"A Newf For All Reasons "
April 2004 AKC Gazette Breed Column
This article first appeared in the April 2004 AKC Gazette and is reprinted with permission.
by Marget Johnson
It’s Spring, and Newfoundland lovers from all over the world will be gathering with their dogs at a 5-day event that features A Newf for All Reasons: to love, to work, to show, to serve. This is the theme of the 2004 Newfoundland Club of America National Specialty to be held April 20 through 24 at the Lake Lawn Resort in Delevan, WI. Anticipating an entry of over 600 Newfoundlands, the celebration, hosted by the North Central Regional Newfoundland Club, will include conformation competition, two obedience trials, two draft tests, an agility trial, a Top 20 conformation competition and a Top 10 obedience demonstration - plus an Honors & Rescue parade, working and service/therapy dog displays, a cardiology clinic, and a judges’ education seminar.
The large puppy classes, the stud dog/brood bitch classes, and the 3-generation Maturity classes give the serious breeder a unique opportunity to evaluate the progeny of many different stud dogs and brood bitches. Equally, the National is the place for breeders to showcase their best. Most importantly, the National is the place to see how the Newfoundland breed is doing – what’s improving, what needs work.
The site of the National, Lake Lawn Resort, offers 275 wooded acres along the shore of Lake Delevan. Online and fax room reservations are accepted beginning March 1. Check out the resort website at www.lakelawnresort.com.
The many events are spread over 5 days, beginning on Tuesday with an obedience trial, an agility trial, and the Welcome Reception. Wednesday is dedicated to Sweepstakes and an obedience trial, plus a decorative carting parade. Thursday begins with a draft test, and judging of regular dog classes, brace and team classes, stud dog and brood bitch classes, and the maturity classes. The day concludes with the Top 20/Top10 event. Friday begins with a draft test, and judging of regular bitches classes. A Fine Arts auction and raffle provides the evening’s entertainment. Saturday morning opens with Junior Showmanship classes, followed by Best of Breed competition. All competition will be outdoors, and this lake-side site can be cold, rainy and windy, so dress warm and be prepared for damp weather. On the plus side, the Newfs love it! Detailed daily schedules and committee contacts can be found at the host club’s website: www.northcentralnewf.org.
The NCA Judges Education Committee will host a two-day breed seminar on Thursday and Friday, including ringside mentoring and hands-on evaluation. This is a unique opportunity to see some excellent Newfoundlands and to hear from breed mentors what is most important about judging our breed. Judges interested in participating should contact me.
If you can’t attend the National, or even if you do attend but want a different view of the dogs in competition, order the professionally-produced videotape. This is an invaluable record of the dogs in competition. I invariably miss some of the classes while grooming dogs, and the videotape is actually better than being there.
To the dedicated Newfoundland fancier, the National isn’t just about winning – it’s also about learning and sharing. Please join us!- M.J.