What Is the Water Retrieve Test?

GSPCA Water Retrieve Tests are not only fun, but they provide an opportunity for GSP’s and their owner to participate in an activity together and for the GSP to demonstrate swimming and retrieving skills just being learned or those already developed.

Quite simply: It’s all about getting the GSP into the water to retrieve a bird back to the handler, and for the judges to observe the dog’s willingness to enter the water, reaction to gun fire, retrieving skills, and response to the handler’s commands. Game birds commonly used are chukar, quail, or pigeon, and usually ducks for the advanced levels. The GSP and their handler begin within a 12’ diameter circle a few feet from the edge of the water. When the bird is dispatched the judge instructs the handler to release the dog for the retrieve. When released the GSP swims to the bird and retrieves the bird back to their handler within the 12’ circle.

The GSPCA offers three different levels of water tests, each with their own degree of difficulty. Evaluation by the judges and GSPCA title Certification is based on PASS or FAIL. Dogs do not compete against each other.

Novice Retrieving Dog (NRD)
Retrieving Dog (RD)
Retrieving Dog Excellent (RDX)

Please click here for a detailed explanation of each test and its requirements. (Printable PDF)

Any German Shorthaired Pointer with an individual AKC number, an AKC “Limited Registration” and/or an ILP/PAL number who has obtained the age of six (6) months on the first advertised day of the tests may compete for any or all of the rating levels offered. All owners and co-owners must be members of the GSPCA. Spayed bitches or neutered males may enter GSPCA Water Retrieve Tests and receive Water Test Title Certification.

Once the member and their dog have completed the requirements they will earn a title which may be displayed permanently in conjunction with the dog’s name for advertising and on personal pedigrees. Any dog earning a rating will be issued the appropriate title Certificate signed by the GSPCA Water Test Certification Chairman.


Jean Bernier


September 7, 2024
Eastern GSP Club
Colliers Mills WMA, New Egypt, NJ
All Levels Offered
Mary Jane Houghton,
Event Secretary

September 8, 2024
GSP Club of Wisconsin
Cedar Grove, WI
All Levels Offered
Jean Bernier,