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Training with Other Newfoundlands
Since the greatest distraction for most dogs is another dog, you should definitely do everything you can to train in the company of others, even if your only training goal is to have a well-behaved family pet.
Training classes offered by local kennel clubs and grooming/boarding operations are a great place to start in this regard, but what if you want to go further?
What if you want to train with other folks who don’t object to large hairy beasts flinging drool? (Take enough training classes, and you’ll start to see some people who make a point of keeping their distance from you and your Newf – it’s not personal, but a function of your Newf’s size and slobber.) This is where your regional Newfoundland club becomes an asset that simply cannot be duplicated anywhere else.
While there are aspects of training that apply to all dogs regardless of breed, it’s also the case there’s no substitute for training with people who have experience with your own breed; these veteran trainers will know the issues and the quirks, and can help you understand what is “normal” when training Newfoundlands. Even long-time professional dog trainers may have limited experience with giant breeds, so working with your fellow Newf owners can provide insights – and reassurances – that you won’t find elsewhere.
This is particularly true if you are interested in learning more about, or participating in, working dog events. Few professional trainers have experience with draft work (cart pulling), and even fewer will know the particulars of training for water work. While your dog can learn basic commands that are essential for those events, eventually you will need to work with people who understanding harnessing and hitching and how to train for maneuvering a cart through an obstacle course, and it is simply impossible to train for water work without the assistance of other Newf owners. (If you’re lucky you may know someone who owns another working breed and does draft training, but water rescue work is unique to the Newfoundland breed.)
The best way to get involved in Newf-specific training, and a great way to meet other Newf-oriented dog owners, is through your regional Newfoundland club. While there are a few parts of the country without a regional club, the chances are very good that one exists for your area, and there is no better resource for learning about Newfoundlands and their training, and for meeting people who share your love of this wonderful breed.
The NCA is the parent organization of a large number of regional clubs. The regional clubs are independent of the NCA but are a great source of information for both the prospective puppy buyer and the new owner. Most of the individuals in these clubs are very dedicated to the betterment of the Newfoundland and are willing to spend a lot of time answering questions.
The regional clubs also provide a place for new owners to get together and share problems and solutions. They are also places to provide good times in the company of your Newfs.
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