Shotguns photo

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I was perusing the online edition of the Retriever Field Trail News the other day when I came across this remarkable photograph of a poodle retrieving a duck at the Master National hunt test this past October.

The caption reads “Bibelot’s Tolka Hands Up, MH, is the first poodle to qualify at the AKC Master National Retriever Club Trial. “Ten” is owned by Mia Dibenedetto and Jack Combs, handled by Jack Combs.”


A poodle. At the master national. A big, white, foo-foo looking poodle with a shaved coat and one of those pom-pom looking tails. My first thought was “Is Paris Hilton into hunt tests?” My second thought was “wait, hold on a second here…Mia Dibenedetto? Is that some kind of alias? Has our gun dog blogger David DiBenedetto been secretly training poodles? Where, exactly, is Pritchard?”

So what gives, David? Your readers demand an explanation…

Joking aside, as the owner of a minority breed myself, congratulations to Ten and her owners for hanging with the black dogs. The Master National isn’t just any old hunt test. It’s the world series of the hunt test world and any the dog that qualifies for it has risen to the top of the heap. Indeed, for any dog to earn a master hunter title is a huge accomplishment, one the vast majority of gundogs out there couldn’t hope to pass.

This is encouraging information, because when you want a Lab and your wife insists on a poodle, all hope is not lost.