Draft Tests are a series of exercises designed to develop and demonstrate the natural abilities of purebred Bernese Mountain Dogs in a working capacity involving hauling. Bernese historically functioned as draft dogs in various capacities, and performance of these exercises is intended to demonstrate skills resulting from both inherent ability and training that are applicable to realistic work situations. The most important thing to keep in mind is to have fun. Whether you are interested in Draft titles, parades or having your Berner help you around the home, carting should be an experience you both enjoy.
DRAFT TESTS ARE DIVIDED INTO THREE PARTS
This is not designed to be a precise obedience performance but a demonstration of basic responsiveness and control prior to hitching up. A simple obedience style heeling pattern including turns, changes of pace and halts must be executed successfully while maintaining an arm’s length between dog and handler. A recall is also required in this part of the test.
In a large (100 x 100) flat ring and with an empty cart/wagon, the team must negotiate a course that includes turns and circles around obstacles, successfully greeting strangers, loading and unloading its draft rig, and navigating a narrow area that is twelve inches wider than the widest part of the cart. The dog must back a distance of one foot in Novice Draft or four feet in Open Draft, success
Group Stay And Freight Haul:
The three-minute group stay is performed in the ring while hitched to loaded carts. Novice Draft handlers remain in the ring and the Open Draft handlers go outof-sight. Following the stay the teams leave the ring for a halfmile freight haul, which traverses the natural terrain of the area, ideally including uphill and downhill slopes and changes of terrain. Teams demonstrate their ability to pull
Eight Draft Titles Can Be Earned Through The BMDCA