Cold Creek Gundogs
The more I'm on the internet the more I love my dogs.
I think in retrievers, chase, prey drive , birdiness are somewhat all different and all the same same depending on the venue. I had a very nice Master Hunter all-age dog with a CDX (open obedience) that loved to chase. If you threw a bumper, shot a flyer, a dirt clod whatever he would run from point A to point B as fast as he could from a few yards to 300 yards didn't matter. Once he got there it was a OK now I'am here will pick it up and bring it home. His obedience trials were the same, flip finish from the front, fast out fast back. I had another CDX all-age Master Hunter, all-age FT dog, very birdy, in fact loved his birds, kinda paced himself, not flashy, but, did the work. Used a tennis ball to bring his style up at times. Now his sire was a National Amateur Field Trial Champion, he wasn't the fastest "racehorse" but was a excellent marker and obviously winning the National Amateur was a major feat. Could genetics play a role here? Drive and style can be probably mentioned in the same breath. I have seen some very high drive dogs that just weren't the best markers. It wasn't because of line manners either, just were not very good markers. Now we can go to too much drive and what the field trialers call bottom. Drive does not necessarily make bottom (to hijack another thread ) I have trained some very high drive dogs that lacked bottom. Bottom in my opinion isn't courage by itself or high far can I leap into the water. That would be a high drive dog that perhaps lacked bottom. Bottom in my opinion would be a triple, shot flyer off to the side short or long, two long retired one maybe 300 yards another 400 yards. The dog picks up the stand-up flyer, then goes for the 300 yard mark gets that one, then is sent for the 400 yard mark, and goes and goes and goes, not checking back on the stand up flyer station, does not curl back on the flyer or the previously picked up 300 yard mark and goes and goes , gets the 400 yard mark That dog has bottom, does it have drive?
Bottom, In my world has more to do with stamina then drive. To go the extra mile and never quite.
Was it just prey drive which allowed them to focus on all the marks? Was the prey drive combined with teamwork at the line (think/brains achieving teamwork again).
Did the prey drive only kick it when they froze on the last bird retrieved? One of the hardest things to correct.
My first dog was a nut because of my OB training but he's still a really good marker even at 13 but since he gallops and trots has he lost his prey/high drive? (Still a nut at the line.) OB training will always be at the top of my list. I currently have a 1 year old female which sits like a angel but drools until she is sent for a mark/marks. I would say she has both drives along with driving me crazy keeping one step ahead of her.
I have enjoyed reading all the responses.
However, if dog cannot mark or don't have think/brain the last concern will be their drives.