Working Dog



4th Quarter 2023


See what's happening for Working Dogs.

Happy Holidays!

The joy of working with your newfoundland in the events that mark the uniqueness of the newfoundland breed is a great celebration at any time, but tree pulls, kid rides and the like just fit the holiday season like mittens! Hope you enjoy some fun times with your newfs and as we enter the shortest days of winter and look forward to 2024, you continue to enjoy all the special activities with your pups.


In this issue, you will also find updates, a few reminders and a request for photos to make us all smile. Please let us know your thoughts and as always, feel free to reach out to us at [email protected] with any questions.


We always love to hear from those of you who are working your dogs!

For those of you who have feedback on either water or draft regulations, please submit your thoughts to the Working Dog Committee. You can email us at [email protected] Water regulations are in the process of revision now and some changes may impact both water and draft regulations as we move forward.  

If you entered a water test this season, please be sure to submit an evaluation survey if you have not already done so. Draft test evaluations are also available online, please submit an evaluation form for any test you entered this year.



Congratulations Titlists!

As the year comes to a close we celebrate all the dog and handler teams that have earned titles for the 2023 year in both water tests and draft tests. 34 water tests and 29 draft tests we held across the country! Kudos to all the hardworking regional committees who worked so hard to put these hallmark events together. 

For the 83 dog and handler teams that earned draft titles, and the 69 pairs that earned water titles, their accomplishments are visible for everyone to see and to celebrate. Nothing compares to watching an effortless leap for a paddle, or watching a Newf lean into their harness for a tough uphill haul.

We would also like to celebrate the accomplishments that did not come with a certificate, the tentative dog who worked up the courage to leave their handler on the beach and swim to a steward, the headstrong boy who focused enough on the beach to master basic control, the former rescue who learned the joy of building a bond with their handler during long freight hauls through the woods and the wiggly youngster who held still long enough to get harnessed and hitched.

Remember that every step of our journey is about enjoying time spent with our dogs and with friends who share our passion for this magnificent breed. Treasure every minute!

Tree Pulls Take Over the Country!

From California to Vermont, Wisconsin to Georgia Newfs across the land have been hauling Christmas Trees this year. This heartwarming activity becomes more and more popular every year, with Regional Clubs partnering with Tree Farms to cart trees, give rides and share the festivities of the season. Here is a great video from Karrie Cook in Southern California with her rescue girl Tulip demonstrating her awesome backing skills while maneuvering through rows of trees.

Fireside Chats

In 2024, look for more information on live chats with the WDC! We will be reaching out with more information soon on how you can join us to talk training tips, questions and answers, and more!

Plan to come in from the cold, curl up with a cozy cup of cocoa and chat about everybody's favorite topic - working with our Newfs!

Do you have what it takes?

What makes a great Working Judge? They have a passion for working events. They have probably exhibited many times, and been in your shoes pass or fail, and have been encouraged by the judges under which they earned their titles. They are approachable and happy to answer your questions about judging or the tests. Most judges are excited for the entrants, love to watch the performances and are thrilled when an entrant completes an awesome performance, pass or not. Judges love it when an entrant is excited about the performance their dog had that day even if they did not pass. They have also shed happy tears when someone finally finishes that elusive VN title at a test or has overcome some other adversity to be back having fun with their dog. Does this sound like you? Consider becoming a water or draft judge!

Becoming A Working Judge - FAQ's

New Judge Application

Hard Working Holiday Newfs

Although Cora has become too old to haul a sled with the other dogs, she proves that she can still help the family bring in the Christmas tree from the forest. A Christmas classic from NCA member Consie Powell.

Buy The Book

Chewie learns that helping others not only helps them but feels good in the process. He learns what it takes to be a therapy dog and the importance of listening to one's personal instincts and heart,

Buy The Book

Little Frances Rosalie awaits the arrival of Uncle Ambrose but when he does not show up for Christmas Eve, she prays for a miracle to bring him home--a miracle that turns out to be a great, black dog.

Buy The Book
Regional Clubs Please Note:

The NCA is beginning work on Phase 2 of the strategic plan. A big component of this phase is strengthening relationships between Regional Clubs and the NCA.

If your club members have suggestions, comments or ideas to share, thoughts about resources you need, what the NCA can do to help, or new ways to connect and communication please reach out to Sue Marino- Regional Club Liaison.

And if you have some great training videos to share, please send them to us so we can add them to the collection!

Contact the Working Dog Committee
Water Test Exhibitors Evaluation
Draft Test Exhibitors Evaluation

New Policy

In November, the Working Dog Committee and the NCA Board collaborated on language for a new policy for Out of Control dog behaviors at NCA events.

At all NCA Events dogs must be kept under control to prevent harm to itself or others. It is the owner/handler’s responsibility to ensure their dogs are under control for the duration of the event.

At NCA events dogs must be crated or leashed and collared at all times, except when the dogs are required to perform off leash. When dogs are leashed, the length of the leash must not exceed SIX (6) feet and the leash may NOT be a retractable leash.

Dogs should not be allowed to approach another dog without permission from the other dog’s owner/handler. Any dog that, in the opinion of the judges, event committee or designated safety officer representing the event, appears dangerous, shall be asked to leave the event promptly or be crated for the duration of the event and is excused from further participation in the event.

Anyone who witnesses a dog appearing to be dangerous should bring their concerns to the judges, event committee or safety officer. Part of upholding good sportsmanship is to take action through the appropriate channels.

Examples of out of control behavior would include but is not limited to:

Aggressive vocalization such as barking and growling, or aggressive behavior toward any person or animal such as snapping, biting, lunging, charging, attacking or attempting to attack at any time while on the test grounds.

Owners and handlers are responsible for monitoring the well-being and safety of their dog(s). If left unattended the owner/handler must check on them frequently to ensure they are safe.

If the dog is excused from the test grounds for aggression, the automatic grievance policy of the NCA is enacted. If an injury to dog or person occurs, the AKC Rules Applying to Dog Shows Ch 11, section 15 goes into effect. (References, chapter 2, section 14 in both water and draft regulations).

Clubs can download this policy from the Working Forms Library (Common Test Forms) to add to events registrations

Need help getting started with a working event? Check out these tools for
Regional Clubs!
Judge's Status Update
Judge's Code of Ethics
Water test Judges Evaluation
Draft Test Judges Evaluation
Judge's Corner
Please Note: The NCA Board approved the proposed changes to the Requirements for becoming a Judge, please review them here.

Reminder: Judges - we are offering a new option for email on the NCA website. You may now enter a "public display email" in your member profile. This will allow you to have a designated email address just for public display, so you can easily sort and find communication coming from the NCA website, and to protect your private home or work email from scam, phishing emails or mass marketers.

To add a public email, go to the Member Portal, select "My Profile" then select the red "Edit Profile" button. Add the email address you wish to use in the "Public eMail Address" field. Then click the red "SAVE" button at the top of the page.

You may wish to get a free email address through Gmail or other service to use specifically for this purpose.
If you would like to share photos of working dogs at work (and play), please send them in - we'd love to see them! Make sure you have permission from the photographer for us to use the photos for publication.
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