The Natural Ability, or NA test, is a test which measures the natural hunting ability of pups 16 months of age or younger. The NA test evaluates 7 areas: nose, search, tracking, pointing, water, desire, and cooperation. Many breeders use the NA test results of the pups they produce as measures of the success of their breeding programs, as it is truly a test of inherited abilities.
The Utility Preparatory test is a test of a dog midway through its training toward the Utility test. A dog may run in this test at any age. Previous testing is not required.
The UT evaluates fully trained hunting dogs in the water and in the field as finished versatile gun dogs. No previous testing is required. This test exhibits the skill level which is achieved when properly bred versatile dogs are trained to high standards.
The Invitational Test is NAVHDA's highest level of testing. Only dogs who earn a Prize I in the UT are eligible. The dogs that run in the Invitational have demonstrated excellence and a high level of skill in advanced work.
NAVHDA tests are run in an environment that reflects actual hunting conditions and situations. There is no competition between dogs. Each dog is run individually (except in the Invitational, where dogs run in braces) and the judges score the dog against a standard. A dog receives a Prize I, Prize II, Prize III, or a no prize, based on the numerical score the dog receives. Each dog that runs can earn the top prize.
NAVHDA keeps detailed records on each dog's test performance.