Certified Water Tests
Certified water tests are regulated by and held under one of three breed clubs - Northern Newfoundland Club, Southern Newfoundland Club & The Newfoundland Club.
The dog and handler will be tested as a team at 5 levels known as Section A - E. The tests are based on the building block principle, skills learnt by handler and dog for the lower levels are repeated and refined or modified in higher level tests. Two examples of this building block approach are:-
(1) Approaching a boat correctly not climbing or trying to enter the boat is necessary for Section A Exercise 1 but is also used in all subsequent sections;
(2) Retrieving a handler using the dogs name in section A is gradually built on up to section E where the dog retrieves one of two strangers as directed
It is essential to master the lower levels first in order to proceed to the higher levels. Dogs must pass each lower section before being permitted to attempt the next section, i.e. passing A & B before entering Section C.
On a test day there will be two Judges and it is their desire to maintain consistency between themselves and the regulations and for all the dogs to pass. Handlers may ask them questions during the test if they are unsure whether they are permitted to do something or not. Judges may volunteer some advice to help handlers and their dogs during the first three test levels (A, B & C) but not in higher levels.
The Judges will be using a scoring system for marking each performance. These marks are purely for their use and will not be divulged to entrants. The published results will only show whether the required standard was reached. The dog and handler must reach the required standard in each exercise otherwise they will fail the test as a whole. A dog can fail through accumulating too many marks, performing a failure action or running out of time. At the conclusion of each test the Judges will inform handlers whether they and their dog have passed or failed and probably make some verbal comments.
There will also be written comments to collect from the score steward, together with a certificate of competence for a pass.
These tests are non-competitive - test days are for entrants to have FUN with their dogs and delight in their joint achievements and those of fellow Newfoundland owners. Even at a test remember never to become so serious that the fun goes out of working for either you or your Newfoundland.
Water Test Section A (Minimum age 6 months)
Exercise A1 - Swim out 15 metres to boat
Exercise A2 - Swim out 15 metres to handler/stranger
Exercise A3 - Retrieve familiar article from 6 metres
Water Test Section B (Minimum age 9 months)
Exercise B1 - Tow boat back 20 metres
Exercise B2 - Tow handler or stranger from 20 metres
Exercise B3 - Retrieve provided article from 6 metres
Exercise B4 - Retrieve of article from underwater
Exercise B5 - Controlled swim (straight 20 metres)
Water Test Section C (Minimum age 18 months)
Exercise C1 - Jump from boat and tow from 25 metres to shore
Exercise C2 - Tow a stranger from 25 metres
Exercise C3 - Retrieve dropped article from boat at 15 metres
Exercise C4 - Controlled swim (45 metres with min. 2 turns)
Water Test Section D (Minimum age 24 months)
Exercise D1 - Take coil of rope out to a boat at 25 metres and tow it back to shore
Exercise D2 - Rescue stranger fallen from a boat at 25 metres
Exercise D3 - Directed retrieve of one of two articles at 15 metres
Exercise D4 - Search for hidden stranger behind a boat at 25 metres and tow to shore
Water Test Section E (Minimum age 24 months)
Exercise E1 - Take out life buoy/jacket to stranger who is 30 metres out
Exercise E2 - Search for a hidden rope at 30 metres and tow boat back to shore
Exercise E3 - Directed tow of one of two persons from 25 metres
Exercise E4 - Jump and take a rope to a stranger in another boat who is 25 metres out