NCA header

Home : Regional Clubs : The Board : Membership Portal : Committees : Newf Tide : Publications : Charitable Trust : Contacts

Email This Committee

Committee Established:1972



Working Dog Committee

In remembrance of Barbara Frey,
Working Dog Committee member, honorary NCA member, Companion Newf chairperson, avid fan, judge
and participant of NCA working events.

Barbara Frey

Duties and Responsibilities

This committee is charged with the responsibility of providing information and opportunities for Newfoundlands to continue their historical roles as working dogs.  It advises the NCA Board in matters pertaining to the activities of working Newfoundlands.  It makes recommendations to the Board regarding the right to hold Water Tests and Draft Tests, site approval and judges.

The committee acts as a source of information for Newfoundland owners interested in training their dogs for water rescue work, draft work, backpacking, etc.

The Chair is responsible for submitting material regarding working dogs to be published in Newf Tide.

History & Board Actions

V3.2            03/12/72
The Board approved the report concerning Trials for Newfoundlands.
V7.1            02/09/76
The Board approved the request of the Working Trial Committee to change their name to Working Dog Committee.
V8.3            06/17/77
NCA will sponsor up to six (6) water tests at $75 each for three (3) years to see the development of interest.
Water dog title winners to be offered the NCA obedience pin with an aquamarine stone.
V10.1            02/11/79
Authorization to purchase whatever additional insurance is necessary to cover a maximum of twelve (12) water tests per year.
V10.1            02/11/79
Continue the filing fee for clubs hosting water tests.
V10.1            02/11/79
To delegate NCA's donation to each club sponsoring a water test.
V10.2            05/29/79
Marked catalogs from Water Tests should be made available to the Board, perhaps to be kept on file by the Recording Secretary, and that a listing of titled dogs should be prepared for publication in Newf Tide.
V10.4            09/27/79
Carting Committee to go under jurisdiction of the Working Dog Committee.
V10.4            09/27/79
Board voted to not seek AKC recognition for Water Dog and Water Rescue Dog titles.
V11.3            06/17/80 (Mail Meeting)
A regular column will be prepared by the Working Dog Committee for each issue of Newf Tide.
V13.1            11/05/81 to 01/06/82 (Mail Meeting)
Revised Water Test Regulations and Standards of Performance accepted.
V13.1211/05/81 to 01/06/82 (Mail Meeting)
Quality of WD and WRD Certificates to be upgraded if cost not prohibitive.

V13.1            11/05/81 to 01/06/82 (Mail Meeting)
Marked copies of water trial catalog to be sent to Historian.
V13.3            04/23/82
Land Work Chair to forward any NCA funds in separate account to Treasurer.  Funding for manuals will be made available as necessary.
V15.4            01/10/85 (Mail Meeting)
Draft Test Certificates approved.
V16.4            11/09/85
Only recognized Regional Clubs allowed to host NCA water, draft or other working tests.
V17.1            03/01/86  (Mail Meeting)
Aquamarine stone eliminated as an option for an obedience award.
V17.1            03/01/86  (Mail Meeting)
Carting and other draft material approved.
V17.1            03/01/86  (Mail Meeting)
Awards for Working Dog Committee and obedience to be kept separate.
V17.1            03/01/86  (Mail Meeting)
Replacement obedience award can be purchased only if original is lost.  This can be done at the owner's expense for the cost of the jewelry plus the stone setting and handling.
V19.4            11/12/88 
Working dog Committee authorized to sponsor Canine Good Citizenship tests and to report the results to the Board for future evaluation.
V19.4            11/12/88
Any request for permission to use NCA Rules and Regulations for Working Dog events to be processed by Working Dog Committee.  Permission must include the provision that credit must be given to NCA.  Permission need not be limited to parent clubs.
V18.2  05/22/87
Anyone previously approved to judge working events based on previously published rules cannot be disqualified based on new criteria.
V18.4  11/07/87
Board authorized Saint Bernard Club of America to adopt or adapt NCA Draft Rules and Carting Regulations for their own use with the provision that there must be an acknowledgment to NCA in any published materials.
V18.4  11/07/87
Revised Water Test Manual approved by Board.
V21.2  04/20/90 
Updated qualifications for Water and Draft Tests approved.
V25.2            11/06/93
In regard to selection of judges for Draft Tests, the wording in the regulations “necessary but not sufficient” leaves the approval up to the Working Dog Committee to do the selection of the judges (vs. the Board).
V25.2            11/06/93
A sentence will be added to Page 3 of the Draft Test Regulations which would read “Before the Draft Test committee applies for permission to sponsor an NCA Draft Test, that prior to contacting judging candidates, the Regional Club must select a judging panel that meets the qualifications approved by the WDC and NCA Board and shall contact the WDC for approval of proposed judging slate.”

