Not Just a Pretty Face!
Quick to learn, dogs of the Working Group are intelligent, strong, watchful, and alert. Bred to assist man, they excel at jobs such as guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues. They make wonderful companions but because they are large, and naturally protective, prospective owners need to know how to properly train and socialize a working dog.
Something special happens between owners and their dogs when they train for an event. As you and your dog develop the skills necessary for each sport – and then demonstrate what you’ve learned – you experience a sense of accomplishment like no other. With your dog beside you at each turn, you become a true team in every sense of the word.
The Newfoundland’s large stature and powerful muscles, its waterproof coat and webbed toes all enable it to stroke through the water with the speed and endurance to rescue a drowning man.
There are many instances on record of Newfies saving lives in water disasters. To encourage these lifesaving instincts, in 1971, a group of enthusiasts developed plans for a water trial consisting of 12 exercises, six each in two divisions, junior and senior. Two years later, the Newfoundland Club of America sanctioned its first official rescue test in Michigan. Over time, the rules have changed, mostly from observing the dog’s natural instincts, but the original concept remains intact.
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.
The Newfoundland Club of America established the designation of Versatile Newfoundland to encourage and recognize beautiful representatives of the breed, who continue to exhibit the breed’s historic and natural working abilities. To be recognized as a Versatile Newfoundland a dog must earn the following: AKC championship, AKC obedience title, NCA Water Rescue Dog title, and NCA Draft Dog title.
Obedience trials demonstrate the dog’s ability to follow specified routines in the obedience ring and emphasize the usefulness of the dog as a companion to humankind. The objective of obedience trials is to recognize dogs that have been trained to behave in the home, in public places, and in the presence of other dogs in a manner that will reflect credit on the sport of obedience at all times and under all conditions. More…
AKC tracking events are the competition form of canine search and rescue. These Tracking events provide experience for dogs and their handlers to meet some needs for tracking and finding lost humans or other animals, as well as, demonstrating the extremely high level of scent capability that dogs possess. More...
Dog agility is a sport where you direct your dog through a pre-set obstacle course within a certain time limit. Courses typically have between 14-20 obstacles, which can include tunnels, weave poles, tire jumps, seesaws, and pause tables where the dog must stop for a set amount of time. At each trial you and your dog will race around the unique courses designed for that day. All of this is done with your dog relying solely on the cues and body language you use to direct them on course. More…
AKC Rally® is all about teamwork. You and your dog navigate a course together, side-by-side, at your own brisk pace. You move him through a course with signs where he performs different exercises. The courses are designed by the Rally judge (10-20 signs per course, depending on the class level) that include various turns and commands such as sit, down, stay, etc. More...
Search & Rescue
The skills of search and rescue (SAR) dogs can mean the difference between life and death, especially during natural disasters, mass casualty events, and when locating missing people. More…
Whether they’re working with a child who is learning to read, visiting a patient in a hospital or a senior in assisted living, therapy dogs and their owners work together as a team to improve the lives of other people. A dog can provide a valuable sense of reassurance, joy, or calmness to people experiencing stressful, lonely or depressing situations or general times in their life. Therapy dogs are NOT service dogs. Service dogs are dogs who are specifically trained to perform a task or tasks to assist a person with a disability or impairment. More…
You can literally feel the anticipation in the air as the dogs line up and wait for a Flyball relay race to begin. As soon as the gun fires, each dog dashes over a line of low hurdles to reach a box. Once there, they use their paws to push a spring-loaded pad and release a tennis ball into the air that they catch and bring back to their handlers. Once back to the starting line, the next dog takes his turn. More…