The purpose of the breed tests (VJP and HZP) is to determine the natural abilities of young dogs as they pertain to the dog's suitability for future use in versatile hunting and as a breeding dog. Breed tests further serve to recognize the genetic value of the parents, which is better determined the more littermates are tests.
The ethical conduct of hunting requires that the main emphasis be placed on the hunting dog's work after the shot. Thus, judges must pay special attention to the assessment of the natural abilities and characteristics that enable and identify the reliable retriever. These include a very good nose, paired with desire to find and to track, along with sound temperament that is documented by calmness, concentration, and perseverance in work.
It must be the foremost goal of the judges to recognize and identify those versatile dogs that are especially suited for breeding due to their natural abilities.
Furthermore, breed tests should awaken appreciation of the hunters for the work of versatile gun dogs.
For a detailed description of the VJP (spring natural ability test), click HERE.
For a detailed description of the HZP (fall advanced natural ability test), click HERE.
The VGP is a performance test. Following Hegewald, von Sothen, von Loebenstein, Oberlaender, and other pioneers of the versatile dog movement, Dr. Stroese once said that the main purpose of a VGP is "to produce dogs for the ethical conduct of hunting and to foster the knowledge of training and handling these dogs in the hunting community. This is the exclusive purpose of a VGP...". "A dog that has passed the test - provided it is handled correctly and has appropriate practice - must be able to perform as a truly versatile utility dog in the hunting field. And this is what is most important."
Nothing has changed in respect to these principles. It is therefore the purpose of the VGP to:
Determine at a public performance test the utility of the hunting dog for versatile hunting (field, forest, and water work).
Prove these abilities to the hunting community through the results of these tests.
Awaken and foster the appreciation for the proper handling of the versatile dog in the hunting community.
Dogs that received the prizes I, II, or III at a VGP and hence have been registered in the German Versatile Dog Registry must be able to cope with the demands of practical hunting in all subjects. This requires that special consideration must be given not only to individual performances, but also to the evaluation of a thorough training in obedience and the experience of the dog in actual hunting. The VGP can be considered the master diploma of hunting dogs, hence it shall evaluate solely if the hunting dog has been trained completely in all practical tasks which may occur during practical hunting.
In contrast to breed tests (VJP ang HZP), the VGP tests exclusively the performance of dogs in each individual subject. This does not contradict the fact that the VGP is an important indicator of a high value for breeding and that the registration in the Dog Stud Book (DGSTB) is one of our most important aids in making breeding decisions.
A dog that has been evaluated at a VGP must be so proficient that a good hunter, who is accustomed wtih the appropriate handling and training of hunting dogs, can hunt in an ethical manner with such a dog.
For a detailed description of the the VGP (association utility test), click HERE.
2018 Test Dates to be posted soon!