Dog, handler and judge
Heartland Spring Test 2014

The Intermediate Hunting Dog Test (IHDT) is designed to test the young dog several months after he/she has been tested in a Natural Ability Test (NAT), but before the dog has been completely trained for the Utility Field Test (UFT). The IHDT is in reality a Breeding Test with several purposes: (1) to evaluate the natural abilities of the dog again when he/she is more mature; (2) to determine how well the dog takes to training; and (3) whether or not the dog should be used for breeding. In Europe this test is called a “Fall Breeding Test”, and no dog can be considered for breeding unless it has qualified in this test.Dogs are eligible for the IHDT from the age of sixteen months up until and including the day they reach thirty-six months of age. The upper age limit was formerly twenty-four months.  In 2020, the upper age limit for the IHDT was raised to three years of order to allow ample time for at least one hunting season before a dog is tested in IHDT. Handlers are encouraged to test their dogs as close to the twenty-four  month timeframe as possible. This can help with breeding determinations and being able to breed a dog at a younger age.


 Water Work

  • Water Search (See new rule book and changes below)
  • Retrieve of Duck From Deep Water
  • Blind Retrieve of Duck From Heavy Reeds

Field Work

  • Searching
  • Pointing
  • Retrieve Of Dragged Dead Game
  • Tracking Live Game Bird
  • Tracking Live Hare Or Rabbit-(Optional)
  • Retrieve Of Dragged Game,Fur-(Optional)

Judged Throughout

  • Nose And Use Of Nose
  • Attitude Toward Working
  • Cooperation
  • Obedience


All dogs will be evaluated for coat and conformation. Temperament will also be evaluated and noted on the scorecard.

Access IHDT Rule Book Here

Requirements for Water work changed effective 2024. The IHDT rule book has been updated. The link below is for the revised Water Search only.

Water Search only