Versatile Hunting Dog Federation of Canada (VHDF-Canada) Background Information

This webpage was mounted on January 16, 2016 and last updated on January 24, 2016 by Sheila Schmutz

About VHDF

The essential characteristics and procedures of VHDF for the benefit of dogs, their owners and North American hunting are outlined

Many different organization offer diverse hunting dog tests or trials in Canada and the U.S. Among them, VHDF is unique because:

  • VHDF tests evaluate both a dog's hunting ability as a presumed heritable characteristic and its level of training. By evaluating heritable components separately from trained aspects, a VHDF evaluation is an essential tool for breeders wishing an objective, arms-length evaluation of their dog's breeding potential. By the same token, owners who purchase puppies from such proven dogs have the best assurance possible that their investment in a dog will pay off.
  • VHDF's scoring system employs a wide range of scores (1-10) allowing specificity in judging. The additional designations of scores 11 & 12 permit highlighting of rare, special performances and carry additional meaning. In keeping with VHDF's orientation as primarily a tool for breeders, there will never be a perfect score or first prize, both of which are broad categories that hide important detail.
  • Handlers have described VHDF testing requirements as challenging. This is purposely so and in keeping with the tool-for-breeders benefit. For an example, VHDF is one of only two testing organizations (JGHV is the other) that includes a track of a released duck in water.

The Canadian version of VHDF adds to the original design in 2008.

The reasons are that:

  • The sparse human population in Canada makes for great hunting opportunities but often also requires long distance travel. Hence we have formulated a system for approving experienced hunters and dog handlers as judges making use of readings available electronically and a written exam. This is standard practice for many other professional organizations.
  • The blood tracking option has been very popular, including owners who may not use versatile breeds and whose dogs may not be registered.

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