Spectator involvement and enjoyment to watch these dogs perform has also contributed to the growth in the sport from all spectres who have a Gun Dog breed or would want to aspire to have one that perform in Crufts green baize arena or a country Fair .
All this is Great for the Gun Dog Breeds and the future of these breeds to be 'Fit for purpose' .
Do the 'Gun dog Working Tests' and the demonstrations really show what is the purpose that the dogs should be fit for ?
The common practice for Spaniel 'Tests' would be to evaluate the 'Hunting style' of the dog when and after the dog has been commanded to hunt , followed by a 'Stop to Shot' .
This invariably comes from somewhere that has no correlation to a Gun being mounted by anyone in the line including the Judge and or handler .
When a Hunt /quest/pattern of hunting is performed a shot fired and Then a dummy thrown by an assistant and or judge is Not replicating what happens in reality for a flushing dog ?...The bird flushes and the Bird is shot and the dog stops on the flush , not the shot . So why do many 'Tests' 'Demonstrations' adopt the sequence of 'fire a shot then Throw a dummy' ?
This process doesn't happen in real life as a Bird/game is flushed and the 'flushing dog' should stop to that flush ! then the shot will be fired . That's 'Fit for Purpose' .
The common practice for Retriever 'Tests' on a Simple Marked retrieve is a shot fired and a dummy thrown !.. That's not really how and what happens in real life ?. A bird/game is either flushed or driven then a shot is fired , invariably the shot is nowhere near the 'Fall' of the dummy/game .
So why are so many 'Tests' which have scenarios of a shot then a Dummy thrown as a 'Marked Retrieve' ? That's Not 'Fit for purpose' to a 'Marked fall' ..Is It ? .The shot could and would or invariably be from the line or 40 yards from the first movement in the sky or ground !
Good fun though , showing the handling skills of the dog returning a dummy in your hand ...in the end ?