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Newfoundland Breed Information | Doggie Matchmaker
There is just something about the sweet, massive Newfoundland that begs for a cuddle. With his fluffy, thick fur and baby-like eyes, this breed is often called the teddy bear of the dog world. Originating in Newfoundland (hence the name), this dog was built as the fisherman’s friend with a great affinity for water. Pulling in heavy nets and retrieving items that fell overboard were his everyday tasks, but his bravery in water rescue is what has earned him the most heartfelt praise. There are plentiful reports of this admirable breed saving men, women, and children from untimely watery deaths.
Standing approximately 26 to 28 inches, the Newfoundland (a.k.a. the Newf or Newfie) is a sturdy breed weighing between 100 and 150 lbs. Meant as a workhorse, he is strong and big-boned with a lung capacity ample for vigorous swims. His coat is dense and water-resistant, protecting him from rigid waters and making him uncomfortable in hot climates. While a solid black coat is commonly seen, brown, grey, and white and black variations also occur. Prospective owners should be aware that with this gorgeous, thick coat comes constant heavy shedding, and Newfoundlands know how to slobber.
In temperament, the Newfoundland’s sweet disposition may come as a surprise to those who would judge him by his size alone. Also unexpected is his calm, mild nature, making him peaceable and patient with other animals and children when properly socialized. The devoted Newfoundland needs companionship and is content to lay about in a room with his family. Wanting nothing more than love and affection, the Newfie will sit on the feet of his owner, trying his best to be a 150 lb. lapdog.
Focus in Training
With his enormous size and strength, proper training of the Newfoundland is of great importance. What is acceptable (and even cute) in a Chihuahua, may be downright intolerable in a Newf (think bounding up to visitors, jumping onto the couch, or pulling on the leash). Here is what you will want to focus on in training:
Obedience – Despite his hard-to-break, sturdy exterior, the Newfoundland is a sensitive breed and responds best to calm, but firm training. Harshness will lead to a fearful and distrustful Newfie. With this in mind, obedience training should be a priority for new owners. Teaching your Newfie to drop, heel, and stay will both give you more control over your dog and provide him with the bonding time he needs.
Willful Attitude – While mild and willing, the Newfoundland should not be mistaken for pushover. Young males in particular may wish to test their owner in a battle of will. Prove that you are the boss by enforcing what you say consistently.
Destructive Behavior – The Newfoundland needs a great deal of companionship, and may develop separation anxiety if left alone too often. This can lead to destructive behaviors and with a dog this size a little chewing goes a long way. Nip this in the bud by giving your Newfie the company he needs and making it clear that unwanted behaviors are not allowed.
Socialization – A shy or suspicious 150 lb. dog can be both difficult and dangerous. While loving creatures, Newfs are naturally cautious and should be well socialized young to ensure a well-balanced companion that is pleasant with others.
As with most giant breeds, the Newfoundland has a fairly short life expectancy of 8-10 years. The two greatest concerns in a Newfoundland’s health are subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), a genetic heart defect that can cause sudden death early in a Newf’s life, and hip dysplasia. To help prevent hip dysplasia, do not over exercise your pup as this can stress his growing bones and joints. Managing the weight of your Newfie will also help to keep him healthy and strong.
The Newfoundland in Fashion
A dog is a long-term commitment and should never be picked based on trend, popularity, or appearance alone. With that in mind, let’s take a look at this gorgeous breed in fashion.
The oversized, lush coat of the Newfoundland gives him the feeling of luxury, and women have swooned over rich furs that mimic his style throughout fashion history. His roots in the picturesque Canadian island of Newfoundland and Labrador bring a nautical flair to those at his side.
Fans of this indulgent breed throughout time have included Robert F. Kennedy, Emily Dickinson, Lord Byron, and Lyndon B. Johnson.
Now consider this compatibility questionnaire:
Do you want...
Are you ok with...
Fur you can sink your face into?
A big baby face with sweet eyes?
Slobber and drooling?
An enormous teddy bear?
A 150 lb. snuggler that will lean his weight against your legs and sit on your feet?
A massive dog that will impress passers by?
Providing for a big eater?
A strong, sturdy companion with a sensitive side?
Putting out the effort and patience needed to train this mild but occasionally willful giant?
A friend that enjoys your company?
A friend that may develop separation anxiety and destructive behaviors if left alone often?
A bulky, big-boned build?
The possibility of hip dysplasia?
A sweetheart that will remain faithful for life?
A relatively short life expectancy of 8-10 years?
Perfect Newfoundland Names
If you have come to the conclusion that the Newfoundland is your perfect match – congratulations! It is a beautiful, sweet-natured breed. I offer you these suggestions as inspiration in your search for the perfect name:
Such a grand dog calls for a grand name. Why not consider Genevieve, Margaret, or Victoria for a girl, Atlas, George, or Bacchus for a boy?
If you would prefer to swim with his nautical roots, perhaps Marina, Portia, or Helmslie will do for a girl; Bulwark, Hull, or Beacon for a boy.
If it is his bear-like qualities you love, consider Pola (short for polar bear), Winnie or Teddie for a girl, Paddington, Rupert, or Ben (Gentle Ben) for a boy.