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Large Munsterlander Association of America

Field Performance Testing

Field testing is a cornerstone in the breeding management of the Large Munsterlander by the LMAA. We encourage you, the LM owner, to help maintain/enhance the valued hunting qualities that excite all new and existing LM owners by pursuing some level of field testing for your dog.  Even if you may not plan to breed your LM in the future, having your dog evaluated via one of the approved field testing programs provides important information to both the individual breeder as well as LMAA in general. It also provides you with both incentive and a timeline to plan your training, and provides objectives and milestones to gauge your dog’s progress towards being the ultimate versatile hunting companion.  All LMs approved for breeding by LMAA have passed some form of field evaluation focused on heritable hunting traits prior to the age of 16 months (and/or have pursued more advanced tests).

Although LMAA recognizes several testing organizations and their field evaluation programs, the primary organizations providing these services in the United States are the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA) and the Versatile Hunting Dog Federation (VHDF).  We encourage your to visit the NAVHDA and VHDF websites for much more detailed information on what these organizations have to offer, as it far exceeds conducting field evaluations.  Local NAVHDA chapters in particular offer a variety of training facilities, equipment, mentoring, and other opportunities for you and your dog that can often be difficult to obtain on your own. 

LMAA approved evaluation programs possess common characteristics deemed crucial to ensuring the success of a versatile hunting dog, as follows:

  • Provide an evaluation of the complete suite of versatility expected in an LM, including searching, pointing, tracking and retrieving elements on both land and in water.
  • Provide for evaluation of heritable hunting traits which are fundamental to selective breeding, in tests appropriate for young dogs under 16 months of age.
  • Provide a scoring method that is based on predetermined standards for all elements included in each test (non-competitive), and judge dogs within the context of being productive hunting companions.
  • Conduct evaluations in a manner and an environment that simulates actual hunting conditions and scenarios.
  • Maintain standards for judges that include an application process focused on character, hunting and testing experience, as well as periodic continuing education and testing requirements to maintain judging status. 
  • Maintain goals indicating the desire to partner in promoting versatile dog performance-based breeding practices, with no intent to contravene LMAA's Bylaws and objectives.  Only Large Munsterlanders that have passed a recognized field evaluation test can be used for breeding within LMAA.  Breeding only dogs of proven ability ensures that versatile hunting traits will be maintained or enhanced with each successive generation of LMs.  New LM owners benefit directly from this long-established process, and also play a role in its continued success by pursuing field evaluations for their dogs regardless of whether or not they are interested in breeding.

The currently recognized tests and associated passing requirements for achieving LM breeding eligibility are listed below, and can also be found in the LMAA Bylaws.  Although only one of these must be completed successfully, many LM owners/breeders find value in continuing to demonstrate their dog's full versatile capabilities via more advanced training and field evaluations.  Today, about 42% of LMAA's approved sires and dams have passed tests above the NAT/HAE level, and eight LMs have earned the title of NAVHDA Versatile Champion (having passed the NAVHDA Invitational Test).

NAVHDA Natural Ability Test (NAT):  Prize I, II or III up until 16 months of age; NAT Evaluation (EVAL) tests from 16-24 months will be accepted only under extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the Breeding Officer.
VHDF Hunting Aptitude Evaluation (HAE):  A score of five (5) in each test category with a minimum total score of 50 up until 16 months of age; HAE tests from 16-24 months will be accepted only under extenuating circumstances at the discretion of the Breeding Officer.
NAVHDA Utility Preparatory Test or Utility Test (UPT or UT):  Prize I, II or III, at any age.
VHDF Advanced Hunting Aptitude Evaluation (AHAE):  A score of five (5) in each test category with an index of two (2), and a score of 3 in all other test categories with a minimum total score of 108, at any age.
Other generally accepted versatile hunting dog tests:  Examples include tests administered by the Jagdgebrauchshundverband (JGHV or JGV-USA), with age and passing criteria similar to that described for VHDF.