The Draft Test

The Draft Test

The Newfoundland Club of America Draft Test is a series of exercises designed to develop and demonstrate the inbred abilities of the purebred Newfoundland Dogs in a land-work capacity involving hauling. The Newfoundland has historically functioned as a draft dog in various capacities, and performance of these exercises is intended to demonstrate skills resulting both from natural ability and training that are applicable to realistic work situations.Efficiency in accomplishment of tasks is essential. It is also important that the dog evidence willingness and enjoyment of his work in a combination of controlled teamwork with his handler and natural independence.

Rules and Regulations

This Draft Test is sanctioned by the Working Dog Committee (WDC) of the Newfoundland Club of America and will follow the Draft Test Regulations effective May 18, 1994 with January 1, 2000 changes. A copy of the regulations may be obtained from NCA WDC Publications Secretary

Dwight Gorsuch 925 Leppo Rd Westminster, MD 21158.

A check for $5 made payable to “NCA” must be included.

The Regulations are also available on-line

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 homes.

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.


Freight Haul and Maneuvering Course Description

The course will cover hiking and walking trails. Surfaces will include dirt, stone and stone dust, leaves and pine needles, grassy areas and some macadam. The maneuvering course will be in a grassy area with natural obstacles.

Unentered Dogs

We welcome spectators and their pets to join us in hiking the trails, gathering in the area, or watching the test. Please remember that all unentered dogs must remain well away from the main test area during judging so as not to disturb any competing dogs.

Bitches in Season

Bitches in season will be tested at the end of the competition. All dogs will do the freight haul in the same group except bitches in season.

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 done off-leash: 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.

The Newfoundland Club of America awards the following titles for draft competition:
DD=Draft Dog TDD=Team Draft Dog

Newfoundland Club of America Working Dog Publications

Draft Equipment Guide Kit ($10.00) Draft Test Rules & Regulations ($5.00) Specialty Carting Rules & Regulations ($1.00)

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

*Orders must be prepaid, checks payable to “Newfoundland Club of America”*