NAVHDA International allow for age exemption for Natural Ability dogs


NAVHDA International allow for age exemption for Natural Ability dogs

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Susan Ravenhill started this petition to

To the Executive Council of NAVHDA International;


We, the NAVHDA Members and clubs residing in Canada conjointly submit this letter for consideration.  The unique circumstances our country is imposing on their residents during these unusual COVID times we believe call for special consideration for the Approximately 540 NAVHDA members who reside in Canada. 


Each province has different guidelines for gatherings and border closures etc.  making travel between provinces exceedingly difficult.  The 2 larger provinces (Ontario and Quebec) have multiple judges available to them in the event of border closures.  Those outlying provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland, and the Yukon – there are 1 or no judges within their province(s).  This is proving difficult to get judges to tests, plan tests and hold tests. 


Currently Ontario is on stay-at-home orders – so no gatherings of more than yourself and one other non household member.  This is until May 20th and likely to be extended ins the current climate. 


Alberta is currently shut down completely for recreational events for the next 3 weeks (at least).


BC borders are closed requiring anyone leaving and returning to quarantine for 14 days.  Manitoba, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia are the same.


As you can see, we are facing very trying times in Canada. 


We as judges and Internation members are concerned about several things:


1.      For Judges - Maintaining our eligibility if we are unable to ourselves test dogs. We request extensions so that we may complete our requirements where needed.

2.      Concerned for all the Natural Ability pups that will age out during this time of COVID when folks can not access tests as they are being cancelled.  As you are all aware – you can’t just say – ok let’s have a test next weekend they lifted restrictions.  It takes a great deal of preparation work to hold a test.  We also can not wait till the last minute to cancel tests – there are too many expenses associated with this that can not be recouped by the clubs.  (not so mention the losses the judges have absorbed personally due to cancellations).

3.      We need some sort of recognition for the NA pups that will not be able to access any sort of formal testing.  These are unprecedented times – many breeders will be affected long term by these restrictions.  Perhaps there is some wayhat at a club level we can do an evaluation of these NA pups could be noted with an Asterix as COVID awarded.  We all understand the importance of the 3-judge system – in a lot of cases, this is just not possible this year.  Could it be considered as an exception during these times for possibly a 1-person evaluation of the criteria by a sanctioned judge or someone (in provinces where there is no judge) that has been through a handler’s clinic and has a good understanding of the requirements be granted ability to evaluate puppies.  We are not sure an age extension at this point will be helpful as we are not at all certain any chapters will be able to hold a test at all this spring or summer.  Fall in Canada – we could have iced over ponds – we cannot count on open water or access to fields in the fall (Hunting season opens Sept 1 (as least in Alberta)).


Given the uncertainty of the accelerated spread of the new COVID variants in Canada there is certainly an increasing probability that more and longer restrictions will be necessary.


We understand that an exception for ‘Canadian' dogs (those who live, test and train in Canada) only would be a difficult decision but we are living in unprecedented times. Moreover, we are managing our chapters responsibilities for training and testing in the face of uncertainty and ever-changing risks from COVID-19 itself and government dictates. Given all these challenges it is critical for the integrity of our chapters and to NAVHDA International that all handlers and breeders are treated fairly by providing equitable opportunities to train and test their dogs.


Thank you for your consideration in these matters.  We look forward to hearing from you very soon!



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