We encourage every versatile gun dog to be NAVHDA tested, as the test tells you where your dog's abilities are at and serves as the foundation for improving our versatile breeds. The tests are qualitative evaluations to proven performance standards in simulated hunting conditions.

In testing, dogs are judged one at a time by three judges, with their performance scored against a standard. The exception to this is the Invitational Test in which dogs are braced in the field so each dog can demonstrate his willingness to back and work effectively with another dog. Prizes are based on numerical scores achieved in the test. The dog must meet or exceed a minimum standard in all areas of work to receive a prize. There are three categories of prizes: I, II and III, with Prize I being the highest classification.

Natural Ability (NA) testing evaluates the dog's natural abilities before 16 months of age. This gives you a vision of what your versatile gun dog can become.

Utility Preparatory Testing (UPT), an intermediate test, evaluates the dog's progression towards a finished utility gun dog. This lets you know if your training is on target towards a finished pointing gun dog.

Utility Testing (UT) evaluates a dog's finished hunting skills and abilities. At the time of the test, it tells you how good your dog is at hunting, pointing and retrieving sporting game.

Invitational testing, the flagship of NAVHDA testing, calls for a supreme versatile performance to become recognized as a "Versatile Champion".

We encourage our breeders to use the testing data for breeding programs which promotes the philosophy of "breeding the best to the best." This helps assure that the versatile gun-dogs of tomorrow will be better than today's.

More detailed test descriptions are available from NAVHDA International.

Important Testing Information

Thinking about testing your dog? First see the calendar for the chapter's scheduled test dates, then fill out the NAVHDA Test Entry Form and send it with payment to the Test Secretary (see contacts).

Current Test Fees

  • Natural Ability: $100
  • Utility Preparatory: $140
  • Utility: $140