Besides being a sweet and gentle family companion, Newfoundlands are built to work. Their thick double coat, size and muscle strength, and web feet are a few of the examples. Newfies have an uncanny natural instinct for water rescue. There are many stories throughout history telling of Newfoundlands saving people from capsized boats. Some countries use Newfoundlands as lifeguards on beaches and even in their Coast Guards.
And if you’ve ever witnessed a Newf around any body of water, they are ever vigilant for people in distress and will jump right in to come to their aid without ever being asked.
Of course, a well trained Newf is even better at this job!
Newfs not only excel in the water, but their size and strength make them great draft dogs. This is a job that does require training and lots of practice to help your dog feel comfortable for draft work. But, once comfortable, put a harness on, hitch up a cart and they are ready to pull. You can even teach them to pull carts in teams of two or more. (Think Santa’s sleigh with Newfs instead of reindeer!) Many Newf clubs volunteer their (titled) draft Newfs to pull Christmas trees to cars for people, or pull carts in parades.
There are a number of other ways to work your dog. For example Tracking, Agility, Obedience, and Therapy work. Giving your Newf a job to do not only keeps him healthier and more active, but they truly enjoy having a job to do and the time spent with him creates a bond like no other.
If you would like to learn more about working newfs or working events contact your local Newfoundland club, or Newfoundland Club of America. The Newfoundland Club of Northern California hosts water and draft seminars (hands on) and also keeps a calendar of club events.