Welcome to the World of the Saint Bernard in Draft Work
The Saint Bernard Club of America's definition of Draft Work: "The Saint Bernard Club of America Draft Test is a series of exercises designed to develop and demonstrate the natural abilities of purebred Saint Bernard dogs. While working in a land-work capacity involving hauling, the dog and handler must demonstrate teamwork skills. The Saint Bernard 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.
Dogs must be willing to work with their handlers and the exercises must be accomplished efficiently. The goal of each handler is to maintain control while encouraging his dogs' natural independence; together, they demonstrate teamwork. Since a dog can perform draft work only in cooperation with a person, each handler must demonstrate an understanding of draft work with the dog's ability, training, and equipment."
Draft Work Links
New Draft Test Regulations
By Walt Parsons, SBCA Working Dog Committee (WDC), Draft Work Secretary
The Working Dog Committee has been hard at work for about a year revising the SBCA Draft Test Regulations.
Here are the highlights of the revision
There are now three separate classes in a Draft Test. Novice class, Open class and the new and more difficult Excellent class. All classes have both Individual and Team divisions.
- Novice class is done on leash most of the time. In Novice class the dogs can earn a Novice Draft Dog (NDD) or a Team Novice Draft Dog (NTDD) title. The exercises are similar to the previous Draft Dog exercises except they are done on leash.
- Open class is similar to the previous Draft Dog exercises and are done off leash. The titles that may be earned are Draft Dog (DD) or Team Draft Dog (TDD).
- Excellent class is brand new and quite a bit more difficult. The titles earned are Draft Dog Excellent (DDX) and Team Draft Dog Excellent (TDDX). Here are a few highlights.
- The freight load is increased and will consist of a sack and a bottle which the handler will have to tie on to his apparatus. No bar bell weights will be allowed
- At one point in the maneuvering course the handler will accept a small load from a steward and later deliver it to another steward.
- There will be more and longer narrows including one that the dog has to back through.
- There will be a “stationary wheel turn”. In this exercise there will be a two foot circle on the ground and the dog will do a 360 degree turn without the inner wheel leaving the circle.
- See the new Draft Test regulations dated 9/14/11 for more details.
You can download a PDF file of the new regulations by clicking here or on the link below. To obtain printed copies contact the Draft Work Secretary.
If you have any questions concerning the new Draft Test Regulations or about Draft work in general please feel free to contact me.
SBCA WDC – Draft Work Secretary
SBCA Draft Test Regulations (308kb PDF file)
You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader for some of the links above. Please note that you DO NOT need to install the Free Google Toolbar. This item can be unchecked on the installation page. Click on the Get Adobe Reader image above to go to the download page on Adobe.