Some of you are not getting what I am saying, I do not think that the country the dog comes from makes a difference. you would probably have to go back several generations on mine to find his Direct German ancestors.
What makes a dog great is natural ability, time, and training. Most experienced bird dog hunters, trainers, and what not, rely on pedigree and quality breeding practices to produce quality pups or to find quality pups. IN MY OPINION I believe that what makes the DD breeding practices superior is the strict quality controls that they place on their breeders. This ensures that the majority of pups will at least meat minimum standards as far as hunting, conformation, and temperament go.
This is my problem with AKC. They have no breed standards other than a registration. If the dog is registered it can breed. In doing my research for my next dog I found that there was only one kennel within driving distance of me that did any health clearances and they did not hunt test. 99% of the pups that I found for sale were from back yard breeders. The rest either did not hunt test their dogs or they did not get health clearances for them and claimed that health issues were not a big problem for GSP's or GWP's. From talking to a couple different vets that is bogus. While they might not have hip or other health problems quite as bad as say labs, they still need to be cleared before breeding.
I put a lot of time and effort into producing a quality lab that I can honestly tell you will hunt and make a great family pet. I expect no less from any other breeder of a pup I am going to buy. The only breeders that I found in driving distance that breed some kind of upland dog that could also retrieve and put just as much if not more effort into their dogs, were the DD breeders. They go through their fist evaluation for breeding at 8 weeks old. If they have some kind of problem that prevents them from meeting conformation standards, like deformations missing parts like teeth or what not, they are not allowed to breed. If at 8 weeks old they meet the breed standards then they are hunt tested and judged again on conformation the next spring after they are born. If they fail the hunt test or do not prove to meet the breed standards for conformation they are not allowed to breed. They also have to go through several health tests before they are allowed to breed.
If one of my labs fails a hunt test or tests positive for some disease then the only thing stopping me from breeding it is me. And the same thing is true for GWP's and GSP's that are AKC registered.
Again I think there are probably some very well breed dogs under the AKC system. However most of you who are commenting are avid bird dog hunters. There for I think that you have a higher probability of getting a AKC dog that will do what it was originally breed for. As most of you have said you look not only at its pedigree but the actual parents of the pup you are looking at. Again you know what to expect from a bird dog and I am guessing that if you don't see that in the parents (regardless of pedigree) you look else where for a pup.
The average bird dog owner has no clue about most of this testing or any idea of the gamble they are taking when they buy a pup for a family dog from some add in the paper. They assume that because it is pure breed it is going to be a great dog.
Again I think that a Breeding clubs that place strict standards on breeding are going to produce a superior dog on average than a breeding club that does not place any breeding standards on the dogs that are breed.
And yes buck460XVR I know that my new dog is starting out with a handicap (me). I have never trained a dog like this before and the learning curve is going to be steep and probably a little painful some times. But I think with some coaching from experienced trainers and some hard work on my part he will live up to most of his potential.
* (Swinging club) Whack! whack! whack! *
Nope, the old nag's still dead .