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Other Names: New Fie
Dog Group Kennel Club: Working (AKC, KC)
The Newfoundland is a large, muscular dog renowned for its gentle nature. Their ears are long, broad, shaggy, and hang to below the bottom of the jaw, they have a long tail the curves naturally at the end. Originally bred to aid fishermen the Newfoundland has powerful hindquarters, a large lung capacity, large webbed feet, and a heavy, oily coat all contribute to the dog’s ability to swim and to withstand cold waters. They have a very strong instinct to rescue anything or anyone, in the water and retrieve it to safety.
Their coat is water-repellent and very long, dense, and lush. Colours include solid black, bronze, or come in patches of black and white (called landseer).
Weight: 100 – 150 lbs
Average Life Span: 8 – 10 years
Known as one of the friendliest breeds the Newfoundland is often referred to as a gentle giant. They are very docile, and get on well with children and other animals making them a great family pet. They are protective of children, make good guard dogs and need to be included in as much family activity as possible to avoid boredom.
The Newfoundland is an intelligent dog that requires consistent but gentle training.
The grooming needs of this large dog are demanding. They should be brushed daily Avoid bathing unless necessary as it will strip away his natural coat’s oils. Instead use dry shampoo.
Puppies should have all exercise monitored while it is still growing to ensure that no damage occurs to the bones and joints. Adult Newfoundland require long daily walks to keep them happy and healthy. They love water, swimming being one of their favourite forms of exercise Because of their size and their thick coats, it is important to take extra care during hot weather that they do not suffer from heat exhaustion.
Newfoundland Health Issues
Bloat (gastric torsion), though not a hereditary condition, frequently many breeds including the newfoundland. This is a very serious condition. When a dog bloats, the stomach can turn and block, causing a build up of gas. Unless treated quickly, bloat can be fatal. Signs of bloat include futile attempts to vomit and to salivate. Bloat, which may lead to cardiovascular collapse, usually occurs when exercise too closely follows eating. The incidence of bloat may be lessened by feeding adult dogs twice a day and, of course, by allowing a dog time to digest before taking him for a run in the park. Click Here for more information
Hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Elbow Dysplasia : Due perhaps to improper development (different growth rates) of the three bones making up the elbow, the joint is lax or loose and in mildly affected dogs leads to painful arthritis. Treatments involve surgical correction if possible, or medical management using aspirin and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Hypothyroidism, an endocrine disease that results in the abnormally low production of thyroid hormones. The symptoms of hypothyroidism include lethargy, mental depression, weight gain and a tendency to seek out warm places. Hypothyroidism can also affect the coat and skin, causing hair loss and excessive dandruff.
Von Williebrand’s Disease (vWD) – is an autosomally (not sex-linked) inherited bleeding disorder with a prolonged bleeding time (somewhat similar to hemophilia in humans) and a mild to severe factor IX deficiency. A DNA test for vWD is now available. Carrier-to-carrier breedings, in theory, will produce puppies that are 25% clear, 50% carriers, and 25% affected. Ideally, only clear-to-clear or clear-to-carrier should occur, so that no puppies will be affected. Not all dogs that are vWD affected will have severe bleeding problems, but they ARE at risk whenever they need to have surgery or have an accident. Some unlucky affected dogs will actually bleed out from a needle stick or minor wound.
Cystinuria: Cystine, an amino acid, is one of the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are part of a normal canine diet and are absorbed through the gut. Although they are filtered in the kidney, amino acids are normally reabsorbed by special kidney transporters and are not lost in the urine. In dogs with cystinuria, the cystine transporters in the kidney are defective. Cystinuric dogs often show signs of a recurrent urinary tract disorder. Clinical signs may start at almost any age. Affected dogs may have problems with urination. They may produce blood-tinged urine and pass calculi (kidney stones), or they may be unable to void urine despite numerous attempts. The urethra can become fully blocked, this can be fatal and veterinary care immediately needed.
Cataracts: As with humans, dogs can get cataracts, but the presence of cataracts in young dogs, called juvenile cataracts, have a hereditary foundation. Cataracts are diagnosed by means of an ophthalmoscopic exam. If the dog is in good health, cataracts can be surgically removed with usually good results.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): is a family of diseases all involving the gradual deterioration of the retina. It is diagnosed by a retinoscopic exam or by means of an electroretinogram (ERG). Early in the disease, affected dogs become nightblind and lack the ability to see in dim light; later on daytime vision also fails. As their vision deteriorates, affected dogs adapt to their handicap very well, as long as their environment remains constant. Certain breeds are affected early in life, whereas in other breeds, PRA develops much later in onset.
The Newfoundland (named after it’s location in Canada) aided fishermen by hauling fishing nets out to sea and back to the boat. They were also known to jump overboard to rescue people, and bark to warn of reefs. They are strong swimmers, and can retrieve people and boats in turbulent waters. They are also used to carry goods between ships. There are many legends of Newfoundlands saving drowning victims by carrying lifelines to sinking ships. The dogs were kept in the “dog walk” on early sailing ships. If the sea was too choppy when land was sighted, the dog carried a line to land. The origin of this working breed is disputed. Some believe they evolved from the American Black Wolf (now extinct) or from the Tibetan Mastiff believed to have entered into North America from Asia. Other state that the Newfoundland developed from dogs transported to the New World and left by Vikings in 1000 A.D. with speculation that these dogs may have interbred and crossbred with the native wolves. The final theory is that they were a mixture between fifteenth and sixteenth century European explorer’s dogs. Perhaps the crossbreeding between Mastiffs, Pyrenean Sheep Dogs and Portuguese Water Dogs resulted in the Newfoundland.
During the 19th century, the breed became a European status symbol and at one time, Newfoundland dogs were the most popular import to Great Britain. The Newfoundland breed was used to re-establish the Alpine rescue dogs at the Hospice of St. Bernard after their numbers were decimated by a distemper epidemic. In Britain, the black-and-white variety became known as the “Landseer” after the famous artist who featured the breed in his painting.