V25.2            11/06/93
Amended Draft Test Regulations approved.
V25.2            11/06/93
All Draft Test conducted after May 18, 1994 will be subject to new regulations.

A letter will be sent to Regional Clubs stating the same.
V26.1            11/02/95
Other breeds will not be accepted and allowed to enter NCA Draft Tests.

Draft Test Certificates to include the name of the handler due to the unique team relationship between dog and handler.  WDC directed to consider same and report back to the Board.

V30.1            10/31/98
Board approves amended NCA Water Test regulations as submitted by the Committee, to be effective 1/1/99 and article to be written for Newf Tide.  Copy of new regulations to be sent to all NCA Water Test judges.
V31.1            10/31/99
Board approves WDC recommendation to include provisions for disabled handlers to participate in NCA Draft Tests.

Board approves WDC proposal to modify NCA Draft Test regulations to:  (1) make the three minutes out of sight a group exercise; and (2) provide consistency with the general regulations of NCA Water Tests.

Board approves WDC recommendation for Partner Judge qualifications.  (Language changes included in Judges Qualifications Section of the Manual.)
V32.1  11/3/00
Board requests WDC develop set of policies and procedures to deal with unsportsmanlike conduct which may be prejudicial to the breed by anyone attending a NCA working dog event.

  • Review current Grievance Procedure as it concerns filing a grievance against a judge.

  • Develop set of policies and procedures to address unsportsmanlike behavior, which is prejudicial to the sport, on the pa2/8/012/8/01rt of anyone attending a working event (exhibitors, judges, spectators).

  • Establish a code of conduct for working test judges which parallels the guidelines for AKC judges, emphasizing they are held to the highest standard of conduct.  Disseminate via Judges Corner Newsletter.  Anyone representing NCA in any official capacity, especially NCA Board members are held to the highest standard.

V32.3  4/2/01
Board approved “Guidelines for Selection and Use of Draft Equipment”

Board approved WDC’s recommendations regarding grievances at Working events.  (See Volume I)

Board approved revised Draft and Water Test Judges Qualifications.

Board directed WDC develop format that would improve communication regarding complaints about judges.
V33.2  1/10/02
Discontinue application fee of $35 as of 1/1/02 for regional clubs hosting draft or water tests.
V33.3  3/28/02
Penn-Ohio Newfoundland Club draft test published limit increased to 15 first day and 14 second to cover dog on alternate list as of March 12.  Alternates requalifying will not be allowed to accommodate complaint of member whose entry was lost by delivery service.
V33.3  4/23/02
Approve NCA Working Dog Grievance Procedures which now include “Violation of the Official Code of Ethics by a Judge.”(see Vol II)4/1/03

V.35.2  11/21/03

$35.00 application fee for NCA draft and water tests reinstated.

V35.3  4/19/04

Approved the WRDX fitness certification form as amended.
Approved the judging panels form.
Approved the WRDX exercises as amended to remove from exercises 1, 4, and 6 the wording, “as long as this is not perceived by the judges to be used as restraint.”

