Question – I have a Standard Poodle, who is quite active and smart.
What equipment should I get first to teach him retrieving?
Depending on the age of the dog, I would recommend a tennis ball for training the techniques, and when he is happy with retrieving, move onto a couple of gundog training dummies. If you intend shooting over him, try to encourage him to 'present' the retrieve to you, sitting in front of you with his head up and offering you the 'game'. This will avoid the situation where a bird is dropped six feet away from the handler, sometimes recovering enough to fly or run off.
Here's to many happy hours training!