The Newfoundland is a dog breed, native to the Canadian island of the same name. Strong and large in size, he is very inclined to aquatic rescue.
There are many hypotheses on the origins of this widespread breed. One of the most likely would be traced back to bear dogs brought to America by Viking ships. Others, on the other hand, believe that it evolved from an Asian breed linked to the Tibetan mastiff that arrived in the Americas together with the populations that crossed the Bering Strait during the glaciation.
This was used in hunting, for towing, for fishing and also for guarding the villages. It is very likely that both theories are valid: in fact, the blood of the dogs imported by the Vikings could have subsequently been crossed with a breed belonging to the nomadic populations from Asia, giving life to the progenitor of the current Newfoundland.
Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries between the Canadian islands of the North Atlantic there was a breed called “St. John’s dog”, used both by fishermen for retrieving nets and for rescue in the water, and by retriever hunters. The selections of both the Newfoundland and the Labrador are believed to have started from these dogs.
Many historical figures have owned dogs of this breed including Napoleon, George II, Wagner and Lord Byronwho loved very much his Newfoundland named Boatswain, so much so that when the latter died of rage, he dedicated an epitaph engraved on his grave to him.
The breed today is divided into three different varieties depending on the color of the coat: black (the most common color), brown (defined brown) and white with black spots (defined “landseer type”, not to be confused with the actual landseer). These colors are recognized in Europe while in America bronze and gray are also recognized. The puppy’s coat (very soft) remains for about seven months, after which it is replaced by the adult one (less soft and more shiny). The Newfoundland does the moult, change of the hair, 2 times a year: summer and winter.
The breed is especially famous for its characteristic of being very water-loving.
In fact, it has certain physical characteristics such as waterproof fur, webbed legs and the ability to use the tail as a rudder, which make it a perfect swimmer.
These peculiarities are the result of the selection made by man on this breed according to the climatic and environmental conditions in which it was bred and used for hunting and fishing.
It is often used for rescue.
From the character point of view he is friendly, in fact he hardly reacts with anger to a situation unless there is a real danger for the master. On this occasion she asserts her size and her power, pumping herself up and showing off with a proud and “regal” bearing.
It is a breed that gets very attached to its master and in general to the family that takes care of it, contrary to the imposing size it does not need a lot of space.
Instead, it absolutely needs contact with the owner with whom it constantly interacts. If you don’t have time to devote to it every day, the Newfoundland is a wrong dog.
His rescue instinct is so strong that sometimes, if not properly trained, he can save even those who don’t need it.
The Newfoundland in the first year of life requires special attention in the diet. In fact, being a very fast growing dog (up to 300 grams per day in some periods) it needs a rich and balanced diet. The voracity of the puppy must not make you compassionate and you have to be very careful that it does not get fat. Puppy fat is a predisposing factor to hip and elbow dysplasia. Dysplasia is a disease that has a certain inheritance, which is why it is a good idea to check the health of parents and grandparents before welcoming a Newfoundland into the home. Once adult it becomes powerful and very strong that it can pull many kg both from the ground and in the water.
The character is very docile and affectionate.
Nutrition and care
His large size requires a high protein diet to help him withstand his weight, as well as the right amount of exercise. But be careful not to strain it too much as a puppy. Chocolate and sweets are absolutely forbidden as the canine liver cannot break down theobromine.
It is important to brush the very thick coat, eliminating grass and pieces of wood that inevitably lurk there after walks.
The ideal treatment for the hair, in addition to brushing, consists in blowing with a blower, this in fact helps to avoid dermatitis.
When the coat is deeply wet, it is necessary to dry it, but the characteristics of the coat mean that there is no need to be alarmed if the adult dog remains to play in the rain.
- Pet therapy
- Civil Protection (water rescue)
Not suitable for …
- Agility Dog
- Fly ball