NA Puppy test

North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Tests

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NA Puppy test

Postby ForTheBirds84 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:33 am

I have a pudelpointer that is almost 11 months old. We hunted this season and things went pretty well for a first year pup. We got out at least once a week from October through January. I noticed improvement each week and confidence in each point. He is really taking to all obedience and field work really well. We started Force Fetch right after the season ended and it is going well also. I am new to NAVHDA I started attending chapter stuff last spring and helped with our Chapter's test in the fall. I saw the NA puppy test. I did not enter my pup because I was unsure if he would be ready for the test he was 7 months old then. After watching the NA test I knew I should have entered him then. So now I have to wait until May to NA test.(and drive at least 3 hours) I'm not sure if I should even NA test at this point. I know many people say that the dogs should not be over trained before the NA test, which I feel he would be. I do plan to UPT or UT test possible this fall(depending on how this training season goes). My breeder does not require me to NA test but seems excited that I do plan to UT test.
I have asked a few chapter members and they have all answered along the same line that there is no real need to NA Test. But it would be more for me as a handler to gain some test day experience/confidence.
What opinions can you guys offer?
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby J D Patrick » Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:55 am

my opinion only

no harm in entering

nothing lost if you don't

what does the Breeder want? Sometimes they like to have them tested at the NA level
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby JONOV » Tue Feb 04, 2020 10:36 am

I would do it for a handful of reasons. Some things about the test can't be intensively trained for.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby Dmog » Tue Feb 04, 2020 11:29 am

I would recommend you do the NA test. I would also attend a handlers clinic is possible. The experience gained as a handler will be important if you test UT. Don't worry about "over training". There is a lot of handler's doing the "trained retrieve" prior to the NA test. It will also expose your pup to people being around it while testing out in the field. I can't think of a better way of "proofing" the training already done.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby orhunter » Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:07 pm

The only time there is "need" is when the breeder requires it. Most of us just like to do it as an excuse to get out with people and dogs, doing stuff together. 3 hour drive would be a challenge if done on test day but nothing wrong with going a day ahead and spending the night. Lots of folks do that. Heck, I've driven as far as Billings MT from NW Oregon just to hang out and not even test a dog. Usually make a weekend of it no matter the distance. Will be making two or three trips like that this spring, depending on test scheduling.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby ryanr » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:22 pm

First, make sure your dog will still "prize eligible" to run the NA for a by the test date. The cutoff is exactly 16 months, after that is for evaluation purposes only and your dog can (and will, by NAVHDA rules) be bumped for any NA prize eligible entries that come before or after your entry.

Second, if your dog is already going to be Force Fetched and moving onto even more advanced training (steadiness, etc) then I would instead suggest looking for a Handlers Clinic to attend and continuing to train towards UT.
Last edited by ryanr on Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Feb 04, 2020 4:55 pm

I would take a pass on the NA and continue training for the UT. Personally I don't see much value in evaluating the "NA" of a 14 month old dog with a full hunting season and considerable training already under its belt. You can expose your dog to test environment at training days and mock tests as your train towards the UT, and should.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby ryanr » Wed Feb 05, 2020 8:55 am

Deleted. Oops, didn't mean to reply again.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby ForTheBirds84 » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:02 pm

So, I'm seeing about the same response here as from the chapter members I have talked with. I think I will end up just doing UT this fall. I took an in depth look at the AIMS book last night. I also looked at the UPT test and broke down the differences. I I feel confident I can get to UPT by the fall, the UT seems like a lot. Being new to formal dog training and testing I just don't know how fast Bodo will progress through the training. I have brought up UPT to chapter members as well. They all say to just train for and commit to UT. So that's the training season plan.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby AverageGuy » Wed Feb 05, 2020 12:32 pm

The difference between UPT and UT is minuscule. Steady to wing vs steady to shot and fall in the Upland is the only meaningful difference and when training steadiness it is very straight forward to just train all the way to the shot and fall standard of performance, is where I come out on it having run both in the past.

I would go for the UT.

Good Luck, you will have a full and enjoyable summer preparing yourself and your pup.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby Fun Dog » Wed Feb 05, 2020 4:17 pm

I would run the NA test. Mostly for experience for both you and your dog. My pup was almost 15 months when she ran, and well on her way to being a finished dog, but I gained a lot from the experience. UT can put a lot of pressure on both dog and handler. I wouldn’t be in any hurry to enter that class. A little extra time training will make things easier on both of you. And UT takes training!
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby JONOV » Fri Feb 07, 2020 10:41 am

AverageGuy wrote:I would take a pass on the NA and continue training for the UT. Personally I don't see much value in evaluating the "NA" of a 14 month old dog with a full hunting season and considerable training already under its belt. You can expose your dog to test environment at training days and mock tests as your train towards the UT, and should.

I think that search, point, and track are all more innate to the dog than trainable.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby AverageGuy » Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:11 pm

I agree that Search and Tracking are far more innate than trained.

We certainly hope that Pointing is as well but some dogs and folks get pretty mechanical in that area. Something I hope to never suffer through. Getting some pups in the water is a common issue that testing at an older age covers up as well.

My bias is towards running NA at a considerably younger age as it tells me what I want to know when I look at test records. I realize it is not always possible.

Prize 1 NAs on 14 month old dogs certainly tells us something useful about the dog, but it tells me nothing about how much work the handler put in to get it there or how early the pup matured.

I have had early starting puppies and will be disappointed if I ever get one that is not.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby ryanr » Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:52 pm

AverageGuy wrote:The difference between UPT and UT is minuscule. Steady to wing vs steady to shot and fall in the Upland is the only meaningful difference and when training steadiness it is very straight forward to just train all the way to the shot and fall standard of performance, is where I come out on it having run both in the past.

I would go for the UT.

Good Luck, you will have a full and enjoyable summer preparing yourself and your pup.


Bingo! Because at this point when you're training, you're training for UT anyway, not UPT then UT. I would train for UT and just test UT only when I felt the dog & I were ready.
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Re: NA Puppy test

Postby ForTheBirds84 » Fri Feb 07, 2020 4:06 pm

Thanks again for the replies. I wish I would have known enough to sign up for the NA test last fall I just had no idea what to expect. In the test or in the puppies development timeline.
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