So, you want to buy a Newfoundland! First of all, read the overview of the characteristics and qualities of a Newfoundland. Remember that these are BIG dogs. Then, read over and think about the pros and cons of owning a Newfoundland. An informed pet owner is a good pet owner.
Here is a brief history on the breed, as well as an overview of the characteristics and qualities of the Newfoundland:
This breed of working dog originated in Newfoundland. It is believed to have come from the crossbreeding of local species with foreign breeds. The Great Pyrenees and the boarhound are believed to have been bred into the lineage of this breed. The standard full-bred (papered or pedigreed) modern day Newfoundland is usually related to lines of dogs that can be traced back to breedings in England.
A male should stand approximately 28 in high at the shoulder and will weigh from140 to 150 lb; the female should stand 26 in high at the shoulder and will weigh from110 to 120 lb.
The Newfoundland’s head is wide and substantial. A standard Newfoundland possesses deep-set brown eyes. The Newfoundland has small ears that lie close to its head. This breed of dog has an impressive barrel chest. Its double coat is dense and water-resistant. Newfoundlands are usually black. A Newfoundland will have a wide, brawny tail. The Newfoundland’s feet are webbed, for navigating bogs, swamps, marshlands, wetlands, and shores.
Newfoundlands have a history of heroism. They have been recorded over and over again in history for rescuing human beings from drowning. These dogs have carried support from shorelines to sinking ships. At one point in time, English lifeguards will required to keep a pair of Newfoundlands at their sites at all times.
Newfoundlands are now used primarily as watchdogs and companions. In the past, their great strength was called upon to pull carts and carry weight. Modern day Newfies are still used to aide in lifeguarding in some areas of the world.
These are some of the pros of owning a Newfoundland:
The Newfoundland is famous for his gentleness, protectiveness and love of children. (Nana in the original Peter Pan was a Newfoundland.)
The soothing nature of the Newfoundland has been found to have an excellent effect on the behavior of hyperactive children.
The Newfoundland is protective of home and family. They are famous for their powerful lifeguard instincts and have numerous documented rescues to their credit.
The grown Newfoundland does not require a great deal of exercise, but can participate in strenuous hiking, camping, and of course, swimming activities with its owners. Some regular exercise is a must however, as this breed can get overweight. Newfies have a short life span (8-10 years) so a daily walk can safeguard a Newf against obesity and even earlier death.
Here are a few of the cons of owning a Newfoundland:
They drool. Be advised that when a Newfoundland puts its head into your lap, you may be left with a damp lap.
They shed. The undercoat (blowing- coat) is shed at least once per year and owners have reported brushing out piles of hair as large or almost larger than the Newfies being groomed! Shedding is worst in the spring, but generally occurs in the fall, as well.
Newfies have short life spans. These dogs only live an average of 8 to 10 years.
Newfies can be prone to three major health problems. These are obesity, hip dysplasia, and a cardiac disease known as sub-aortic stenosis.
For more information on Newfoundlands, contact your American Kennel Association.