Fairhaven’s Daring to Dream NAVHDA NA1, 112
5/09 Lyric earns NAVHDA Natural Ability Prize 1 with a perfect score of 112
View Lyric’s website here
LYRIC AND HIS DAY AT THE NAVHDA NATURAL ABILITY TEST
by Elizabeth Fairlee
I have gone in a very different direction this time with my latest pup. I decided to take him out for field training and I have thoroughly enjoyed myself and I know Lyric is having a blast. We went to our first test on 4/26/09 . The local chapter of the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association put on their annual Natural Ability test for dogs under 16 months of age at the Mendota Wildlife Preserve in Central California.
There were 10 dogs entered and all ten go through each section of the 3 parts; first is field work, then we move on to tracking, and last is the water so it took all day, from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. The dogs are scored on use of nose, search, pointing, desire to work, cooperation, tracking and swimming. In the field section, three judges go out with you and the dog is turned loose to do his thing. They need to search, and point at least two birds. They do not have to be steady to wing, shot or fall.
In the first picture he had just scented the bird and whipped around to his point. And in the next one he was running flat out across the field after he had flushed it in an attempt to catch that bird… which he did. You would think birds should be able to fly…. But he did pick up the bird and bring it all the way back across the field to me when the judge told me to call him. I was so relieved that he actually returned immediately as that would correspond with ‘cooperation’.
In the second section, the judges pull the wing feathers from a pheasant add some tail feathers and put it on the ground and let it go, which hopefully runs off through the brush at least 100 yards. Then the dog is brought up and you show him the feathers and tell him to find it. He did great here…tracked it out about 10 yards where it had hunkered down for a little bit.. He did go off the track about 10 feet here..probably followed the scentas it moved in the opposite direction but turned around and almost immediately went into a crouch position and ran the next 40 yards and found the bird, pointed it for about 20 seconds, then pounced on it and carried it all the way back to the van. Happy dog.
The third phase is the water work, you throw a bumper out into the water and send the dog to fetch it. They must swim twice. The judges also check the dog at this point for bite, coat conformation etc. Overall I thought he did well, and was thrilled when he was awarded a Prize 1, with the maximum number of 112 points. What a boy! Anybody interested? Check out the NAVHDA website for more information. Utility Prep test and Utility Test is for the adult.