V35.4  7/28/04

Give the owners the option of using a safety harness with handles (not a flotation device) on their Newfoundland during a WRDX test. This is only for a rescue of the dog. The Working Dog Committee will make this information available to clubs hosting WRDX tests this year.
5/25/05: Approved the Working Dog Committee’s (WDC) recommendation to ensure that the calling steward(s) are not overly familiar with a dog being tested, with the change that the calling steward has not boarded or house-sat for, personally trained, handled (in any venue), owned or co-owned the dog within the previous 15 months. (The time period of 15 months being inserted in place of the WDC’s original six months.)
5/25/05: Approved the Working Dog Committee’s (WDC) recommendation that calling stewards may be part of the same training groups of handlers and dogs in a given summer. However, calling stewards must avoid direct contact with the dogs they will call for at tests in that summer training season. It is therefore recommended that clubs intending to host Water Tests should consider appointing their calling stewards as early in the season as possible to avoid potential conflicts.
5/25/05: Accepted the recommendations of the Working Dog Committee (WDC) concerning aggressive dogs at working tests along with the addition of the AKC policy on aggressive dogs.
“The Working Dog Committee recommends the NCA adopt the AKC official policy concerning dog attacks that lead to an injury, either to a person or to another dog. Further, our recommendation for implementation at working tests is as follows: Currently, Water or Draft Test judges may excuse, and even ask to have removed  from a test site, if necessary, any dog that appears dangerous to other dogs or persons.
Actual reports of dog attacks causing injury to either a dog or a person would go directly through the grievance process. The grievance may be filed by the person injured, the person whose dog was injured, or any witness to an attack causing injury. The dog in question should be removed from the test site and cannot be entered in any subsequent NCA working event pending the completion of the grievance hearing process through the WDC, with subsequent action by the Board. Any test the dog is entered in already would have to be forfeited with the dog in question banned from the test site pending completion of the grievance process. The recommendation of the WDC will be sent to the Board following the grievance hearing, which would end the WDC jurisdiction. The Board will need to form a committee whose purpose it is to deal with reinstatement requests after the Board has denied further exhibition privileges for any Newfoundland.”

            AKC Rules Applying to Dog Shows: Chapter 11, Section 15- Any dog, that in the opinion of the Event Committee, attacks a person or dog at an AKC event,             resulting in an injury, and is believed by that Event Committee to present a hazard to persons or other dogs, shall be disqualified by the Event Committee pursuant to this section, a report shall be filed with the Executive Secretary of             The American Kennel Club. The disqualified dog may not again compete at any AKC event nor be on the grounds of an AKC event unless and until, following application for reinstatement by the owner to the American Kennel Club, the owner receives official notification in writing from the AKC that the dog's eligibility has been reinstated.
9/27/05: The Board accepted the Working Dog Committee’s report, as written on changing the qualifications for working test judges.
1/6/06: Approve the Working Dog Committee’s request to assess late application fees. Fully completed test applications received up to 5 days after the deadline will be assessed a $25.00 late fee. Fully completed test applications received 6-30 days late will be assessed a $50.00 late fee. Test applications received more than 30 days after the deadline will be not to be approved. Late fees must be paid by the regional club prior to approval of any further working event approval
1/6/06: Approve the Working Dog Committee’s request to assess fees for late paperwork after a working test. Completed paperwork must be postmarked within 30 days after the test. Completed paperwork that is postmarked 1-5 days late will have the regional club assessed a $25.00 late fee. Completed event paperwork postmarked 6+ days late will have the regional club assessed a $50.00 late fee. Late fees must be paid by the regional club prior to approval of any further working event approval.
1/6/06: Accept the Working Dog Committee’s recommendation of six months for the time requirement for unfamiliar stewards.
2/23-3/9/07: Approve the recommendation of the WDC to raise the minium age limit for Newfoundlands competing in a Draft Test to 18  months.
2/23-3/9/07: Approved the WRDX exercises as amended.
4/19/06: The previous Working Dog judging qualification rules shall be reinstated, retroactive to January 1, 2006.  These rules shall be used until such time as the Board receives and accepts a new proposal from Working Dog Committee
7/20/06: The Water Test Steward and Test Committee Handbook were approved as amended.




