Well the day finally arrived after alot of anticipation and training and Hessian passed the VJP with a 69! Figuring the reasonably highest score is a 77, I feel great about our accomplishment. We arrived in Malta, ID on Saturday morning to watch some of the dogs that were scheduled for that day. The weather was extremely windy and cold, overcast but dry. The testing area was high desert country, sagebrush,dry dry dry dirt and tons of cactus. Alot of dogs.
All the judges, handlers, spectators, helpers and breeders are great people, very informative and very helpful, one could just hang out all weekend chatting and socializing with everone.Thank you all very much! I know i learned alot. Alot about what judges look for, what handlers,hunters and breeders look for and how each dog though the same breed vary in their own little way, either in appearance or just style. Sunday was our big day, met with the judges and handlers at breakfast, 6 in the morning and the test started at 7. The weather was very cold, extremely windy,cloudy, even flurried for a minute. Brrrrrrr. Off to tracking we went, after a four hours at that it was off to another field,we did a field search with gunfire sensitivity, then it was off to another spot for pointing. Finally they checked the tattoos, teeth and entactness. Final judging, scores and Certificate in hand at 5. Not bad.
Came back happy with the results and that it was over, sore and less weight from all the walking and whole lot more educated from everyones info, most importantly a whole lot more Addicted!
Hessian is........... Goshen von der Salzmarsch
Track 8
Nose 10
Search 11
Pointing 11
Cooperation 11

Thanks again to everyone. Great job Judges that is a tough gig. Excellent work handlers those were some tough conditions. Good luck to all others, its (Test 2) the HZP or Armbruster from here!

Cost of Addiction

Just to be aware this is no joke, do not play around with Drahthaars. These are highly addictive dogs. It all starts with those cute little puppy pictures you see everywhere then next thing you know you are talking with breeders, driving endless miles to see the new member of your hunting party. Then it hits you a year later, YOUR ADDICTED! From having to buy new clothes to train in so your dog always recognizes you, to all the leashes, collars, dummies,bird launchers, bird traps, bird carriers, small furred game cages, training tables, and kennels.  You will rack up countless minutes on the phone and internet talking with other drahthaar addicts. Spending every weekend along with others in the fields. To the special call you make once every few weeks to your dog food dealer. Thats right! This is an addiction not to be taken lightly. If you think that spending most of your free time outdoors, walking fields, searching for fur and feathers, playing and bonding with a little whiskered puppy, visiting and socializing with dog lovers alike sound like fun then..... What are you waiting for? Get Addicted.
 This new disease ADOS has been identified by researchers. At first ADOS was thought to be psychological in nature, but researchers soon realized they were dealing with an infectious agent among Drahthaar owners. Epidemiologists have identified 3 stages of this disease. The associated symptoms for each stage are:
STAGE I- You have early symptoms if:
   * You think that any GNA test that is within 300 miles is nearby.
   * You begin to enjoy gettin up at 5 am to feed and water your Drahthaar.
   * Every gift you get has something to do with Drahthaars
   * You can't remember what it was like to own just one Drahthaar.
   * Nobody's feet is allowed on the furniture, but your Drahthaars are welcome to sleep on any piece of furniture they choose.
   * It takes an entirely separate trash can to handle all the poop.

STAGE II- You definitely have the disease if: 
   * The most important thing you factor when buying a new car is, how many crates can you fit in it.
   * When you look for a new house the first thing you look for is, how many Drahthaars you can kennel on the property.
   * Your Drahthaars food bill is higher than your families.
   * You and your family haven't had a check up in 3 years, but your Drahthaars are all medically up to date.
   * You can only remember a person by associating them with their Drahthaar.
   * You have more pictures of your Drahthaar than members of  your family
   * Most of your conversations revolve around Drahthaars

STAGE III- You are a terminal case if:
   * You wake up in the morning and find out that you put the kids in the crates and the dogs in their beds last night.
   * You've traced your Drahthaars family tree farther than you have your own
   * You start barking at your kids to "sit", "stay" and "heel"
   * Your cookie jar has never seen the likes of people cookies.
   * You rip up the carpet and lay tile to make clean up so much easier.
   * You readily allow your Drahthaars to give slobbery kisses, but you don't dare to wipe your toddlers nose.
   * Drahthaar hair in your food is just another spice.
   * Your family tells you "It's the Drahthaars or us!" and you choose the Drahthaars!!!
(thanks Jill)

