North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association
The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association was founded 1969 in Goodwood, Ontario, Canada by a group of pudelpointer and griffon enthusiasts. Presently based in Arlington Heights, Illinois, NAVHDA "is a nonprofit corporation whose purpose is to foster, promote, and improve the versatile hunting dog breeds in North America; to conserve game by using well trained reliable hunting dogs before and after the shot; and to aid in the prevention of cruelty to animals by discouraging nonselective and uncontrolled breeding, which produces unwanted and uncared for dogs." The group has chapters in most states of the U.S. and provinces of Canada which sponsor training and testing programs.
The organization describes its work as a 1999 complement to the activities of sporting dog breed clubs and field trial organizations, "created to supplement the activities of those clubs by providing a proven, standard method of evaluating the performance of all versatile hunting dogs, consistent with North American hunting practices, regardless of breed."
In addition to well-known gundogs such as the German Shorthaired Pointer, NAVHDA recognizes dog breeds which may not yet have AKC recognition, such as the Cesky Fousek. The organization defines versatile dogs as "the dog that is bred and trained to dependably hunt and point game, to retrieve on both land and water, and to track wounded game on both land and water." The group asserts that "The versatile breeds, as we know them today, are products of Europe. No distinctive versatile hunting breed has been developed in North America."
The Versatile Breeds
The North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association defines versatility as "the dog that is bred and trained to dependably hunt and point game, to retrieve on both land and water, and to track wounded game on both land and water."
There are several breeds of versatile dogs common in continental Europe, and with four exceptions, all were developed during the last decades of the 19th century. The four exceptions are much older breeds that provided a base for some of the others. These are the Weimaraner, the Vizsla, the Brittany, and its German cousin, the Small Munsterlander. The tracking hound, pointer and waterpudel were the basic breeding stocks most widely used to develop the short and wirehaired groups. The longhaired group evolved from the Small Munsterlander and flat-coated retriever.
- BA - Braque d'Auvergne
- BB - Braque du Bourbonnais
- BF - Braque Francais
- BI - Bracco Italiano
- BS - Brittany
- CF - Cesky Fousek
- DP - Drentse Patrijshond
- ES - English Setter
- FP - French Spaniel
- GL - German Longhaired Pointer
- GO - Gordon Setter
- GR - Wirehaired Pointing Griffon
- GS - German Shorthaired Pointer
- GW - German Wirehaired Pointer
- IR - Irish Red & White Setter
- IS - Irish Setter
- LM - Large Munsterlander
- PS - Picardy Spaniel
- PP - Pudelpointer
- PO - Portuguese Pointer
- PT - Pointer
- SW - Slovakian Wirehaired Pointer
- SM - Small Munsterlander
- SP - Spinone
- ST - Stichelhaar
- VI - Vizsla
- WM - Weimaraner
- WV - Wirehaired Vizsla