Here’s an excellent video courtesy of Brad Higgins Gun Dogs showing strongest degree of impulse control. Because the dog’s attraction to the prey is the basis of how he has learned to hunt with humans, again courtesy of Brad, the strength of his attraction to the prey is the strength of his capacity to self-control and thereby enfold intense disturbances into his feeling of flow. At the critical moment the dog does nothing, and yet it’s just like watching a fast horse run.
(I’ve added Brad’s commentary below)
“Higgins Gundogs are trained and managed to a high level. They must be able to adapt to new and unusual situations and control their excitement level. We don’t use obedience. We want to see all their style and intensity, but they must choose to remain steady. Here, we’re proofing a seasoned dog. This is Greg Belanger, HGDH and his dog HGD Harry. This was filmed a while ago during one of our training hunts. While Harry is managing a moving pheasant, we release a young, untrained pup. The pup goes out and bumps, chases and catches Harry’s bird. What is Harry’s response? He doesn’t break, he manages his excitement or energy. He is steady to flush, shot and kill. Harry has learned from the prey that to be successful (getting the bird in his mouth) he must control himself and use the shooter. He is able to do this because he has learned to trust us. He knows, with our help, he will get his bird.”