Frequently asked questions
- Do they eat a lot?
During their first year, Newfoundland grow from about a pound to over a hundred pounds. They require plenty of food to support such rapid growth. Once they reach adulthood, however, they have a very low metabolism, and Newfie owners find that their dog food bills are lower than those of friends with Labs or Shepherds. Overfeeding a Newf puppy, in the hopes of growing a growing a bigger dog, can cause serious orthopedic problems. Remember, a lean Newfoundland is a healthy Newfoundland.
- What is the activity level of the breed?
This easygoing dog loves the outdoors and country living, especially if he has access to water. When Newfoundland are young exercise should be limited as their little bodies grow at an alarming rate and too much exercise can cause serious harm to the joints leading into life time trouble. Once Newfoundland are fully matured they require moderate exercise. This breed gets pretty laid back as older dogs. But young puppies are rarelly laid back, and often have more energy than family expects.
- Why there is a black-and-white variety?
In Britain, the black-and-white variety became known as the Landseer after the famous artist who featured the breed in his painting, A Distinguished Member of the Human Society. In the Landseer variety, the base colour is white with black markings. The preferred pattern is a black head, saddle, rump and upper tail.
- Does this breed need regular bathing?
When your Newf starts to look dirty or smell "doggy", it's time to put the dog in the tub! The Newfoundland loves the water and to take a bath. However, it needs to be actually bathed only when your dog is truly dirthy, since over bathing removes natural oils and can dry your dog's coat and can cause skin problems. Use a shampoo designed just for dogs and a cream rinse to make brushing less difficult.
- Does his coat need regular grooming?
Yes ! Newfoundland are a very highly maintenance breed. The thick coat needs regular raking and brushing, especially during seasonal shedding. A brushing each week will keep your dog's coat in good condition, will eliminate tangles and mats. There is no excuse for an unkept Newfoundland. With out regular grooming and brushing you could end up with a Newfoundland who will have skin complaints, ear infections, weepy eyes, swollen feet. Air needs to circulate through the hair right down to the skin and if it is knotty this cannot happen.
- What is the average height and weight of the breed?
As a rule of thumb with most breeds, the males tend to be larger than the females. The average height for adults is 26-28 in (66-71 cm) and weight may be in the vicinity of 120-150 lbs (54-67.5 kg)
- Will this dog get along with kids?
This breed seems to be drawn to children. They are real baby sitter for kids! Generations of children have taken their first toddling steps holding on to this fantastic family dog. The Newfoundland is super friendly and people oriented.
- Which is better for just a pet - a male or a female?
In general, there is no significant difference in temperament between male and female dogs. If you are getting a dog for a pet, you will want to have your dog spayed or neutered, which will eliminate most minor differences anyway. Females tend to be smaller than males. Females can damage the grass, males can damage your trees. Males say « I love you, I love you, I love you ». Females tend to say « Love me, Love me, Love me ». Other then that male and female can be both either submissive or dominate, active or quiet. It is the individual dogs temperament and proper training that will determine whether he or she will make suitable pet for your home. Sex is more of a personal preference usually based on looks. Think ahead to what you want your dog to look like 2 years down the road, do you want a strong masculine look or soft feminine features ? In the past have you always had a certain sex ? Do you feel comfortable with that or do you want a change ? If your family companion recently pass away do you want a puppy who when grown is similar in looks or completely different ? Spaying in females tends to be a bit more expensive as it is a major operation. Neutering cost less as it is a simple procedure.
- Why should I spay or neuter my dog?
The best reason to spay or neuter your dog is to keep it alive and healthy. Female dogs spayed before their first heat cycle have a lower incidence of mammary tumours, and the risk of uterine infections and unwanted pregnancies is eliminated. Female mood swings are reduced, if you don't spay your little lady, be forewarned that bitches in heat are messy for three weeks at a time, usually twice a year, they drip blood all over the house. They attract the neighbourhoud's unneutered dogs, and your unneutered dog is attracted by the neighbour's unspayed bitch. Neutered male dogs are less likely to lift their leg in the house and display less aggression, and the chance they will develop testicular tumours is nil.
- How regularly should they visit a vet for shots and general care?
After the boosters and rabies vaccinations are completed, a one year visit for annual vaccinations and a check up are all that is required.
- Will this breed get along with other dogs and animals?
The Newfoundland have no fear of other animals and the breed is know for his gentleness and serenity. This easygoing dog is friendly with other dogs, cats and other animals.
- In the future, I might want to try breeding dogs. Is it hard? Can anyone get into it?
Breeding dog is not for everyone. To do it properly, takes learning... About genetics, animal husbandry, etc. And if you think you're going to breed a litter or two and make your fortune, think again. Dog breeding takes a lot of time and is an expensive and difficult hobby, not for the faint hearted. There's much more than putting two dogs together. And rarely do breeders show a profit in doing so when they count up the hours spent and actual expenses.
- What is the origin of the breed?
