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Essential Newfoundland Dog Breed Info

Jul 3, 2008
Newfoundland dogs are probably one of the most unique dog breeds around today. The most interesting thing about this dog is that they have webbed toes like a duck. While some dog breeds have some webbing between their toes to help them swim, the Newfoundland dog has toes that are completely webbed. They are fantastic swimmers and I have even heard it said that they have such a strong instinct to save people from drowning that they will drag swimmers out of the water against their will. Not a bad dog to have around when your child refuses to come out of the pool at the end of the day, right?

The origin of the Newfoundland dog is not known with any great certainty, but it is believed that the local dogs of the area, such as the Labrador (which is also a great swimmer) was probably cross bred with Tibetan Mastiffs brought to Canada on British ships in the 1700's, resulting in the large and powerful dog with tremendous swimming ability. They were used to haul in nets full of fish, carry boat lines to shore, retrieving items that fell overboard, and to rescue drowning and shipwreck victims. They also hauled lumber, delivered milk and would pull heavy loads.

When looking at Newfoundland pictures you will notice that they are a massive dog with a large, broad head. They have a wide muzzle that is short and square. They have a unique double coat. The outer coat is flat, oily, and slightly wavy. This is to repel the water and keep them warm and comfortable even in the icy waters. The under coat is thick and also oily. This is to stop any water that got through the outer coat and to help them stay warm. Daily brushing of this thick coat with a hard brush is necessary. They shed heavily twice a year in the spring and in the fall. Avoid bathing unless absolutely necessary, since this will shed the oils that protect them. You may dry shampoo occasionally.

The Newfoundland dogs have an outstanding temperament in that they are good, generous, courageous, intelligent and loyal. They are also very patient and good with guests. They are protective, although they show it by placing themselves between the intruder and their owner instead of barking or growling.

Newfoundland puppies require a lot of food while they are growing into the giant dogs they will become, but only eat about as much as a Labrador when they are fully grown. They are happy to lie around the house, but should be given regular exercise. They especially enjoy the chance to swim and frolic, and should be given that chance frequently. This big dog breed does better in cool climates, and will need plenty of shade and cool water in warmer temperatures.
Newfoundland dogs are a very unique breed that may be just what you are looking for.

Breed Information:

Size- Giant

Height- 28 inches

Weight- 140 to 155 pounds

Grooming- Fairly demanding

Exercise- Aquatically demanding

Feeding- Demanding

Temperament- Docile
About the Author
Get more info and advice on the newfoundland or a full list of dog breeds at this Dog Behaviour website.
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