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Standard poodle, Guinness, a born retriever, makes a game of chasing sticks at Haven Beach in Mathews County.


Also, it is important to mention that the glamorous Standard Poodle is actually a water dog — that’s right, a purposeful working retriever.


There are several other noteworthy re- Leonberger


trieving breeds who love the water. These can include: American Water Spaniel, Boykin Spaniel, Flat Coated Retriever, Curly Coated Retriever, Irish Water Spaniel, Field Spaniel, English Springer Spaniel, American Cocker Spaniel, English Cocker Spaniel, and Welsh Springer Span- iel. Comfortable on both land and water, the spaniels are skillful at getting the gundog task completed and then coming home to make wonderful companions. Also, it is important to mention that


the glamorous Standard Poodle is actually a water dog — that’s right, a purposeful working retriever. Make no bones about it, the Standard Poodle is both a gundog and a water dog, particularly for duck hunting and sometimes upland bird hunting. The signature “poodle cut” may seem more fashion statement than necessity, however it evolved to assist the dog both in and out of the water. Since a poodle’s thick coat can get heavy when wet, the bottom half of the body was shorn to help keep the dog afloat. To keep its organs warm in cold weather and water, the hair was kept long over the chest and head. Bracelets of hair were left to protect the joints and tail, and a topknot was used to keep long hair out of the eyes when swimming. Water dogs are not exclusively bred for hunting; they have a variety of talents for which teamwork between man and canine is essential. The Newfoundland is a water dog serving mankind through water res- cue. The Portuguese Water Dog is a work- ing breed, assisting watermen by retrieving overboard objects, carrying messages, guarding boats, and pulling fishing floats and nets. The Leonberger is a large German breed used on farms for draft work pulling carts, and like the Newfoundland, works well as a lifeguard. The Lagotto Romag- nolo, meaning “lake dog from Romagna,” is traditionally a gundog used for water retrieving in Italy, but its present-day job includes hunting for gourmet truffles used in fine dining. The Otterhound is an Eng- lish hound bred for hunting otters both on land in the water. There are approximately 600 Otterhounds in existence and, unlike


26 May/June 2017


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