Newfoundlands are real water dogs – they feel so comfortable in their element that over the centuries they have even developed webbed feet. The reliable rescue dogs appear again and again in the media because they rescue drowning people from the water in coastal and bathing resorts. In a small overview of the dog breed, you will learn how the Canadian is kept in a species-appropriate manner and what needs to be considered when buying puppies.
Waterproof Dogs: This Is How the Newfoundland Differs from Other dog Breeds
With an average height at the withers of 71 cm, Newfoundland is one of the tallest dog breeds in the world. Bitches reach an average height of 66 cm. The shaggy dogs with bear-like faces are protected against all weathers by their strong physique and thick fur and don’t even shy away from ice-cold water. Breed standards in Germany, the United States, and Canada have slight differences, primarily in terms of desired colors.
The Newfoundland in detail: Made for swimming
- Bitches appear a little less massive than their male counterparts in all respects.
- The head of Newfoundland is large and broad. The short, floppy ears are set far back on the skull and are slightly rounded. The short hair on the snout and the long hair on the ears and neck make them similar to brown and black bears.
- Typical of the dogs are their small and widely spaced eyes, which give the face a gentle expression. Most light-colored Newfoundlands have brown eyes, darker colors have light brown or amber irises.
- The muzzle is square and the dogs have a strong scissor or pincer bite. The soft lips hang down slightly, with no wrinkles forming.
- Her body is extremely strong and massive. A full-grown male can carry around 7 kg. The back is horizontal and the head is carried moderately high. The ribs are not too wide, so the body appears straight and deep when viewed from the front.
- Similar to Labrador Retrievers, the dogs carry a broad and powerful tail that is rarely carried higher than the back. The long-haired otter rod makes it easier to navigate while swimming.
- Fore and hind legs are very strong and relatively long, with the chest lower than halfway between the withers and the ground. On the strong and large paws, some breeding lines have small webs between the toes.
Coat and colors of the Newfoundland
The Newfoundland wears a dense coat of stick hair, which means that another layer of waterproof undercoat grows under the long topcoat. The undercoat changes twice a year – in summer the dogs are therefore much less hairy than in winter. Regular grooming is therefore essential for dogs. The top hair is long but does not hang down limply, but instead gives more volume to the overall appearance. At first glance, their fur distinguishes them from similarly built mountain dogs such as the Pyrenean mountain dogs, Saint Bernards, or the Leonbergers.
Colors and permissions for breeding
- Plain black or white and black checked (permitted everywhere)
- Solid brown (not legal in Canada)
- Grey, beige (Dilute gene, only allowed in the United States)
History: From Fishing Dog to Water Rescuer
Although the origins of the Newfoundland are disputed, a relationship to the ancestors of today’s retrievers, the St. John’s dogs, has now been clearly proven. Newfoundland represents the more massive type of Canadian fishing dog. As early as the 16th and 17th centuries, they were used in the almost unchanged form as water dogs in Newfoundland. They were first mentioned under their current name in the 18th century.
Theories of origin
- Some sources claim the Newfoundland dog originated from crossbreeding European Molossers and Mastiffs with indigenous Newfoundland breeds.
- According to the FCI, the dogs are descended from Molosser-like bear dogs brought to Newfoundland by Vikings in the 12th century.
Relationship to other dog breeds
- In the 18th century, Newfoundlands were crossed with St. Bernards to expand the European breed’s gene pool and save it from extinction.
- They are considered the ancestors of Canadian retrievers (Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, Flat-Coated Retriever).
- Many European water dogs descend from Newfoundland dogs (Leonberger, Moscow Retriever), among others.
The Gentle Nature of the Newfoundland
Many Newfoundland dogs have achieved notoriety for their heroism in water rescues. In shipwrecks and other accidents at sea, they prove to be true lifesavers. Because of this trait, the dogs were often crossed to create new working breeds. In coastal towns and on ships, they are still used today for sea rescue, to help with hauling in nets, and to catch stray fish. The dogs are therefore ideal for families who live near water.
Characteristics of the Newfoundland at a glance
- Friendly and needy
- Willing to work and persistent
- Sensitive to heat but resistant to cold
- Patients with children and other animals
- Not inclined to bark or aggressive behavior
- Protect her family
- Adaptable and relaxed
Water is a must
Dogs feel much more comfortable outdoors than in small apartments and dark rooms. If they have no job as a family dog and if they are not challenged enough, they tend to become lethargic. Because of their thick fur, they can hardly cool off in summer – jumping into the cold water is on the daily schedule in the hot summer months. The dogs love water and snow and don’t let heavy rain distract them from their daily routine.