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NAVHDA, or the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association, is an international organization comprised of 8,000 members and 90 chapters across the US and Canada. I joined the Tarheel Chapter of NAVHDA in August 2017, hoping that I could get help teaching Zara to be steady so we could compete in non-retrieving AKC field trials. At the time, I had no intention in doing any of the water work with her or have her retrieve ducks. But as I participated in more and more training days, I started to think that maybe training for NAVHDA’s Utility Test was something I could do too.

In 2019, NAVHDA hosted a video contest, asking members to submit videos sharing their hunting dog training and testing experiences. I created a video to document my journey going from someone with no interest in hunting to an active member who trained for the Utility Test. Without many other places to train or access to birds, NAVHDA was truly the key that allowed me to get my dog to a high level.

I am honored that my video was selected to be shared on NAVHDA’s social media and website. For more information about NAVHDA, visit

You can view my video below.

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