Maddy and I are brand
new to NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association) and only started training recently
for their Natural Ability test once we had an idea
of what we needed. The cut off
age for Natural Ability is 16 months. Since we got a late
start in joining NAVHDA, we didn't have much time to train and stay
under the age cut off. But, we figured we would give it a try
and have some fun!
Maddy had a BLAST at her first NAVHDA event!!! How many times
do you get to hunt, swim and track in one day? Maddy tested
once each day since we hadn't been to a NAVHDA event before - we
figured we would take 2 stabs at it. Between the 2 days, Maddy
had perfect scores in all categories except for the dreaded
Maddy hunted like a fiend during the field portion, finding and
pointing numerous birds. She worked with a purpose and never
let up in the 20 minute test period either day! The fields
were grown up to my waist. Maddy disappeared many times, only
to be found by watching the grass move around her! The grass
was soaking wet both days! Conditions weren't ideal, but Maddy
did a fantastic job!
Next was the swim.
Maddy had no problem heading into the pond twice to demonstrate that
she could swim. She went out after bumpers and came straight
Now comes the hardest part. We had trained for tracking a bit,
but weren't really sure what to expect. The
tracking test was set up in a HUGE corn field. Well, Maddy
enjoys hunting SO much that it was hard for her to focus on the
tracking task. As soon as
Maddy started tracking her pheasant, she couldn't help but lift up
her head after a while and see the vast field. Once that
happened, she started to cover the entire field
(hunt/track/hunt/track/hunt/track...)!! She tracked the bird
for the dog before us (next to us), and the bird for the dog before
that, and the bird for the dog before that! She eventually
came back across the VERY large field and tracked her bird again
into the woods where there was the loud noise of a pheasant being
captured. Out Maddy came from the woods with the pheasant in
her mouth! Maddy did a great job, but the judges wanted to see
more tracking and less hunting on this task. So, she scored an
index of 2 which is only one index point away from what she needed
for a Prize I. Even with the 2 in tracking, she still had
enough points for a Prize I with a 99, but she needed a 3 instead of
a 2 for that honor. A 3 is required for a Prize I.
The judges commended
Maddy on being a wonderful versatile dog and that she shows
tremendous promise for the future. I couldn't agree more!
I couldn't be
of Maddy for what an outstanding
job she did both days!!! I stood in awe watching her work.
She is a very special girl! Saturday was the better day of the
2 earning her a Prize II. We may go on to train for Utility.
We'll see how she likes it and take it from there! In the
meantime, her training will continue for AKC on the Hunt Test side
for Senior Hunter.
WAY TO GO MADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!