Breeder and owner of DD Kennels vom Argos, Jon Prescott says, "The reason that JGHV testing includes tracking wild rabbits or hare is to evaluate a dog's ability and persistence while tracking live and especially wounded game. The DD is used for hunting hare in Germany, perhaps more than here. Tracking hare for 100's of yards (sometimes 1000 yds or more) over varying cover (grass, bare ground, brush lots, creek bed, etc) is simply more difficult than tracking a pheasant 50 yards through short cover. Testing dogs under more difficult conditions helps identify those with superior talent. Many owners may never hunt their dogs on rabbit/hare-indeed some may use their dogs to hunt just birds or track big game. But this testing is about maintaining ability and mental stability in the breed not just hunting what some owners may care about. The same is true for retrieving fox during the VGP (the two day utility test). The aim of the VDD and the result of JGHV testing is to maintain the breed as a versatile breed with all the ability and instincts (and physical ability!!), no matter what requirements any one hunter may have of a dog. This testing does require a bit more - but it has resulted in more - a very large number of excellent hunting dogs and a strong breeding pool."
Although my favorite pursuits here in the United States are upland prairie birds, I totally concur with Mr. Prescott's thoughts. When pheasant come down alive and running (which happens over half of the time), I am at ease because of the company I keep. I know the superior tracking skills of the DD will finish the job or their desire will lead them to die while trying!