Newfoundland Dog Owner’s Guide

Newfoundland (dog), breed of working dog, that originated in Newfoundland from the crossbreeding of native strains with foreign breeds, the latter possibly the Great Pyrenees or the boarhound.

Most pedigree Newfoundlands of today are descended from dogs bred in England. The male is about 71 cm (28 in) high at the shoulder and weighs from 64 to 68 kg (140 to 150 lb); the female stands 66 cm (26 in) high and weighs from 50 to 54 kg (110 to 120 lb).

The Newfoundland has a broad, massive head; small, deeply set, dark-brown eyes; small ears lying close to the head; a deep chest; a dense, water-resistant double coat, usually dull black in color; and a broad, strong tail. The feet are large, strong, and webbed, for traversing marshlands and shores. Powerful swimmers, Newfoundlands are known to have rescued human beings from drowning and to have carried lifelines from shore to ships in distress. Today they are used primarily as watchdogs and companions, but they were once used to draw carts and carry burdens. Because of their loyalty, intelligence, and tractability, Newfoundland dogs are ideal pets.

“Newfoundland (dog),” Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2004 © 1997-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

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So would a Newfoundland dog suit your family?

Let’s take a look at some more statistics and characteristics of this breed:

The Newfoundland is a large, solid dog, weighing in at 100 to 150 pounds. These gentle giants stand 26 to 28 inches tall at the shoulder. A Newfoundland is known for its waterproof double coat, which comes in black, brown, gray, or black and white. Most dogs have deep chocolate brown eyes, but a few have light brown eyes, instead.

The American Kennel Club considers Newfoundlands to be part of the Working Group. These dogs excel in rescue situations and were often owned by lighthouse keepers. Their thick, water repellant double coat and large size combine to make them the ideal dog breed to help with sea rescues.

The sheer size of the Newfoundland makes it a bad choice for apartments or homes with small rooms. However, these dogs are not high strung and do not need excessive amounts of exercise. A fenced yard is usually sufficient. Of course, they still enjoy taking a leisurely evening stroll with their owners.

A Newfoundland must have an excellent temperament to be considered a representative of the breed. Because of their enormous size, these dogs do need to be trained not to jump up as puppies so they do not bowl children over. However, they seem to have an instinctive understanding of how fragile small children and animals are and usually are very careful to avoid injuring them. Newfoundlands will sit regally surveying the world around them, until a child or another dog wants to play. Then, they will happily loose all dignity to romp with their friends.

Because they are so large, Newfoundlands should receive obedience training as puppies. Even though they enjoy pleasing their owners, their sheer size and strength can make training a six month old Newfoundland challenging. Since these dogs enjoy learning and socializing with the other puppies in the class, puppy obedience should be an enjoyable experience.

dogs enjoy learningAny dog weighing in at over 100 pounds eats a lot so be prepared for an increase in your grocery bill if you buy a Newfoundland. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about your puppy’s nutritional needs, as these big dogs will need the right pet vitamins and other nutrients to develop strong bones.

Despite the breed’s long hair, grooming a Newfoundlandis not too time consuming. The coarse hair of the top coat does not mat easily. As long as you can put aside time at least once a week to brush your dog, you should be able to keep his coat looking great. You should also plan to check his nails at least once a month to be sure they do not need to be trimmed.

If you can’t imagine having a dog the size of a small pony, than a Newfoundland may not be the right breed for you. However, if you don’t mind the large size of this breed, you will have a loyal and devoted companion for many years to come.

So, in summary, if you are looking for a family dog that will devote himself to keeping your children from getting into trouble, you may want to buy a Newfoundland. These massive family dogs have an innate desire to rescue people who are in danger and have an incredibly sweet and gentle nature. However, before you buy a Newfoundland puppy, you should consider whether you can care for such a large dog.

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