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Versatile Hunting Dog Federation of Canada (VHDF-Canada) Homepage

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last updated on 5 July 2022 by Sheila Schmutz

The 2022 Annual Meeting was held on Sunday February 13 evening, via Zoom, at 7 PM Central Time. Minutes were emailed to members on February 24, along with a reminder to pay your 2022 dues.

Feature Story

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

Field Tests

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.

Three levels of Field Tests are offered:

Detailed information about these tests is available on a separate webpage.

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.

Blood Tracking Test

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.

~ VHDF-Canada Blood Tracking Test Scores ~

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.

A separate webpage contains more information about training as well as details for laying a track.

VHDF-Canada Judges

VHDF-Canada approves two types of judges.

  • Field Test Judges
  • Blood Tracking Judges
  • More detailed information and a list of approved Judges is available on a separate linked page.


    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.

    See How to Join or Renew Membership for more information.

    VHDF-Canada Officers - 2022

    • President: Craig Wilson (caw238@protonmail.com)
    • Treasurer: Patricia Oderkirk (ddpoder@gmail.com)
    • Secretary: Sheila Schmutz (sheila.schmutz@usask.ca)
    • Director of Judging: Joe Schmutz (joe.schmutz@usask.ca)
    • Director-at-Large:
      • Jim Baker, ON (jjlbaker@Rogers.com)

    • Webmaster: Sheila Schmutz (sheila.schmutz@usask.ca)

      Blood Tracking Proposal Subcommittee

      • Guy Pulvermacher, Bruno, SK
      • Nell McKim, Humboldt, SK
      • Joe Schmutz, Saskatoon, SK

      Bird Tracking Method Subcommittee

      • Jim Baker, ON
      • Todd Shury, Saskatoon, SK
      • Craig Wilson, Saskatoon, SK
      • Joe Schmutz, Saskatoon, SK

    Calendar of Events

    Annual Meeting: was held Sunday evening February 13, 2022 via Zoom. Hosted by Craig Wilson, President

    VHDF-Canada Judging Workshop

    Summer 2022 - contact Joe Schmutz (joe.schmutz@usask.ca) for more information)


    • Blood Tracking Test - not planned for 2022 yet.
    • Field Tests:
      • Test near Portland, Oregon June 18-19, 2022. Contact sturlin.amber@gmail.com to enter your dog.
      • HAE Test in Cochrane, Alberta on June 19, 2022. Organized by Rainer Knopff.
      • proposed September 10-11, 2022 at Alvena, SK. Contact joe.schmutz@usask.ca to enter your dog.

    VHDF-Canada Bulletin #3 was mailed to members in December 2022. Please email joe.schmutz@usask.ca if you did not receive your copy.

    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