~ Our Score 112
Hi guys just wanted to drop a quick note. Me and Luna were first alternate and luckily got into the NA test yesterday.
We surprisingly got a prize 1 – 112 score! Wow. I’m still shocked but she did it all and we trained hard. Now just getting ready for hunting season.
Mike and Michelle
–The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA)
The Natural Ability Test is designed to evaluate the inherent natural abilities of young dogs and gain insight into their possible usefulness as versatile gun dogs. It rates seven important inherited abilities: nose, search, tracking, pointing, water, desire and cooperation. Dogs are eligible for a Natural Ability Test up until, and including, the day they reach 16 months of age. Dogs over 16 months may be run for evaluation only. Dogs over 16 months may only be run if space is available. No prize classification can be awarded the dog run for evaluation.
The Utility Preparatory Test measures the dogs’ development midway through their training toward the Utility Test. No previous testing required.The Utility Test evaluates trained dogs in water and field, before and after the shot, as finished versatile hunting companions as well as many other specific tasks. No previous testing required. The Invitational Test is our highest level of testing. Only those dogs that have achieved a Prize I in Utility are eligible. This limits the entry to exceptional animals who have demonstrated a high level of training and tests their skills in the advanced work.
Breeder Comment on Points Earned
The maximum possible score for a dog running in the NAVHDA Natural Ability Test is 112 Points. You must earn a minimum of 99 points to net a Prize One. Luna got a perfect score–we cannot tell you how difficult it is to achieve this goal. Honestly, it is even more remarkable with the Weimaraner–who can potential flake out at the wrong moment.
To Learn More about competing your Weimaraner with NAVHDA click here!
Congratulations on the NAVHDA N/A Prize I
Molly-A blue Weimaraner competes and nets a prize one.
The Treasure Valley North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Late Fall (October) Test Results are in, and we are thrilled to announce that Rodney Behm and Molly earned a Prize I (107 points). Her performance was stellar across the board with the exception of a slightly less than perfect water-work score where she earned 3 points instead of 4.
Note: A couple of points that should be kept in mind when reading this blog– 1. This is not a competition. Everyone who participates can earn a Prize if their versatile hunter meets the criteria. The criteria is not easy, but everyone can Prize. 2. N/A is natural ability. Natural hunt potential must be developed to participate successfully in these hunt tests.
Rodney Reports on Molly in the field and around the house……..
Working with Molly has been fun. We are happy with the outcome. Here are some insight to our success, as well as some comments on our life we share with Molly.
- Natural Ability (hunt-potential) is important. However, aside from her natural skills ie nose etc, I think what has made her successful is her desire to please me. It’s our special time together. She’s knows when I lock up the other dogs and grab my hunting bag its “go time”.
- From an obedience standpoint of view– she’s a pleaser, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have her own mind. If you give her an inch, she’ll take a mile. I’ve been strict in the home so that the house is orderly, but haven’t been too tough with her in the field. That’s going to change now that we have made it through the first set of tests.
- Our future plans when it comes to the hunt tests— I’ve spent the last week or so thinking about the future with her. At first. I wasn’t sure I wanted to move on to the advanced tests. I’m reconsidering that now. I think I might train her for Utility. We’ll see how she takes to that level of training. In the end, I think hunting is about the dog, not only about me. I want her to have fun. I want that to continue being our special time. As long as we are both enjoying ourselves, then we’ll keep going and see where it takes us.
- On the home front — We’ve got three kids at home with varying ages. Lots of friends constantly stopping by. She enjoys the visitors and likes to play with her doggy daycare friends as well. She is very protective of me though. If a stranger tries to approach me in a strange environment, she’ll let him know to back off. Cliff has seen a little bit of that at the tests with the strangers. I think its important to remember that for all of the dog’s strengths, there will be areas for improvement. No dog is perfect, so we’ll keep working on that and try to make her the best she can be in every element.
- The hunt potential Weimaraner–I don’t know the difference between blues, grey’s and long hairs from a hunting perspective. She works for me so that’s all I care about. for those wondering,
- Molly is a Weimaraner— She is just like any other Weim. Velcro… As I write this, she is laying her head on my keyboard licking my hand as if to say, “Dad, give me attention!”.
Breeder’s Comment: We are more than pleased with Rodney and Molly’s achievement. For those thinking about doing something like this, it is not as easy as one might perceive. Nonetheless, we encourage you to check out your local options, and to get involved. At a minimum, you will become a better handler, and at the best the two of you will accomplish things not previously possible. As you merge and become a team, you will experience a deeper relationship.
There are many misconceptions about the hunt test in general. Participating in the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Natural Ability hunt test, does not mean taking an inexperienced pup to the venue to see what they can accomplish. To do so would net a disappointing outcome. The work begins from day one. The more hunt-potential the more challenges you may face, but often when handled correctly things will even-out across the board. Rodney’s Molly appears to be more territorial away from home. The vast majority of issues surrounding the protective-nature usually regard guarding the home property, or ownership–food, crate, or a specific area.
We are very happy to hear that Rodney and Molly plan to continue with the training and the hunt testing. It is a process. For the dedicated person, the result is a better-balanced Weimaraner on every level; at home, they are better behaved and adjusted, as well as when working in the field. Everything you achieve is based in the relationship. The Weimaraner must want to please, and respect your leadership in order to get compliance. These foundation principles become even more important when you step up to a higher the level of competition. The versatile hunting Weimaraner will be competing in the shadow of other breeds, some of which are (in our opinion) more dogged in their field-approach. That being said, a well-bred Weimaraner (despite the coat-color or length) can be trained to do some extraordinary things. Nonetheless, this takes dedication and commitment to spend the effort to get the result. While doing so, it is very important to make this fun. Failure to enjoy yourself, and for the Weimaraner to enjoy the process will be counterproductive at some point in time.
One last point here—Molly and Rodney participated in another hunt test (via the Snake River Versatile Hunting Dog Club which hosted the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation (VHDF) held in Montour, ID) Click here to read more about their results from that hunt test. It should be noted that extra credit points can be earned, so a handler can exceed what termed a perfect score. This is like a student who earns better than a 4.0 grade-point average. Once again, we congratulate Molly and Rodney for doing a good job at both the VHDF as well as this more recent NAVHDA hunt test. Keep up the great work!