Country of origin: Canada
Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC
Occupation: Water rescue,
draft dog, companion
Size: 26 to 28 in tall; 100 to
150 lbs
Longevity: 9 to 11 years
Exercise: Moderate
Training: Bright and intelligent;
moderately hard to
Grooming: Moderate
Colors: Brown, black, grey, Landseer

Although genetic studies firmly prove that the massive Newfoundland (named after the Canadian province where it originated) is related to other mastiff breeds, such as the guarding dogs featured on previous pages, it is unlike many of them in personality. In fact, Newfoundlands (or “Newfies”) can be the biggest softies of the dog world. While painful joint diseases, osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD), and hip dysplasia are serious problems within the breed, these are stoic dogs that benignly want to participate in family activities and thrive on human companionship. There is a colour variation of the Newfoundland, named after the 19th-century British painter Sir Edwin Landseer, who featured them in his work. The Landseer is black and white rather than primarily brown, black, or grey, and is recognized as a separate breed by some registries.

Newfies are inveterate swimmers, with an inclination to swim to anyone in the water. Their natural affinity for the sea has encouraged breed clubs to develop challenging water tests. These include taking lines or flotation rings to people in the water, boat towing, floating retrieves, and even underwater retrieves. French authorities have a number of trained, searescue Newfoundlands at their disposal along the Mediterranean coast. This breed’s lifesaving urge is so strong that the greatest problem may be stopping it from “rescuing” those not in difficulties.



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