AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

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AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby Tenderfoot » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:38 am

Can someone break down the difference of an AKC, AF or NAVHDA bred dog? I understand there are different test so to speak, but in terms of performance, how is one different than the other. While looking at various kennels and breeders I have come across this several times, where someone will say or advertise they have AKC, AF or NAVDHA bred X dog and ask what it is I’m looking for? I really don’t know how to answer other than I’m looking for a bird finding machine, what option is that?

Thanks in advance.
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Re: AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby JONOV » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:26 am

Tenderfoot wrote:Can someone break down the difference of an AKC, AF or NAVHDA bred dog? I understand there are different test so to speak, but in terms of performance, how is one different than the other. While looking at various kennels and breeders I have come across this several times, where someone will say or advertise they have AKC, AF or NAVDHA bred X dog and ask what it is I’m looking for? I really don’t know how to answer other than I’m looking for a bird finding machine, what option is that?

Thanks in advance.

They are, at their heart, just registries.

My dog came with AF papers. So I bought a German Drahthaar and registered him with NAVHDA and AKC later on.

Assuming the dog has been TESTED or TRIALED in competition venues recognized by either organization, that will tell you more about the style of dog depending on what they compete or test in.

IE, a Pointer or Setter out of AF walking shooting dog stakes is going to be a closer working dog than an AF or AKC horseback trial dog.

The narrow exception might be a GSP, where I'd be cautious about a AF line dog if I didn't want a really big running GSP.

What breeds are you looking at?
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Re: AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby bwjohn » Wed Mar 25, 2020 11:43 am

If you registered to akc, doesn’t that remove the drahthaar registration? I have never heard of a draht being registered to american field? Not being argumentative, just looking to understand the statements.

The difference in the three is very dependent on who you ask and even within the registries there is a great deal of variety in the registries. Start with your hunting style and lists of wants in a dog and work from there.

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Re: AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby orhunter » Wed Mar 25, 2020 12:06 pm

I'm more concerned if the breeder actually hunts his/her dogs. If they sell pups to non-hunters, if they require field testing of pups and last but not least, pedigree. Just looking at the pedigrees of the breeder's dogs says a lot about the product they're trying to produce. The pedigree thing can be difficult to navigate with a large gene pool and this is where recommendations come in handy. We still need complete trust in the source. There is no simple way to navigate the hunting dog world as it takes considerable time and dedication before it starts to make sense. When I was 5 years into the top shelf Griff world, I realized I didn't know a whole heck of a lot despite having the best teachers. At 7 years, was starting to catch on. Been involved with the breed approaching 25 years and still feel like a freshman in college. The learning never stops, no stone goes unturned.
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Re: AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby Tenderfoot » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:08 pm

JONOV wrote:
Tenderfoot wrote:Can someone break down the difference of an AKC, AF or NAVHDA bred dog? I understand there are different test so to speak, but in terms of performance, how is one different than the other. While looking at various kennels and breeders I have come across this several times, where someone will say or advertise they have AKC, AF or NAVDHA bred X dog and ask what it is I’m looking for? I really don’t know how to answer other than I’m looking for a bird finding machine, what option is that?

Thanks in advance.

They are, at their heart, just registries.

My dog came with AF papers. So I bought a German Drahthaar and registered him with NAVHDA and AKC later on.

Assuming the dog has been TESTED or TRIALED in competition venues recognized by either organization, that will tell you more about the style of dog depending on what they compete or test in.

IE, a Pointer or Setter out of AF walking shooting dog stakes is going to be a closer working dog than an AF or AKC horseback trial dog.

The narrow exception might be a GSP, where I'd be cautious about a AF line dog if I didn't want a really big running GSP.

What breeds are you looking at?


I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to a GSP
Last edited by Tenderfoot on Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby Tenderfoot » Wed Mar 25, 2020 10:14 pm

orhunter wrote:I'm more concerned if the breeder actually hunts his/her dogs. If they sell pups to non-hunters, if they require field testing of pups and last but not least, pedigree. Just looking at the pedigrees of the breeder's dogs says a lot about the product they're trying to produce. The pedigree thing can be difficult to navigate with a large gene pool and this is where recommendations come in handy. We still need complete trust in the source. There is no simple way to navigate the hunting dog world as it takes considerable time and dedication before it starts to make sense. When I was 5 years into the top shelf Griff world, I realized I didn't know a whole heck of a lot despite having the best teachers. At 7 years, was starting to catch on. Been involved with the breed approaching 25 years and still feel like a freshman in college. The learning never stops, no stone goes unturned.


