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The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association is a legally recognized nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering, improving, promoting, and protecting the versatile hunting dog in North America.
Underlying these aims is the desire to serve the interests of game conservation, prevention of cruelty to animals, and the gun dog hunter by helping the hunter to train his dog to work before and after the shot, on land and in water.
NAVHDA is an excellent complement to the activities of sporting dog breed clubs and field trial organizations. It was created to supplement the activities of those clubs by providing a proven, standard method of evaluating the performance of all versatile hunting dogs, consistent with North American hunting practices, regardless of breed
Local chapters of NAVHDA are the “grass roots” organizations, which sponsor the training and testing programs. There are sanctioned chapters throughout the United States and Canada.
At Great lakes Gun Dogs, we highly recommend you consider involvement in your local NAVHDA Chapter. Through your local chapter you can reap a myriad of benefits like: access to great training grounds, access to birds, training aids like bird launchers, and guidance and help with training your dog. Every NAVHDA event we have been to, we found friendly, helpful people that wanted the best for us and our dog.
In addition to training day’s local chapters will hold tests. NAVHDA tests are not dog trial but they are objective tests of your dog. Since they are a test and not a competition the environment is friendly and everyone is hoping for your dog performs his best.
There are several levels of testing that NAVHDA runs. We run all of our puppies and ask as many of our owners as can to run their puppies in the Natural Ability test. This is a test of your dog’s natural ability and does not require a finished gun dog.  From NAVHDA’s documentation:
The Natural Ability Test measures seven hereditary characteristics which are
fundamental to the makeup of a good, reliable versatile hunting dog. The importance
of this test cannot be overemphasized.
The natural, inherited abilities of a hunting dog usually manifest themselves at an
early age, and it is desirable to take advantage of this fact by testing dogs while
they are still young. By so doing, the owner or trainer gets an impartial evaluation
of the dog’s strengths and weaknesses and thus is better able to map out a future
training program for the animal.
Piper’s Natural Ability Field portion (7 months):