Poodles Were Used to Retrieve Arrows

The Poodle is an incredibly intelligent bred of dog. In the past, before the invention of gunpowder, townsfolk used to hunt for wild birds to supplement what was produced on the farms. Fletchers designed special arrows that were used primarily by hunters in France and German to shoot down the birds.

Enter the poodle. The poodle’s swimming abilities made it natural for the hunters to use them as a retriever. It also has a soft bite, which means that the dog would not damage the quarry once it was brought down.

But the Poodle had another ability, and that was excellent eyesight coupled with an uncanny awareness of where missed arrows might have fallen. Of course, the dogs were trained beforehand and they were taught to recognise the scent that was put on an arrow, normally on the feathers that stabilised them during flight.

Because the Poodle has a very keen sense of smell, it can detect arrows which might have fallen up to half a mile away with incredible accuracy. This ability was soon recognised by the military. Quartermasters could recover a great number of arrows that had missed their targets in battle, meaning that they would not have to rely on fletchers having to produce as many new ones to replace the ones that were lost.

Once calm had returned to the battlefield, Poodles and their handlers would be sent out to recover as many arrows as they could to return them to the stores. They proved to be remarkably successful at it and this led to an evolution in the relationship between Poodles and humans. King Louis, the 15th of France was so impressed by what he saw that he took a shining to the dog breed and from a humble working dog, it became the darling of the Palace of Versailles and a symbol for wealth and affluence.

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