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The Newfoundland Dog
Spotting a Newfoundland is easy: It will be the largest dog in the group! (mostly) This breed lives to swim and loves children.
The Newfoundland can stand as high as three feet and weigh over 150 lbs. It is a member of the Working Group of dogs in the USA and Utility in Australia.
And was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. It is an old Breed. This is a dog with the overpowering urge to rescue practically anything from the water.
Physical Characteristics of the Newfoundland Dog
The dog is big, hairy, and usually black. It can be brown and black and white, other colors are not accepted as part of the Breed standard. The “Newf” or “Newfie” has a thick, water-resistant coat. Its webbed feet allow it to swim like no other; the Newf is the ultimate water rescue dog. The breed is famous for its rescue endeavors and many examples can be found in artwork.
The largest Newfie on record apparently weighed 117kg. Their size is compatible with the St. Bernard, Mastiff, and Great Dane. While not as tall as the Dane or the Irish wolfhound, the Newfoundland may be the strongest dog. It takes great strength and endurance to haul stranded victims from the water.
This breed is one of the most gentle, so much so that it is sometimes known as “the gentle giant.” Children take to them well and vice versa.
The AKC (USA) says: “Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland; this is the most important single characteristic of the breed.
The breed is relatively easy to train. The rescue capability is essentially instinct, but these dogs, particularly when trained from puppy do well with obedience.
Health Problems Associated with Newfoundlands
This beautiful breed can unfortunately have some health concerns. Hip dysplasia (improper formation of the ball and socket joint in the hip), as with many large breeds, can be one. Another potential concern is skin problems. Yet another still is hypothyroidism. But one of the most serious concerns, potentially life-threatening, is SAS, or sub-aortic stenosis. This is an all-too-common heart defect in the breed that affects the valves in the heart. It can, unfortunately, cause sudden death.