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Saturday, June 15, 2024


NAVHDA is an excellent compliment to the activities of sporting dog breed clubs and field trial organizations. It was created to supplement the activities of those clubs by providing a proven, standard method of evaluating the performance of all versatile hunting dogs, consistent with North American hunting practices, regardless of breed. 

NAVHDA is organized on two levels:

  • The first level, NAVHDA International, operates under bylaws approved by its membership. These bylaws provide for officers elected by popular vote who, together with appointed directors, constitute an Executive Council charged with furnishing direction and guidance to NAVHDA programs.
  • The second level, the local chapters of NAVHDA, are the "grass roots" organizations which sponsor the training and testing programs. Western Illinois is one of many sanctioned chapters throughout the United States and Canada.

    [Local Chapters, Contacts & Web Sites]  [Chapter Locator Map]


The Versatile Hunting Dog Breeds

The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association defines versatility as "the dog that is bred and trained to dependably hunt and point game, to retrieve on both land and water, and to track wounded game on both land and water."

In the field, a versatile dog should exhibit a fine nose, staunch pointing and the desire to search for, track and retrieve game in a cooperative manner. A versatile dog needs to further prove his independence, stamina and quality of nose by transferring his search for, and retrieving of game, to the water. True versatile dogs should perform all tasks with enthusiasm and be willing to work with, and for, their handlers.

[Register your dog with NAVHDA]

There are several breeds of versatile dogs common in continental Europe, and with four exceptions, all were developed during the last decades of the 19th century. The four exceptions are much older breeds that provided a base for some of the others. These are the weimaraner, the Vizsla, the Brittany, and its German cousin, the Small Munsterlander.

The tracking hound, pointer and waterpudel were the basic breeding stocks most widely used to develop the short and wirehaired groups. The longhaired group evolved from the Small Munsterlander and flat-coated retriever. 

Currently NAVHDA recognizes and maintains studbooks for the following breeds: [click tab to view breed photos]

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