Newfoundland Dog Breed Profile

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Description:The Newfoundland is a large, massive dog of immense strength. It is said to be even stronger than such dogs as the Great Dane and English Mastiff. The Newfoundland dog measures 27 to 29 inches at the withers, with the bitch 2 inches less. The male will weigh 130 to 150 (or more) pounds with the female weighing 100 to 120 pounds. The Newfoundland has a long, heavy, water-proof coat that is usually black, but sometimes brown or grey. The feet of this dog are webbed, to aid in swimming, as it is a dog that loves the water. The Newfoundland usually lives for only 8 to 10 years. It is also called the Newf or the Newfie.

History: The Newfoundland had its beginnings in Newfoundland, Canada. It is believed to be descended from an indigenous dog, the St. John's Water Dog, and the black bear dog that the Vikings brought to the New World with them. It is known, that whatever its early ancestry, it did cross with Mastiffs brought over by fishermen from Portugal.
Used to help the fishermen, the Newfoundland would haul in heavy nets and help bring boats to shore. This dog has excelled in rescuing people from the water and is powerful enough to swim in heavy tides and high waves. The Lewis and Clark Expedition was accompanied by Lewis' Newfoundland, Seaman.

Temperament: The Newfoundland is justly famous not only for its strength, but also for its loving and gentle disposition. This is a calm dog that is quiet in the house. The Newfoundland is very good with children, although some care should be exercised because of the dog's great size. It is very loyal and devoted to its family and is easy to train. This dog is not likely to initiate a biting attack with an intruder, but will content itself with holding the person or positioning itself between the intruder and its family. This is a Mastiff breed characteristic. The Newfoundland will get along without problems with other household dogs or other pets.

Health Issues: The Newfoundland can be subject to hip and elbow dysplasia. This breed can also develop bladder stones, which will usually have to be removed surgically. The most serious health problem is subvalvular aortic stenosis, a serious heart condition that can affect even young dogs. As with most large dogs, the Newfoundland can be stricken with bloat. A quiet time after small meals can help prevent this, but if it does occur, the dog must be taken to a veterinarian immediately to save its life.

Grooming: The thick coat of the Newfoundland must be carefully brushed every week. During the spring shed, the heavy undercoat must be brushed out. The volume of hair produced will often be astounding, almost taking up as much space as the dog itself. The dog should not be shampooed as this might remove the oils that contribute to the waterproof coat.

Living Conditions: While it is said that the calm and gentle Newfoundland can live in an apartment, the size of the dog and the fact that it prefers cold temperatures should provoke thought. This dog will probably be best suited to living in a house with a yard. While not the most active dog, the Newf does need daily exercise. This dog bonds strongly with its human friends and does best and is happiest when with its family. A family that enjoys outdoor activities, especially those involving water will probably be the best owners for this dog. Fishermen or hunters or people engaged in winter sports will find this dog a perfect companion.

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