Newfoundlands were earlier used for hauling in nets, carrying boat lines to the shores, retrieving things which fell overboard and most importantly rescuing shipwrecked and drowning victims. They are still used as outstanding water rescue dogs. S.I.C.S., the school for rescue-at-sea and air-rescue in the marine environment in Italy, trains dogs, especially the Newfoundlands for this amazing feat.
The strong persona…
Strong and massive, Newfoundlands are bear-like dogs. Their head is broad and heavy and so is their muzzle. Their nose is black and eyes are deep-set and brown, spaced wide apart. Their ears are small and triangular shaped. And they have webbed feet – which make them excellent swimmers. Their tail is strong and broad.
They have a double coat, which is flat and water-resistant. They are found in different colours like black, black with blue highlights, black with white markings, brown, grey and white with black markings.
Males weigh around 59-68 kg while females weigh around 45-54 kg and their height varies from 69-74 cm and 63-69 cm respectively.
The beautiful temperament…
Intelligent, sweet, courageous, generous, calm, patient, loyal, trustworthy, sociable, gentle…these are just a few of the qualities of Newfoundlands. They are very obedient dogs who are devoted to their pet parents. Though they rarely bark, they are brave dogs and are protective whenever there is a need. They can distinguish between who is a threat to the pack and who is not. When they are properly socialised, they get along with other dogs and animals. They are patient with children and love to play with them. They enjoy outdoors but love to be with their family.
The little problems with the rescuer…
They drink a lot of water and create a mess while drinking. They also drool after a drink. Besides, they are little difficult to train – you need to be calm but firm while training them.
Living with them…
Sufficiently exercised, they can live in an apartment. A small yard would be good for their exercises. They prefer colder climate and cannot do well in warmer regions.
This giant breed loves to laze around but they do need their daily dose of walk. And they would simply love to swim!
The grooming regime…
Your Newfoundland needs to be groomed regularly. His thick, coarse double-coat needs to be brushed daily, or at least weekly. They shed their undercoat twice in a year and they need special grooming during that time.
- Boatswain: Pet of English poet Lord Byron and the subject of his poem ‘Epitaph to a Dog’.
- Bilbo: Lifeguard at Sennon cove beach in Cornwall.
- Brumus: Robert F Kennedy’s dog.
- Brutus: First dog to complete the Appalachian Mountain Club’s ‘Winter 48’, climbing all 48 peaks in one calendar winter.
- Carlo: Emily Dickinson’s dog.
- Hairy Man: The dog who helped Ann Harvey and her father and brother rescue 163 people from a shipwreck.