After a dog has run in their Natural Ability test and ideally had a hunting season on wild birds, it may be time to take it to the next level, and work towards towards being a “finished” gun dog.

According to the NAVHDA AIMS book: “The Utility Preparatory Test (UPT) is designed to evaluate a dog midway in its training towards becoming a reliable versatile gun dog.  The Utility Test (UT) is designed for more experienced dogs in an advanced state of training.  It evaluates their ability to perform as reliable versatile gun dogs and demonstrate their physical and mental capability to take training.”

The UPT & UT test standards expand in scope to evaluate a dog’s Obedience, Steadiness and Retrieving on land & water, in addition to the other core NAVHDA areas of Search, Nose, Pointing, Desire and Cooperation that are evaluated at the Natural Ability level of testing.   While every dog is different, there are some basic concepts that have evolved in NAVHDA over the years that will help handlers in their pursuit of a finished UT dog.  These concepts will be shared on areas of this website and at our Chapter training events.