Newfoundland Dog Breed information
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. They are very loyal to their families and possess natural water rescue tendencies.
Newfoundlands ("Newfies" or "Newfs") have webbed feet and a water-resistant coat. Males weigh 60–70 kg (130–150 lb), and females 45–55 kg (100–120 lb), placing them in the "giant" weight range. Some Newfies have been known to weigh over 70 kg (over 160 lb).
Most Newfies are black. AKC standard colors of the Newfoundland are black, brown, gray and landseer (black head and white and black body). The Landseer is named after the artist Sir Edwin Landseer, who featured them in many of his paintings. Some kennel clubs consider the Landseer to be a separate breed; others consider it simply a Newfoundland color variation.
The official AKC breed description says "Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland; this is the most important single characteristic of the breed.". They are nicknamed the "Gentle Giant" and "Nature's babysitter." They are protective of children.
Relative to other breeds, Newfoundland puppies, especially older puppies, tend to be calm. Newfoundlands take up to three years to reach full maturity. They have deep barks, but are not good guard dogs. They have been known to grieve when separated from their families. Their large size makes them difficult to keep in many living situations.
The breed originated in Newfoundland from dogs indigenous to the island, and the big black bear dogs introduced by the Vikings in 1001 A.D. With the advent of European fisherman, a variety of new breeds helped to shape and re-invigorate the breed, but the essential characteristics of the Newfoundland dog remained. By the time of colonization was permitted in 1610, the distinct physical characteristics and mental attributes had been established in the breed for all time. In the early 1880s fishermen from Ireland and England traveled to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland where there were two 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 Labrador Retriever or the St. Johns breed of Newfoundland. The dogs were used in similar ways to pull fishnets and heavy equipment.
During the Discovery Channel's second day of coverage of the AKC Eukanuba National Championship on December, 03, 2006, anchor Bob Goen reported that Newfoundlands exhibit a very strong propensity to rescue people from water. Goen stated that 1 Newfoundland alone once aided the rescue of 63 shipwrecked sailors.
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, sub-aortic stenosis (a heart condition) and cystinuria (a hereditary defect that forms calculi stones in the bladder).
"The man they had got now was a jolly, light-hearted, thick-headed sort of a chap, with about as much sensitiveness in him as there might be in a Newfoundland puppy. You might look daggers at him for an hour and he would not notice it, and it would not trouble him if he did." Jerome K. Jerome Three Men in a Boat
"Near this spot are deposited the remains of one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man, without his Vices. This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery if inscribed over human ashes, is but a just tribute to the Memory of Boatswain, a Dog." George Gordon, Lord Byron about his Newfoundland.
"Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy and a child, or else there will be no profit in boarding a Newfoundland." Josh Billings
"A man is not a good man to me because he will feed me if I should be starving, or warm me if I should be freezing, or pull me out of a ditch if I should ever fall into one. I can find you a Newfoundland dog that will do as much." Henry David Thoreau Walden
Breed information on other dog breeds:
Text Source: Wikipedia
Thanks to Darren Eland for the pictures of Newfoundlands used on this page.