• a man taking a bird from the mouth of a dog
  • two hunters and a dog in a field
  • three people in a field with a hunting dog shooting down a duck
  • a group of people in a field with a dog
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Why Test NAVHDA?

Our club takes pride in both training and testing, and we host NAVHDA tests each year, and sometimes twice in a season depending on the needs of our membership. Tests allow owners to measure their dog’s progress and evaluate each dog based on an international standard. During the test judges not only evaluate the dog based on the skills of the test but also assess the dog’s Bite and Teeth, Eyes, Testes, Coat, and Temperament. All elements of the test record are recorded by NAVHDA International.

To be truly meaningful, tests for versatile hunting dogs must meet certain criteria. They must be conducted in an environment that reflects actual hunting conditions and situations. They must test the important qualities of a good versatile dog. Judges must be knowledgeable, consistent and objective. All testing and evaluation is to be within the context of judging dogs as useful, productive hunting companions. NAVHDA tests have been designed with these requirements in mind. In addition, our record keeping provides an accurate, complete performance evaluation on each dog tested.

In order to eliminate direct competition between dogs, entrants in a NAVHDA test are judged one at a time, by three judges, with their performance scored against a standard. The only exception to this is the Invitational Test, in which dogs are braced in the field so each dog can demonstrate his willingness to back and work effectively with another dog. Prizes are awarded on the basis of numerical scores achieved in the test.

Each dog that meets or exceeds minimum standards in all areas of work is placed in one of three categories: Prize I, II or III. Prize I being the highest classification. If all dogs entered in a NAVHDA test perform well, all can receive a prize.

The tests are levelled and are as follows:

Natural Ability (NA) Test is designed to evaluate young dogs on their inherent natural abilities with a view to gaining an insight into their possible future value as versatile gun dogs.

Natural Ability Test Eligibility

Dogs are eligible for a Natural Ability Test until and including the day they reach 16 months of age. Dogs over 16 months may be tested for evaluation if space is available, but no prize classifications are awarded to dogs tested for evaluation.

Natural Ability Test

Utility Preparatory Test (UPT)

UPT is designed to evaluate dogs midway between the Natural Ability Test and the Utility Test. The dog’s level of obedience and training should demonstrate that it is on its way to becoming a Utility dog.

Utility Preparatory Test

Utility Test (UT)

Utility Test (UT) is designed for more experienced dogs in an advanced state of training.

Utility Test (UT)

Invitational Test

The NAVHDA Invitational which is held annually in various locations throughout the central United States. The invited dogs have all earned a Prize I on their NAVHDA Utility Test, This test is intended for demonstrating the full range of a true versatile hunting dog. The Invitational test is pass/fail and dogs who achieve this level of testing are titled as a“Versatile Champion (VC)”

Invitational Test

We believe that when members invest in their dogs’ training, they will develop their versatile dogs into ‘finished’ hunting partners and amazing companions they will enjoy for years to come.