I think you misunderstood my post Brent. Let me explain.
I won't purchase a dog that isn't AKC papered because I have no guarantee of the dog's pedigree otherwise. That being the case its actually the pedigree (and certification of the pedigree and the accomplishments of the parents - which is tracked, maintained and verified by the AKC) that I'm really interested in.
See I won't purchase a puppy from someone who claims they have a purebred lab/golden/springer etc. and claims they came from great hunting stock but has no proof thereof. I want proof and I want it in paper so if the dog turns out to be worthless I have something I can fall back on to take up with the seller of the dog.
To me AKC registration doesn't mean that its worthwhile just because its AKC registered. The AKC registration means to me that I can actually follow up on the dog's pedigree which is kept and verified BY the AKC and NOT by the breeders. In that pedigree the titles and accomplishments of the parents and other ancestors are kept and recorded. These are not something that can be falsified since these titles and accomplishments must be achieved in AKC sponsored hunt trials and tests. These then are recorded with the AKC and as such a breeder cannot falsify them because the records to not reside with the breeder.
I am also only interested in what a dog can do and what its parents, grand parents and other ancestors did. I really don't care if a dog is AKC registered in itself but that registration brings with it what I REALLY want - verification of a quantifiable history of success within its pedigree.
Now in regards to hog dogging - I fully admit I know nothing at all about it. I don't know how to train a dog for it and wouldn't even dare try. I also don't train dogs for pointing - something I've already pointed out in previous posts. I train specifically flushing retrievers which is a different test and trial than pointing retrievers. As such I only know the basics of pointers and wouldn't consider myself a very proficient trainer of pointers. I could be wrong but I would suspect the same to be true of you and flushing retrievers and their training. Unfortunately though in comparing what you do to what I do we're not really talking about the same thing - more like we're just talking about different types of fruit - say apples and grapefuits. They're both fruits and they both grow on trees but that's about it where the similarities lie. Same with what we each do. Honestly the only things that are similar in what we do (which again I could be wrong but I'd wager I wasn't) are that we use dogs to find our quarry and in looking for a future hunting dog we look for performance based breeding programs rather than show and conformation based breeding programs. Aside from that what we do with our dogs seems quite different. Of course I could say, "Brent, if you could see what goes on in the world of flushing retrievers... etc." Basically what I'm trying to say is that we both are trying to find the best performing dogs however your quickness to throw away the importance of registration with the AKC is considered foolish in the flushing retriever world.
I do wonder how it is then that you quantify the ability of a dog you're purchasing... do you just go by the breeder's word and take a gamble (not saying that the breeder is falsifying the dog's capabilities but really what each person considers to be a good hunting dog is different from someone else) or do you look for something that is verified, quantifiable AND could not easily be falsified? I mean think about it; if I went down the road to Farmer Joe's farm because he has a litter of say purebred labs for sale in search of a hunting dog I'd want a puppy that had the genetics to be a good hunter.
Of course in my mind a good hunter needs to have a really good nose, a keen intelligence so he/she can learn all the commands I want to teach him/her (sit on command despite the proximity of the handler, hand signals to go left, right, back to the left, back to the right, straight back or come in) being steady on the flush and on the shot (which means sitting still after the bird is flushed and shot till ordered to give chase or retrieve) and being able to be called off a mark if the dog is on its way there but there is a different bird we want the dog to get first. Most average hunters don't require this of their dogs and if they can get their dog to find, flush and retrieve a bird (no hand signals, no control of the dog once its off on a search etc.) and do so on a fairly frequent basis for a couple months out of the year then that's a great hunting dog for them. For me if a dog could only do that the dog is worthless. My dogs work every day all year long. They must be trainable to the degree that I need them to get to because I do run trials and tests with them. The other important thing about AKC registration is that a dog without that registration can't earn titles and accomplishments that are trackable and quantifiable. That being the case these dogs and their progeny will be worthless to other trainers and hunters who require the same of their dogs as I do of mine. As a dog trainer I have to be able to show in my dogs what I am capable of training a dog to do. In order to do that I have to have a dog that can do what I require of it.
Without that little piece of paper that you consider worthless I'd be taking a huge gamble that I could make my work pay off. As for doing it for money - absolutely I'm doing it for the money. Yes I genuinely love working with dogs and training them. I love seeing a well trained dog do its work and for me that's a fulfilling experience but I also use this hobby as an income source to supplement my lifestyle and other hobbies. That being the case I can't afford to just take someone else's word on how good a hunter a puppy's parent(s) is/are but I NEED to make sure that this is truly the case. I learned this the hard way in the past doing exactly what you had outlined - purchasing a dog without registration. After working the best I could with the dog I had to sell him off for $50 or $100 as a well trained house pet and nothing else. All the money, time and effort I'd invested had been lost. Make enough losses and you can't stay in business for long.
So in my world that little piece of paper ISN'T worthless and if anyone said to me they couldn't provide registration papers with their dog I would walk away from the deal no matter how good they said the parents were as hunters... even if they were giving me the dog for free I wouldn't take it because I wouldn't have any way of knowing what I could do with it. Its not so much the piece of paper but what it brings with it that is of the utmost importance to me and that is the case with other trainers in this sport - this I can say with assuredness because that is what I've learned from talking with other trainers while I was still learning the trade.
This is who we are, what we do.