|Newfoundland - Draft Dog|
Although he is a superior water dog, the Newfoundland has been
used and is still used in Newfoundland and Labrador as a
true working dog, dragging carts, or more often carrying
burdens as a packhorse.|
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.
Local clubs across the country are encouraged to host
Draft Tests and training seminars to promote the working
heritage of the Newfoundland dog.
The history of the Newfoundland not only reflects the
courage and stamina exhibited in rescuing people from
the water, but also shows the draft work abilities of
the dogs. They were indispensable to local residents of
Newfoundland, particularly fishermen, as the dogs helped
them haul in the heavy fishing nets. The dogs were then
hitched to carts or wagons to take the day’s catch to
market and make other deliveries. They were also used to
haul loads of firewood from the forests to their owner’s
Draft work showcases a remarkable bond between dog and
handler. The dogs learn many commands,
such as back, slow left, right, and stop. They have been trained to ignore any intriguing distractions
while harnessed and working. Their handlers learn how to verbally direct their dogs around and through numerous obstacles. The results are truly a team effort.
The NCA Draft Test is a series of exercises designed to
promote the working heritage of the Newfoundland dog.
There are four parts to the Draft Test, all of which are
Basic Control; Harnessing, Hitching & Equipment Check;
Maneuvering Course & Basic Commands; Freight Haul
Upon successful completion of all components of the
test, dogs are awarded the title of Draft Dog. Teams are
also encouraged to enter, and follow the same
requirements as a single dog. Qualifying teams are
awarded the title of Team Draft Dog.
For more information on the draft dog exercises, please see the
NCA Web Site Page for Draft Dogs