Newfoundland – a dog breed named after the area in which these dogs first appeared. Although the breed is now considered Canadian, in fact, at the time of its appearance, the territory belonged to the Indians, and then the United States. Canada, as a separate country, appeared only later on. At the moment, researchers cannot say exactly how the breed was formed, and which dogs took part in forming it.
There are several theories, none of which has sufficient evidence to be undoubtedly correct. The first theory says that around the 15th – 16th century, as a result of crossing several breeds of dogs, among which, according to dog breeders, were the Pyrenean Sheepdogs, Mastiffs, and Portuguese Water Dogs, the breed that we know today as the Newfoundland was born.
The second theory refers to the times when the Vikings visited these places. It is doubtful but it has the right to exist. The Vikings may have brought dogs with them from their homeland in the 11th century, which subsequently crossed with the local black wolf, now extinct. And the last of the 3 theories available tell us that Newfoundland came about as a result of the cross between the Tibetan Mastiff and the American Black Wolf.
Perhaps there is some truth to each of these theories but the fact that remains is that we have an excellent, big, and kind dog. At the end of the 18th century, the English botanist Sir Joseph Banks bought several individuals of this breed, and in 1775 another person, George Cartwright, gave them an official name for the first time. At the end of the 19th century, a dog enthusiast, Professor Albert Heim from Switzerland, gave the first official definition of this breed, systemized it, and recorded it.
However, by that time Newfoundland was on the verge of extinction, as the Canadian government introduced several restrictions on keeping dogs. Each family was only allowed to have one dog, for which, you had to pay a hefty tax. One of the governors of Newfoundland (the region) by the name of Harold MacPherson, in the 20th century, stated that the Newfoundland is his favorite breed, and provided full support to breeders. The breed was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1879.
The Newfoundland breed is large, with a deep, broad chest, and a powerful, muscular build. The limbs are short in relation to its body. Their tail is long and fluffy. The head is large, the muzzle is square, and the ears hang down on the sides of the head. The coat is long.
The Newfoundland dog breed is like a big nice man. If you have a child, the Newfoundland is a wonderful nanny – smart, big, strong. This breed is aware of being a member of the family because it’s hard for these dogs to go through separation from their loved ones. They are happy when there is an opportunity to spend time with their owner or family members – be it walking, playing, or just being around them.
When this breed feels that he plays an important role in family affairs, he becomes happy. And, on the contrary, if it lives on a chain, or if you spend time with your pet extremely rarely, his character will deteriorate, and he will be unhappy. This breed shows a negative attitude towards a person only if he himself shows any signs of danger or a negative attitude first.
Newfoundland is good with other animals but it is better to socialize them with cats at an early age. Despite its large size, this dog is intelligent, it understands how to behave in different situations, although some work on education is still required. The Newfoundland has a well-developed intellect and understands its owners perfectly. In addition, it is obedient and tries to bring joy to its owners.
They do not tolerate heat well due to their long and thick coat but they tolerate cold very well. For life in an apartment, these animals are not well suited as they are large and shed heavily. And given the length and amount of hair on their body, you can be sure your upholstered furniture will have an additional layer on top of it. Made of dog hair, of course. They are suitable as a family companion, a helper for people with disabilities, and a guard dog.
The Newfoundland breed naturally has a harmonious character but still, like other dogs, it needs education and behavior corrections. There usually are no difficulties in this regard, as these dogs are obedient and kind-hearted. They definitely need to be taught basic commands but as for specialized ones – that depends on your needs and wants.
If you want your pet to perform any specific functions, you can focus on training in this direction. But you must understand that if the dog does not immediately learn the task, this is not a reason to lash out – it will be stubborn, it’s just that sometimes these animals need longer to remember and learn new things. And you just need to be patient, and kind and wait a little.
If you want to get a Newfoundland dog, accept that you will have to thoroughly brush your pet’s coat at least three times a week. Some people even collect this wool, and then knit socks from it – by the way, they are very warm and soft. Always keep the ears and eyes of the animal clean, remove deposits and dirt, and trim the claws three times a month. Bathe your dog once or twice a week.
Here are some diseases that the Newfoundland is prone to:
- Addison’s disease;
- Cherry eye;
- Subvalvular aortic stenosis;
- Hip dysplasia;
- Elbow dysplasia;
- Gastric torsion – also called bloating;
- Torn anterior cruciate ligament.