The German term "Gebrauchshund" means "useful" hunting dog and Germans place great emphasis on testing to determine whether, and to what degree, a dog is "useful". Dogs are tested against a standard of what is "useful" rather than simply comparing one dog's performance against another's.
NATC is using European dachshund "usefulness" tests as a basis for developing similar tests adapted to North American game, hunting methods and traditions. The tests are designed to assess the capability of dachshunds to usefully perform various hunting functions including:
- tracking wounded big game so that the hunter may retrieve it;
- locating and trailing small game while giving voice so that the hunter knows where the game and the dog are;
- locating, baying and/or bolting underground quarry; and
- flushing rabbits from thickets, brush piles and dens.
Dogs must demonstrate gun steadiness before they are allowed to enter most hunting tests. A versatility test involves successfully passing 3 components - blood tracking, trailing game and tonguing on line and flushing game in a controlled and obedient manner.