JUDGING THE NEWFOUNDLAND
“EXPRESSION IS SOFT AND REFLECTS THE CHARACTERISTICS OF THE BREED; BENEVOLENCE, INTELLIGENCE, AND DIGNITY.”
© Photo By Wesseltoft
A Newfoundland should not be sway-backed, hollow-backed or soft in the back. They should be neither roached nor camel-backed. The natural coat, or grooming, may make a soft or hollow back appear level, or it can make a level back appear roached or high in rear. So, the back must be felt to determine its true conformation and musculature. The croup may also be distorted by coat and should be felt to determine its true slope. A flat croup makes for a high tail set. A too sloping croup throws the hindquarters under the dog and tends to destroy the power that should be developed there. Both conditions spoil the general outline of the dog. The croup should never be higher than the withers. Shoulders are muscular and well laid back. Elbows lie directly below the highest point of the withers. Forelegs are muscular, heavily boned, straight, and parallel to each other, and the elbows point directly to the rear. Pasterns are strong and slightly sloping. Feet are proportionate to the body in size, webbed, and cat foot in shape. Dewclaws may be removed. Bone should be in proportion to the size of the dog. A heavy coat can add false visual dimension to bone, so it should be felt for size and comparison. A standard location to assess bone is the forearm, just above the pastern. A Newfoundland should never be faulted for having too much bone. The rear assembly is powerful, muscular, and heavily boned. Viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel. Viewed from the side, the thighs are broad and fairly long. Stifles and hocks are well bent, but not so as to give a crouching appearance. The line from hock to ground is perpendicular. Hocks are well let down. Well-bent stifles and hocks provide flexibility. One should be able to see the entire pads of the rear feet of a dog as they move away.
HEAD The head is massive, with a broad skull, slightly arched crown, and a strongly developed occipital bone. Cheeks are well-developed. Eyes are dark brown; they are relatively small, deep-set, and spaced wide apart. Eyelids fit closely, with no inversion. Ears are relatively small and triangular with rounded tips. They are set on the skull level with, or slightly above, the brow, and lie close to the head. When the ear is brought forward, it reaches to the inner corner of the eye on the same side. Expression is soft and reflects the characteristics of the breed; benevolence, intelligence, and dignity. Eyes that are prominent, bulgy, set too close together, and/ or light-colored serve to spoil the soft, sweet Newfoundland expression. The shape of the eyes is a major factor in the desir- able sweet expression. Light eyes in browns and grays are not penalized, per se, but a poor expression, whether due to eye color, shape, or placement, should be penalized in dogs of any coat color. The eyelids must fit closely, to give good protection to the eyes from water and brush. The muzzle should be in balance with the head of the individual animal, never excessively long, pointed, or snipey. The top of the muzzle is rounded. Level and scissors bites are equally acceptable. Dropped lower incisors are found in many specimens of the breed and should be considered only a minor deviation. DEEP-BODIED, HEAVY BONE NECK, TOPLINE, BODY The neck is strong and well set on the shoulders, and is long enough for a proud head carriage. The back is strong, broad, and muscular, and is level from just behind the with- ers to the croup. The chest is full and deep, with the brisket reaching at least down to the elbows. Ribs are well sprung, with the anterior third of the rib cage tapered to allow elbow clearance. The flank is deep. The croup is broad and slopes slightly. Tail set follows the natural line of the croup. The tail is broad at the base and strong. It has no kinks, and the distal bone reaches to the hock. When the dog is standing relaxed, its tail hangs straight or with a slight curve at the end. When the dog is in motion or excited, the tail is carried out, but does not curl over the back.
276 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021
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