I own a Standard Poodle and I'd be very very careful where you got one if you wanted to hunt with it. I have seen photos of hunting Standards, but I think that they were from lines bred for this and were very carefully selected.
My Tommy was "birdy" when he was younger and I have even seen him point, but he was never trained for hunting and lost interest. My first standard was squirrel mad, but again I never trained him for hunting, so the ability was lost.
I think that Standard Poodles are a lot like humans in that respect, you can train them to do just about anything, they are so versatile. However, not every person you meet can be trained to be a good hunter, so every poodle is different. Also, they do not have that extreme need to please that goldens and labs and springers have.
I am curious about what type of hunting this person wants to do. Poodles might be trained to do water retrieving--with a lot of work. I just can't see them doing a lot of overland work, but I could be wrong.
If you are a casual hunter, you should get an easier to train dog. But I am not the one to guide you, get a hunting friend with a lot of experience give you some advice. I would even say go hunting with this friend with a good dog so you can get a feel for what the breed is like in the field. If you like the dog, see if you can get it around your kids. Or ask you friend about how it is with kids--maybe he has kids himself and knows first-hand.
If you are looking for a bird dog and family dog I would suggest looking somewhere other than here! I would suggest a local field trailers or NAVDA national, IMHO When dealing with pointing breeds you have to know if your looking for just hunting partner or do you plan on competition? There are differences!
IMO I like these and have owned all at one time or another:
Weimaraner- Loving and can be very headstrong, need to have a strong personality to handle and train. A very attached dog when you train right! Do you research when buying, has been overbred in the past! Very Good Bird dog. Does not shed much.
GSP- Loving breed! Lots of good lines to pick from! Very good bird dog! Does not shed much. Have not had much to do with them lately so I don't ahve much else to say.
English Setter: Most loving dogs Ive owned! You cannot be hard on them as most have a soft personality! Very good bird dog! They do shed! Watch what you buy! Hips dysplasia and various other genetic problems are still around! If you want a gentle dog at home but a machine in the field! This is a good one! Llewellin setters are considered the Gentlemans dog!
Hungarian Vizla- Very good bird dogs! Some are virtual hunting machines! Very Energetic! Does not shed much! I don't know much else just have hunted over a few!
Labs- Have not worked over a pointing Lab but do own a conventional retreiver, He does hunt Pheasants and really has come into his own this year! His big old beaver tail just swings big circles! Very Cool! Very good all around hunter! These are great house and family dogs! With a little research you can get a good one! yes they do shed! They love water!
Again if your looking for a Bird dog, Call or go to a club! these will be your best resource!
I do trian working dogs, so if i could give you few tips. first breed selection is important. also the "lines" important. just because it is a certain breed it does guarntee it will do the work. so, i would look for dogs that have come from a succesful backround in huntung. not field trials but actual hunting. what i look for is a strong father, a hard dog, with tons of drive for his job. and the mama i am a little more lien on. she should be a good at her job. but if it took a bit more training to help her that is okay, (females tend to have more femine charcterisitcs, gun shy, more pack drive, which means they are reluctant to leave the pack). you get it. i personally like females. put you have to have more kid gloves early one. (usually, though there are females out there that do not fit this mold, and for me i think that is unnatural and i am conccerned how she would treat the pups.) next dog selection. with puppies at 6 weeks the first thing i do is take them away from the litter and mama. are they nervous, it is okay if they are, but do they overcome easily. see how they handle new experinces and places. a dog that is extremely shy or a loner. might not be the best pick. i look for confidence and see if they intersted in toys and food. those are the best indicators for me. also if the pups just woke it might be hard to tell who is who. so i try to hit em up right before dinner. when they are thier craziest. and i am not sure if you experinced with training dogs. i personally do not send my dogs away. I think it breaks foundation work and bonding that are important in a working dog. also a good working dogs may not have the best manners. we want these dogs to use thier mouths noses be atheletic and jump. so i never discpline for it. when they are older i start asking them to behave but a pup is allowed to feel free and not forced to submit. I have never had a problem with them becoming dominant. in fact it seems they love more at about 18 mos when i start putting pressure on them. it is like a sick relaitonship. also start taking seminars. and watching videos. find out who has good dogs and why. there are tons of wanabees in dogs willing to take your money even though really have not done anything.
