PM Weimaraners                  of Montana
            About NAVHDA 
(North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association)
NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) is an excellent compliment to the existing activities of sporting dog breed clubs and field trial organizations. 

It was created to supplement the activities of those clubs by providing a proven method of evaluating the performance of all versatile hunting dogs, consistent with North American hunting practices, regardless of breed. NAVHDA Clubs will sponsor training days (March – September) to assist handlers. Training days focus on field work, water work, and obedience.
The NAVHDA Testing System provides for testing at various stages of maturity.  The NAVHDA system of comprehensive tests truly measures all aspects of work for the versatile hunting dog breeds. 

NAVHDA chapters sponsor four kinds of tests:

The Natural Ability Test which 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.

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 the 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 advance work.

In order to eliminate direct competition between dogs, entrants in a NAVHDA test are judged one at a time, by three judges, with their performance scored against a standard. 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 being the highest classification.

The Natural Ability is organized into 4 main segments, or phases as follows:
1.) Field Phase:  The dog is hunted in cover where the presence of game has been assured by the releasing of game birds. Each dog is                 hunted a minimum of 20 minutes and is scored or evaluated on:  Use of nose, search, pointing, desire, cooperation and gun shyness.
2.) Tracking Phase:  The dog is given the opportunity to track a flightless running pheasant or chuckar. Each dog is evaluated on the following
     items:  Use of nose, tracking, desire to work and cooperation.
3.) Water Phase:  The dog is tested for it's willingness to swim. They are required to enter and swim 2 separate times while retrieveing
    The following items are evaluated during the water test:  Water entry, desire to work and cooperation.  
4.) Judgment of Physical Characteristics. A detailed examination of the dog is done after the water test they will look at teeth, bite, genitals,        eyes, coat, etc. and all around physical soundness of the dog. 
PM's Southern Bernadette Lace zum Ziel JH & NAVHDA Prize I (NA)  (Birdie)
Ran her Natural Ability Test October 7th, 2007. She received a Prize I  Her scores were all PERFECT 4's! The Highest Classification and scores attainable! We are so proud of Birdie. She is an excellent tracker and beautiful pointer. She loves the water and her retrieve, with a very soft mouth, is absolutely a dream! *Update Birdie's daughter PM's Sweet Shot Lilly also scores a perfect score on her Natural Ability 5/31/2110! 
CONGRATULATIONS Birdie and Lilly, we are very proud of all you have done and everything you will achieve in the future as well. 
Birdie's Litter wins a NAVHDA BREEDERS AWARD for her litter whelped 8/22/2011  
    Birdie tracking a pheasant during the       track portion of the Natural Ability Testing
    Dawna handing a bird  off to the judge that Birdie         had  just retrieved during the field portion of the NA test
 Birdie tracking pheasant ~ Go Birdie!
Birdie entering the water for a water retrieve
Dawna and Birdie waiting to do the field portion of the NA test
Birdie being evaluated on her conformation after the water test