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"To err is human, to forgive, canine."

Author Unknown
 



 

Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a large, usually black, breed of dog originally used as a working dog in Newfoundland. They are known for their sweet dispositions, loyalty, and natural water rescue tendencies. The Newfoundland dog excels at water rescue, due partly to their webbed feet and amazing swimming abilities. Newfoundland dogs require grooming at least once every two weeks. Extremely loving and patient, as puppies Newfoundlands are laid-back and considered easy to housebreak.

Appearance
Newfoundlands ("Newfs") have webbed feet and a water-resistant coat. Males weigh 60–70 kg (130–150 lb), and females 45–55 kg (120–140 lb), placing them in the "large" weight range. Some Newfs have been known to weigh over 90 kg (200 lb). The largest Newfoundland on record weighed 260 pounds (120 kg) and measured over 6 feet from nose to tail. They may grow up to 22-27 inches tall at the shoulder.

American Kennel Club (AKC) standard colors of the Newfoundland are black, brown, gray and landseer (black head and white and black body); The Kennel Club (TKC) permits only black, brown and landseer; and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) permits only black and landseer. The Landseer is named after the artist Sir Edwin Landseer, who featured them in many of his paintings. AKC, CKC and TKC all treat Landseer as part of the breed. Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) consider the Landseer to be a separate breed; others consider it only a Newfoundland color variation.

Temperament
International Kennel clubs generally describe the breed as having a sweet temperament. They are often referred to as the "gentle giant." They have deep barks, are easy to train, are fine guardians and watchdogs, and are extremely good with children.

Health
There are several health problems associated with Newfoundlands. Newfoundlands are prone to Hip dysplasia (a malformed ball and socket in the hip joint), Elbow dysplasia, and cystinuria (a hereditary defect that forms calculi stones in the bladder). Another genetic problem is subvalvular aortic stenosis, also referred to as subaortic stenosis or SAS. This is a common heart defect in Newfoundlands involving defective heart valves. SAS can cause sudden death at an early age.

History
The breed originated in Newfoundland from a breed indigenous to the island, that later became known as the St. John's Dog. The speculation they may be partly descended from the big black bear dogs introduced by the Vikings in 1001 A.D. is based more in romance than in fact. It is more likely that their size results from the introduction of large mastiffs, brought to the island by many generations of Portuguese fishermen, who had been fishing the Grand Banks of Newfoundland since the 1400s.

 

Newfoundland
Nicknames: Newf, Newfie
Country of origin:
Newfoundland (pre-confederation with Canada)


By the time colonization was permitted in 1610, the distinct physical characteristics and mental attributes had been established in the breed. In the early 1880s fishermen from Ireland and England traveled to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland, where there they described two main types of working dog: one more heavily built, large with a longish coat, whereas the other was lighter in build, an active, smooth-coated water dog. The heavier one was the Newfoundland and the other was the known as the Lesser St. John's Dog, the forerunner of the Labrador Retriever. The dogs were used in similar ways to pull fishnets and heavy equipment.

Rescues
During the Discovery Channel's second day of coverage of the AKC Eukanuba National Championship on December 3, 2006, anchor Bob Goen reported that Newfoundlands exhibit a very strong propensity to rescue people from water. Goen stated that one Newfoundland alone once aided the rescue of 63 shipwrecked sailors. Today, Kennel Clubs across the United States host Newfoundland Rescue Demonstrations, as well as offering classes in the field.

In 1832, Ann Harvey of Isle aux Morts, her father, and a Newfoundland Dog named Hairy Dog saved over 180 Irish immigrants from the wreck of the brig Despatch.[citation needed]

In the early 1900s, a dog that is thought to have been a Newfoundland saved 92 people who were on a sinking ship in Newfoundland during a blizzard. The dog retrieved a rope thrown out into the turbulent waters by those on deck, and brought the rope to shore to people waiting on the beach. A breaches buoy was attached to the rope, and all those aboard the ship were able to get across to the shore.

An unnamed Newfoundland is also credited for saving Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. During his famous escape from exile on the island of Elba, rough seas knocked Napoleon overboard. A fisherman's dog jumped into the sea, and kept Napoleon afloat until he could reach safety.

Further evidence of Newfoundlands' ability to rescue or support life saving activities was cited in a recent article by the BBC.