The Poodle dog while possessing many natural qualities which endear it to its owner, is capable of great cultivation and is for this reason much affected by those who train dogs for public performances. Of the clever tricks the poodle has been trained to perform many stories are told, among which the following from M. Blaze’s “History of the Dog,” as quoted in Mr. Jesse’s “Anecdotes of Dogs,” is one of the most amusing.
A shoe-black on the Pont Neuf at Paris had a poodle dog, whose sagacity brought no small profit to his master. If the dog saw a person with well-polished boots go across the bridge, he contrived to dirty them, by having first rolled himself in the mud of the Seine. His master was then employed to clean them. An English gentleman, who had suffered more than once from the annoyance of having his boots dirtied by a dog, was at last induced to watch his proceedings, and thus detected the tricks he was playing for his master’s benefit. He was so much pleased with the animal’s sagacity, that he purchased him at a high price and conveyed him to London. On arriving there, he was confined to the house till he appeared perfectly satisfied with his new master and his new situation. He at last, however, contrived to escape, and made his way back to Paris, where he rejoined his old master, and resumed his former occupation.”