NATURAL ABILITY TEST, UTILITY PREPARATORY TEST, UTILITY TEST EVENT
Our spring test was held on June 11th & 12th, 2022 | Our fall test was held August 19th-21st, 2022.
Testing slots will be filled on a first come-first serve basis, applications and payments must be received in order to reserve a test slot. In the case of a full test day, potential testers may be put on a waiting list. Entries will not be considered accepted until a completed NAVHDA Test Entry Form and Test Fee are received by the Test Secretary. A completed NAVHDA Test Entry Form must include the dog's NAVHDA registration number and all other required information that must be obtained by the owner or handler.
The preferred running date you select will be considered, but can not be guaranteed. All entrants need to be flexible so the chapter can fill slots in a way that allows testing the maximum number of dogs!
Participants must be at the testing grounds by 6:15 AM each day.
More information will be provided by the test secretary as the testing date approaches!
Natural Ability test fee: $165
Utility/Utility Prep test fee: $185
Your test entry fee will be refunded only if you withdraw from the test at least 2 weeks prior to the testing date AND there is a dog on the waiting list that can take your slot. If a refund is due to you for what ever reason, the refund will be mailed within one week of the last day of the test. If you withdraw within 2 weeks of the test, there will be no refund issued. If your dog cannot run due to an injury, your entry fee will be refunded with a note from your veterinarian.
Natural Ability Test
The Natural Ability Test is where most new trainers begin with their young dogs (dogs cannot be older than 16 months at the time of the test). The Natural Ability Test consists of search and pointing, swimming, pheasant track, and a physical examination. The physical examination is part of the dog’s permanent NAVHDA record and is important if the dog is to be used for breeding. Besides the physical attributes, temperament is also noted. Additionally, the dog will be evaluated on use of nose, desire to work, and cooperation, based upon performance in the other phases. Two blank shots will be fired at the beginning of the search to test for any gun-shyness.
Utility Preparatory Test
The Utility Preparatory Test was created to evaluate the versatile dog at the mid-point of its training. It is the logical bridge from Natural Ability Testing to the Utility Testing of a finished gun dog. In the field portion of this test, the intermediate dog is required to find and point birds. The dog is expected to allow the gunner to flush the bird and to remain steady until the gun is fired. The dog is expected to retrieve within one step of the handler. The water portion of the test consists of a short heeling segment followed by a 40-yard retrieve of a thrown duck. Also included in the water portion of this test is an independent water search for a dead duck that has been concealed in vegetation. The last portion of the Utility Preparatory Test involves the tracking and retrieving of a dead bird that has been dragged 50 yards out of sight of the dog. This portion of the test is a test of the dog’s cooperation and obedience. Throughout the entire Utility Preparatory Test, the dog is being evaluated for nose, desire, obedience and cooperation.
The Utility Test is designed to test the finished hunting dog. In field work, the dog is required to search for, find and point game and to retrieve shot birds to hand. It is expected to be steady to wing, shot and fall. It is required to track and retrieve a 100-200 yard drag. In the water sequence, the dog demonstrates heeling through a serpentine course to a blind and then remains by the blind while the handler leaves, goes out of sight and fires two blank shots. After the handler returns to the blind, the dog must remain steady through a sequence of shots and then retrieve a thrown duck from the water. The final test involves a blind search for a live duck across water with emerging vegetation. During the entire Utility Test, the dog is scored on use of nose, desire, stamina, cooperation and obedience.