The Great Pyrenees has functioned historically as a livestock guardian. While not it’s historic function, the versatility of the Great Pyrenees to accomplish added tasks like drafting builds teamwork for today’s owners and their dogs. The Great Pyrenees Club of America Draft Test is a series of exercises designed to develop a working capacity involving hauling. The specific components of the test include:

  1. Basic Control (obedience): ensuring the dogs are under handler control.
    Before hitching, basic obedience commands comparable to those required for an AKC CD title are tested. Specifically, these are the heel exercises, and a recall.
  2. Harness and Hitch: willingness to be harnessed and hitched to a draft rig.
  3. Practical Draft Work: demonstrating handler and dog teamwork on a maneuvering course, which include left and right turns, circles, backing up, change of speed, going through narrows, greeting strangers, waiting while moveable obstacle is removed/replaced, picking up/dropping off a load, and working through distractions.
  4. Freight Load: demonstrating a willingness and ability to pull the loaded cart.
  5. Group Stay: immediately before the Freight Haul, the hitched dogs complete a ‘stay’ exercise, as in the AKC Obedience Regulations.
  6. Distance Freight Haul: hauling a weighted cart for a half-mile over a mixed terrain.

The judges assess the ability to perform the assigned tasks and the dogs’ willingness and smoothness of performance. A dog that effectively completes the task within a reasonable time period and without physical assistance should be scored as passed if it has performed willingly. Dogs must work on a loose leash.

Passing the test qualifies for a Draft Dog title. Titles include Novice, Open, Advanced, and Master for both single dogs and braces.

The requirements for both the handler and the dog are defined in the GPCA Draft Dog Test Regulations (PDF).

Judy Skorup, Chair, jaskorup@hotmail.com