There are differing opinions on how the Newfoundland breed came about. Some beleive the breeds progenitor was the Tibetan Mastif, which may have migrated to both Newfoundland and Scandinavia. There are those who theorize Leif Ericsson brought the Viking beardogs with him when he arrived in Newfoundland in AD 1001 and they mated with the dogs of the Maritime Indians.
- Does exercise have a bearing on hip dysplasia?
Hip dysplasia is a common abnormality in large and giant breed dogs. Hip dysplasia, as this condition is called, causes joint instability that leads to inflammation, subsequent arthritis and crippling pain. The development of hip dysplasia is influenced by both genetic and non-genetic factors. Excessive trauma to the hip joint is believed to stretch the ligament that holds the hip in place, increasing the likelihood of clinical hip dysplasia. On the other hand, exercise keeps muscles toned, which helps protect the hip joint. The logical approach is to provide dogs with adequate exercise to tone their muscles, but not uncontrolled activity, which may stress the joint.
- Does this breed adapts to its surroundings fast?
The Newfoundland adapts to its surroundings very well and quite fast as they are not shy dog and pretty much take things as it comes. If shown love they are happy and will accept anything.
- Is this breed know to be good for someone allergic to dogs?
This all depend on the person and how allergic they are to dogs. Sometimes it is not just the coat factor but the saliva of the dogs which causes allergies. Some people only react to certain breeds of dogs, and so anyone with allergies should check beforehand. The Newfoundland coat does not usually irritate the skin but Newfs are not generally know to be good for someone allergic to dogs. Do remember tho a dirty un-kept Newfoundland coat can be a major cause to allergies.
- How long do Newfs normally live?
Being a giant breed, healthy Newfs normally live from 8 to 10 years.I beleive anything over 10 years is a bonus. We all want our beloved pets to live a life time but we do need to be realistic.
- Do Newfs make good watch dogs or guard dogs?
Not usually. Some Newfs may alert you that someone is nearby by barking, but most Newfs are more interested in greeting new people rather than scaring them off.
- If I purchase my puppy from a responsible breeders, am I sure to have a healthy-for-life dog?
NO BREEDER can ever produce 100% healthy-for-life dogs. Just as in humans we cannot "breed out" certain problems in our own genetic makeup, dog breeders can only do their best to work towards limiting problems in a line of dogs. Health concerns in Newfoundland dogs center primarily on two areas: their heart, and their legs, although other problems do exist. Legs problems that are fairly common include hips dysplasia and elbows dysplasia
- Do they drool?
Yes, on occasion. Most Newfies drool less than a St-Bernard, for example, but when excited or hot they will drool. When resting and cool they will drool less. It is likely, however, that when a Newfie puts its head into your lap, you may be left with a damp lap.
- Do they shed?
Yes. The undercoat is shed at least once per year, known as "blowing coat." Grooming is extremely important at this time, as the dead coat must be brushed out or mats will form. It is possible to brush out a pile of hair which seems to be equal to the size of the dog being groomed, but this is not an ongoing condition. About ten minutes per day of brushing (a little more during the few weeks of shedding per year) will keep the coat glossy and healthy. Most Newfoundland shed a LOT in the Spring, and then again in the Fall. The fall shed is usually less severe then the Spring one.
- How does the color inheritance work in the Newfoundlands?
The solid black is dominant, or BB. The Landseer is recessive to the solid black, or bb, and is the result of the piebald gene, which places the self-color on a white background. Note that solid black is considered by the standart to include some white.
- I would like to own a Newfoundland, but I already have a cat at home. What should I expect ?
Of course, a cat that has never seen a dog before could have a strong reaction to a dog coming to live in its home. The same goes for an adult dog which has never seen a cat: it can be very much inclined to chasing after the cat (instinct of prey). On the other hand, more often than not, a puppy gets used to the presence of another animal in its new home, and cohabitation is therefore successful.
- The Newfoundland is prone to what diseases or mal?
Despite a robust constitution, the Newfoundland can inherit or develop the following health problems: hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, gastric torsion, subaortic stenosis, and cystinuria.
- Are they just black Saint Bernards or Great Pyrenees?
No, the Newfoundland is a separate breed, but many people compare him with the Saint Bernard and to the all white Great Pyrenees. Newfoundlands actually come in solid black, and in black and white (Landseer). The Newfie's head is a bit more square with a somewhat steeper "stop" and deeper muzzle than the Pyr, but less of a severe "stop" and pendulous muzzle that the Saint. While the other two breeds are similar in ancestors, the Pyr has more herding instinct and the Saint is more of a dry-land rescue dog than the Newf. The Newf is the one who excells in water rescue and is a bit more mellow in temperament than the other two. In fact, the Newfoundland was bred to the Saint Bernard in the mid nineteenth century with the goal of improving the coat and working ability of the Saint. The long haired Saint is a product of this infusion of Newfie blood, as all Saint Bernards prior to that time had short hair. The experiment was discontinued when the long coats were found to accumulate ice more quickly, but the long coat variety has remained in the Saint breed to this day.
- Are Newfoundland intelligent?
Newfoundland are an intelligent breed. They do learn quickly and need to be taught young basic manners. Newfoundland tend to be quite sensitive to their owners moods.
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