Southeast Michigan Chapter
North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association
The Southeast Michigan chapter hosts two weekends of testing each year. Our tests are held in Highland twice each summer. See calendar for specific dates here: seminavhda.com/training. Each test is open to Natural Ability, Utility Preparatory and Utility Tests entries. To enter, you must send in a completed "official test entry form" and your entry fee (a check made out to SEMI NAVHDA) to:
440 Rustic Ridge
Holly, MI 48442
PLEASE REVIEW SEMI NAVHDA TEST POLICIES BEFORE SUBMITTING ENTRY FORM: "SEMI Test Policy"
Natural Ability - $110, Utility Preparatory - $120 and Utility - $125
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 all characteristics of a good versatile dog. Judges must be knowledgeable, consistent, and objective. Accurate and complete records of test performance must be kept on each dog tested. All testing and evaluation is to be within the context of judging dogs as useful, productive hunting companions. NAVHDA test have been designed with these requirements in mind.
TYPES OF TESTS:
NAVHDA conducts 4 levels of tests.
as the name implies, the 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. The NA test is organized into 4 main segments or phases, as follows:
1. Field Phase - each dog is hunted for a minimum of 20 minutes and is scored or evaluated on Use of Nose, Search, Pointing, Desire, Cooperation and Gun Shyness.
2. Tracking Phase - each dog is judged on Use of Nose, Tracking, Desire to Work and Cooperation.
3. Water Phase - during the water test, the dogs are judged on Water Entry, Desire to Work and Cooperation.
4. Physical Characteristics - Recognizing the fact that a long useful life and ease of performance are enhanced by a sound body and protective coat, dogs should be evaluated for physical soundness but will not be considered in awarding prizes.
Utility Preparatory Test is just what the name implies. It is a test 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.
THE UTILITY PREP TEST (UPT)
is divided into 2 groups:
1. Water Group - includes Water Search, Walking at Heel, Steadiness by Blind and Retrieve of a Duck.
2. Field Group - includes Search, Pointing, Steadiness on Game, Retrieve of Shot Bird and Retrieve of Drag.
Throughout the UPT test the following areas are also judged:
Use of Nose, Desire to Work, Cooperation, Obedience and Physical Attributes.
designed to test a hunting dog's usefulness to the on-foot hunter in all phases of hunting both before and after the shot, in field and marsh and on different species of game. A dog that successfully completes the Utility Test will have demonstrated that he is a master, or at the very least a good, solid and reliable journeyman.
The Utility Test (UT) is also divided into 2 groups:
1. Water Group - Search for a Duck, Walking at Heel, Remaining by Blind, Steadiness by Blind and Retrieve of a Duck.
2. Field Group - Search, Pointing, Steadiness on Game, Retrieve of Shot Bird and Retrieve of Dragged Game.
Throughout the UT test the dog is also evaluated on Use of Nose, Desire to Work, Cooperation, Stamina, Obedience and Physical Attributes.
This test is a challenging and demanding one, as befits the NAVHDA aim of "fostering, improving, promoting and protecting the versatile hunting dog in North America."
at present the "Invitational" is NAVHDA's highest level test. Designed to evaluate an exceptional hunting dog for superior ability, versatility and obedience in all phases of work and a variety of hunting situations. Dogs successfully completing the Invitational Test with a passing score clearly demonstrate exceptional skill, ability and obedience. Only dogs who have earned a Prize I score in the Utility Test will be "invited" to run at the Invitational Test.
For more information on NAVHDA's test criteria and rules, you can order the AIMS Programs and Test Rules book at www.navhda.org