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NAVHDA Test Descriptions...

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NAVHDA Test Descriptions...

Old 07-03-2010, 10:32 AM
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Typical Buck
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I'm starting a thread on NAVHDA tests to give a bit more exposure to what they are. 4evr - you stated the following:

" Most Navhda trained dogs are much more thoroughly trained than any other group of dogs I have seen. I run mine in AKC hunt tests to prepare for the Navhda requirements. A dog can have his Master title in AKC and fail miserably in Navhda because while Yes, they find birds, hold point, are steady to shot, honor and retrieve. Most of that comes naturally for pointing breeds-some dogs have to be worked more in some areas than others. Alot of what I see In NAVHDA takes alot more work because they are now having to do all the above but within guidelines that the dog would not naturally do such as learning position direction from the handler instead of having their nose do all the directioning as in blind retrieves for instance and resending a dog into water or cover to search repeatedly after not finding the bird the first time or two. These dogs have to follow commands to a higher level than required by AKC."

NAVHDA is really broken down into two different types of tests.

1. Natural Ability - This test is offered for dogs under the age of 16 months. The purpose of the test is to evaluate the native hunting ability of the dog. It is broken down to three components: Field, Tracking, Water.

In the field portion, you take your pup for a 20 minute hunt. At the beginning of the hunt, 2 shots will be fired to evaluate the dog's reaction to gunfire. Other than that you are hunting your dog as you would on a real hunt. When the dog finds a bird, you let it establish point without influence from you. If possible, you will be asked to flush the bird to see the dog's reaction. What the judges are evaluating here is the dog's desire and cooperation to actively search for game with the purpose of producing that game for the gun as well as the dog's ability to point game convincingly and the manner in which it uses it's nose for these purposes.

In the tracking portion, the judges will take a pheasant, remove it's flight feathers and allow it to run off. You will bring your dog up; get him going on the track and allow the dog to track down the bird. Again, the judges are evaluating the dog's desire and cooperation to do the job you have asked it and how well it uses its' nose to track the bird.

In the water portion, you are asked to get your dog to swim twice by throwing bumpers into the water. The dog is not required to retrieve; only swim. The judges are evaluating the dog's desire to enter water and cooperation to come back.

2. Utility Test - The Utility test is offered to evaluate the level of which you have completed the necessary training for a finished bird dog. There are four components of this test: Field, Drag, Duck Search, Obedience

The field portion consists of a 30 minute hunt. Hunt the dog as you normally would. In this test, you will be carrying an empty shotgun and will have two other gunners coming in addition to the judging team. Once the dog establishes point, he is expected to remain steady until one of three things happen; 1. You relocate him or send him on in the event there is no bird. 2. You find the bird, flush the bird; the bird is shot and you send the dog for the retrieve (note steadiness to fall is required here) 3. You find the bird, flush the bird; the gunners mss the bird and you continue hunting. In addition to the components of the natural ability field portion, the dog is evaluated in it's steadiness and retrieve of shot bird.

The drag portion consists of a duck that is dragged out of sight (typically somewhere around 100 yards away). You ask the dog to fetch the bird. Here, the dog is not tested in it's tracking ability. Only the desire, obedience and cooperation to go get the duck and bring it back.

The water portion is broken down into two parts. First is the duck search. A flightless duck is placed a distance off downwind from where you will start in a pond (min 5 acres) You sit your dog next to you; fire a shot in a different direction from where the duck was placed and send your dog to get the duck. The objective is for him to search for at least 8 minutes without stopping and cover a significant amount of the pond. If the dog finds the duck, he is expected to deliver to hand.

Obedience - The last part of the Utility test is a series of obedience excercises. First, you walk the dog at heal through a heal track. The purpose is not to beat up over formalities here, but to evaluate the dog's general obedience. Next, you will place the dog near or inside a pseudo duck blind. You walk off 30 yards or so; out of sight from the dog and fire 2 shots 10 seconds apart; and then come back. The dog is expected to remain quietly by the blind. Finally is a series of events concluded by a marked retrieve. You place the dog outside the duck blind. You are in the duck blind. There is a distraction gunner off on one side a ways away. The distraction gunner fires a blank shot. You fire a blank shot. The distraction gunner fires a second blank shot. A dead duck is launched across from you into the water. While it is in the air; you swing on the duck and simulate shooting it with a blank. You send your dog for the retrieve which he is expected to deliver to hand.

There is also a Utility Prep Test, but it is roughly the same thing as a Utility test with lower level expectations.

I think the key here is that all of these things are what we expect; or at least should expect our dogs to do in a real hunting situation. Hope this clarifies what NAVHDA is about.

On another note; NAVHDA is based off another testing system called the Jagdgebrauchshundverband (JGHV) which has similar tests, but goes a bit further especially in the areas of bloodtracking. But that's another story.

Last edited by mustad; 07-03-2010 at 10:38 AM.
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:38 PM
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Here is a link
http://www.navhda.org/testrule.pdf

or go to www.NAVHDA.org

This will give you all the correct Information on what the tests are about how they are judged and what is judged.

