Versatile Hunting Dog Federation of Canada (VHDF-Canada) Homepage
Table of Contents
This webpage was mounted on April 3, 2015 and last updated on April 8, 2021 by Sheila Schmutz
The VHDF-Canada annual meeting was held on Saturday, January 23, 2021 by WebEx. A test is scheduled for September 11-12, 2021 near Alvena, SK, sponsored by the Saskatoon Gun Dog Club.
VHDF-Canada Bulletin #2 was mailed to members on 21 January 2021. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you did not receive your copy.
Photo credits: Most photos were taken by Dale Eslinger and used with permission.
Training Videos - a Covid Response?
As the Sunnynook I2 pups left, Joe demonstrated "Wing-on-a-String", as shown here with Inca. Patricia Oderkirk shot a short video of Joe doing this with Iltis, their pup. Patricia and Derek Oderkirk owned the sire, Sunnynook's Fergus.
Patricia Oderkirk also shot a short video of Joe demonstrating retrieving with Sunnynook's Gannet (2+ yrs old) and then Sunnynook's Iltis (15 weeks old). Additional information and references are available in you click on SHOW MORE below the description of this YouTube video.
8 April 2021
VHDF Testing at a Glance
Hunters make diverse demands of their dogs, especially those hunters pursuing upland birds, waterfowl and possibly big game. Such a wide range of uses is possible because versatile dogs have been selected for a greater range of behavioural responses than any other type of dog. VHDF tests have been designed as a tool to help breeders maintain this exemplary range of performance in their breed.
Some of the VHDF tested traits can be greatly affected by training (e.g. obedience) while others are more purely ability and also more highly heritable (e.g. use of nose). In keeping with a service orientation for breeders, VHDF tests focus heavily on ability and less so on trained responses. For example, there is no obedience judged in the Hunting Aptitude Evaluation (HAE) for young dogs, a moderate amount in the Advanced Hunting Aptitude Evaluation (AHAE; e.g. steadiness), and most in the Performance Evaluation (PE). In the PE test, an experienced dog is expected to function as an integral member of the hunting team in all aspects of bird hunting.
The table above offers a quick overview of the tasks and abilities evaluated in each test. Note that scores in the green and yellow shaded portions of the chart are doubled in the final score to give more weight to these "ability" subjects compared to the largely trained subjects shown in blue.
More detailed information about VHDF-Canada Field Tests and past scores is available on a separate webpage.
Big game hunters outnumber bird hunters, and many hunters pursue both types of game. By encouraging hunters to use their dogs of virtually any breed or mix, and by offering blood-tracking workshops, the use of dogs for hunting and game conservation can be increased.
The enormous benefit of dogs for tracking crippled big game was not widely recognized in North America when game laws were written. Hence, dogs were frequently excluded from big game hunting. Increasingly, this inadvertent oversight is being corrected in Canada and the U.S. In Ontario, the hunting regulations have been changed to enable the use of dogs for tracking, through the efforts of the Big Game Blood Trackers Ontario and other hunters. Our hope is that by providing workshops and a proven method of testing other provinces may follow suit.
A blood tracking test has been offered as an add-on to the VHDF-US Performance Evaluation (see #6 in those rules). A similar version is now offered separately by VHDF-Canada.
The date for the next test has not been set yet, but is planned for 2021 in Alvena, SK. Brent Grabowski is organizing this.
Blood Tracking Tests, as separate tests, were offered beginning in fall 2015. The tests involves a 450 m trail laid in an S curve a few hours before the dog is allowed to track on leash with its handler. The time limit to complete the track and find the "mammalian game" at the end is 45 minutes.
Previous VHDF Tests in Canada
Since the beginning of VHDF in 2007, there has been an annual fall test in Saskatchewan, north of Saskatoon. In 2010, there was also a one day puppy test in June.
The test results since 2007 are available as a pdf downloadable document.
VHDF-Canada membership is open to anyone interested in running a dog in a field test or blood tracking test. People who are interested in training versatile hunting dogs or in training dogs for blood tracking big game are also welcome to join.
Most dogs used for field tests are purebred dogs of one of the versatile breeds such as Brittany Spaniel, German Shorthair, German Wirehair, Griffon, Large Munsterlander, Pudelpointer, Viszla, etc. However dogs used for blood tracking can be of any breed or cross.http://www.vhdf-canada.ca/Judges.html
See How to Join or Renew Membership for more information.
The popularity of the blood tracking option has influenced our appointment of judges in Canada. By approving judges separately for blood tracking and field testing, VHDF-Canada has been able to enlist experienced practitioners from the police-dog and trailing-dog community.
More detailed information and a list of approved Judges is available on a separate linked page.
Judges approved by VHDF-Canada are authorized to judge in the HAE (1), AHAE (2), and PE (3) levels of testing. Prior to approval, each judge has:
Judges approved by the VHDF-U.S. organization are authorized to judge in any VHDF-Canada field test.
Blood Tracking Judges will undergo a separate approval process. Some may be authorized to judge only this test. As of January, 2019 these judges include: Brent Grabowski, Saskatoon; Matt Walpole, Saskatoon; Joe Schmutz, Saskatoon.
Ed Bailey, Ontario
** Read More **
Annual Meeting: Saturday, January 23, 2021 at 1:00 PM by WebEx. Hosted by Craig Wilson, President
VHDF-Canada Judging Workshop
For more information on the U.S. VHDF, visit Versatile Hunting Dog Federation
For more information on VHDF tests held in Canada from 2007-2021, visit VHDF Tests in Saskatchewan