Is a Newfie the Right Dog Breed for You?
Newfoundland Dog Breed Brief History and Origin
The Newfoundland breed is a working dog that originated in the Canadian island of Newfoundland. The dogs were used as working aquatic animals such as pulling fishing nets and rescuing people from drowning.
The exact origin of the Newfoundland is unknown, but it has been seen throughout history by both Egyptian and Roman civilizations, with paintings and drawings portraying similar dogs to the modern Newfoundland. It is thought that the Great Pyrenees, Saint Bernard and Tibetan Mastiffs were introduced to the breed at some point in time, which led to its current physical appearance. The Newfoundland was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886 under the classification of ‘Working Dogs’.
Newfoundland Temperament and Personality
The Newfoundland is a big, kind, and intelligent dog. It was bred for rescuing people from drowning in the rocky Atlantic waters on Canada’s eastern shores. They are patient with children, but at the same time they are watchful of them. Although they are not usually aggressive or shy around strangers, they do always give warning that an intruder is present. They are very loving towards their families and loyal to them. The Newfoundland is a natural swimmer, it has webbed toes that help it swim easily. This dog breed can be friendly with other animals such as cats and dogs if socialized early on in its life. However, they tend to like to investigate things by putting their snout in it, much to the dismay of smaller animals.
- Patience With Children, But At The Same Time A Watchful Presence Around Them
- Intelligent And Loyal To Their Families
- Playful In Water, They Love Swimming And Are Natural Swimmers Because Of Their Webbed Feet
- Naturally Curious By Putting Their Snout In New Things
- Love To Give and Receive Affection
- Loyal To Their Owners And Families But Can Be Reserved Around Strangers
- Very Protective Of Their Family When Predators Approach
- Can Get Along With Other Pets, Provided It Has Been Socialized Early On In Its Life
Newfoundland Exercise and Energy Levels
The Newfoundland is a large breed that requires moderate exercise. To determine the exercise and energy level needed, we need to look at their working origin. Although they do not work in the same capacity as they did when bred centuries ago, they were originally used for water rescues, meaning they are capable swimmers and divers; this means that physical activity of some kind is necessary. Newfoundlands are also known for being big eaters, requiring a high-quality diet of nutritious food to keep their weight under control and promote overall health.
Newfoundland dogs are best suited to owners who have plenty of time to dedicate to them each day; they do not adapt well to isolation or loneliness. They are loving and generous with their affection, but also require a lot of attention. They do best when they have at least one human in the family who is around most often to provide attention and companionship for them.
Newfoundland dogs have a lower-energy level compared to many other dog breeds, meaning that common Newfoundland activities include going on long daily walks, playing fetch or other games outside, or just plain hanging out with the family. They are also very patient dogs who love to please their owners.
Newfoundland dogs tend to drool quite a bit, so if you are looking for an indoor dog that will not ruin your carpets or furniture with slobber, this is not the breed for you. There no such thing as a “drymouth” Newfie. Some drool more than others-but they drool. It is a trait of the breed.
Newfoundland breeders will often recommend that new owners have previous experience with dog ownership before bringing a Newfie home because this breed has a strong personality and is extremely intelligent. This means they are not always easy to handle for first-time owners. Many new dog owners have discovered that walking their Newfoundland is difficult because they are so big and pull on the leash constantly. Newfies are also known to have a stubborn streak, making training more difficult for some new pet parents.
Newfoundland Training Tips
Newfoundlands, like most dogs with webbed feet, are natural swimmers. They love to put their paws in the water and splash around or go for a swim at any opportunity they get.
If you don’t like your dog wandering off and doing its own thing (and thus coming home really muddy and smelly), then you may want to teach it not to enter the water without your permission. You can do this by teaching it the “leave it” command and associating that with water.
The leave-it command is fairly easy to teach, and once your Newfoundland knows what you mean when you say leave-it, it won’t be going anywhere near any body of water without your permission.
To teach the leave-it command to a Newfoundland, use these steps:
1. Get some sort of treat that your dog will go crazy for. Keep this near where you are trying to teach the leave-it command. The more excited your dog gets about getting the treat after obeying (leaving it), the better.
