Random Discussion of the Day: Poodle...cowdog???


Honored Member
Staff member
Yes, you read correctly. Poodle cowdog. First, let me explain how this interesting little thought popped into this brain of mine.

First, let me take a minute to discuss my vet. He's great with the animals, great with the people....he's a Texas man with Texas ways, and without being from Texas most of you will not really understand what that means. Texans, at least the ones I'm discussing now, are known for their friendly Southern hospitality, generosity; big, warm hearts, and simple, laid-back nature. This is Doc to a T. Doc is not a large man, average in height but has quite obviously carried a hay bale or two in his day and heaved a breached calf out of a stressed cow in a field(many times, I'm sure). His voice has a twinge of rough edge to accent the kind, gentleness of it. He's quite difficult to describe accurately, but quite simply, he's a wonderful man and a fantastic veterinarian. He knows all of my animals by name(which is quite a feat---we have many!), all of my family by name, all of our activities, and so on.
We have his cell phone number and he has frequently answered emergency phone calls at all hours of the day and night. If one of our horses comes down with something, he readily makes room for them even if he's packed, and often "forgets" the emergency fee and overnight charges. He has an interesting crew at his hospital...his wife, several vet techs, his son(also a certified vet), Lana(his yellow Lab), Elsie(his Australian Cattle Dog), Asker(his Standard Poodle), and occasionally his chocolate Lab as well. Doc is a talker, and during one of my entertaining visits with him, we got on the topic of working cattle.

With Asker standing a few feet away, fully groomed, complete with painted nails and bows on each ear, he proceded to tell me how the puffball was the best cowdog he'd ever had. A few of the clients in the office scoffed to themselves, clearly every bit as convinced as I was that this overgrown cotton ball could possibly top his ACD and all of his past working-bred dogs of various herding breeds.
"No, really. She's a great cowdog. Best I've ever had."
"You're kidding?" I ask, still not convinced.
"Nope. She's fantastic. Works 'em great, no joke."
I've known the doc long enough to tell when he's pulling the wool over someone's eyes and when he's telling the honest truth. (And you don't tell a Texan you don't think his "cowdog" could herd a duckling to a lake.) Really and truly, he wasn't lying. I have yet to see this for myself, but he still sticks to it. So...just out of curiousity, (Jillian, this is your specialty, lol!) could a Poodle actually be a good stock dog?? I'm digging to the depths of my brain for any recollection of some kind of herding ancestry at the beginnings of poodle breeding, but I'm not finding anything. Lol. So, anybody know anything about working Poodles?


Experienced Member
dont know about poodles, he could of just picked it up by watching the other dogs, an old aunt of mine used to breed pugs on there diary farm and one of her best champ and stud dogs love to go to work and bring in the cows with the other working dogsfor milking twice a day, it was quite a site they said when you see the cows being moved down the road by a couple of border collies and a dirty little fawn pug, he'd even get the rouge cow that decided she wasnt going to the shed back in line by eyeing her up and barking madly at her (he couldnt decided wether he was a huntaway or eye dog) , but he was just a freak of nature really, i dont think theres herding dogs in a pugs ancestary


Honored Member
Staff member
Poodles are supposed to be incredibly intelligent dogs, and I suppose Asker could be a sight-learner... Of course I believe all dogs have at least trace amounts of herding instinct, because this is similar to the way that their descendents hunt---by surrounding and herding the animal(s) before taking it down. So to some extent, all dogs have a small, small amount of herding instinct, and I guess when they spend lots of time around stock dogs this instinct could surface and develop perhaps. I don't know. =) Quite an interesting sight though to see a Poodle working cattle!