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black, black & white, brown
very large
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Good with kids:
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Pros Cons
  • great watch and guard dog
  • excellent family companion
  • adores children
  • affectionate and patient
  • heavy shedder
  • requires substantial amount of grooming
  • stubborn
  • doesn't endure heat well

The Newfoundland looks imposing and even somewhat intimidating but this giant from Canada has sensitive and gentle soul. It served as trustworthy assistant for fishermen, as a tireless draft dog and as a loyal companion animal. This sweet and good-natured dog will make a fabulous family pet.

It’s known for sure that the Newfoundland was developed in the Canadian province of the same name in the beginning of the XVII century. From that point opinions of the dogs’ experts about its origin differentiate greatly so the reports about ancestry of the breed represent only the number of pure speculations. Three theories prevail in this dispute. One group of scientists claims that the breed gradually appeared as the result of multiple crossing the Tibetan Mastiff and the now-extinct American Black Wolf. Another speculation assumes that the breed is a direct descendent of the Viking’s dogs which they left behind during their visit to the New World in the I A.D. Later on these dogs were mixed with Canadian wolves and became known as the Newfoundland. The last suggestion concludes that the breed gradually evolved from numerous crosses of the European breeds around XV and XVI century. The list of the most probable candidates includes the Pyrenean Sheep Dog, the Mastiff, and the Portuguese Water dog.

Initially the Newfoundland was used to pull out of water and into the shore fisherman’s tackle. Additionally the part of its duties on board was to retrieve stuff that fell off boats. Gradually it deserved the reputation of a wonderful rescue dog and it still does exceptionally well in this role. Its sturdy build, thick, waterproof coat and webbed feet made it capable of enduring the icy waters off the coast of Newfoundland region. On land the Newfoundland was used as a tireless cart dragger, as a ferocious guardian for farmer’s houses and as a faithful companion dog. This multipurpose dog quickly reached other countries and gradually acquired small but steady following throughout the United States, Canada as well as Europe.

The Newfoundland faced the threat of extinction in the 80s of the XVIII century when the Canadian rulers imposed taxes on the families that kept even one dog. The breed owes its survival to some committed breeders and common people. For example, Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-1873) was a dedicated fan of the breed and oftentimes depicted it in his paintings. The white and black variety of the Newfoundland was granted the name Landseer after this painter. The great contribution in the breed’s revival also made Honourable Harold MacPherson (1884-1963), governor of Newfoundland who kept exclusively this dog. The American Kennel Club (AKC) recognised the breed in 1879.

In the present days the Newfoundland predominantly serves as companion dog but it’s still highly preferred for search and rescue operations and actively participates in obedience competitions, draft and water trials events.

The Newfoundland is usually depicted as a good-natured, gentle and patient dog. It tends to be very faithful and loving with all members of its family but it shows special affection and care towards children. For its patience with kids it deserved the nickname «the nanny dog». Nevertheless the imposing size of this dog purports that it can accidently traumatize a toddler during their play or simply knock it over so it’s important to never leave them one-on-one.

As a highly intelligent and watchful dog the Newfoundland is able to become an intimidating watchdog. At the same time this dog is capable of discerning the differences between a friend and a foe and will be polite and accepting with people who it recognises. It is not prone to use its deep, sonorous voice without a pressing necessity but its booming sounding can scare off any possible intruder. This breed will also become an outstanding guard dog, which will rather try to deter the attack of the unwelcomed guest than perform as an aggressor.

The Newfoundland is deprived of any aggressive inclination when things concern other animals. If the dog has been introduced to the wide variety of the situations (strange sounds, other canines, cats, etc) since its puppyhood then it will grow up into a responsible and polite member of society. This dog is quite friendly with its counterparts though some fights over the alpha status may arise at the initial meeting (especially between specimens of the same sex). The home cat can be easy in its mind in the presence of the well-socialised Newfoundland.

Health Problems
The most common problems for the breed include:

• tumors;
• heart problems;
• elbow dysplasia;
• canine hip dysplasia.

The proper grooming of the Newfoundland will become quite a challenge for an inexperienced dog owner. Its huge size and dense double coat purport that its master should by all means brush it every single day. Its fur is highly apt to matting so it’s essential to work out any appearing matts or tangles timely and thoroughly. The owner should never brush its dog when it’s fully dry since it will produce a great deal of static electricity. It would be wise to slightly dampen the dog’s hair or use special grooming spray before brushing procedure.

Bathing should be applied as rarely as possible and its coat needs to be free from the remainders of the soap when you are done with washing. The Newfoundland sheds in impressive amounts and will blow off most of its lavish hair when the season changes. During these periods you are going to encounter a thick layer of the dog’s hair all over your furniture, carpets and clothing. So if you are a meticulously tidy person then this dog is definitely not for you.

The Newfoundland’s training usually becomes rather an endeavour since this animal is remarkably stubborn by nature. In order to achieve maximum results with the dog your lessons should be short, fun and captivating. The best motivator for it is food and it’s crucial to use plentiful of the dog’s favourite treats during a training session.

This dog should recognise the dominative position of the human at an early age since it can turn out to be a daunting task to assert your leadership to a 70kg mature obstinate dog. Rough-housing is totally unacceptable with the Newfoundland and it may lead only to demonstration of extreme wilfulness and even aggression in the dog’s behaviour.

The Newfoundland is not only a gentle giant but also somewhat lazy giant. This purports that it requires moderate amount of physical activity in order to feel itself quite satisfied. Its owner should take it for daily walk of an hour long. This dog craves nothing more than to swim at its heart content in some local pond so it would be nice to provide it such an opportunity from time to time.

The Newfoundland can’t stand summer heat due to the obvious reason and greatly favours a colder climate. This breed will become an excellent choice for those who are looking for the dog with pleasant and friendly temperament and but who are not afraid of thought of extra cleaning required after each walking with this dog.