Hunting Hills Kennel LLC
NAVHDA established a system of versatile hunt tests in 1969 that measures each aspect of work performed by the versatile hunting dog breeds. The NAVHDA system provides for testing at various stages of the dog's maturity. A owner can test their versatile dog to see how it is progressing in its training. Test records are kept and made available through NAVHDA's Test Information Service on the NAVHDA website. This information is invaluable information for both breeders and buyers.
NAVHDA testing is divided into four levels of tests: The Natural Ability Test which is designed to evaluate the inherent natural abilities of young dogs up to 16 months of age to gain insight into their possible usefulness as versatile gun dogs. It rates seven important inherited abilities: nose, search, tracking, pointing, water, desire
The Utility Preparatory Test measures the dog's development midway through their training toward the Utility Test.
The Utility Test evaluates trained dogs in water and field, before and after the shot, as finished versatile hunting companions as well as many other specific tasks.
The Invitational Test is NAVHDA's highest level of testing. Only dogs who have achieved a Prize I in Utility are eligible. This limits the entry to exceptional animals who have demonstrated a high level of training and tests their skills in the advanced work.
In a NAVHDA test the handlers and their dogs 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 the 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 is the highest classification. If all dogs entered in a NAVHDA test perform well, all can receive a prize. The tests are conducted in an environment which mirrors actual hunting conditions and situations. They test the important qualities of a good versatile dog such as nose, search, point, desire, and cooperation or obedience. NAVHDA judges are knowledgeable, consistent and objective. All testing and evaluation is performed in the context of judging dogs as useful, productive hunting companions. NAVHDA tests are designed with these requirements in mind.
NAVHDA record keeping provides an accurate, complete performance evaluation on each dog tested. The results of these tests for specific breeds are available on both the NAVHDA and SMCNA websites.