Shed Antler Test Program

Shed Antler Tests offer a way to evaluate the specific skills desired in shed antler hunting and trial dogs, via video assessment. Tests compare demonstrated skills against an objective standard, without comparison to other dogs.  Dogs who complete each assessment category will earn a Badge of Acknowledgement. Dogs who earn all of the Badges will earn the Shed Antler Skill Verified title.  Your dog needs an NDS Competition Number to compete in the Shed Antler Test Program- click HERE to register for a number. 

Shed Antler Tests

Tests are set up to evaluate specifically skill elements within the sport. Tests can be informally organized as a group, where you and friends get together to help each other set up and video-  or you can do it on your own:  video your dog completing the specific test elements and submit them for evaluation. Less space is required for tests compared to trials and there is no time limit- send in your tests as your dog learns new skills. Complete all the Assessment Categories to earn your dog’s Skill Verified Title!

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Shed Antler Test Assessment Categories


This entry level Assessment Category is meant to test your dog’s ability to locate antlers under 4 sets of conditions. Retrieving is NOT a requirement, but the dog must clearly demonstrate searching behavior and a found antler reaction. 

Competitors will submit two examples of searches for each of the four Elements, with specific requirements set out to evalute the dog’s ability to locate antlers under typical conditions. 



This level will showcase your dog’s ability to persist and retrieve an antler under different challenges common to shed antler hunting scenarios.

A retrieve is considered complete for this level if it is delivered to hand, or dropped close enough for the handler to reach without moving more than one of their feet forward.

Dogs need their Locate badge in order to submit video tests for their Retrieve badge.



The Seasonal skill test is meant to challenge the dog’s ability to locate and retrieve antlers in a variety of natural weather conditions. This level is meant to be a challenge that occurs over time, however, so most dogs will not have all of the weather conditions available to test all at once.

Dogs need their Locate and Retrieve badges before they submit video for their Seasonal badge.




In the final stage of skill testing, your dog will demonstrate their ability to continue to hunt antlers even after a find has been made. The four layers of challenge in this level will create opportunities for your dog to really work realistic hunting scenarios!

Dogs need their Locate and Retrieve badges before they submit video for their Multiples badge, but they can pursue this level before their Seasonal badge is complete, if desired.




Dogs must be a minimum of 6 months of age to compete in shed antler tests. There is no upper age limit. 

Dogs must earn badges in the following order: Locate, then Retrieve, then either Seasonal or Multiples

A video showing the required skills in the prescribed format must be submitted separately for each element of the Assessment Categories. 

Dogs who successfully complete the requirement to earn a badge in each of the 4 Assessment Categories will earn the Shed Antler Skill Verified title!