Top hunting dog breeders have held a deep, dark secret for decades. They have been unwilling to share
it with prospective puppy buyers in fear the owners would ignore a pup’s excellent pointing ability, strong water drive or athletic conformation, and run away in shear domestic terror.
Coming clean (yeah… you’ll appreciate the beauty of that pun soon), we would like to discuss bird dogs’
genetic marker for filth. We’re not talking about your run-of-the-mill muddy paws here. We’re talking an
attraction to decomposed rancid gunk so advanced that dogs with the marker can appreciate the
nuanced difference between rotting compost and raccoon upchuck. The UD22FX marker is passed down from generation to generation as a recessive component woven into the prey drive DNA strand,
detectable only through protein saturation of the limbic system’s output.
According to Darwin’s Theory of Barfolution, the UD22FX marker originally was only found in one or two
pups per litter, mostly in early crossbreeds where cleansing treatments post goose-dung-roll penetrated
the skin and altered the dogs’ genetic composition, keeping transmission of the marker to a minimum.
Unfortunately, when the wirehaired griffons discovered the hunting crowd’s amazement at the filthy
results of UD22FX behavior, hungry for physical attention as griffons are prone to be, they then sought
mates with the marker in the hopes of enhancing their aptitude for getting really really dirty thus
requiring delightful daily massages with a slicker brush and tickley undercoat rake. From the griffs the
marker spread to the Munsterlanders, from the Munsters to the Chessies, and since Chessies will hump
anything, it rapidly spread to the short-coated breeds, finding the best genetic environment for marker
sustainability in the German shorthairs. Shorthairs had already elevated the search and rescue of
revolting garbage to an art form, so the UD22FX has easily evolved a stronger genetic resilience.
(Researcher’s note: this applies only to the various breeds’ hunting lines. Happily for the companion and
show lines, UD22FX appears to weaken in the presence of ribbons and bows.)
The subversive UD22FX genetic anomaly guarantees owners they will win the My-Dog-Is-Most-Repulsive Contest at grouse camp. It also provides job security for truck detailers and frou-frou groomers who run out of beauty pageant contestants off-season. High powered trash breaking ecollars aside, the best solution for hunters whose dogs have the marker is twofold.
One, if your dog is an inveterate sludge magnet, be sure to use shampoo or cleansers such as the
DERMagic Grooming Spray that have natural deodorizing ingredients. The harsh chemicals found in some detergents and cleaning products can be harmful to a dog’s skin and coat, and there’s no time during hunting season for binge watching a bird dog version of the Itchy and Scratchy Show.
Two, turn on your universal nature lover. Decomposed bird guts and rotten-egg smelly, iron-saturated
marsh slime are gifts from a Mother Nature who doesn’t want you to lie awake at night wondering why
your life smells like a perfumed Hallmark card. Embrace the inevitable.
[photo: Reina; owners: Kate Swanson and Darren Nelson]