Breeds 101: Meet the Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a gigantic loyal breed that is extremely loyal.

The Newfoundland, as expected, is from the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and arose around the same time as the Labrador Retriever.

They were the 35th most popular breed in 2017 according to the American Kennel Club’s records.

Females stand around 26 inches at the withers (shoulders) and weigh anywhere from 100-120 pounds, while males stand around 28 inches at the withers and weigh anywhere from 130-150 pounds.

Newfoundlands can be black, brown, grey or black-and-white, which is often called “Landseer” after a painter who often put the breed into his work.

They live around 8-10 years, which is common for massive breeds.

According to the AKC Breed Standard, “The Newfoundland is a sweet-dispositioned dog that acts neither dull nor ill-tempered.” In addition to being a devoted companion, he is “a multipurpose dog, at home on land and in water, the Newfoundland is capable of draft work and possesses natural lifesaving abilities.”

In looks the ideal Newfoundland is “a large, heavily coated, well balanced dog that is deep-bodied, heavily boned, muscular, and strong,” and in addition to these traits a “good specimen of the breed has dignity and proud head carriage.”

Newfies are classified as part of the Working Group in AKC dog shows.

The breed originated to help fishermen along the provincial coast gather in their hauls, and perhaps there is some Mastiff DNA that aided in the breed’s development They also excel at water rescues, due to their massive webbed paws.

They became very well known in England in the nineteenth century due to a celebrity circus dog named Napoleon the Wonder Dog.

Like many large breeds, the Newfoundland can fall prey to elbow and hip dysplasia, in addition to being prone to a heart condition known as SAS.

Poets Lord Byron and Emily Dickinson had Newfies for pets, as did Presidents Ulysses Grant and Lyndon Johnson. J.M. Barrie used his Newfoundland as inspiration for the character of Nana in Peter Pan, and a Newfoundland named either Seaman or Scannon was a key member of the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

There is also a minor league hockey team in the ECHL known as the Newfoundland Growlers, who use a Newfie as their logo.

Next: Water sports for dogs

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