The Newfoundland is a large dog breed developed in the Canadian province - the island of Newfoundland. They were bred to work with fishermen of that area. The Newfoundland is a dog of great size and strength, with water-resistant double coat and webbed feet. Thanks to all these characteristics, the Newfoundland is excellent on land and at sea. The dog was used to pull carts, save victims of shipwrecks, pull children from deep water, and help fishermen haul in heavy nets. First Newfoundland was shown in England in 1860, and ever since, these dogs became crazy popular and were a required part of the "equipment" on lifeguard stations along the coast of England.
FUN FACT: The Newfoundland saved the life of Napoleon Bonaparte when he fell into the dark sea on his return to France after escaping the exile on the island of Elba, in 1815.
Male Newfoundland dog stands 28 inches tall and weighs about 130-150 pounds (59 to 68 kilograms). Females are slightly smaller at 26 inches tall and at about 100-120 pounds (45 to 54 kilograms).
The Newfoundland has a flat, water-resistant double coat that can come in solid black, brown, grey or Landseer (black and white).
FUN FACT: Landseer is a name for black and white Newfoundland dogs. These dogs are named after a painter, Sir Edwin Landseer who, in the 1800s, painted numerous works that featured black and white Newfoundland dogs.
They shed moderately year-round so make sure to brush your Newfie regularly, not just to control the amount of dead hair around your house, but to prevent mats and tangles. In spring and fall, they shed heavily so during this time brushing needs to be a daily ritual. Newfies drool and slobber a lot, especially after eating or drinking, so a smart thing to do is to carry around a hand towel to wipe your dog’s mouth as needed. Because these dogs love water and love to be wet, check their ears regularly, and make sure they are clean and dry to help prevent ear infections. Bathe your dog, trim his nails, and brush his teeth as needed.
The Newfoundland is intelligent, loyal, sweet-natured dog with calm temperament. The Newfoundland is the happiest when it is around its family, especially if there are children. Probably the most famous Newfoundland is Nana, the canine nursemaid in Peter Pan, which symbolizes this breed’s love of children and represents breed’s life-saving instincts. The Newfoundland is a friendly dog, but very protective of his family. This breed can suffer from separation anxiety (that leads to destructiveness) if left alone too much and too often.
FUN FACT: A Newfoundland named Brumus was a “nanny dog”, helping Senator and Mrs. Robert F. Kennedy look after their 11 children.
The adult Newfoundland does not require a great deal of exercise. Moderate everyday exercise will be enough for a Newfoundland to stay healthy and satisfied. They are working dogs and enjoy outdoor activities, especially swimming. Newfie will lie in water whenever he gets the chance. Take it easy with exercise the first two years of your Newfoundland’s life. This is a period of rapid growth of these dogs, their growth plates are still forming, and hard exercise can damage them. These dogs thrive in cold climates and do not like it when it’s too hot outside. When it is really hot, keep your Newfoundland near air conditioning.
The Newfoundland needs to be socialized. Socialization is essential to prevent a Newfie from becoming overly shy, suspicious or fearful of anything new or different. Usually they go along with other animals and are easy to train, but because of their strong temperament, some Newfoundlands, especially young males, are very willful and require a firm hand to train them. Females are more willing to please.
Much like any other giant, the life span of a Newfoundland dog is sadly short, around 9 or 10 years. They are also prone to develop some serious health conditions during their lifetime. Newfoundlands are prone to hip dysplasia (read more about hip dysplasia here), elbow dysplasia, Addison's Disease (condition caused by an insufficient production of adrenal hormones by the adrenal gland), cataracts, cherry eyes, bloat (you can read more about bloat here), Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (heart problem caused by a narrow connection between the left ventricle and the aorta that can cause fainting and even sudden death), Cystinuria (a genetic kidney defect that leads to the formation of bladder stones that are very difficult to manage with diet or medication and often requires surgery both to remove the stones from the bladder and to repair urinary blockages), epilepsy, etc.
“A man is not a good man to me because he will feed me if I should be starving, or warm me if I should be freezing, or pull me out of a ditch if I should ever fall into one. I can find you a Newfoundland dog that will do as much.” - Henry David Thoreau
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