12 year old son ran our pup through NA

North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association Tests

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12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby bullfrog » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:12 pm

So last fall I picked up a 6 month old pup from someone in our local chapter who wasn't able to care for it anymore due to health reasons. It was a hard deal as I hated to take someones companion away, but they were a little overwhelmed by this pup. Even more so, they saw that they were not able to give this dog the hunting life that he was born to live. That perspective showed how much they cared about this dog. So even though I hardly needed another dog, I couldn't pass up the chance to hunt the hell out of this little pudelpointer. So I purchased the dog from them and it's really turned out to be a nice dog.
Last fall found this pup (Oskar) retrieving ducks to hand, pointing pheasants, quail and chukar and becoming a true member of our family. After hunting season I began thinking about his NA test. Even though I really want this dog to succeed the thought popped into my head that I could have my oldest son handle him in the na test instead of me. I was nervous that this would possibly be detrimental to the dogs score, but the more I thought about it, as well as some advice from friends, I realized that if I properly prepared the dog and handler that we would be fine. Well this didn't deter me from being unbelievable nervous when test day came around. However, I guess going to the handlers clinic and doing the necessary training paid off. My son ran Oskar last Sunday and Oskar received a 110 prize 1 on a hot day challenging test day. The smile on my sons face was just as you are imaging as the judges read the score. For sure it was one of the best days of my life.

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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby flitecontrol » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:34 pm

Congrats to the dog, handler, and nervous Dad. This will probably cement the relationship between the dog and your son, and help keep him hooked on hunting with a versatile dog.
I've had several really good dogs, but none were perfect. Neither am I, so keep that in mind!
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby marysburg » Wed Jun 12, 2019 10:51 pm

Sounds like a winning situation for everyone. Previous owner, you, your son, and the dog. Way to go, and congratulations to your son on a great achievement. Maybe you have just created another versatile dog junkie.
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby ryanr » Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:14 am

Congrats, that's awesome. I love seeing or reading about young people handling dogs. I tend to think people put a little too much focus on getting the "perfect score" for NA. Put the focus on properly preparing the dog and then just try to enjoy the day, regardless of score. Of course we all want our dog to prize but prize 1 or prize 3, it's just NA and one day (really about 45 minutes total) of your young dog's entire life. Take the information you receive from the test and use it to further your dog's development going forward. That to me is the purpose of NA for the handler (for the breeder it provides other valuable info on the breeding when the litter is compared as a whole.) That's just the opinion I've reached though. Anyway, great job and happy, good-looking pup too.
Schwarzwald's Hazel, NA 105 Prize 2
Quade vom Buffeltaler, NA 112 Prize 1
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby KJ » Thu Jun 13, 2019 10:19 am

Congrats to you and your son! Great looking dog, too.
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby Deacon » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:12 am

That is fantastic! I had my son run one of our PP's through NA when he was quite young. I can fully understand how much more nervous you are as a parent watching than being the handler!

You should have your son write up his experiences and submit it to the VHD. They will likely publish it
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby AverageGuy » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:20 am

Congratulations and well done!
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby ckirsch » Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:57 am

Congrats on your son's fine performance. Great to see young people involved.

A few years back my eleven-year-old daughter ran her pup through NA. When she turned him loose at the start, he took a long cast all the way around the bird field, during which she never said a word. He came back after a few minutes and ended up with a 112. I asked her afterwards why she didn't call Pete back when he took off at the start, and her response was that she knew he'd been in the truck for a long time and was probably going to burn off a little stink, but she trusted that he'd come back and didn't want to take a chance on issuing a command that was ignored and impacted her cooperation score. (It can be tough on one's ego to learn handling lessons from an eleven-year-old.) The following year she put a UT 186 PZ 2 on him. She handled the dog well, navigating him through a couple of difficult situations, but he chose to take some parade laps with retrieved birds that cost him a Pz 1.

When she was nine, she helped me train a dog through UT and the Invitational. She was my constant companion in the training field, often at 5AM. We had a handmade silhouette to use on backing, and she'd lay behind a hay bale in damp grass with bugs crawling all over her while waiting to hold it up at the appropriate time. Planted birds, made the drags, took care of the birds, etc. She ended up getting out of three days of school to accompany me to Iowa for the Invitational. One of my favorite memories was of the look on her face when the judges announced that Ice had passed. Turned out to be a lifetime experience for both of us, and it was much more enjoyable for me to have her there with me. I truly doubt that I'd have been successful without her help.

I'd encourage anyone with interested children to let them handle a dog through a test. Klaire was always treated extremely well by the other handlers, and the judges were very helpful. She gained a lot from the experience, and I wouldn't be surprised to see her get back into NAVHDA once she's finished with college.
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby Drahthaar1108 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 7:19 pm

Awesome, congratulations too you your son and your pup. Forrest
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby NC Quailhunter » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:36 am

Congratulations to you and your son. talk about passing it on.
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby bullfrog » Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:51 am

ryanr wrote:Congrats, that's awesome. I love seeing or reading about young people handling dogs. I tend to think people put a little too much focus on getting the "perfect score" for NA. Put the focus on properly preparing the dog and then just try to enjoy the day, regardless of score. Of course we all want our dog to prize but prize 1 or prize 3, it's just NA and one day (really about 45 minutes total) of your young dog's entire life. Take the information you receive from the test and use it to further your dog's development going forward. That to me is the purpose of NA for the handler (for the breeder it provides other valuable info on the breeding when the litter is compared as a whole.) That's just the opinion I've reached though. Anyway, great job and happy, good-looking pup too.


I've landed in a similar spot regarding NA and giving up control to let my boy run this test further solidified it. Having a whole litter NA tested gives the breeder some valuable info about their breeding, but it hardly tells the individual owner whether or not they have the dog of a life time. That is why I really respect the breeders that are UT testing both the sire and dam before they breed. I think that tells us much more information about what the dogs can handle.
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Re: 12 year old son ran our pup through NA

Postby Urban_Redneck » Wed Jun 19, 2019 8:55 am

Congratulations on all fronts!
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