As many of you know, I lost my "once in a lifetime" dog (Elle) 3 years ago to cancer at age 8. She was a NSTRA field trial champion and the best pheasant I've could ever hope for. All with virtually no training. She was a natural and did it all on her own. To replace Elle I purchased another female Brittany we named Bree. Bree was 6 months old when I got her and had not had much of any training. She didn't even have a name. But she did have one heck of a pedigree and that's why I bought her. However, Bree has been quite the challenge. I've had her to a couple of professional trainers and they both say this dog is the "real deal". But up to this point I just haven't seen it in my NSTRA trials or in the hunting field. She is a big running dog with breeding out of horseback trial champions and I wasn't sure she was ever going to be a decent pheasant hunting dog. With her speed in the field she was bumping a lot of birds out of range and would only hold point if a bird sat really tight. That pretty much summed up her first two seasons in the field. Her positive during the first two seasons was that she was a great retriever and excellent at finding winged runners. Fast forward to this season and it's like I have a whole different dog in the field. Oh, she still runs fast and big but when she hits scent she is stopping, making sure I'm coming before she starts slowly tracking that bird that has run ahead. Once the scent gets stronger she again locks up. If the bird has again run ahead she starts the tracking again. This is similar to how Elle hunted for me. Yesterday I was out with my grandson hunting some CRP. We tried to walk mainly into a fairly strong breeze out of the north. Bree was fantastic on her bird work and we ended up with a limit of roosters. We even had a few misses so there was a lot of bird contacts. While I thought it may never happen, I think I might actually have myself a darn good pheasant dog. And if she continues to progress like this in the next couple of years she will be dynamite! I've always said that a good hunting dog usually doesn't really figure things out until they are 4-5 years old so I think Bree is well on the way to being a pheasant dog. And to think I almost gave up on her a one point and considered replacing her. In the house she is just a joy to have around. Never barks, very laid back and the most loving and affectionate dog I've ever had.