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Awaiting their turn at the test!

Awaiting their turn at the test!

(First, have you voted on my  TV show theme yet? See below when you’re done with this post.)

Just back from helping at our local NAVHDA chapter’s Natural Ability test and as usual, am energized and motivated as well as a little sunburned. The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (go here) is a fast-growing group with very clear and sound goals: create better bird dogs through training and sharing of breeding-critical information; and make better bird dog owner-handlers.

Designed for dogs 18 months of age and younger, the NA test is simply that: an assessment of the pup’s natural traits in areas that will ultimately be developed into finely honed hunting skills. That’s not to say you unclip the lead and cross your fingers, as one of the traits being tested is what NAVHDA calls “cooperation,” or a willingness to work with – and for – its handler-owner. But it’s also not about how a good trainer can turn a puppy into a hunting robot. (more…)

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