Working Dogs

Not just a prissy poodle

By Country News

Jax is a parti poodle whose favourite pastime is to try and catch rabbits, although so far, the rabbits are winning. His owner Michelle Aldous, from Benalla, says Jax is family and even the cats have accepted him.

How did you get Jax?

We had a poodle before named Fletcher, he had a stomach torsion. His death was a tragedy. Poodles have really deep chests so you have to be careful what you feed them. The breeder from Wangaratta gave my daughter another one (Jax); she went off to university after one year of owning him.

He's called a parti (particularly coloured) poodle but they're really frowned upon. They were in old European paintings but they decided black and white poodles were too common and culled them. To be registered as a poodle you have to have a solid colour.

What is his personality like?

He's pretty cheerful and is a family-orientated dog. At the back door he has a magical transformation from a farm dog into a house dog, like someone cast a spell.

Does he get on with other animals?

His best friends are two black and white cats. He gets really jealous of them and tries to be a lap dog but only his head can fit. If he sees the cats coming he tries to beat them to it and he'll hit them away with his hind leg.

My friend owns a tribe of Jack Russells so when we go there, he's an honorary Jack Russell.

Is he a good farm dog?

The cats are probably better farm dogs than he is. When I go to horse events (EA and HRACV dressage) he minds the gear. You can't distract him, that's his job. He walks underneath the horses and leans against them when he's tired. My husband Kenny said ‘I don't want the world to know I have a poodle as a farm dog'. But he loves him.

What does he eat?

He's on a strict diet of meat in the morning and a cup of dog crackers at night. He's mad for Dentastix. He just stares which shows he wants one. He pinches the cats’ food all the time. It doesn't matter how much time has passed, he always remembers.

Does he have any funny traits?

He takes his toys everywhere as soon as we get home. We have foxes that steal his toys, I don't know why.