In order to qualify, the dog must be a NAHRA Master Hunting Retriever or higher, AKC Master Hunter, CKC Master Hunter, HRC/UKC Hunting Retriever Champion or higher. Dogs needing to qualify shall have qualified twice at a Licensed NAHRA Senior Field Test during the qualification period. Dogs earning their NAHRA MHR title during the qualification period with one pass will be required to earn a second pass to qualify for that year's NAHRA Invitational. All NAHRA GMHR’s or higher and any dog who qualified at the prior years Invitational are automatically qualified for the current years Invitational. The qualification period for the NAHRA Invitational is June 21st, 2021 - June 1st, 2022. Below are additional qualifications and requirements, along with a chart showing the qualification requirements for each title.
Yes! If your dog does not qualify by the closing date, we will refund your registration fee minus a $50 administration fee.
If your dog comes in-season, you will need to provide a written request to scratch along with a veterinarian's certificate. Your refund will be processed minus a $50 administration fee.
If your dog was injured and will not be able to attend. Please provide a written request to scratch along with a veterinarian's certificate, and your refund will be processed minus a $50 administration fee.
Please provide a written request to scratch. Refunds will be made at the discretion of the Field Test Committee and, upon review of your request, will determine if a refund will be made. If a full refund is processed, it will be minus a $50 administration fee.
All purebred retrievers and other purebred sporting-group breeds registered with the American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, Boykin Spaniel Society, or American Field Dog Stud Book are eligible to participate in NAHRA. There is no fee to register your dog with NAHRA. All that must be provided is a copy of the registration certificate from one of the eligible registries, and the owner must be a current member of NAHRA.
Below is from the NAHRA "Book of Regulations for Testing of Hunting Retrievers". To learn more about the NAHRA program be sure to check it out!
SENIOR FIELD TEST
Par. 1. A Senior Field Test consists of six (6) tests which will include the following: a triple marked water retrieve; a triple marked land retrieve; an upland hunting test (which will not be considered a marked retrieve); a trailing test; and a water blind retrieve and a land blind retrieve, at least one of which will be incorporated within one of the required multiple marked retrieves. (The Senior Hunting Retriever Field Test is for the finished dog. The Senior Field Test must consist of serious tests worthy of the hunter's retriever. The making of a Master Hunting Retriever (MHR) is a serious responsibility. Dogs should be tested on their natural ability and training accomplishments. A Senior dog should be under control at all times.)
Par. 2. A dog must be steady at the point of origin. (For marks, the point of origin is the point at which the dog is located at the time the first bird becomes visible.)
Par. 3. A dog must deliver all birds to hand. (The dog shall return to the handler without delay).
Par. 4. A dog may be handled on marked retrieves with voice/whistle/hand signals, if, in the opinion of the handler, the dog can't find or has missed the mark. (The dog is being tested for its marking ability and memory, not handling; however, a crisp cast is preferable to a long hunt. Repeated evidence of lack of memory, marking ability or lack of control may be grounds for elimination.)
Par. 5. A dog may be cast from the point of origin, by its handler, only once. (see Chap II, Sec 1, Par 19 for more information on “recasts” and “no-goes”).
Par. 6. The handler may be required to handle an empty shotgun with both hands on the firearm and in the firing position.
Par. 7. Maximum test distance for land or water marks shall not exceed one hundred (100) yards.
Par. 8. Marking tests for this event will consist of triple marks on both land and water.
Par. 9. Dry shots (a shot for which no bird is thrown or appears), game calls, and additional birds with or without shots may be used as diversions as a dog returns from a retrieve. A dog that drops and leaves its bird and retrieves the diversion bird (“switches birds”) shall be failed. (The NAHRA Board of Directors trusts that judges will not make diversion birds unrealistic. For example, a bird thrown in the dog's face or a live bird launched and shot over the dog are not appropriate. Diversion birds shall not be scored as a marked retrieve, but the dog must find and deliver the bird to hand. Requiring the diversion bird to be picked up before picking up any remaining marks is considered “selection” and is not allowed.)
Par. 10. Walkups to simulate jump shooting may be used in this event. The dog shall be brought to an area designated as the point of origin at heel or under control within ten (10) feet of its handler. Par 2 (above) shall be in effect. The judges may signal for the bird while the handler and dog are walking.
Par. 11. Blind retrieves on water and land will be used. Maximum test distances will not exceed one hundred (100) yards. (Handling in these tests must be done with precision. The dog must stop on the whistle and take a cast. Failing to stop on the whistle or to take a cast is a serious infraction. The judges must decide on the seriousness of the refusal by taking into account the conditions and situation at hand.)
Par. 12. An upland hunting test, with flush, must be used.
Par. 13. A trailing test will be used
In addition to the standard Senior test and judging regulations described in the NAHRA "Book of Regulations for Testing of Hunting Retrievers". The following additional elements will be tested.
No, the NAHRA Intermediate test would be the closest equal to the AKC Senior test. The NAHRA Intermediate test is 2 land marks, 2 water marks, land blind, water blind, quartering of a field, and trailing. The NAHRA Senior test is the Finished/Master level test. For details of what is included in this test, see "What is tested in a Senior test?"
The complete set of regualations can be found in the NAHRA "Book of Regulations for Testing of Hunting Retrievers".
NAHRA was created in 1983 to preserve the hunting instincts of our retriever breeds. For years, small groups throughout the country conducted gun dog stakes and tested dogs, one against another, to find the top dog.
NAHRA revolutionized the retriever world by testing dogs against a written hunting standard. Today, NAHRA has clubs throughout North America and continues to test and reward the hunting retriever and to maintain computerized records of those dogs and their working accomplishments.
The principal purpose of the corporation is to educate the public in the use of purebred hunting retrievers as conservation animals and to promote the field-testing of retrievers in simulated hunting situations.
NAHRA’s purpose in establishing this concept is to discover and reward dogs that can fulfill the hunter’s needs in the field by performing in a manner consistent with the demands of actual hunting conditions. The purpose is not to confront the dog with trick problems, but rather to test the dog’s natural ability and acquired training. NAHRA Field Tests utilize duck blinds, numerous decoys, boats, calls and other hunting implements in a manner simulating normal hunting. Under the NAHRA concept, the objective is to recover the bird as quickly and efficiently as possible, to create the least amount of disturbance in the marsh and upland and to give the hunter the maximum amount of time to actually take game.
Dogs are placed in five categories based on ability not age: Beginner, Started, Hunter, Intermediate and Senior. Dogs do not compete against one another for placements, but rather their performances are judged individually against a “standard.”
More can be found on NAHRA's website https://nahra.org
Keith Stroyan put together a great article detailing the history and purpose of the NAHRA Invitational from his many years of being part of the NAHRA program. It is a great read! Click here to read this article.