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Class, Uncle Dave

One That Runs Away But Not Quite

“ ‘Uncle Dave,’ someone asked, ‘you defined a class dog as “one that runs away, but not quite.” Does that one short, simple phrase cover the subject to your satisfaction?’

“Uncle Dave sat up a little straighter in his chair. ‘Yes, my young friend, I did say that, but it was more in jest than in seriousness, for it about covers the idea that many have of class in a dog, but let me tell you, sah, that’s not my full idea of class, sah.’

“ ‘Well,’ retorted the inquisitor, ‘what do you call class then, in earnest?’“ ‘What do I call class?’ This was uttered as a prelude as he looked his interrogator in the eye and a deeper glint came into his own. ‘My idea of class is a dog that does it all, not the kind that some of these judges have been placing; the kind that run and does nothing else. You remembah, sah, that back in the old days a class athlete was one who was equally good in any sphere that came under the name of sports. If he was proficient in all of them, he was a class athlete and not before. And that’s my idea of a dog. Just because he can run fast and go wide, he means very little to me if he won’t handle his ground properly, if he can’t find bevies as well as singles, if he won’t back if called upon to do so. But you can find dogs that will do it all and when you do, you have a class dog, but you haven’t got one that can only run wide and fast and find a bevy once in a great while by accident, and then perhaps away off somewhere and you only discover him by good luck.’ ”

Al Hochwalt thought that was about the best unstudied definition of class that he ever heard.

William F. Brown, Albert Frederick Hochwalt, A Biography, Definition of Class in a Bird Dog, pg 54. Used by permission.



Running Dog


Strideaway is an online publication founded in 2008. We are dedicated to promoting the great sport of American pointing dog field trials, in particular American Field sanctioned trials for pointers and setters. Our objective is to present the voices and ideas of experienced trainers, handlers, breeders and other knowledgeable participants and enthusiasts from the past to the present — amateurs and professionals alike. Whether All-Age or Shooting Dog, Horseback or Walking Trials, we place particular emphasis on wild bird field trials and the dogs that compete in them. We present richly illustrated articles and stories, podcast interviews and other types of media on a regular basis with the hope of providing an ever expanding, searchable archive of information relevant to pointing dog field trials.Read article

This website is dedicated to our ever faithful friend and Strideaway contributor, Bill Allen, whose book The Unforgettables and Other True Fables we published in 2010.

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