2. Show your dog the treat (do not give it to him yet).
3. Hold the treat in front of his nose, move it slowly away from its face, and say “leave-it”. As soon as he moves his head away or turns/moves his whole body away from the treat, give him the treat and say “good dog”.
4. Repeat these steps a couple of times. If he is getting it fairly quickly, feed him a few treats before repeating the command a few more times with just one or two treats each time.
5. Once you can hold the treat extremely close to his face and he will turn away from it, move on to the next steps.
6. Hold out your open palm with the treat on top of it and say “leave-it”. As soon as he moves away from it, give him the treat. Repeat this step a few times, then put the treat in your pocket.
7. Start training in different rooms of your house to see if he obeys the command in various settings before you take it outside for real-life practice. Always make sure that you keep treats on hand and praise him every time he obeys the command.
8. After your Newfoundland is obeying in various rooms throughout the house, take it outside during quiet times. With a leash on your dog, hold out an open palm with one treat on top of it and say “leave-it”. If he moves away from it, give him the treat and praise him. If he doesn’t move away, give him a verbal command to do so. Keep practicing this until he will quickly obey the command when you hold out your open palm with one treat on it, even if there are lots of things around that might interest him.
Newfoundland Health and Care
A Newfoundland is a large dog that can weigh between 100 and 150 pounds, with some reaching 200 pounds.
They average a lifespan of 7 to 10 years, but some can live into their teens. Newfoundlands require regular brushing to get rid of the shedding hair and combing to avoid matting. They also need their nails trimmed about every month and, in some cases, require a professional grooming session every few months. Newfoundlands are susceptible to some health problems such as hip dysplasia and heart disease, so thorough research before getting one is necessary.
Newfie Health Concerns
The Newfoundland dog breed is blessed with short hair, natural water repellency, and large bones. They are also one of the most lovable breeds out there due to their jovial temperament. However, all of this is changed when they are inflicted with certain health problems that can’t help but make them aggressive or affect their quality of life in some way. This article will talk about 5 genetic health problems that Newfoundland dogs may be inflicted with and the solutions available.
Pra (HYPERURICOSURIA) : You might not know what Hyperuricosuria is, but there’s a good chance you’ve heard of it before. It’s more commonly known as “pra”, an acronym for the disease Polycystic kidney and hepatic disease. It’s a genetic disorder that affects Newfoundland dogs where too much uric acid is passed down from the parents causing crystals to form in their urine, leading to extreme itchiness usually seen at the lower front legs of dogs, straining while trying to pee, and discoloration in the urine. The treatment for Pra is an expensive dietary regimen that has to be followed every day throughout the dog’s life, otherwise it will most likely lead to death.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) : This genetic health problem is also known as Progressive retinal atrophy or PRA and its symptoms include night blindness, then partial or complete loss of vision in both eyes, and then finally the entire eye function dies. The good news is that although PRA can’t be cured, by using special surgery (i.e.; Lasik surgery), it can be slowed down to give Newfoundland dogs more time with their vision intact.
Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV) : We all know what bloat is, but did you know that it’s also known as GDV? It’s a condition where the stomach bloats up with gas or air and then flips over, which could lead to vomiting, unproductive retching, distended abdomen, drooling, and/or an elevated heart rate. Bloat is most commonly seen in large breeds of dogs like Newfoundlands since their stomachs can become easily filled with air or gas that they swallow while eating or drinking too fast. GDV is also genetic which means that it’s passed down to the puppies from the parents so be sure to get a bloat-tested dog from a reputable breeder.
Hip Dysplasia : Hip dysplasia is another genetic health problem where the thigh bone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint causing pain and discomfort for dogs suffering from this disorder. The walk can be made difficult, but it won’t stop them from being active since they have great endurance.
Heart Disease : Heart disease is yet another genetic health problem that occurs in Newfoundland dogs where the heart muscles are weakened due to the formation of too much fluid between layers of their heart or by enlargement of one or both sides of their heart. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, fainting spells, loss of appetite, and distended abdomen. The best course of action for heart disease is to prevent it altogether by getting your Newfoundland dog checked by a veterinarian from a reputable breeder.