You've just hit on the most important point that is so often overlooked Bev. These dogs are plenty smart enough, dare I say smarter than we are, that they can shift gears accordingly on the fly and never miss a beat. At least the goods ones do IME. I Grouse hunt my dogs in some of the toughest, narliest and densest covers a bird hunter dares to go..... 60-80 degree slopes are the norm, with blow downs, Hazel tangles covered up with Grape vine tangles and an understory of Greenbriar and Blackberry cane, all on top of rock slides. These covers are the kind that lead many to believe they have to have a dog that never gets more than 30 yards away, but yet it is the same cover I hunt with my Trial dogs that when turned loose on the Grasslands have shown on the Garmin Astro to be working upwards of 1400 yards away. In these covers, they might work at 50-150 yards and it is a pretty routine trip for me to limit early and then spend the rest of the day just blanking birds off and working on manners. The good ones adjust to cover and handle off of the owner's movements regardless of preconceived notions about their Breeding and Genetics.
Here's some pix of one of my covers from last year in the snow:
Looking up the hill to the cliff face:
Bit of an overlook on a snowy day:
Another cover last Fall:
Same dog at about 500-600 yards with the zoom, standing a Sharptail in SD on the Grasslands:
A good handler can "shorten up" a smart, biddable big-running poniting dog if the cover/conditions require it.
However, I've yet to see a good handler "push out" a smart, biddable close-working pointing dog if the cover/conditions required it.