Makes sense and I’ve tried to get a feel for how the breeder hunts with dam/sire to see whether it fits what I’m looking for. I totally get lost reading pedigrees. Some breeders are very receptive and honest whether they have what I’m looking for, and seem genuinely concerned for proper match. Others seem to be annoyed I would dare ask questions about how the parents hunt in terms of their range, size, endurance etc. and almost take the approach of, “I told you there good. Enough said!” Or they won’t even answer.
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Re: AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby JONOV » Mon Mar 30, 2020 11:04 am

bwjohn wrote:If you registered to akc, doesn’t that remove the drahthaar registration? I have never heard of a draht being registered to american field? Not being argumentative, just looking to understand the statements.

You will notice that nowhere in my post did I mention FCI or the VDD.

If one purchases a dog with an Ahnentafel/Papers from the VDD, it says "Deutsch Drahthaar." If one purchases a dog from a breeder registering AKC or NAVHDA, it says "German Wirehaired Pointer." If one purchases a dog from a litter registered with American Field, or registers his dog with them, the papers say "German Drahthaar" (and they have for 50-60 years.)

Technically, registering outside of the registry with anything other than a restricted registration is verboten from what I know, but I also think they don't have much way of knowing. I know of one DD that finished a show Champion (they had two other non-sporting dogs that she handled in the show rings so she'd add him to the docket and show him) and the husband did all of the JGHV testing with him. I think their bigger gripe is if you breed outside the confines of VDD.
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Re: AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby birddogger2 » Fri Mar 05, 2021 11:45 am

Tenderfoot -

Since you have settled on the GSP as a breed, you have one principal registry to consider, the AKC. Most GSP's are registered AKC.

Now, AKC registered GSP's can be conformation or field breeding. Some kennels attempt to pursue the "dual" dog that excels at both. If you want a hunting dog, obviously, you want to focus on kennels who breed for field abilities.

Some GSP's are also registered AF, because there is an organization, the NGSPCA, which sanctions GSP field trials and championships. To be frank, these dogs are bred to compete in principally horseback and some walking field trials, so they tend to be pretty high octane dogs.

If a GSP is registered with Navhda, they are typically owned by folks who do Navhda testing, which is a walking hunt test with water retrieving components.

Depending on what you yourself want the dog to do and to be, you can focus your search somewhat.

Just be aware that, as has been said, there is a wide variation in the abilities and tendencies of the dogs in each of the registries.

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Re: AKC, AF or NAVHDA dog?

Postby Mosby » Tue Feb 22, 2022 2:08 am

Tenderfoot wrote:Can someone break down the difference of an AKC, AF or NAVHDA bred dog? I understand there are different test so to speak, but in terms of performance, how is one different than the other. While looking at various kennels and breeders I have come across this several times, where someone will say or advertise they have AKC, AF or NAVDHA bred X dog and ask what it is I’m looking for? I really don’t know how to answer other than I’m looking for a bird finding machine, what option is that?

Thanks in advance.


I recently went through the same issue with similar questions. I was looking for a Vizsla pup and decided that while the testing requirements are different between the associations, at the end of the the day, AKC hunt, NAVHDA, NSTRA etc titles on pedigrees represent some level of ability to find birds vs pure show dog lines or pets. Confirmation is important but drive and nose were my priorities. I decided that a SH or an FC on a pedigree is a positive and one isn't necessarily better than the other for a hunting dog. No guarantee but it provides a view into what is possible and the dogs willingness to receive training and find birds. Ability that at some level gets passed down. I will say that I think you have to be careful with strong FT lines. They can produce big ranging dogs that are a lot to handle for the average hunter. They are bred for nose, drive and big wheels. Some guys like that and some don't. Breeders are normally good about steering you in the right direction about dogs and litters and trying to match up the dog with the person.

All that said, I have a GSP at home I bought as a started dog from a breeder in Kansas who breeds meat and potato hunting dogs..My GSP pedigree is unimpressive from a title standpoint, but I got to see her work before I bought her and she has turned out to be a great dog both at home and in the field. I got what I was looking for...a hunting dog with a great personality.

Normally, when breeders ask what I am looking for, I interpret that they are asking about the purpose and the range/type of the dog I want.There are some breeders that only want to sell their dogs to people that are going to actively trial or test them. I quickly eliminate those breeders from my list. Nothing wrong with it but it isn't what I do. I hunt.

Figure out what type of dog you want. How you hunt and what type of terrain? Big ranging, close working etc., I talk about personality of dogs with breeders too. Both the pups and the parents and what I am looking for. Some of that is personal preference.

There are a lot of good and some great GSP breeders. Your chances of getting a good GSP pup and hunting dog are really good. Good luck.
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