Those hereditary characteristics which are essential to the dog if he/she is to become a truly versatile hunting dog have been selected for hundreds of dog generations. The Natural Ability Test (NAT) is an examination of these heritable characteristics. It is the initial testing of the young dog before it has had much formal training. The purpose of the test is to evaluate the results of breeding as exemplified by the innate abilities of the dog.
Dogs are eligible for the NAT from the day they reach 6 months of age until and including the day they reach 16 months of age. Dogs older than 16 months may be entered for evaluation only but are not eligible for any prize classification.
In NAT, dogs are evaluated in 4 categories:
- Affinity For Water
- Tracking Of A Live Game Bird
Throughout the test dogs are also evaluated for:
- Nose And Use Of Nose
- Attitude Toward Working
Scores range from 0-4 in each category for a maximum score of 28.
All dogs will be evaluated for faults of coat and conformation and all Griffons will be given a score on both coat and conformation. Temperament will also be evaluated and noted on the score card.