Why does any of this matter to the average hunter or family? I’ll tell you why; Performance retrievers demonstrate routinely what retrievers were bred to do. They are the cream of the crop and are owned by only the most devoted folks to retriever genetics. Performance retrievers are bright, out-going, trainable, healthy, sound, birdy, intelligent, friendly and proven. Their offspring are predictably excellent candidates for a long and fruitful life of hunting and family devotion.
There is a second reason for hunters to explore performance events. I can guarantee that the average hunter will be awestruck by the experience! Try a hunt test first. The folks are friendly and eager to share with new comers. You will see young dogs at the Junior Level doing single marked retrieves on land and water and then coming briskly home to the handler and tenderly giving up birds. You’ll see Master Dogs marking multiple bird falls and then retrieving the birds unaided and independently only to come back to the handler to pick up a bird or two they didn’t see by taking precise direction to the bird from the handler. Make sure you bring your family. The kids will get an education in canine potential that may spark a life long passion. You’ll walk away thinking, “That’s what I got to have!” So the next time your buddy is bragging about his dog, you can say, “Well, can he …”
Hunters need to explore performance events. Not only will you receive first hand experience of what a retriever is expected to do, but you’ll start to become familiar with sound retriever genetics which will lead you to the dog of your dreams! If you are in the market for a pup, ask around and collect information.