Handlers advice for NA

North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Tests

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Handlers advice for NA

Postby marsh » Sun Apr 19, 2015 7:11 am

I am preparing to run my pup in NAVHDA NA test. I have never done any sort of testing with my dogs in the past. I have been training with the NAVHDA members and on my own to get the dog ready. Need to do more but wanted to see if anyone has any advice for the weak link- me- during the test.
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Re: Handlers advice for NA

Postby SwitchGrassWPG » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:18 am

Don't stress...the NA test is less than an hour of the dog's life. Don't try to judge the dog's performance at each stage of the test; you'll find out how he/she did at the end of the day. Regardless of the outcome, you are still taking the same dog home you arrived with.

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Re: Handlers advice for NA

Postby orhunter » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:25 am

Try to be your same old easy going self so the dog doesn't think something is up. If you're tense, the dog may sense this and not perform well.

You might think about introducing the dog to the test grounds in advance if nearby.

Do your last tracking drill a month before the test. No other bird work prior to the test. Want the dog hungry for birds.
Last edited by orhunter on Sun Apr 19, 2015 5:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Handlers advice for NA

Postby Freeze » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:27 am

Enjoy the day!
The test is about the pup, the same pup you are happy with when you arrive, so be happy with him when you leave.

My opinion on NA is to test young and just stay out of the way.

I think of myself as a support team, not a handler.
I only have to get him to the right test areas on time and make sure he gets what he needs to be successful .... The rest is up to him!

Take lots of water and keep your whistle in your pocket!


Good luck and let us know how it goes!

-Freeze
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Re: Handlers advice for NA

Postby Shannon » Sun Apr 19, 2015 11:41 am

Keep your mouth shut and let the dog do what he does. Stay calm. It's easier than you think.
I've seen a lot of handlers reduce their score by giving a command every 10 seconds. Unless your dog is heading to the next county or eating a bird just stroll along with the judges. They are looking out for your best interest also and will usually give you advice before any wheels fall off.
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Re: Handlers advice for NA

Postby Fun Dog » Sun Apr 19, 2015 4:30 pm

The judges will help you out. ask questions if you are unsure. Just let the dog strut his stuff and don't fret if he struts the wrong direction. Have fun and hang with the other contestants.
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Re: Handlers advice for NA

Postby CClark » Sun Apr 19, 2015 9:02 pm

Hey marsh,
Before I can try to help...Are you familiar with what happens at the NA test?
Please tell me more about your dog:
Does he swim retrieve a bumper and swim regularly?
Explain his search,prey drive, use of nose, and tracking?
Has the dog been exposed to chukar and/or pheasant?
Pointing instinct?
Cooperation?
How does he handle crowds, and other people touching him, and looking in his mouth at his teeth?
Has he been exposed to gun shots, and how does he respond?
How old and what kind of dog?
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Re: Handlers advice for NA

Postby marsh » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:29 pm

Clark,

1year old PP. Have shot birds (chuckar) over him. He has a high prey drive. within the last month to two his search has gained more purpose. I believe his point was set back by some catches he had on quail (I did not know they were there). Been flying pigeon in launchers recently which has helped... if he breaks off flies the bird. He swims almost daily... He is retrieving dummy. tracking has been limited but have done some. He has tracked live pheasant while hunting... pretty much where we are at.....
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