Thursday, October 22, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For

There aren't many NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) test days in this part of the country, so when I found one in Virginia, a couple hours south of here, I did what you'd expect. I waited until it was far too late to get a spot and, once my sabotage efforts were successful I sent in my entry form and got on the waiting list.

NAVHDA's Natural Ability Test, according to their web site, is designed to evaluate the inherent natural abilities of young dogs and gain insight into their possible usefulness as versatile gun dogs. It rates seven important inherited abilities: nose, search, tracking, pointing, water, desire and cooperation.

I have never attended or seen such a test. I have no idea how she will measure up in such a test. But while I was sitting on the waiting list, I was fond of telling people, 'Hey, pass or fail, it'll be a good experience for us. IF we even get in.'

Well, bigmouth, we're in. A spot opened up on Sunday, November 8th, just two weeks before Winnie turns 16 months old, the cutoff age for the test. Her one and only chance.

I told the organizer that I wanted to see how she did this Sunday, only her second time experiencing full shotgun fire, and if she was okay with that we would head down and attempt the test.

There are four phases: Field Phase, Tracking Phase, Water Phase and Judgement of Physical Characteristics. Lots of details within those phases, but you get the idea. She has to locate and point birds, track a running bird (never done this before), show willingness to swim (she does show a moderate willingness to wade) and not be gunshy.

I'm really nervous!


nell said...

Hi Ed, We'll be taking ours with Dudley Brown in April. Let mes know how it goes with Winnie.

Ed. said...

You know I will!!

Did I mention I was nervous???

Anonymous said...

Is this in Hustle Virginia?

Ed. said...

Yeah, in Hustle. Looks like it's northeast of Richmond.