Are you interested in entering a hunting competition with your bird dog? There are so many options that it can feel a little overwhelming. When I first started getting involved in bird dog tests, I hadn’t heard of many of the organizations listed below. Hopefully this post provides a good overview for people who are starting out, or looking to expand into other arenas.

The organizations I’ve included are the American Kennel Club (AKC), United Kennel Club (UKC), National Versatile Hunting Dog Association (NAVHDA), and the National Shoot to Retrieve Association (NSTRA). Each of their events has its own criteria I think the table format allows you to compare them based on your preferences.

Bird Dog Tests and Trials: Overview

The table above covers the basics of each type of bird dog test and trial and the one below gets into a little more the details of what is required. Please note that this is a high-level overview and there are a lot of little details that I’ve left out for simplicity’s sake. If you are interested in a specific type of competition, check out the organization’s website.

Bird Dog Tests and Trials: What is Required

Zara watches a bird fly

Zara watches a bird fly away after I flushed it.

Tests I’ve Done with Zara

I have participated in AKC Junior and Senior Hunt Tests and the NAVHDA Utility Test with Zara. This fall and winter I hope to do AKC Master Hunt Tests and possibly AKC field trials and a NSTRA trial. Are you hoping to do any of these with your pointing dog? Let me know in the comments!

Also, I’m not as familiar with NSTRA or UKC events. If I’ve misrepresented anything in my tables, please let me know!

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