I also think Greg provided a reasonable summary of a few thoughts posted on this thread.
This subject can be debated forever. It is possible we could agree on a few things. A good pointer to hunt with:
1. is honest on it's birds, standing well off & by it's actions hold the birds as well as possible until the hunter arrives,
2. goes with the hunter whether very close or a ways off, i.e. keeps track of where the hunter is, generally follows the hunter's line of travel & does not run off
3. has a good nose and finds birds
4. conserves energy, not wasting a lot of energy covering non-bird producing ground, maintains a reasonable pace & doesn't poop out half way through the hunting day
5. comes when called
6. tracks & retrieves wounded & dead birds
7. doesn't fart in a vehicle when human passengers are present
If a dog doesn't do the minimum it's going to be a relative liability for the hunter.
Ignore the word genetic unless the actual gene action has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt by scientific research. Understand everyone has OPINIONS about what genes are present at birth that dictate behaviors not learned from the dam, the owner, other dogs or the environment. Also understand every pup from a litter will carry different traits than its litter-mates, so they are not identical genetic carbon copies of each other.
The above was posted early on page 2 & I don't believe anybody has taken a potshot at 1through 7 yet.
Well, you did pose a challenge...
I also agree with 1-7, and hope my dog gets there some day.
However, as for IGNORING a genetic contribution altogether, can't do it. You didn't ignore it either when you bought those good looking dogs of yours with those fine pedigrees. Otherwise, I'd just go buy my next pup from the cheapest backyard breeder I could find, and put all my money into training equipment.
Scientists have been debating nature versus nurture since science existed, and they don't have it solved yet, so I doubt we will any time soon. I'll agree with you that genetic expression isn't easy to measure and does depend on so many variables, but I see no reason to overlook genetics altogether just because we can't pin down its' exact contribution in every case.
Some folks overstate the contribution of genetics.
Some folks understate the contribution of genetics.
Some folks pass more gas in their vehicles than their dogs do.