Important Contacts

Water Test Intake Contact: Dwight Gorsuch

Please send original copies of all application paperwork for Water Tests by USPS Regular Mail to Dwight Gorsuch; 6282 Burris Road, Rock Hall, MD 21661-1100.   Some clubs have been copying forms which are outdated and obsolete.  Please visit the Water Test Committee Toolkit with all of the current forms available to download.  Please review the Toolkit with the forms you have been using to replace any old forms no longer in use or not providing the correct contact person for test or judging evaluation, etc. 

Draft Test Intake Contact: Patti Pigeon

Please send applications for Draft Tests to Patti Pigeon.   Some clubs have been copying forms which are outdated and obsolete.  Please visit the section of the NCA website that offers a Draft Test Committee Toolkit with all of the current forms available to download.  Please review the Toolkit with the forms you have been using to replace any old forms no longer in use or not providing the correct contact person for test or judging evaluation, etc. 

Water Test Records Contact: Sue Zientara
2708 Casner Rd
Oakley‎ IL‎ 62501

All records after the Water Tests go to Sue.  Sending them complete and timely impacts the sending of certificates to those who have earned a title.  Forms needed to be completed are found in the Water Test Committee Toolkit

Draft Test Records Contact: Deborah Rothwell
2161 Snowden Ave
Long Beach‎ CA‎ 90815-3346

All records after the Draft Tests go to Deborah.  Sending them complete and timely impacts the sending of certificates to those who have earned a title.  Forms needed to be completed are found in the Draft Test Committee Toolkit.

Water Test Certificate Contact: Sue Zientara

Sue mails out the Water Test Certificates and patches.  Turnaround is usually 45 days from when she receives the paperwork from each Test Chair and Test Secretary.

Draft Test Certificate Contact: Deborah Rothwell

Deborah sends out Draft Test Certificates and patches. Turnaround is usually 45 days from when she receives the paperwork from each Test Chair and Test Secretary.

WDC Publications Contact:  Dwight Gorsuch

Dwight is the contact person for ordering in hard copy form. Mail checks to:

Working Dog Publications
c/o Dwight Gorsuch
6282 Burris Road
Rock Hall, MD 21661

Publications available include:

1st Edition Water Training Manual $12

Draft Equipment Guide $10

Take Your Dog Backpacking $10

Water Test Evaluation Contact: Cindi Kursner
407 Marigold Ave
Portage, MI 49002-6257

Cindi receives the evaluations for each Water Test.  The deadline for receipt is two weeks after the event so that she can provide a timely summary back to the judges and the Water Test chair.

Draft Test Evaluation Contact: Mark Iken

Mark receives the evaluations for each Draft Test.  The deadline for receipt is two weeks after the event so that he can provide a timely summary back to the judges and the Draft Test chair.

Judges’ Record Contact:  Benita Edds

Judges should provide information regarding required and optional experience to Benita for update of their individual judging record.  This includes any information leading to move up to another judging level.  The official form for transmitting this documentation is posted with the official Judges’ Qualifications.  Please review the Judges’ Qualifications for the information that is required of Judges at each level.  Updates are provided to the webmaster that reflect move up to another status, flags the names of Judges who cannot accept new assignments pending completion of a requirement, and provides the names of Draft Test Judges who have earned at least one Team Draft Dog title. 

Evaluation reports from Mentor level co-judges for those Provisional judges who require an evaluation are sent to Benita.

All required forms for judges are located on the Judges' Qualifications page.

