Young dog test
The VJP is the first test that your puppy will enter. Puppies born in January-September will be tested in the following year, while puppies born in October-December will be tested in the year after that. For example, puppies born in January-September 2003 will be VJP tested in the spring of 2004, while puppies born in October-December 2003 will be VJP tested in the spring of 2005. This timeframe is the only opportunity for the dog to be tested at this level. A dog can be handled no more than twice in a VJP, with the exception of participation in the international tests.
The owner of an entered dog must be a member of a club affiliated with JGHV and must have a valid hunting license. Someone other than the owner may handle the dog during the test. A handler may not handle more than two dogs at a breed test. A test entry form (Formblatt 1), a copy of the green pedigree document (Ahnentafel), and the test fee must be submitted to the Test Director prior to the deadline for admission to the test. On the day of the test, the owner must provide the original Ahnentafel and proof of rabies vaccination to the Test Coordinator. The dog cannot continue in the test without these documents having been presented.
A judging team can test no more than five dogs in one day in a VJP. At the beginning of the test the Senior Judge will give general instructions to the handlers and respond to any questions. Handlers will be told that they should feel free to ask questions throughout the test. In general they are told to handle their dog the way they normally would during hunting. The Judges will advise the handler if he is doing something they don't want.
During the test all dogs are expected to be kept on a lead away from the test activity except when they are being tested or when the Judges otherwise advise the handler. The dogs are tested individually on all subjects.
At the beginning of each segment of the test a Judge will advise the handler on the procedure about to take place and give an opportunity for questions. That Judge will stay with the handler, while the other two Judges may observe from different vantage points. Each dog will be given multiple opportunities to demonstrate its natural abilities.
In the VJP the dog is evaluated on Tracking, Nose, Search, Pointing, and Cooperation. The Test Regulations describe how these subjects will be evaluated and the weight that each will be given in the overall score. In addition, an evaluation is given for gunshot soundness, and the manner of hunting and any behavioral or conformation faults are noted.
Important Note: As of 2001 the VDD Breeding Regulations require that a dog must have a tracking score of at least SUFFICIENT in order to be certified for breeding. In Canada the only test where this can be achieved is the VJP, so entry in this test is mandatory for those who think they may want to qualify their dog for breeding. There will be no exceptions to this requirement.
While the VJP is indeed a test of natural ability, this does not mean that no preparation of the dog is required. In order to demonstrate this natural ability in each of the subjects the dog must have been exposed to similar conditions to awaken that ability. This means giving your puppy the opportunity to explore various cover and to come into contact with various game during its first year. Drahthaar News articles on preparing for the VJP provide ideas of the kind of experiences your dog should have to be ready for the VJP. Another good resource for preparing for the VJP is the Drahthaar Puppy Manual by Roger Smith and Nancy Bohs.
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.