View Full Version : Hunting dogs, labs, poodles, cavaliers?

15th March 2013, 10:36 PM
I was watching Duck Dynasty yesterday. Those not in the US or don't know or may understand, Duck Dynasty is a reality show about a family of who invented a duck call and made millions. You would never know because they look and act like southern bearded living off the land etc.

Well they went hunting and brought a poodle. Phil, who said it was a yuppie dog, didn't quite like the idea. Turns out that the poodle did quite well. I have always heard they were smart but were they bred for hunting?

Back to cavaliers. Is it true they came from hunting dogs that were not so smart so they ended up as house dogs "comforters"? The reason I ask is last weekend Elton saw something in the creek and jumped in! I think he still has a hunting instinct.

I think duck dynasty is so funny :)

15th March 2013, 11:40 PM
I love that stupid show :) They are very endearing "back woods folk". I was not really surprised to see the standard poodle as a bird hunting dog. Poodle are generally healthy dogs, and smart...so why not? Si does look pretty silly next to a poodle tho :)

16th March 2013, 12:31 AM
I love that stupid show :) They are very endearing "back woods folk". I was not really surprised to see the standard poodle as a bird hunting dog. Poodle are generally healthy dogs, and smart...so why not? Si does look pretty silly next to a poodle tho :)

One of my favorites! My brother in law has a friend that is a duck hunting guide. He took them all out and said they are exactly the same as on the show. Sometimes I think in some "reality" shows they may be more outrageous for the cameras and from what I heard, they are just as wild!

I love Si! No matter how good a dog may be hunting, I can't see him next to a standard poodle either. Then again you never know with him!

16th March 2013, 12:37 AM
I haven't seen the show but I do agree there are many cavaliers that have the hunting instinct. I know my little female cannot be off leash as she runs after every bird she sees. My first cavalier hunted mice and was able to catch one. Unfortunately she also poked her eye a few times while in the bushes doing her hunting. I finally had to fence in the bushes and that ended her mice hunting career. :)

16th March 2013, 12:48 AM
Last weekend at the beach, there was a lab retrieving (I'm not sure what it's called like a buoy) in the ocean. It was so interesting to watch his owner train him. To stay, wait for his command then go in the ocean to bring back.

My brother in law is a hunter and got a lab from a "champion" line meaning good hunting skills I guess. Forest turned out to flunking school (he went to some place they keep them for months), hating hunting, and sleeping in bed with my nephew :)

Then you can be surprised and find a cavalier that can do what Forest was meant to do. check out:


16th March 2013, 02:42 AM
Poodles were originally "water dogs", and the "show cut" you see now is an exaggerated version of a practical cut to keep their feet warm, etc., when going in the water. Here's a link to the (short) AKC poodle history page: http://www.akc.org/breeds/poodle/history.cfm . And here's a link to the history behind the "poodle cut": http://www.pedigree.com/All-Things-Dog/Article-Library/A-Short-History-of-Poodle-Grooming-.aspx

16th March 2013, 02:48 AM
Pics of working poodles/hunting dogs: https://www.google.com/search?q=Poodles,+hunting+dogs&hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=ErN&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=fflb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=wdxDUeuBGc-GyQH9toDQDw&ved=0CAoQ_AUoAQ&biw=1025&bih=486

(a friend has a standard poodle as a service dog for her daughter, along with about a half a dozen other poodles from big to small, and my mom loves "natural cut" standard poodles ;) )

16th March 2013, 06:32 AM
What I always understood about the small spaniels from the times of King Charles II is that the lively ones from the litter were used for hunting and the quiet ones went to the ladies of the court as "comforters". Paintings from the time show the "toy spaniel" in both roles. It was because of these paintings that a Mr Roswell Eldridge put up prize money at Crufts in the early 20th century for breeders to re-create the longer nosed toy spaniels from what had become fashionable, the breed we know as King Charles Spaniels in England, and English Toy Spaniel in USA. If you search for the history of the Cavalier you should find more detail. So that could be why there is still a hunting instinct in Cavaliers, If I had my way they wouldn't be in the toy group, they would be in the gundog group along with the rest of the spaniels. :)

16th March 2013, 10:01 AM
Lots of dogs can be trained to retrieve for hunting etc (for fun!) --some breeds are just bred specifically for this because they will traditionally like to retrieve, have a soft mouth etc. Dog Training Ireland does a class now and then on scenting and retrieval and any dog can do it. :D If a dog in a hunting line litter doesn't like to hunt it isn't necessarily that the dog isn't bright; it may just not have the right personality and interest. :) Like people and various jobs!

Of the 5 cavaliers I have had, only Jaspar would really have the qualities that could easily have been trained to do this type of work (or any work really -- he is very, very focused and always good at anything he was trained for). He also is good at thinking for himself in the right way -- he solves problems himself.

I've read that a cavalier type small spaniel would have been used as 'saddle spaniels' where they could be carried in a saddle bag during a hunt then released to flush birds etc out of thick undergrowth.

Important to remember that these small spaniels were not a breed per se in the way we now think of it!

16th March 2013, 02:24 PM
Rabbits are fair game too!


16th March 2013, 09:54 PM
I think many Cavaliers still have a hunting instinct. Tess certainly does. If I say "squirrel" and open the back door, she's out of the house like a shot. And she was frantic when we brought home parakeets years ago... Could not understand why "those things" were inside the house and she couldn't have them. LOL And when we got a mouse, she knew long before we saw any droppings... and she helped us get rid of it too. My two Goldens on the other hand, are only moderately interested in squirrels... it's Tess who sees them and starts barking up a storm.

Kate H
17th March 2013, 08:39 PM
A friend of mine trained one of her Cavaliers to work as a gundog, doing the spaniel job of picking up shot game. A shooting friend made a disparaging remark about Cavaliers being useless toy dogs and Dawn thought 'I'll show him' and six months later she had a working gundog. Another friend does working trials with one of her Cavaliers (as well as her Bearded Collies), which includes jumps, scales, tracking, search and retrieve. Cavaliers have good brains, but because they're small a lot of people don't bother to train them - just as they don't bother to walk them because they think they get enough exercise in the garden.

Kate, Oliver and Aled

18th March 2013, 12:13 PM

You are so right. I think they are a smart breed and doing things like rally, agility and other things are very fulfilling, I have heard.

I do agree with Karlin about some just not having the personality (those bred to be hunting dogs). I feel sorry for my brother in law because he has not found a good one. Forest is a big baby and has the sweetest personality but he has NO interest in hunting. He went to some big camp where dogs spend months training. I don't think he lasted a month. No matter how much training my brother did, forest just has a different personality (sleeping in the bed with my nephew and he is huge).

Sadly, the lab they had before had hip displysia at a very young age. My aunt has done a couple breedings in 20 years. All her puppies go to people she knows. Her last litter, I could not help to mention to my mom that I hope she had their hips tested and factors in their health :). It does not matter to me even if they are my family. I was glad to hear that she did.