Monday, May 24, 2010

Dudley's NAVHDA Natural Ability Test

Dudley Brown and I wait in the shade before the tracking section of the test.
Photo: Nell

Following text is from the: NAVHDA A Newcomer's Guide to the Natural Ability Test.

The Natural Ability Test consists of:
  • Search and Pointing
In the Natural Ability search phase, the dog is expected to search diligently for game for at least 20 minutes and point what it finds. The judges will ensure that the dog is in an area where it can pick up the scent of a bird.

Dudley holds a long point during the "search and point" test. Photo: Nell
  • Pheasant track
For the pheasant track, the flight feathers are pulled on a cock pheasant, which is then shooed to run off into some cover out of sight of the dog. The dog is expected to track the running bird a reasonable distance. It is not necessary for the dog to catch the bird and retrieve it (or even extra credit) but it’s always satisfying for the handler. (Dudley caught his bird and returned it alive.)

Dudley's teeth are examined by the judges. Photo:Nell
  • Physical examination
The physical examination is part of the dog’s permanent NAVHDA record and is important if the dog is to be used for breeding. Besides the physical attributes, temperament also is noted.

Dudley hits the water like a freight train. Judge comments, "I bet he can do this all day." I replied "All Day!" Photo:Nell

Swimming is one of Dudley's favorite things to do.

  • Swimming
At the water, the handler throws a retrieving dummy out far enough for the dog to have plenty of swimming depth. The dog doesn’t actually have to retrieve the dummy, but it does have to swim. If the dog won’t swim for a dummy, a bird is thrown out. The dog can pass if it retrieves the bird, but the score suffers.

Additionally, the dog are evaluated on Use of Nose, Desire to Work and Cooperation, based upon performance in the other phases. Also, two blank shots will be fired at the beginning of the search to test for any gun-shyness.

Dudley Brown Results:(1-4)
Search and Pointing: 4
Pheasant track: 4
Swimming: 4
Physical examination: Normal
Gun Shyness: Not Gun shy
Temperament: Normal
Coat: Medium thickness,Medium coarse
Work and Cooperation: Strong
Final score: Prize I with a perfect score:112!

We are so proud of our little Brown Dog! I knew he'd do well but I was not expecting him to ace the test. The thing that I think sets him apart is his ability to focus in the field. The transformation to "all business" is key and Dudley just does that.

The polish supplied by:
BIG Thank You to Dudley Brown's trainers at Bird Mtn, Bryan and Amanda Johnson, they added the polish to Dudley's performance and are most responsible for his perfect score!