle.

I'd also check out the Versatility in Poodles web site. Find A Poodle - Versatility In Poodles, Inc.

More about Volhard testing: Choosing Your Puppy (PAT) | Volhard Dog Nutrition
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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Mpoos don't usually compete in retriever hunt tests because their size makes it difficult to carry the birds, but it's still a good place to start. Look up NAHRA and AKC tests near you and see if you can find any poodles, and network from there. If you can't find any poodles in hunt circles, then try traditional performance breeders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you guys so much! Yeah flushing game and helping us find it in the first place are what I’m looking for. The little guy won’t have to carry it, I go over to where the hawk has caught it. And as for the networking, should I just email the breeders of those dogs and ask them if they know any miniature breeders that might have dogs that would work well for me?
 

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It may also be helpful to reach out to an established Spoo breeder that specializes in hunting.. Louter Creek comes to mind. They may be able to point you in the right direction for a mini.
 

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You said you are new to dogs, correct? I would start researching dog training clubs in your area. You will probably need their help after you get your puppy, as you will need to teach your dog how to work in the field. In addition to Louter Creek, I think Harmony Mountain in Utah is pretty serious about hunting poodles.
 

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Mia, Christmas in June 2010
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I just checked and got a bit of a surprise. I had assumed that poodles were not eligible to participate in the spaniel hunting tests, which involve flushing and retrieving, so I steered you towards the traditional retriever test. But I was wrong! Poodles are an eligible breed, and you may get lucky searching AKC Spaniel Hunting Tests. How thrilling to learn something new. Thank you for your question!
 

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Benjamin Franlkin - Senior Tpoo, Apple Butter - mpoo puppy
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You could try reaching out to my breeder, Estelle, of Safranne poodles. She breeds mpoos for competition in dog sports, but in her Facebook group I've seen her dogs doing barn hunt and scent work. I've met many of her poodles now and they have lovely personalities and good drive to work hard while still being able to "turn off" at home.
 

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My miniature poodle, Zoe, is very birdy - she has even retrieved a baby bird that fell out of the nest without disturbing a single feather. She has watched birds since she was a very small puppy. SO . . . when you talk to breeders, ask for a puppy who has demonstrated an interest in birds. I suspect there are many mini poos who would do wonderfully in field trials. I would like to try it, but need a mentor.
 

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How does a breeder distinguish prey drive from that interest you’ve described, @Johanna?

Peggy’s also very interested in birds. I suspect she might eat one if given the chance, but I really don’t know. She’s quite gentle with the frogs, lizards, and slugs she meets, but they don’t have that magical birdy quality.
 

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Well I don't have any suggestions other than those already offered, but I do want to know how this turns out, so now I know I will get updates on further posts to this thread!
 

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Hey guys! I’m new to the world of poodles and dogs for that matter and looking to find a good breeder to get one soon! I’m a falconer who’s looking for a good miniature poodle to help me and the hawk out in the field and just to be a lovely house pet too. Do you guys know of any miniature poodle breeders that specialize in hunting dogs? I live in the San Francisco Bay Area but happy to drive a good distance for the right breeder! Thank you so much for any help!!
There is a Facebook group devoted to breeders of Hunting Poodles. There are people with miniatures on the breeders list. Breeders have earned Junior Hunter and Upland Hunting titles. So they are out there.
 

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You might consider another breed. English Springer Spaniels naturally flush game (from field lines, not show lines - they are two separte lines in ESS's ) Hunted with my spaniels for many a year - solo and in groups, with other other spaniels or with brittanys. My ace spaniel actually treed a bobcat! No fear. Worked hard in the field, very loving at home. Too old for me to hunt these days but with wonderful memories.
 
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