NAVHDA’s Four Levels of Testing

NAVHDA offers four levels of testing: Natural Ability, Utility Prep, Utility, and the Invitational. Below are some details on each level of testing.​ To find out more details, click here to view NAVHDA’s official AIMS Programs Test Rules. Some test descriptions below are copied directly from the AIMS Programs Test Rules.

Natural Ability

Pups 16 Months and Under

Natural Ability Test is designed to evaluate young dogs on their inherent natural abilities with a view to gaining an insight into their possible future value as versatile gun dogs. ​

This includes pointing, tracking live game, and willingness to enter the water and swim.

Utility Prep


The Utility Preparatory Test is designed to evaluate the dog midway in its training towards becoming a reliable versatile gun dog.



The Utility Test is designated for more experienced dogs in an advanced state of training. It evaluates their ability to perform as reliable versatile gun dogs and demonstrates their physical and mental capability to take training. ​

Elements of the Utility test include a 30 minute field sequence, up to 10 minute duck search, Remain By Blind, and Drag.



The Invitational Test is the flagship of NAVHDA tests. Only those exceptional animals that have demonstrated superior skill and obedience in Utility Tests are eligible to participate​​​​​​​​​​. ​

Dogs are expected to run an hour long field brace, complete an approximate 100 yard blind retrieve, Honor By Retrieve, and a Double Marked Retrieve.