Newfoundland dog – the big dog and the sea
Imposing, cuddly and incredibly gentle, the Newfoundland dog, which reminds most people of a bear, is, in fact, a lovable philanthropist. To give him a suitable home, you need lots of space and should make sure that you have enough attention for your cuddly Canadian friend. Moreover, if you live by the sea or near a body of water you may have discovered the ideal four-legged friend with the Newfoundland dog.
Viking ships and fishing boats
Thousands of years ago Vikings landed on the coast of Newfoundland, accompanied by large bear dogs. Some remained on the island after the departure of the Nordic seafarers and following this they met the dogs of the Native Americans. The next settlers appeared in the 17th century and they too had animal companions with them. Mixing these dogs with the offspring of the Vikings’ dogs gave rise to a bear like dog, a powerhouse that did great things as a sled and a working dog on fishing boats. Water has since remained their niche, and legend has it that a Newfoundland dog once saved Napoleon from drowning when he fled Elba.
Character of the Newfoundland
In a Newfoundland dog, you have the true character of an angel on four paws, known for their brilliant naturedness, peacefulness and patience. The incredibly hard working dog also has a calm and balanced nature, is normally always child friendly and has a very pronounced rescue drive. With good reason, Newfoundland dogs are coveted workers as water rescue dogs. In addition, they are extremely affectionate and always in need of love. They are a cuddly bear that ties themselves very closely to their people and always wants to be around them.
Raising and keeping the Newfoundland dog
The massive Newfoundlander does not feel comfortable in an apartment where they don’t have much room to move. This is because they come in a very large 71cm shoulder height on average for males and 66cm for females. For the species appropriate keeping on one of these beasts, a lot of space and time is required for the animal to gain sufficient exercise and employment. However, even a beginner can succeed when it comes to raising a Newfoundlander as all that is required is a little consistency and a lot of empathy. Neglect and other behavioural negligence can lead to problems. Built into their ancestry is a need to be challenged physically and intellectually by the weather, so on hot days make sure the dog always has access to shade and an opportunity to cool down.
Caring for the Newfoundlander
You guessed it: due to its special, lush coat of hair, grooming is very complex for the Newfoundlander. Careful care is also important because neglected Newfoundland fur develops an unpleasant smell. The dog often has to be combed and brushed to avoid matting. Pay special attention to the chest, ears and inside of the elbows. You should only bathe the Newfoundland dog in exceptional cases and for cleaning purposes you should absolutely use a moisturizing bath additive in order not to damage the protective film typical of the breed. Due to their size and rapid growth, the animals tend to have hip and elbow dysplasia. Heart problems can also occur. The life expectancy of a healthy Newfoundland dog is on average ten years.
- Breed: Newfoundland dog
- Origin: Canada
- Classification: Molossoids, Pinscher, Schnauzer
- Size: Male 60-74cm shoulder height. Female 63-69cm shoulder height
- Weight: Male60-70kg. Female 45-55kg
- Physique: Large, strong, bear like, massive body with hanging long tail
- Eyes: Almond shaped dark brown
- Ears: Triangular and close-fitting, relatively small rounded tip
- Fur and colour: moderately long, dense fur with a soft undercoat, colour black and white, brown or black
- Particularities: Water-repellent grease film in the fur
- Character: Intelligent, good natured, fond of children, protective and rescue instinct, affectionate and in need of love
- Maintenance: comb and brush frequently, rarely bathe