I was once the new guy in this outdoors/hunting/birddog world which for the most part consumes my life. As a newbie I eagerly gobbled down stacks of hunting and fishing magazines. I learned a lot from them. Some of it good, some not so much. In the end most of what I learned was learned by wearing out boot leather, and dog whistles. Lots of time was wasted, but even wasted time spent in the outdoors is time well spent.
Some of the mistakes, or misconceptions I had was in trying to absolutely know something. In the outdoors things are more fluid, always changing, and when it comes to dogs there are no absolutes. It is along this vein that today I write a little rant, after picking up, and reading a nationally published hunting dog magazine (which I seldom read). As I read the article that outlined the traits an ideal grouse dog should have I found myself shaking my head in disagreement. Not that the traits listed were bad, or would be a negative, but that they opinion presented as absolutes. Sure, writers are allowed to inject their opinion, but as I read the article I couldn't help but think that a newbie could easily think that the traits listed are mandatory requirements for a grouse dog. It's was just not true.
So what exactly is my point? It is this; question, question, question everything. Even what you read here. And if someone tells you that a dog must have XY&Z to be a good grouse dog, look around and I'm sure you'll find quality grouse dogs that have AB&C firmly planted in them. So question and learn.