LIVING WITH THE NEWFOUNDLAND
by NCA JUDGES EDUCATION COMMITTEE
T he Newfoundland is a large, strong, heavy-coated, active dog, equally at home in the water and on land. While at first the Newf may appear somewhat placid, he is actually a fairly active dog that enjoys and needs daily exercise. Despite his size, he can reside comfortably in a small home or apartment, provided he is given ample opportunities for exercise. Newfoundlands are renowned for their unique gentleness, even temperament, loving nature and devotion. Historically, they have displayed a keen sense of responsibility and life- saving instincts, and their acts of heroism, both on land and on sea, are recorded in history, myths and legends. Th ese attri- butes make a Newf a good choice as a com- panion for children and adults alike. While Newfs are well known for their gentle disposition, personality and tempera- ment can vary throughout this breed, just as with humans. While the Newf has strong guardian instincts, he is not a watchdog, and harsh treatment and inattention will produce resentment and poor behavior in any dog. In addition, one should see that a Newf (or any dog) is not abused or harassed by children or adults. A growing puppy may be more sub- ject to injury than his size would lead you to believe. Never allow a child to climb on a growing puppy or ride on an adult Newf. Th e oily nature of the Newfoundland’s double coat e ff ectively keeps him from get- ting wet to the skin, and combined with his webbed feet, deep, broad chest and well-sprung ribs contributes to his swim- ming ability. Despite this heavy coat, he adapts to warm as well as to cool climates. In warm climates, the long outer coat remains, but the undercoat thins out to some degree. Th e warmer the weather, the more careful you must be to avoid over- heating. Also provide a Newf with plenty
of shade and fresh water, and do not leave him in the sun or unattended. Love does seem to be a warm puppy, but slow down and see if an adult New- foundland is what you want to live with for the next 10 years or so. In addition to their size, Newfs also come with drool and lots of shedding. Newfoundlands, like all purebred dogs, are vulnerable to some extent to particular health problems, most of which also occur in other large and giant breed dogs. Since these major health problems are not always outwardly evident in young dogs and have a genetic component, responsible breeders test breeding stock prior to breeding. Most Newfoundlands enjoy swimming. It is excellent exercise that strengthens mus- cles without putting weight on the joints. It is quite common to hear those who do not know the breed say, “My, but he
must eat a lot.” Probably, because he is so placid, the full grown Newf is a com- paratively small eater. However, when he is growing most rapidly, between the ages of three and 18 months, the Newf is a heavy eater. Be aware, however, that the amount of food suggested on dog food labels is generally excessive for large breeds. Overfeeding will not make your puppy larger than his genetic makeup intend- ed him to be. At any age, you should be able to feel a Newfoundland’s ribs with- out exerting undue pressure. Overweight reduces the life span and may provide fer- tile ground for other problems. An untrained dog, no matter what its size, is a liability in modern society. For their own safety, all dogs require some form of obedience training. Being intelligent canines, most Newfs are readily trained.
“NEWFOUNDLANDS ARE RENOWNED FOR THEIR UNIQUE GENTLENESS, EVEN TEMPERAMENT, LOVING NATURE, AND DEVOTION.”
S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , F EBRUARY 2015 • 281
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