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Newfoundland : 10 Most Common Questions

The Newfoundland is a gentle giant of a dog that continues to attract more and more attention, as an excellent pet and companion. Many Newfoundland owners will tell you that they started out liking a particular dog of this breed and soon found that Newfoundlands in general were a passion.

What is it about this breed that makes them so popular among a select group of dog owners?

Maybe it is their calm demeanor, or perhaps the breed’s deliberate way of moving. It might also be the dog’s surprising intelligence. For many owners, it is all of these, and more.

We have put together 10 common questions about the Newfoundland to help you understand the breed better.

Newfoundland Questions


1. What is the Newfoundland’s history?

This distinct breed was common on the Atlantic coast of Canada, along with the Labrador Retriever. Both were working dogs, with the Newfoundland being the heavier breed of the two. The dogs were used to pull equipment and even haul the heavy fishing nets.

Some historians believe the dog was originally brought to North America by British or European travelers. In addition, the Newfoundland may have some ties to the large dogs of Tibet. Then, some stories exist about the Newfoundland involved in heroic rescues of shipwreck victims as well.


2. What colors can I look for with a Newfoundland?

Generally, there are four distinct colors common to the breed to include black, brown, gray, and bronze. Many dog associations and clubs also recognize the white Newfoundland with dark markings, although this is considered a separate breed in many European countries.

You will also find that some dogs of this breed have darker colors with white markings on the feet, tail, or chest.


3. How big should I expect my Newfoundland to get?

The adult male Newfoundland may grow to be 29 inches tall and weigh up to 150 pounds. The female will be about two inches shorter and weigh 100 to 120 pounds.

A healthy Newfoundland will have a bear-like look with a full coat.


4. Is it true that the Newfoundland has webbed feet?

The answer is yes, the Newfoundland does have webs between the toes. The webbed feet have developed to give the dog a stronger swimming stroke. In addition, the Newfoundland’s outer coat is oily and rather flat, making it very water repellant.

Then, this breed has a good undercoat that may be lost if they spend all their time indoors. Interestingly, the Newfoundland is one dog that seems to be just as much at home in the water as on land.


5. Why is the breed Newfoundland called a “gentle giant”?

The description comes from the combination of size and personality of a healthy, well-bred Newfoundland. Remember, this dog can weigh up to 150 pounds. Every club and organization connected with Newfoundlands considers ill temper or timidity to be uncharacteristic of the breed.

Instead, a well-bred and happy Newfoundland is friendly, calm, and capable of fun in its own deliberate way. Additionally, the breed is known to be very careful and protective of children and older adults, seeming to adjust to its surroundings.


6. Should I consider getting my Newfoundland from a rescue source?

This can be an ideal way to add a great pet to your family. However, some things about this process are much different from getting a puppy through a good breeder. You should find out all you can about the adult dog’s background, making sure the rescue organization has given the dog a complete health checkup with all the required vaccinations.

You may also want to plan on some professional help in training the dog if you believe there will be some behavior problems. Basic obedience and handling classes may help.


7. Is the Newfoundland good at some special tasks?

You have heard correctly. The Newfoundland is especially good at water tests such as retrieving and rescuing. They are strong enough in the water to actually, save a drowning person and have done so in the past.

Newfoundlands are very good at pulling a small cart, which can be great fun for the children. In addition, the Newfoundland can serve as a pack animal and good companion on hiking and camping trips.

This breed loves the water, however, so when around water, keepan eye on your dog unless you want it splashing around.


8. What should I do to housebreak/toilet train my Newfoundland?

There are a number of ways to accomplish this. You could try crate training, which works for some dogs better than other dogs. A crate provides the dog a safe place to go when it needs to be alone. In addition, dogs will naturally try to keep its “den” clean, meaning it will try not to use the crate for a bathroom.

With the Newfoundland, you should be very calm and consistent. Designate one place outside as the “toilet” and give the dog several opportunities to go there at regular times during the day.

Treats may also work as a reward when your Newfoundland does what he is supposed to do.


9. Does the Newfoundland do well with children?

In a word, yes. This breed is loving and very friendly. The dog will live with and among children quite well, if it is well bred and trained from the beginning to know there are limits. You should always watch for signs of the child treating the dog too roughly.

The Newfoundland is very sensitive and cannot handle rough treatment very well. It is interesting that the Nana in the original Peter Pan story was a Newfoundland.


10. How much food and exercise does this big dog need?

The Newfoundland needs a sufficient amount of food for their size, but surprisingly many owners find they do not eat much more than a slightly smaller dog like the German Shepherd, or Retriever.

You should plan to give your Newfoundland some regular exercise because they will tend to get lazy and overweight. In most cases, your Newfoundland would love activities such as hiking and camping.


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