On short open type of marks with moderate cover.....Would you be inclined to mark a dog down for taking an easier path to the mark rather then going straight thru cover that may hold a hazard in the dog's mind? I'm not talking about long marks with different pieces of cover....I'm talking about 50-80 yard marks in shorter cover where the dog has a good view of the mark and does not have a hunt....he steps on the mark, but avoids a piece of cover that would be directly in line to the mark. A hunt test distance mark.
I have observed hunt tests where there has been a path thru cover that is not in a direct line to the mark, slightly off the direct line, and by taking this line the dog avoids the cover, but steps on the mark.
In my mind I do not believe that this is a big deal. That the test set-up is at fault. Dog should not be penalized for perceived "cheating cover" when the test set-up is the fault.
Would you mark a dog down for this and why?
I'm looking for feedback, hopefully from some of you experienced judges that would shed some light on this subject. And I am not looking for fault, I'm trying to look at this thru a dogs mind and a judges mind too. Now I know, at the moment, I have too much time on my hands!
I'm hoping to get constructive feedback. Thanks.....pete