It seems almost certain that the Newfie did not originally inhabit Newfoundland. However the island was peopled by a race of peaceful Indians and their wolf type dogs during the 15th century. These dogs were used for hunting, fetching and carrying. When the white settlers started to occupy the island they hunted down the Indians and their dogs, only the most useful and obedient dogs were permitted to live. The surviving dogs more than likely bred with other dogs that were introduced to the island by traders from around the world. This meant that different varieties of dogs were mated; these dogs included hunters, water dogs and mastiffs. The resulting offspring were left to fend for themselves, the outcome being that only the largest and strongest survived. Over the years a dog resembling the Newfie of today started to emerge. By the early 18th century word of these extraordinary dogs that could haul heavy loads and help fishermen had reached Europe. To begin with poor people who couldn’t afford horses to transport goods from the ports to their homes purchased these dogs. Shortly after their introduction to Europe large breeding kennels appeared and some good quality dogs were produced. The Newfoundland Club was formed in 1886 and is one of the oldest in Britain. Not long after the Club was formed a breed standard was created and has remained largely unchanged since.
The Newfie is best described as being a gentle giant. They are large and heavy in both bone and coat. As puppies they look like a cuddly teddy bear, however this stage does not last long as they grow very quickly.
|Colour||They can be black, brown or white and black (landseer) in colour.
|Coat Length||Medium Long
|Weight/Height Range||Ideally dogs should measure 71cms at the withers and weigh between 64–69kgs. Bitches should measure 66cms and weigh between 50–54.5kgs.
|Ailments||The Newfie is in general a healthy breed. As long as they have the correct diet to allow their proper growth there should not be too many bone and joint problems. Many breeders are now screening their dogs for elbow, hip, heart and eye problems.
|Breed Classification||The Newfoundland is a member of the working group. They were originally used for helping fishermen; today they are used in rescue work and as companions.|
Feeding & Ownership
As puppies the Newfie should have a nutritious diet to ensure the proper formation of the bones and joints. Supplements should not be added to the diet unless absolutely necessary as they can do more harm than good.
|Food Cost||More than $20|
Newfies are very docile, gentle and make great family pets. They have a natural life-saving instinct, which makes them unsuitable to go swimming with, as they would continually try to drag you out of the water. Generally the Newfoundland has a superb temperament and will get on well with both people and other animals. They are very outgoing and live life to the full, said to be one of the friendliest breeds.
|Intelligence||The Newfie is an intelligent dog that requires consistent training in a relaxed manner. |
|Suitability for Children||High
|Tendency to Bark||Low|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||The young dog should have all exercise monitored while it is still growing to ensure that no damage occurs to the bones and joints. They love water, swimming being one of their favourite forms of exercise. |
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||Low|
|Ease of Transportation||Low|
|Level of Aggression||Low|
|Other Animal Compatibility||High|
The grooming needs of this dog are fairly demanding. They should be brushed regularly with particular attention being paid to the feathering on the legs, which can become entangled.
|Grooming Requirements||More than once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Moderate|
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