frankly...ive bred German Shorthaired pointers...field Ch and field worhty hunters...as well as brittneys..Both..shed a lot..GSp..the hair was short..and kind of picky if you got it on you...if hair is an issue for medical reasons..i would just get a poodle..and chances are...you cant or wont hunt with it..Some times you cant have it all in one breed of dog..is hunting a major issue or is hair? They do have portigese water spaniels...but they might be costly as heck as they are not a run of the mill dog breed...i had my brittneys in the house..I did how ever shave them down close as I didnt like the shedding and gobs of hair skating across the floor..it still came out..but it was short..so..I would personally assess what it is what you really want..and try to make it work..some times..you just cant have everything..sorry...Just my opinion
I have to suggest these because I Love mine so much.
Basset Hound.Not I don't know about the bird hunting.I'll have to look into that but you could not ask for a better breed to live w/ kids.Mine think they are one of the kids.And my boys love them.They are very smart dogs.The only chewing they did was on my flip flops.They shed very little.Well at least mine do.Or it appears that way next to my golden.My step dad has a golden that is a bird dog,and they are great w/ kids but shed a good bit.
Good luck w/ what ever you choose.
BTW....I was amazed to read about the Poodle.I did not know all that. :)
I don't know where you guys all found these GSP that don't shed! Every GSP I've ever met sheds tons! And it is a very hard hair to get off furniture/clothes!
My brittany doesn't shed much, but she does shed. She points birds already, and hasn't had any training yet. But she's stubborn as all get out.
Brittanys are very active, but vizslas and weimeraners are more active still. And also very hard to find a good one.
If you're wanting a bird dog, you also have to decide if you want one that points or flushes or retrieves. SOME dogs will do all, but usually are only REALLY good at one thing. Unless, of course, you want to spend a few thousand for a fully trained bird dog.
I did a search one time while we were looking for a hunting dog that is good with kids and doesnt shed much. we came up with the German wiredhaired pointer,the poodle,portuguese water dog,and the german wiredhaired griffon,and the spinone italiano.
What an interesting thread this has turned out to be.
I have enjoyed the discussions of different types of hunting.
My step-dad hunted ducks with Golden Retrievers (his was about 50 pounds from a hunting line and very very birdy, not like the Goldens you see today), but Lord in Heaven did they shed! They were superb with all of the kids in my family and with all of our friends.
I went with owning Standard Poodles because of my allergies. For such a large dog, they are gentle with children and incredibly intelligent.
One drawback is that the hair must be brushed and the dog must be groomed regularly. If you don't do it yourself (I do), it can get pricey in a hurry.
You do know, I hope, that there is no such thing as a hypoallergenic dog? Some very sensitive people do have trouble even with poodle hair or dander. And poodles do shed hair. It's just that their coat is more "hair-like" instead of "fur-like." Also, they are genetically "programmed" to grow hair eight to ten inches long, so it falls out less often. However, if you don't want that length, it must be cut, just as your hair is cut.
Another drawback is that poodles cannot live outside away from people. They would be absolutely miserable. They NEED people the way that they need food and water. They want to know (and approve of) everything anything in the family does. They want to sleep next to you, watch tv with you, monitor your phone conversations, help you do laundry, evaluate your cooking and vet all visitors to the house.
I am absolutely smitten with my Standard Poodle. I hope that if you get one, you will be, too.
I was thinking about this some more and thought of a couple other breeds that work well as family and hunting dogs, Brittney and American Springer Spaniel's.
Again Try a hunting club if your looking for a hunting dog! I would venture to guess very few on here have actually been out in the field hunting Pheasants, Grouse, woodcock ect.ect.!
I would also try and stay with the well known breeds and stay away from the lesser known breeds as you will have a hard time finding one and you will pay big bucks for a unproven dog with suspect linage!
So GSP shed alot? Shedding is an issue for us, but my hubby would love a hunting dog, so that would be a bonus for us, flush and recover. Does the Brit shed alot as well? are they good family dogs? A poodle is out of the question for us, it was one my husband nixed before we even started researching. We want a medium - large dog, family oriented and hopefully one that can be taken on bird hunting trips. We have little over an acre back yard and are an active family of 5. I am very thankful for all of the advice and info you all have provided. This forum has made the process much easier for our family.