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What About a Newfoundland Dog
Ok, so everyone who stays on top of the show dog world knows that a Newfoundland won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show in 2004. That was a shock to many of the traditionalists who think that the smaller and more assertive dogs are the ideal and drool does not belong on the show floor. The win also caused an inflation in the price of Newfoundland puppies, which was bad for the average income household, but good for some dog breeding operations. Despite the Westminster win, the Newfoundland breed was not elevated to the "Most Popular Breed" spot with the AKC. Which was a relief to many Newfoundland lovers who take to heart a deep responsibility for the well-being and protection of the breed.
So what is a Newfoundland dog all about? There are 3 main recognized color types of Newfoundland dog, also affectionately known as "newfs", or "newfies". They are Bronze, Black and Black/White (Landseer). Which color to choose from?
Unless you are going to dive into the serious side of breeding and showing, it doesn't matter! Enjoy whatever color comes with your new, big, floppy bundle of happiness.
There is no base personality difference between the three color variations of Newfoundland dogs, however, some breeders will maintain that the Landseer is a breed unto itself and should be classified as such.
Newfoundland dogs are big, getting up to 150 pounds and more. They are not for everybody as they require a different level of care, more space and more companionship than the average sized dog. Contrary to what many may think, a newf will not eat you out of house and home. Their metabolism is slower and feeding them too much will compromise their health. A fat newfy is a very unhealthy newfy!
Their double layer coats require a regular grooming routine, and supplementing their chow with certain vitamins and minerals is recommended to help ward off some joint problems common to newfs.
Overall, anybody who is contemplating the addition of a Newfoundland dog into their home should keep in mind some of the following important points:
Newfoundlands are the gentle giants of the canine world with couragous hearts of gold. Careful consideration should be taken when deciding to bring one into your family. They are family dogs and have a noble bearing along with a seeming awareness of their heritage and responsibilities. They deserve to be treated as a full member of the household and not relegated to the back yard, or worse, a chain and kennel run.
- Thier coat is double layered and requires regular grooming to keep it healthy and clean. If you live in a part of the country where it gets just plain hot, make sure you are prepared to provide a comfortable environment for your well-coated friend.
- Newfs love water. They love water so much that even their feet are webbed! This is a fact and should give a prospective owner an idea of which activity their new friend is best suited for - swimming. An active swimming session can be loads of fun for all and it's well suited for their heavy body mass.
- All dog breeds crave the attention of their human partners, however, the Newfoundland goes beyond this a little in that they need to be around humans to stay healthy and happy. Newfoundland dogs were bred to be a constant companion and assistant to humans, particularly in the areas of water rescue and fishing along the coastal communities. It is in their genetic makeup to be partnered with humans. To kennel or chain a newf away from regular human contact would have the same emotional impact as if keeping a child confined in his room day after day.
- A newf is a better house dog than even some of the toy dog varieties available today. Sure, when they bump into something it goes flying, but for the most part, a newf will adapt to house rules rather quickly and they learn to navigate gracefully around the home in short order.
- Newfs drool, but it's a happy drool! And besides, that's what they make drool rags for. It's really not that bad once you get into the swing of it.
If you decide that a Newfoundland dog is for you and your family, and have the proper environment to accomodate a larger dog, then the next step is to look for a reputable breeder. Using the Internet to find a purebred Newfoundland can be risky. Keep in mind that a dedicated newf lover and breeder will be able to spout off a long list of ancestral information, medical history and will require an in-depth interview with you. Some breeders will refuse to airship a Newfoundland puppy, stipulating that you or a designee will need to personally pick the little fluffball up. If an online breeder is willing to just take your money and put the puppy on a plane, then you will be setting yourself up for the heartbreak of receiving a puppy bred for profit and not for soundness, health, or a long, happy life.
The first place to start looking for a Newfoundland is through your local Newfoundland dog club. If that is not available, then go online and visit the AKC or UKC. They will have a list of approved breeders in your state.
If you don't care about papers, showing or breeding, then you may want to find out about adopting a Newfoundland from a rescue organization. The best site I've found to date which deals with just Newfoundland dog rescue can be found at http://www.newfrescue.com/RescueClubs.htm
Yes, it might be cool to own a newf, but, like all animals, they should not be considered a fad and disposable when out of favor. They are beautiful beings with an intelligent mind and kind soul who only ask for love, a few tasty morsels and lots of human companionship. In return, you will have a trusted family member, a dedicated worker, a protector and a warm friend to cuddle up to on cold winter nights. That is what a Newfoundland dog is all about.
Cris Mandelin-Wood runs multiple websites offering pet information and pet related content.
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