The Newfoundland Club of America Draft Tests are a series of exercises designed to develop and demonstrate the natural abilities of purebred Newfoundland dogs. While working in a land-work capacity involving hauling, the dog and handler must demonstrate teamwork skills. The Newfoundland has historically functioned as a draft dog in various capacities, and the performance of these exercises is intended to demonstrate skills resulting both from natural ability and training that are applicable to realistic work situations.
Dogs must be willing to work with their handlers and the exercises must be accomplished efficiently. The goal of each handler is to maintain control while encouraging his dogs' natural independence; together, they demonstrate teamwork. Since a dog can perform draft work only in cooperation with a person, each handler must demonstrate an understanding of draft work with the dog's ability, training, and equipment.
The Newfoundland Club of America Draft Test Regulations is a set of standards by which handlers and Newfoundlands are judged at a Newfoundland Club of America sponsored draft test. The Regulations are not a guide on how to train for draft work nor a definition of draft work.
The Working Dog Committee (WDC) and NCA Board recently approved that Regional clubs may now hold NCA Specialty Carting at any Regional club event or as an independent event. Previously it was only allowed at National and Regional Specialties. The WDC had received requests from NCA members asking for more beginner level draft events. We felt we had a very good beginner event in Specialty Carting but that it was under utilized. Regional clubs will now be able to hold Specialty Carting events in conjunction with their other events such as fun days, draft tests, or independently. There will be no formal application process or fees to hold the event. The Regional club will notify the WDC draft records person by phone or email that they plan to hold the event and list their date, site and judge. The rules are now available on the NCA web site. The certificates for qualifiers will also be made available on the web site. After the test the Regional club will again contact the WDC draft records person to inform them of how many entries they had in each division, on lead and off lead, as well as how many passed each division. The WDC will keep these statistics for two years to collect data on this event as to how often it is being held and how many people are entering and passing. The WDC feels that this will encourage more beginners to start draft work. It will offer an easier goal for them to reach then entering a draft test. Hopefully many of these beginners will want to continue their training for draft tests but some may prefer not to train to that level and Specialty Carting will give them an option to enter on lead and without a freight haul or weight in their cart.