I have to write this before I go north and forget
about the whole thing. Briz and Maud made well in the British team that beat the
German team and the Brittany team in the Birddog match. When they came home in
the evening I noticed how very unusually happy, pleased, proud, jolly
(choose the word/s you prefer) Briz was. We know that our dogs catch our mood
and of course Maud was happy too, but I believe that it is not the entire truth,
since it was not the first time Maud had been very pleased with Briz.
I believe that Briz caught the very pleased
spirit of the entire team that most likely had been excited and happy from the
moment on the trial day when they started to understand that they will win
the competition. Hence she had been subjected to a very positive atmosphere
during many hours and together with the teams other dogs had felt that they were
part of something very important. So I guess that here we have something that we
could remember in our everyday life with our dogs.
Maud made an other observation during the
artificial retrieve test that day. Cold birds were hidden and shots were fired
and one by one the dogs had to find and fetch a number of the birds. While
waiting for their turn the German breeds and the Brittany's were eagerly
whining and barking and then when their turn came they worked with joy and
determination in this artificial situation.
The British breeds however just sat there and
looked bored and were totally un-interested by the artificial test and probably
thought that the other breeds were stupid when they could not see that this is
not hunting. The British breeds worked by obedience only and showed no
enthusiasm whatso ever for the task. On the field the same dogs made nice
retrieves on freshly shot game and usually they are difficult to prevent from
retrieving on fall.
I think this explains the difference between the
versatile and the setters (I do not know the pointer well enough to include it).
The setter can only be excited by real hunting, they are nothing else but pure
gundogs and generally speaking they have no interest in any other work.
This was also the aim when they were created. They did not even have to
fetch the game, only to find it and point it and flush it and be beautiful with
speed and style and stamina.
Therefore I am also more and more convinced
that we are wrong here in Sweden when we demand our setters to fetch cold
game in a trial, should the gun miss the flushed bird or not be able to
shoot. It simply is not natural to demand a setter to do something it
is not bred to understand. In Norway they understand the setters(and
pointers) better. In trials they shoot with a starting pistol just to make
sure the dog is steady to gunfire but they never shoot the bird. Therefore they
never come into an artificial situation when they have to test the dog on
cold game. And therefore they never put out excellent gundogs just because the
dogs do not understand to do something that never happens in a real hunting
(In Sweden a dog that do not retrieve cold game is
put out of the trial, no matter how good it is otherwise)
"Merciful God the Almighty!
Deprive me my
so that I can at least to some extent
commitments as a
citizen of the European