Judges working to a consensus

The Minnesota chapter of NAVHDA’s 2018 training and testing season has ended with the completion of the Four Brooks NA test this past weekend. Our chapter tested a record 131 dogs in 16 days of testing in 2018.  We added extra days and locations for training and testing due to our large increase in membership this year, which now stands at a whopping 236 members.

Opening ceremonies at dawn, 2016

The highlight test of the year, of course, is the 2018 NAVHDA Invitational.

This year, seven MN NAVHDA members and their dogs have spent the summer in training for the 2018 NAVHDA Invitational taking place in Searsboro, Iowa this weekend.  To receive an invite to the Invitational, a dog must have earned a Utility Prize 1 score in the year immediately preceding.  The seven Minnesota Chapter

Doug Lodermeier and Scott Wass, 2016
Getting instructions

members who are traveling to Iowa to run their dogs in this year’s 2018 NAVHDA Invitational are:

* Joe Mix and GR  Suomi (Friday)

* Frank Smolke with GR Gemma (Friday)

* David Wolf and his GR Millie (Friday)

* Nick Burg with GS Jade (Saturday)

* Tammy and Howie Hill with GS Tug (Saturday)

* Scott Kossan and his PP Eddy (Sunday)

* Ed Challacombe with DD Oliver (Sunday)

Our MN Chapter members and families wish these handlers and dogs a great day and best of luck testing!  We will be anxiously

Cooling in the field

awaiting word on their Invitational test scores.  You can also follow the test scores daily on the NAVHDA International Invitational webpage.


A good day is done

The title of Versatile Champion is the highest achievement in the NAVHDA testing system, and the gold standard for the testing of working gun dogs. We are proud to have you all representing our MN Chapter at this year’s invitational!

By Scott Green, Test Chair

May 19 & 20, 2018,  MN NAVHDA tested 19 NA dogs at Four Brooks WMA in Milaca.  Test Secretary Kathleen Aplikowski had everything well organized for the judges, owners and handlers. 

The grounds were in good shape and the cover was good.  Director of Judging Pete Aplikowski did a great job in securing Steve Greger (Senior Judge), Frank Spaeth, and Steve Buck as judges for the test.  MN NAVHDA members Pete Aplikowski and Michael Bredahl were apprentice judges for both test days.

Saturday’s temps were in the 50’s with strong winds from the North but no rain.  The wind conditions seem to be affecting the scenting conditions but most of the entries handled it well.  The tracking and water events went off very well.  David Hoeller and Gunner Green once again provided the bird planting and Mitch Lindberg was our experienced test gun.

Sunday was a beautiful sunny day, with a mild breeze and temps in the high 60’s.  All dogs prized in the Saturday tests;  five Prize 1, two Prize 2, and three Prize 3.  Half of the handlers were first time handlers.

Bill Jensen, one of the founding members of our MN NAVHDA chapter, stopped out to say hello and to see the dogs work.  This was a wonderful surprise, as he has enjoyed seeing our Chapter continue to grow and prosper.

I want to thank my test workers for doing a great job at the test, and I look forward to being the Test Chair again next year.  I want to encourage all of the handlers to continue their training programs over the summer to take their dogs to the next level of NAVHDA testing programs.  These were all good dogs and deserve the opportunity to develop their hunting skills. 

Of course, I will be needing more volunteer workers for this test next year! I hope to see each of this year’s handlers helping on this test next year (or one of the many other tests we’re conducting this summer and next).  Volunteers training and testing together is what makes our MN NAVHDA chapter grow and be a great training and testing experience for our members.