NAVHDA was founded to foster the breeding, training and testing of versatile hunting dogs, i.e. the European breeds that are expected to hunt fur and feather and to point, track and retrieve game from field, forest and water.
The American Kennel Club, for example, pays no attention to the multiple talents bred into these dogs and simply dumps them into the "pointing dog" category where they are expected to perform like pointers and setters. Pointers and setters are fine animals, but their development has been the finding of birds, sometimes over huge expanses of territory. The AKC field trials and hunt tests reflect this orientation.
European hunting ethics, however, dictate that the finding and retrieval of dead or wounded game is at least as important, if not more so, as locating it in the first place. Moreover, the European hunter does not have one dog for quail, another for ducks and so forth. A dog must be multi-talented in the field as well as being a member of the hunter's family.
The NAVHDA program was developed from the European practices with some modification for North America.
Judges do all they can to help the handler, particularly newcomers.
The testing program provides a standardized method of recording the dogs' accomplishments and are used for validating breeding and training programs. Testing is not competitive. Nothing pleases judges more than to see every dog pass a test with a high score.
NAVHDA's activities take place in the local chapters in the United States and Canada. Local chapters organize training days, hold tests and otherwise facilitate members in getting more enjoyment from their hunting companions.
We here in the Pacific Northwest chapter hold two tests a year as well as training days and other activities. We also try to raise money because we, as is common in NAVHDA, usually lose money on the tests. In contrast to AKC hunt tests, three NAVHDA judges evaluate each dog, individually, and must agree on a score. (At AKC tests, two judges evaluate two dogs at the same time). These judges serve without pay although the local chapter reimburses them for travel and lodging and feed them as well as possible.Likewise, tests depend upon the volunteer efforts of chapter members. Many of us get almost as much enjoyment out of helping others with their dogs as we do from working with our own.
Most of our members are from Oregon and Washington, but we also have members in Alaska, British Columbia and Idaho..
We have an annual meeting each year in February for the usual housekeeping chores of deciding upon the year's program, election of officers, by-law changes, etc.. Dues are $25 per calendar year. For new members who join after Sept. 1, their memberships are valid through the following year as well.
Come and join us.
This page last updated October 29, 2014