VJP Test April 18-20 Malta Idaho

The final day is near our first breed test. The VJP (Verbands-Jugend Prufung) german to english translation would be Association Youngster Test. This is the first in 3 tests that the dog needs to pass 2 in order to be chosen for breeding. The purpose of these tests is to determine the natural abilities of a young dog as they pertain to the dogs suitability for use in versatile hunting and as a breeding dog. The tests also serve to recognize the genetic value of the dogs parents. Hunting especially for the germans is meant to be extremely ethical, therefore a dog and hunting tests just like this are required to even hunt there.
 In the VJP test the dog will be tested, evaluated and scored on Tracking, Use of nose, Search, Pointing, and Cooperation. The judges will also evaluate Gun sensitivity, Manner of hunting and Obedience, there is no scoring on the last three.
                                                           SCORE SYSTEM
 The 3 or more judges will be evaluating and scoring the dog on Tracking,Nose,Search,Pointing and Cooperation according to this score system:
                                                           Excellent - 12 points* 
                                                           Very Good - 11 to 9 points
                                                           Good - 8 to 6 points
                                                           Sufficient - 5 to 3 points
                                                           Deficient - 2 to 1 points
                                                           Insufficient - 0 points
(*The 12 points can only be given as an exception for truly excellent work, demonstrated under difficult circumstances.)
 Tracking and Nose get a multiplier of 2 so are worth double points. 
 Tracking: is tested on tracks which the dog is able to sense via it's nose of a hare that is not visible. The dog will be evaluated on the will to track and track sureness. The will to track is recognized by the way the dog adapts to tracking work, how it starts the track,if it works the track willingly and with self control, if the dog makes every effort to follow the track.
 Track sureness is in the way the dog shows mental stability by controlling prey drive, how the dog follows the track independently and confidently.
 This is evaluated by working the dog, handler, judges and spectators through rabbit rich areas in which when a rabbit is spotted and the track visualized a dog that did not see the rabbit will be brought up by it's handler and released on the track.
 Nose: is demonstrated during the search if the dog finds game frequently, catches game scent from long distances, marks scent spots of game and during tracking when it loses, crosses and relocates track. This will be evaluated by closely watching the dog and its scenting abilities throughout the test.
 Search: is industrious, persistent, and shows will to find.Dogs that just trot through a search will only receive a "good". This will be evaluated by watching the dog work through a field in search of game.
 Pointing: is evident when the dog locks up or points or lies down before game it has scented. It not need be a staunch point nor does the dog need to be steady yet. This will be evaluated by working the dog in a search pattern in a field that is rich with or has previously planted game birds.
 Cooperation: is the dogs desire to maintain connection with it's handler. How the dog makes eye contact with handler during leashing, release, search, pointing, how it desires a connection with its handler even at a distance. This will be evaluated by watching the dog and handlers connection during all aspects of the test throughout the day.
                                               UNSCORED EVALUATION
 The dog is evaluated but no score is given for, manner of hunting, gun sensitivity, and obedience.
 Manner of hunting: Scentloud, Sightloud, Questionable, or Silent, is evaluated during a search or track for a hare. If it barks upon scent or sight or if it is silent during this time. This will be evaluated during the tracking portion of the test.
 Gunfire Sensitivity: is fright level in response to gunfire. it shows in how a dog reacts to gunfire. If it continues on with its search, if it seeks out the handler, refusal to continue work or ignores the sound and continues on. This is evaluated by the judges firing 2 shots usually during the search portion of the test when the dog is searching within 100 to 150 feet. Severely gunshy and hand shy dogs cannot past the test.
 Obedience: is evaluated during the course of the test but not scored. Judges will be looking at the way the dog can be handled during it's work and by the fact the dog obeys when it senses a command from it's handler. Obedience in connection with game is not required. Dogs cannot pass if they constantly evade their handler jeopardize their test or the entire test.
 I have been trying to prepare for this test for some time now. I am very excited and anxious to get on with it. I think we will do well, Hessian really seems to be catching on. So off we go. Hope the weather cooperates and I wish all the dogs and handlers luck. Game On!