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Old August 10, 2012, 09:11 PM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: February 21, 2012
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 763
To my knowledge the NAVHDA works primarily with bird dogs. I've run into a handful of people who train and compete within that arena and frankly its not for me. I actually haven't seen many of their dogs that were trained to both hunt birds and land game. I've heard claims as such but have yet to actually see it. Perhaps I haven't seen enough of a selection of their dogs but of what I've seen when they talk about a versatile hunting dog they're talking about a dog that will hunt different species of birds in varying environments.

Well I train my dogs to hunt duck, pheasant and grouse. They're also trained to retrieve any bird I shoot be it duck, pheasant, grouse, doves/pigeons, crow etc. Basically if I've shot it and it fell my dogs will find it and retrieve it on command. I guess that makes them pretty versatile according to the NAVHDA's competition requirements right? I mean the only difference is that my dogs are trained to flush and trust me they don't just "bump" the birds which is bad according to the NAVHDA. I can tell when they're on a bird and just by watching the dog I can also tell when they're about to flush one. I've also found that the level of obedience and training that I hold my dogs to (and that most hunt triallers in the Flushing/Retrieving arena AKC or UKC) is of a higher level than what I've seen from NAVHDA.

Here is a production video clip of some sort that highlights the NAVHDA. Looking at some of the examples shown in the clip I can tell you that aside from pointing (which dogs in my arena aren't trained to do) the behavior of many of these dogs would result in loss of scoring points. I won't elaborate here because we are already diverging from the original purpose of the OP. If you're interested let me know and I'll either PM or start a new thread per the Mods' feelings on this as it is only semi-pertinent to firearms.

The NAVHDA's tests all center around game birds - ducks, pheasants and chukars. They do mention that historically dogs were bred to hunt all sorts of game, on land, in water and in air. Nowadays though the dogs in the NAVHDA only test on birds. The one big problem with the NAVHDA (and why I don't play with them) is that they fail to recognize many popular sporting breeds as valid hunting dog breeds. Most spaniel breeds, the Labrador, the Golden Retriever, the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, the Flat Coated Retriever etc. Instead they only recognize "European" breeds of sporting dogs and for that matter they center primarily on pointing breeds. This puts me out of the game with them because the breeds I prefer to work with aren't even eligible for competition within their arena.

As for DKV - I honestly haven't got a clue what you're talking about. I've never heard of any group, organization or training program in the Midwest called DKV. Can you elaborate on what exactly DKV is?
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