Hoping to go later this week
One thing that really struck me is that, when you go pheasant hunting, you just turn the dog loose, tell him "bird out there, hunt 'em up" or something similar, and let him do his thing.
He is expected to get into very heavy cover, and use his nose to find the bird. When he scents it, he is expected to stay on its trail until he locates it, and with pheasants chances are they are hunkered down tight into the cover (Tito's nose is just now healing up). He is expected to find that bird, even it it takes 10 minutes to do so, and never give up (Tito didn't ever show any signs of giving up a bird scent he located, no matter how long he had to follow it to find the bird).
He is allowed to break to follow the bird, because it's the only way he's going to be able to mark the fall in the tall and heavy cover. If it's a cripple, it can get pretty far away and he needs to be on its trail, in pursuit, watching it go down.
Now compare that to running a blind.
"Dead bird". Dog is lined up, headed in a specific direction. Pretty much told do NOT use your nose, no matter what. Even if you smell the bird, do NOT go in a direction different than where I sent you, even if I happen to be wrong about where the bird is. Blinds that I've seen (at all test levels) are not in cover anywhere near what the actual pheasants are hiding out in when you hunt, because you wouldn't be able to see the dog.
Sure, a blind tests his level of control. But hunting, ah, that tests his level of inborn ability!
Now that I've seen Tito truly hunt, I know what "style" is. Now that I've seen him hunt, I know what "perserverance" is. I know what a "good nose" is. And so on.
I think ALL hunt test judges, not just conformation people, should be required to watch a real hunt.
CH Rosewood Little Giant, VCD2 UDX VER RA MHU SH MXP MJP MFP T2BP TD DJ VCX WCX CCA CGC FFX-OG (born 3-10-2007), also UCH HR UH UUD NN UJJ URO1 UHIT a.k.a. "Tito" (the Tito Monster)
waiting at the bridge:
My first dog, and my most special girl
Gibson's Golden Girl, CD, CGC, TDI ( 3-20-1997 - 11-22-2013) a.k.a. "Tiny", "Queen B"
and my heart dog
Gibson's Golden Guy, CD, CGC, TDI ( 01-31-1998 - 01-02-2012) a.k.a. "Toby", "HRH"