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About the tests

VDD is affiliated with the German organization Jagdgebrauchshund-Verband e.V. (JGHV), which is the organization in charge of the testing and judging system for the versatile breeds. JGHV provides the test regulations, authorizes the judges, and maintains records of all test scores for the breed clubs of versatile dogs.

Purpose and Philosophy of the Tests

Purpose and Philosophy of the Tests

​ The Breed Tests (VJP and HZP) that occur a year after the puppy is born evaluate the natural abilities of the young puppy with regard to hunting and breeding potential. This provides feedback to the breeder on the success of his breeding. It is also one of the measures used by the Breed Warden to decide whether this dog can ultimately be certified for breeding. From the handler's point of view the test provides a structure and a goal to work toward for training the puppy for its responsibilities as a hunting companion. ​The Utility Test (VGP) is a two-day test that evaluates the ability of the fully trained dog in the field, water and forest. It can only be held in the fall of the year. The VGP can occur at any time in the dog's life after the year it was whelped. Most handlers enter their dog in the VGP within two or three years of completing the HZP. A dog that has been trained for the VGP is a joy to hunt with. It is thorough in its search, staunch in pointing, and reliable as a retriever. It is fully obedient and can be trusted to work in the presence of other hunters and dogs. The handler can be confident of how this dog will behave in all hunting situations. The Blood Tracking Test (VSwP) further refines the ability of the mature dog to track wounded game. ​ The JGHV tests are not a competition among dogs. Each dog is evaluated according to a standard. The Judges want to see what the dog is capable of doing and strive to give it the best opportunity to demonstrate its ability in the test. Handlers are encouraged to ask questions and judges will try to guide the handler to show the dog to best advantage. ​ Each test is conducted by three Judges who are approved by JGHV, one of whom is designated the Senior Judge. The judges make notes as they observe the dog work. At the end of each subject of the test they stop to discuss their evaluation of the dog and to reach consensus on a score for that part of the test. Subjects that are evaluated across several parts of the test (e.g., use of nose) are finalized at the end of the test. All of the dogs entered in the test are taken through a particular part of the test and are given a score for that subject before the judges move on to the next part of the test. Most judging teams use an open scoring system whereby they give the handlers feedback on the scores for their dogs before going on to the next part of the test. ​ Ethical hunting is highly valued by VDD and JGHV, with the goals of causing minimal pain and distress to the game and retrieving all shot game for the table. Consequently, the work of the dog after the shot is weighted somewhat more heavily in these tests. In addition to performance in the field, water and forest, each dog is evaluated for gun sensitivity and overall temperament. A note will be made on the score sheet of any dog that is seen to have a serious temperament fault. A brief examination is made to identify any faults with bite, teeth, eyes or testicles, and an evaluation of the color, texture and density of the coat is noted.

Novice handlers should take every opportunity to attend scheduled tests and observe the procedure before they are due to enter their own dog. It is easier to understand what is expected when you actually see it. This also provides an opportunity to talk with more experienced handlers and get their advice. Often times this leads to opportunities to train and consult with other DD owners. Test Regulations are available for each test and these should be read carefully well in advance of entering a test. Two booklets are available from the Business Manager: one for the Association Breed Tests (VZPO), which includes the VJP and HZP, and another for the Association Utility Test (VGPO). These booklets include information on the purpose, organization and execution of the test as well as the regulations for evaluating each of the subjects within the test. A sample score sheet is included so that you can see how each subject is weighted. Another resource available to new handlers is access to articles that have previously appeared in Group Canada's newsletter Drahthaar News regarding preparing for and running in the tests. The articles provide commentary by Association Judges, stories by other members regarding their experiences with preparing for and running in the tests, and reviews of useful training books and videos. Links to these articles and reviews will be included with the description of each test provided below. ​

General Guidelines for Preparing for the Tests

The testing system

The JGHV (Jagdgebrauchshundverband) testing system in Germany is a rigorous, multi-stage program designed to evaluate and ensure the versatile hunting abilities, temperament, and health of hunting dog breeds, ensuring they meet high standards for field work and conservation.


The VJP is the initial versatile hunting aptitude test in the German JGHV system, assessing young dogs on their natural abilities like nose quality, tracking, and cooperation, fundamental for their development as effective hunting companions.


The HZP in the German JGHV system is an advanced hunting test assessing a dog's developed abilities in field, forest, and water work, emphasizing retrieving, pointing, and obedience, crucial for a versatile hunting dog.


The VGP is the most comprehensive and demanding test in the German JGHV system, evaluating mature hunting dogs on a wide range of skills including tracking, pointing, retrieving, obedience, and water work, to ensure their proficiency as versatile and reliable hunting companions.

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