Also known as the Newfoundland Retriever, the Newfoundland is one of the giant dog breeds that exists. Its origin has a lot to do precisely with the Canadian island of Newfoundland, although we know that it was not there, but was introduced by European settlers in the form of their ancestors.
It seems to have a common past with the St. Bernard, with the Spaniel and probably with other mastiffs because of its characteristics, even if all this is more of a hypothesis than a real knowledge.
There are many myths surrounding the breed, and in ‘ Pets Feed ‘ we will explain what is its true history and many other details that you should know if you are considering adopting this wonderful guard dog, such as its character, physical characteristics or their care needs.
When he is a puppy, he looks like teddy bears, but this stage does not last long, because he grows very quickly. It can be black, brown or black and white (called Landseer).
Find out in ‘ Pets Feed ‘ everything about the Newfoundland dog:
It is not certain that the Newfoundland dog is not from the Canadian region of the same name. However, this island already sheltered its inhabitants and dogs resembling wolves in the 15th century.
These dogs were used for hunting and transportation. When the European colonizers began to occupy the island, they only stayed with the most obedient and helpful dogs.
The surviving dog breed was mixed with other specimens that arrived on the island through merchants, and their descendants had to learn to seek life. Over the years, a type of dog that may resemble that of Newfoundland has started to emerge.
At the beginning of the 18th century, stories about extraordinary dogs capable of carrying heavy loads and helping fishermen came to Europe. This is how the breeding of these specimens began to develop on the Old Continent.
Newfoundland dog physical characteristics
Without a doubt, the main characteristic of the Newfoundland dog is its large size. It is one of the largest breeds of dogs known, strong and heavy, very muscular and powerful, but this dog rarely shows his power, because at the same time, he is very soft and kind.
Its body is longer than it is tall, but at the same time compact, straight at the top and wide at the back and back. It also highlights a deep and wide chest and short but very robust legs. It should show a long straight tail that does not curl or curve on the back. Another of its characteristics is the interdigital membrane of its fingers, one of the reasons why the Newfoundland dog so well.
The head is large, although in perfect proportion to the body. A black or chestnut nose is also distinguished, as well as smaller and slightly sunken almond eyes, as well as the ears, which fall on both sides of the head.
Also in the characteristics of the breed, it should be noted that this dog eats and drinks a lot, loses a lot of hair and tends to drool, so it is not always recommended to stay inside the house.
Newfoundland dog size
The Newfoundland dog or Newfoundland Retriever is considered a giant breed due to its size, reaching 66 centimeters in the case of females and 71 centimeters in the case of males. In terms of weight, males can easily weigh up to 68 kilos, and slightly less in the case of women, who weigh 54 kilos.
Newfoundland has a double layer, a soft high density inner layer and another fairly long and smooth outer layer. The colors accepted in the coat of this breed are black and brown. There may also be black and white specimens, which some organizations include in Newfoundland, but others are considering a separate breed called Landseer.
This dense coat is waterproof, although it can also form knots relatively easily if you don’t brush regularly. With the necessary care, it will be kept in good condition to give all the protection to the animal.
Personality and character of the Newfoundland dog
Newfoundland dogs are docile, calm and therefore become fantastic animals for the family, because they get along very well with humans and other animals.
They have a natural protective instinct which can become a nuisance when they continually try to get their owner out of the water as an example.
These sociable dogs live their lives fully and are known to be one of the friendliest breeds.
Despite its imposing size, the Newfoundland is a particularly affectionate and gentle dog, very sociable and calm. He is not excessively playful, although he likes water, being able to spend hours there. In addition to being sociable with adults, Newfoundland tends to tolerate treatment with other animals and is very patient with children, who love and treat with great delicacy.
The FCI describes Newfoundland as a dog that reflects kindness and gentleness, a cheerful and creative dog, serene and sweet.
With proper care and nutrition, a Newfoundland dog can live up to 10 years. The health of these large dogs is largely in the hands of the owner. It is the owner of the pet who must vaccinate on time, show it to the veterinarian for prophylaxis, do an x-ray, since large dogs are prone to dysplasia. Also, the owner of the Newfoundland should know what diseases and health problems this dog is prone to:
- Heatstroke – often occurs due to the fact that the Newf has a thick coat with a dense undercoat.
- Dysplasia is a deformation of the joints, which is accompanied by lameness and pain.
- Cardiomyopathy is a myocardial disease.
- Atopy is an allergic skin reaction.
- Volvulus – can be fatal if you do not help the dog in time.
- An atrial septal defect is a small opening in the septum between the atria. As a result, blood flows from the left atrium to the right.
- Twisting of the eyelid – requires surgery
- Ectopia of the ureters – the release of urine at a time when the dog does not have an act of urination.
- Cataract is an eye disease.
- Hypothyroidism – develops as a result of a long-term lack of thyroid hormones.
The Newfoundland dog must have at least 60 minutes of exercise per day and it needs a lot of space to move around. Ideally, a Newfoundlander should be allowed to walk in a back garden as often as possible so that he can really let off steam in a safe environment. That said, the fence in a garden must be very secure to keep such a large dog.
Due to its thick and oily double layer, the Newfoundland suffers when the weather is warmer and therefore care must be taken when exercising. It is best to walk a dog earlier in the morning, then later in the afternoon when the sun is lower in the sky and the temperature is colder. Care should also be taken when walking a Newfoundland dog anywhere near water, as this dog likes to swim and can just jump, regardless of the weather or the safety of his swim.
