Colonial Newfoundland Club
A sanctioned regional club of the Newfoundland Club of America, serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia and that part of West Virginia south of the Marshall-Wetzel County line.
Newfoundland - Water Rescue Dog
The Newfoundland is exceptionally well built for water work. He has a water resistant double coat, a strong muscled tail which is used as a rudder, webbed feet, ears that cling close to the head, and a strong swimming style resembling a breast stroke.

Newfoundlands are used to help patrol the beaches in Britain, France, and Italy. During their annual water training demonstration at the Molveno Dog Show, the Italian School of Dog Training showcases circumstances in which Newfs and their handlers jump out of helicopters hovering 15 feet above the water's surface. The French Coast Guard has determined that a well-conditioned Newf can tow an inflatable life raft with 20 people aboard two miles to shore with out being unduly stressed.

The water rescue instincts of the Newf are particularly evident when children or other family members are in the water. The Newf takes his life guarding responsibilities very seriously, quite often circling around and herding his "family" to shore. They have an uncanny ability to sense when someone in the water needs help, whether a family member or stranger, an will immediately swim out to assist. Some dogs circle around the "victim" until they feel the person grab onto them, then head to shore; others will take the person's arm in their mouth and proceed to tow them to safety that way.

The Newfoundland is primarily a dog of the sea. Long ago they were the constant companions of fishermen, and boats would often not leave the shore without a Newfoundland on board. History is full of old tales recording heroic rescues made by these courageous animals. Today, the breed standard stresses that the dog should be "at home in the water and on land." The Newf is exceptionally well built for water work. He has a water resistant double coat, a muscled tail which is used as a rudder, webbed feet, ears that cling close to the head, and a strong swimming style resembling a breast stroke.

Water Tests

Great Britain first sponsored formal water tests for Newfoundlands in the late 1800's. The Newfoundland Club of American began its water tests in 1973, with the first test in this country being held by the Great Lakes Newfoundland Club in Michigan.

The Water Test offers the Newfoundland an opportunity to perform a series of exercises designed to show their natural life-saving instincts. The test is composed of Junior, Senior and Exellent Divisions. Each contains six exercises with suggested time limits. A dog successfully completing the Junior exercises is awarded the NCA title of Water Dog (WD). Successful completion of the Senior exercises earns a Water Rescue Dog (WRD) title. And the most advanced is the Water Rescue Dog Excellant (WRDX) title.

Please click on this link for further information on the exercises done for each division

The Newfoundland Club of America encourages its members to foster and maintain the working dog abilities that are such an important part of the history of the breed. To this end, the NCA sponsors Water Tests across the country. The Newfoundland Club of America Water Tests are a series of exercises designed to develop and demonstrate the water work abilities of purebred Newfoundland dogs. The Newfoundland has historically functioned as a working companion to its owner, and members of the breed have participated in many heroic rescues. Performance of these exercises is intended as a demonstration of skill developed through both natural ability and training. The emphasis in the Water Test is on teamwork between dog and handler in realistic work and rescue situations.

Water Demo at Codorus Summer Blast
Buoy rescues an "unconscious" Christie Smith.
CNC 2004 Water Test
Click here for results and pictures from the 2004 CNC water tests.
CNC 2011 Water Test
Some fabulous stories and great pictures from the Water Tests held at Codorus Sate Park, PA. Aug. 26, 27.

York Daily Record - Aug.28
Hanover Evening Sun - Aug.26
http://gallery.me.com/glennlesher/100244
Water Rescue Titles

The Newfoundland Club of America awards the following titles for water competition:

    WD=Water Dog
    WRD=Water Rescue Dog
    WRDX=Water Rescue Dog Excellent

WD - Junior Division Exercises

Basic Control
Single Retrieve
Drop Retrieve
Take A Line
Tow A Boat
Swim With Handler

WRD - Senior Division Exercises

Directed Retrieve
Retrieve Off A Boat
Take A Life Ring
Underwater Retrieve
Take A Line/Tow A Boat
Rescue Handler off Boat

WRDX - Excellent Division Exercises

Search for Abandoned Boat
Multiple Person Rescue
Rescue of Unconscious Victim
Rescue of Victim/Capsized Boat
Delivery of Line from Stranded Boat
Rescue of Multiple Victims

More Information
Colonial Newfoundland Club
Working Dog Chair: Dwight Gorsuch

Newfoundland Club of America
Working Dog Publications:
Water Test Training Manual ($12.00)
Water Test Rules & Regulations ($5.00)

Working Dog Publications Secretary:
Dwight Gorsuch
925 Leppo Road
Westminster, MD
21158-1625

Orders must be prepaid, checks payable to
Newfoundland Club of America.