You know that I agree with you regarding function, heart, persistance, dependance and trainability (tough balance).
Your step father's Spinoni were a breed of exception. His dogs were shown well, and successfully, and they could find and produce birds for the hunters to.
When you go to a retriever show nowadays you'll see barrel chested dogs with massive heads, and legs popped out as if out of a beer keg. When I'm in a field with a group shooting hundreds of birds in days...would that dog have the heart, and stamina to retrieve all the birds, even the difficult ones. No...and most of those dogs haven't seen a feather for generations. Some have, and some strive to achieve dual purpose, but when you compare them to specifically field bred animals that would get laughed out of a show ring, there is no comparison. Performance compromised.
Some breeds though have managed, less popular breeds. As I noted the Spinoni's at least the one's I met of Guido's, Brittany's (split beginning), Chesapeakes and others.
Are dogo genetics and blood already too diluted into separate camps; separated by function and by show?
All the best
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