You should monitor the exercise of Newfoundland puppies during their growth to ensure that there is no damage to the bones and joints.
A large Newfoundland dog is not very comfortable living in small spaces. Therefore, it is better to keep such a pet in a spacious aviary equipped with a large warm booth. If you have a large apartment or a private house, a diver can be kept in a room, provided that certain rules are followed:
- Daily walks. You need to walk the dog at least 2 times a day, the dog must have time to cope with all its needs.
- Physical exercise. For normal development and growth, the puppy must be able to run and jump to its fullest. Daily active games are recommended to promote training.
- A place to rest. The lounger cannot be determined near heating devices, because of the thick wool of the diver, he is already so hot in a heated room.
- From the first walks, train your Newfoundland puppy to wash its paws after a walk.
Regardless of where your dog is kept, it needs hygienic care. The rules are simple, but necessary:
- Brush out 3-4 times a week using a stiff brush. Frequent brushing is required due to the fact that Newfoundland dog sheds almost all the time. If you do not monitor the coat, mats will form on it for a short time.
- Bathe once every 1-2 months. Since the diver’s coat is dirt-repellent and water-resistant, it is recommended to use a special dry dog shampoo when bathing. Thus, water treatments will not wash off the natural lubricant from the dog’s hair. You will also need a conditioner to make combing easier and add shine to your hair.
- Cut off the claws as they grow, if there is no experience, it is better to provide this procedure to a specialist.
- Clean the ears once a week with a special solution.
- Regular teeth brushing is carried out with a special paste. It is much more convenient to give your dog bones to brush his teeth.
- Monitor the eyes for inflammation, excessive accumulation of secretions. If necessary, wipe them with a damp piece of cloth.
Feed the Newfoundland dog very carefully so as not to harm its health. The fact is that the representatives of the breed are passive and at the same time love to eat well. As a result of an improperly formulated diet, a diver can suffer from obesity. To avoid this, it is necessary to determine the correct portions, the older the puppy, the less high-calorie food should be, and also provide the pet with daily leisurely, long runs and brisk walks.
Puppies (8-10 weeks) are fed 4 times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bedtime) – half a cup (115 g) of a special, for puppies, dry food, diluted with 15 g of distilled warm water.
If you notice that your Newfoundland puppy is gaining extra weight, you can reduce the portion a little.
A grown Newfoundland dog (from 10 weeks to 3 months) is fed at least 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner) – one and a half (345 g) cups of dry food for puppies with the addition of 45 g of distilled warm water.
Once a Newfoundland puppy is 18 months old, it can be fed with food for adult dogs.
An adult Newfoundland dog is fed 2 times a day, the daily rate is up to 1 kg of dry food, but the portion may vary depending on the activity and weight of the dog.
There are widely available feeds on sale, compiled specifically for the Newfoundland, but when choosing a natural diet, consider the following:
- Meat should make up 40-50% of the dog’s diet, preference should be given to veal, beef, lamb or rabbit, pork and poultry are not recommended
- Offal – liver and beef heart
- Cereals – oatmeal and buckwheat, but the content of potatoes and rice should be minimized
- Once a week you need to give sea fish (raw or boiled), but river fish – only boiled
- Necessarily cottage cheese, 150 g will replace 100 meat
- Natural oils can be added to food – this is good for the dog’s thick hair
- From vegetables – cabbage, including sauerkraut, carrots, some beets
- Greens – parsley, nettle, dill, salad. Scald with boiling water before serving
- Bread – only in the form of crackers
- Nothing spicy, smoked, as well as sweets and chocolate
Newfoundland dog breed facts
- Newfoundland is reputed to be “the gentle giant” because of its gentle and kind nature.
- He has a real affinity with children of all ages.
- He forges close ties with his family and his protective instinct is natural.
- It is generally good around other dogs and animals, when it is well socialized from an early age.
- The Newfoundland dog is not known to be a “barker”.
- The Newfoundland is not the best watchdog.
- He needs a lot of daily physical exercise and mental stimulation.
- He loses a lot of hair throughout the year, but more in the spring and fall.
- This breed of dog requires a lot of maintenance on the grooming front.
- Newfoundland is more expensive to feed than many other breeds.
Fun Facts About the Newfoundland Dog
- The Newfoundland shares traits with many other large dog breeds, such as the Saint Bernard, the English Mastiff, Pyrenean mountain dog, etc. They were even part of the Leonberger breeding base.
- This breed has been one of the most appreciated in history because of its ability to work and its good temperament. For this reason, he has now gained a position as a pet dog, although it is not uncommon to find him as a working dog.
- There are many legends around the Newfoundland dog breed, one of which tells that a single specimen saved 63 sailors from a shipwreck.
- This Canadian dog also appeared in the works of artists who represented them in painting or sculpture, so he became very famous at that time.
- Among the best-known Newfoundland dogs, Seaman stands out, a dog that accompanied explorers Lewis and Clark on their expedition, or Napoleon, a dog that was the star of the Van Hare’s Magic Circus circa 1862 for the number of turns and of pirouettes that he could play.
- One of his greatest qualities is his ability to take care of children, so he is a perfect nanny. Originally, the dog that appears described in the story of Peter Pan was a New Earth, although in the animated film it was changed to a Saint Bernard, probably due to the lack of knowledge of this breed by population.
If you are thinking of sharing your life with a Newfoundland dog, consider all of its needs before deciding, because it is only by filling them that you will enjoy a happy and balanced pet, with which you can enjoy the best relationship.