JW

Last edited by JW; 07-09-2010 at 04:16 PM. Reason: Aims and Rules NAVHDA
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:19 PM
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I started reading up on the JGHV, 20 and 40 hr bloodtracking???? And the Hardness Test is another thing entirely! They definitely hold their DK's to a high standard. I think it's awesome that there is such testing especially for breeding rights in the DK organizations. None of that breeding dogs because they are pretty nonesense like what you predominantly find in AKC. I am looking into a DK for my next dog. I was told I could run in JGHV or Navhda but the AKC hunt tests are not intensive enough to prove the dog is worth breeding by their standards. I have no problem with that since I would rather have a dog trained to a higher level than one just good enough to pass in AKC. Speaking of which, I expect to have a Master title on my 2 yr old GSP by this fall. I started in AKC because that was what I was introduced to first but from now on it will be NAVHDA or JGHV, with the dual citizenship pedigree I will have for my female I will run her in AKC after all other requirements are met in one of the other two, I'll run her just for something to do at that point. Thanks for your help Mustad on that info you sent me!
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Old 07-27-2010, 08:40 PM
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Anytime. I hope I get a chance to judge your dog someday.
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:29 PM
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So this is the perfromance standard you think a dog should meet before being bred?
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Old 07-28-2010, 01:51 PM
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No. There really isn't anything in the NAVHDA book that talks about breed standards pertaining to performance. There is no such thing as pass/fail... only an evaluation. The pass/fail decision is left to you as the dog's owner. It is simply a means of evaluating a dog against a set of standards. More than anything, NAVHDA was set up to give an individual dog owner the means of seeing what they have in natural hunting instinct and evaluate where they are in their training program.

Here is a document that identifies some of the minimum requirements for potential broodstock...

http://www.pudelpointer.de/infos/zuc...ung/index.html

I have an english translation in a word doc... You can pm me your email if you're interested.
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Old 08-07-2010, 08:01 AM
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Originally Posted by limiman12 View Post
So this is the perfromance standard you think a dog should meet before being bred?
Breeders do look at the Navhda test results to help pick dogs with traits needed to hopefully correct a downfall or some shortcomings in their perspective breed.

I have seen more than one or two litter mates exhibit the same trait during some ortion of a the NA test.

For Utility the simlar segments of the test completed or scored poorly on may be an indicator of some trait yo might want to replace with some other breeding.

But anyone who trains for Utility has more dog to use as a tool while they hunt and that is the main reason I train. I use mine for all aspects of and all species of upland and waterfowl hunting. All the testing does for me is tell me where my holes are in training as the dog is tested and scored against a Standard from a composite score derived from a group of 3 judges.

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Old 08-12-2010, 06:55 AM
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Mustad
Thanks for the explaination of the Test

I think decent PLs could do well in it, EXCEPT most of us wouldn't like the "Duck Search". Most of us retriever guys want to get our dog to the bird and get it back in hand / in the bag.

From another forum : "The problem from my perspective is that it is not a blind or a mark. You get a higher score the longer your dog is searching. They care more about diligence than actually finding the bird. I believe you will see that on marks and upland. Me I want the bird located a s soon as possible and bring it back to dad. If the dog brings back quickly in NAVDHA they will have you do it again. You are actually penalized in a sense for a dog that locates quickly.

I'm not going to train my dogs to wander around until they find something. I want to give them a line and then let them work it out. They also do two single marks for the UT test. So the dogs see trailing on land and water, upland, retrieving, marks. PL's would do well in their tests. They won't let us play though. Too bad. My opinion is that a good dog is a good dog. Virtually any dog out there can play the AKC, NARHA and HRC games. Not so with NAVDHA. That's OK becuase they would see us at their competitive hunts going home with ribbons".



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Old 08-13-2010, 05:15 PM
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Hi Doc,

It's a very interesting point you bring up. The duck search was set up as simulation of an instance where you are asked by a fellow hunter to help find a duck that he has shot and can't get. He thinks he has a decent mark on where it fell, but it turns out he didn't and the dog needs to show the independence, desire and cooperation to do what he is being asked to do... namely an independent search in water.

If you look at the way the UT test was when NAVHDA originally started, the duck was thrown from the shore. This essentially assured that the dog would encounter some form of scent within the first 50 yards; which is pretty realistic in most hunting scenarios; and then see how the dog would react from there. This was a direct take on the JGHV HZP test; which is actually a natural ability test; not utility. The problem NAVHDA test coordinators experienced was the duck would swim back to shore and cause the tests to take a long time. So they changed the format where the duck was placed rather than thrown from shore and canoes and kayaks were introduced. This brought an additional realm to the equation and that was how far from shore would the planter (for lack of a better term) go until he dropped the duck.

Personally, I like to see the duck dropped within 50-75 yards from shore in a direction that doesn't give the dog the benefit of his nose until he gets in the area. That's not always the case though. My prep of a duck search is essentially training the dog to do a 100 yard blind. The line I give him will assure he crosses the path of the duck; which he will pick up; track the duck in the water and retrieve. In the test, it typically means he'll take a line; go 100 yards... expand off; hopefully burn 8-10 minutes and call it a day.

Essentially, it is exactly the same thing as sending a dog on a line and letting him work it out as your poster wrote in the other forum.

That said, I agree as well that I want my dog out... get the bird... come back... as quickly as possible. This isn't what is being evaluated in a duck search. However, I don't see any difference in the training process between prepping for a duck search and getting the dog to do a blind. The dog needs the independence and desire to continue searching on test day once he finds the line hasn't produced scent.

If the PL were allowed to run in NAVHDA, which I doubt it ever will; I think it would, on average, perform weakly in pointing, but quite well in everything else. That said, it's disappointing that more aren't run in the VHDF.

Last edited by mustad; 08-14-2010 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 08-18-2010, 02:09 PM
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Docs point is that when running a blind for advanced level retrieving tests, while running that blind "independant search" is the last thing you want your dog to do......

Now, if handle to an area and tell the dog to hunt dead/trail/find it. that is a very usful hunting tool, but as stated, independant searches at teh end of a blind is a very bad thing in retriever tests, and why there is little crossover.
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