The HZP is a test that evaluates the advanced natural abilities of a versatile hunting dog. Most of the dogs who run a HZP are between 10 and 24 months of age. A full HZP (with 5 dogs) will usually last for an entire day. A HZP basically consists of 5 different retrieves accomplished through three phases of judging: searching/pointing, drags, and water work.
For the first phase, your dog will be expected to search a field to find and point at least 1 wild/liberated bird.
The drag phase of the test consists of two land retrieves. The judges will drag a dead gamebird (provided by the handler) 200 meters across a field. The dog must complete the track and should retrieve the gamebird to hand. The judges will also drag a dead rabbit/hare (provided by the handler) 300 meters across a field. The dog must complete the track and should retrieve the rabbit/hare to hand.
The water work phase of the HZP consists of 3 duck retrieves in the water. The first retrieve is a marked retrieve where the dog will get to see the duck being tossed into the water. After the dog is sent for the retrieve, a shot will be fired over the dog to ensure that he/she is not gun sensitive in the water. The dog must complete the retrieve.
The next retrieve is a blind retrieve. The judges place a dead duck on the opposite shore of a pond (at least 30 meters across) and the handler must send the dog with a single command. The dog must retrieve the duck to hand. And finally, the third duck retrieve is set up by releasing a live mallard (with flight feathers pulled) into a wetland. The duck is given time to swim away and hide before the dog is brought up to make the retrieve. The handler must send the dog with a single command. The dog must search the wetland to find the duck, catch it, and should retrieve it to hand.
The HZP judges evaluate several attributes throughout the day. In addition to the 5 attributes judged during a VJP (nose, tracking, search, pointing, and cooperation), the additional attributes evaluated are as follows:
For more information about the VJP (spring natural ability test), click HERE.
For more information about the VGP (association utility test), click HERE.
2018 Test Dates to be posted soon!