JUDGING THE NEWFOUNDLAND
GAIT The Newfoundland in motion has good reach, strong drive, and gives the impression of effortless power. The gait is smooth and rhythmic, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps. Forelegs and hind legs travel straight forward. As the dog’s speed increases, the legs tend toward single tracking. When moving, a slight roll of the skin is characteristic of the breed. Essential to good movement is the balance of correct front and rear assemblies. Strength and coordination are valued over speed. A Newfoundland is properly shown at a moderate trot. The correct level topline of the dog must not be lost in motion. It is important to distinguish good, ground-covering drive from an exaggerated rear action with considerable lift and flexing of the stifle, which lacks actual ground-covering forward motion. Newfoundlands have strong, well cushioned, compact feet, which hold up well over distances. Strong, slightly slop- ing pasterns will not break down under a day’s work. The webbing of the feet helps in propelling strokes while swim- ming. It has been suggested that the quite common toeing- in of the forelegs can be excused in Newfoundlands, “Since they are swimming dogs.” There is no good evidence that this deviation from the standard is in any way an aid in swimming or in hauling.
“OUR STANDARD IS SPECIFIC: ‘LARGE SIZE IS DESIRABLE, BUT NEVER AT THE EXPENSE OF BALANCE, STRUCTURE AND CORRECT GAIT.’ IT IS ALL ABOUT THE BALANCE.”
TEMPERAMENT The Newfoundland is typically friendly. Since sweetness of temperament is the most important single characteristic of the breed, shyness, fearfulness, and suspicion are unaccept- able traits and should be penalized severely. Chapter 14, Sec- tion 8-a of the AKC rules provides for excusal or disqualifi- cation for dogs that menace or attack humans. Furthermore, it is not acceptable for a Newfoundland to menace or attack other dogs, and any Newfoundland doing so should also be severely penalized. DISQUALIFICATIONS Any colors or combinations of colors not specifically described are disqualified: Any color other than white on a black, brown or grey dog; any color other than black on a Landseer. Note that there is no mention of markings. With respect to disqualifications, markings are considered only when they are the wrong color. TRENDS For many years, we have talked about proportions in the Newfoundland and a hands-on evaluation of those propor- tions. The Newfoundland of thirty years ago did not have enough leg to balance out the appropriate proportions. Short front legs were very apparent at that time, but are not seen as often today. However, we are seeing many tall, narrow dogs that are slab-sided and lacking the substance that is desired in a Newfoundland. As a true working dog, the standard is specific. The Newfoundland is a dog of considerable sub- stance, which is determined by spring of ribs, strong muscle, and heavy bone. Our standard is specific: “Large size is desir- able, but never at the expense of balance, structure and cor- rect gait.” It is all about the balance.
280 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, SEPTEMBER 2021
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