Standard Poodle Wallace's "Gotcha" Story

CA BIS AM CH Whisper Ridge Double Black Diamond RN, CGC -better known as Wallace- holds a very special place in my heart. This handsome, black Standard Poodle is my VERY first Standard Poodle. And it is because of him that I have begun this journey into all things Poodle.
Here is his story:

Before I had Poodles, I had Great Danes. 

My sweet Leonidas, a Merle Great Dane who accompanied me as far as he could on some of my hiking adventures.

My sweet Leonidas, a Merle Great Dane who accompanied me as far as he could on some of my hiking adventures.

Great Danes will always be a heart breed of dog for me. But it is true what they say about the giant breeds, they are heartbreak breeds. No dog lives long enough, in my opinion, but Great Danes have particularly short lifespans. After having (and losing) three beautiful Great Danes in my life, it was time for something new. 

I decided to look at dog breeds that excel at hiking and are relatively active in the outdoors. My list of potential breeds include the usual suspects; Vizsla, Weimaraner, and various other Pointing and Sporting dog breeds.   I had almost 100% settled on the Weimaraner when we took a ski trip to Alyeska and met a man who changed my mind.

On our family weekend ski getaway, we met a man (we never got his name) and struck up a conversation about hiking and dogs. I had mentioned that I was on the lookout for a good hiking dog and was considering the Weimaraner. He then said, "I know this is going to sound odd, but have you ever looked into the Standard Poodle?"

My immediate reaction was, heck no! Poodles are circus dogs, froo-froo dogs, and they have silly haircuts. What would I do in the back country of Alaska with a POODLE? But the more I listened to the man talk about the intelligence, versatility and endurance of the Standard Poodle, the more I became persuaded.

Once we got home from Alyeska, I began my Google search into all things Poodle related.

Wallace meets his big brother, Beauregard the Harlequin Great Dane, on his Gotcha day.

Wallace meets his big brother, Beauregard the Harlequin Great Dane, on his Gotcha day.

Sure enough, there was SO much more to the Standard Poodle than I had ever imagined! This variety of Poodle is one of (if not THE) most intelligent of the dog breeds. Originally bred in Germany many thousands of years ago, Pudels (German for "splash" or "puddle") were the quintessential water retrieving dog. Made with a water resistant coat that had dual purpose to keep the Poodle warm AND act as an extra bit of buoyancy while the dog is in the frigid waters, Poodles are the ultimate outdoor dog!

The fact that the coat of a Poodle is hair as opposed to fur, and therefore, doesn't shed like other dogs, was the fact that put me solidly in the Poodle camp.  The next step was to find a reputable breeder of Poodles here in Alaska. 

Wallace on a mountain adventure on Winter Solstice. We hiked about 9 miles into the mountains on this day.

Wallace on a mountain adventure on Winter Solstice. We hiked about 9 miles into the mountains on this day.

I found Marian Bowser through an exhaustive online search. Marian is the name behind Whisper Ridge Poodles. She notified me when she had a litter on the way and gave me access to all of the health testing of the litter's sire and dam (dad and mom). I was able to read up on the health history and test results of each parent, as well as siblings and parents in their individual pedigrees. 

Wallace came home at the tender age of 8 weeks old. The drive from Soldotna to Palmer was pure heaven for me! I held Wallace and snuggled him the entire trip home.

Wallace has been a fantastic introduction to Standard Poodles. He has excelled at everything he has tried. I love all the adventures I get to have with him! Wallace spent six months in the dog show ring and in that time he amassed multiple Group placements, including two Group 1's! He also won a Best in Show at a Canadian Kennel Club dog show in Canada!

Wallace as a puppy in Seward, Alaska

Wallace as a puppy in Seward, Alaska

   

Wallace is a big Poodle, standing at 27 inches at the shoulder, he is well built and has a lot of bone. This makes for an outstanding adventure dog. And as much as Wallace loves to adventure, he feels equally at home when snuggled next to me on the sofa, which is where he is right now, as I type this post.