Observer Judge Procedure Contact: John Jackman

Those who wish to begin their Water or Draft Test judging career, and who have met all of the preparation requirements should contact John with documentation of the completed requirements, and to request an open book test for their choice of specialty (Water or Draft Test Judging).  The completed test will be returned to him for grading and to advise the applicant of the results.  Requests for observations complete with documentation and required signatures (see Judges’ Qualifications) should be sent to John.  He will also receive the reports of the judges concerning the performance of each observer, and will keep a log of each observation until the applicant is ultimately notified by the WDC Chair that he/she is approved to begin judging.  All Observer Judge forms are located on the Judges' Qualifications page.

Working Dog Committee Chair: Sue Raney

Approval to move from Observer status to Provisional Judging status will come from the WDC Chair.  In addition, notification when both positive evaluations have been received so that the Provisional Judge no longer requires an evaluation will also come from the WDC Chair. 
The WDC will publish the Judges’ Corner Newsletters and provide updates to the website for policy changes.


Forms and Documents

Water Test Regulations

Draft Test Regulations

Advanced Draft Test Regulations

Water Test Forms

Draft Test Forms

Current Projects -

NCA Working Dog Committee Annual Report for 2011

     We started the year with the appointment of two new members, Tom Brant and Cindy Kursner. It was great to have some fresh eyes look over the work we had been doing on revising the WRDX regulations. While working on the revision we found some other areas that needed attention that weren't actually included in the regulations. One of these areas was the actual qualifications for judges of the WRDX division. Another issue that arose was whether a dog could requalify in more than one division on the same day. It also made sense to include the WRDX test with the rest of our water test and only have one set of regulations and one test with three divisions. These three areas were approved by the NCA board in January 2011.
     The new proposal for WRDX revisions was completed just before the National and was presented to the board and the membership at the National for comments. This proposal was based on the many comments the WDC received on the membership survey. A meeting was held at the National to discuss the proposal and to explain the reasoning behind the changes. The NCA board asked the WDC to solicit comments on the proposal from the membership. In doing so the WDC realized that many of the comments we had received on the original survey may have come from members with good intentions but very little experience with the WRDX division. Most of the comments on the proposal came from experienced WRDX judges, exhibitors,  and trainers whose views were very different than what we had proposed. The WDC realized that what we had proposed was not what most of the experienced WRDX people wanted so we went back to square one, the original WRDX regulations, and started over using the comments that we had received on the proposal. At one point we also requested comments from our WRDX judges about one of the exercises.
     Our finished product is very similar to the original regulations with updates and changes made to improve safety, clarify gray areas and clean up areas that weren't working well. It was submitted to the NCA board in December 2011 to be discussed/approved at their January 2012 teleconference.
Because the WRDX regulations will now be a part of the original WD/WRD regulations many updates have to be made to the general regulations to include WRDX. Also, there were some areas of the water test that had been brought to the WDC's attention over the past few years that needed to be updated so while we were updating the regulations to include WRDX we also discussed the other updates needed to be made to the regulations. These will be brought to the NCA board for approval early in 2012.
     We lost one member of our committee later in the year, Roger Powell chose to resign. Tom Brant took over the job of draft test evaluations and Cindy Kursner took over the job of water test evaluations.

Respectfully submitted by
Sue Marino
Chair, NCA WDC



Official Grievance forms following a Water or Draft Test go to the WDC Chair within the deadline outlined in the Grievance procedure.

Grievance Procedures
Grievance Report- Judge/ Committee
Grievance Report- Exhibitor
Grievance Witness Form

Questions concerning upcoming Water or Draft Tests may be submitted to the WDC Chair, or to either the Water or Draft Test Application Contacts.

Approved Water Test Judges

Approved Draft Test Judges








Site Map : Legal stuff : Privacy statement : Contact webmaster : Copyright © 1997-2013 Newfoundland Club of America
Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape