The purpose of the breed tests (VJP and HZP) is to determine the natural abilities of young dogs as they pertain to the dog’s suitability for future use in versatile hunting and as a breeding dog. Breed tests further serve to recognize the genetic value of the parents, which is better determined the more littermates are tests.
The ethical conduct of hunting requires that the main emphasis be placed on the hunting dog’s work after the shot. Thus, judges must pay special attention to the assessment of the natural abilities and characteristics that enable and identify the reliable retriever. These include a very good nose, paired with desire to find and to track, along with sound temperament that is documented by calmness, concentration, and perseverance in work.
It must be the foremost goal of the judges to recognize and identify those versatile dogs that are especially suited for breeding due to their natural abilities.
Furthermore, breed tests should awaken appreciation of the hunters for the work of versatile gun dogs.
The VJP judges evaluate 5 attributes throughout the day. Those attributes are as follows:
- Tracking– A dog is required to demonstrate a willingness, desire and ability to concentrate under difficult hunting conditions. The manner of the dog is also noted.
- Nose – The degree of accurate scent discrimination and how sensitive the nose is, are evaluated. The nose is evaluated during Search, Pointing and Tracking.
- Search– A dog is evaluated on the desire to find game, style, and stamina coupled with an impressive search pattern. A dog is also evaluated on how steady it is to gunshot.
- Pointing– A dog is evaluated on the duration and intensity of the point, and must indicate the location of the game.
- Cooperation– The ability for the dog to remain attentive and to be a team member is a very highly valued trait. The dog needs to demonstrate the ability to know where the handler is, be able to change direction with the handler and have the ability to note the location of his handler when working out of sight.
A dog can be rated on a 1-11 scale for each of the 5 attribute categories. Dogs that give an exceptional performance in extreme conditions can also earn a 12 in the tracking and nose subjects. The tracking and nose scores are multipled by 2 and added to the search, pointing, and cooperation scores for a final score.