Happy National Purebred Dog Day. Every year on May 1st, we celebrate the heritage, diversity, and predictability of the purebred dog. With that, I wanted to share a few things about the Newfoundland Dog.
1. Newfoundland Dogs are Lifesavers
Newfoundland dogs are known for their exceptional swimming abilities and were originally bred to assist fishermen in the icy waters off the coast of Newfoundland. They are incredibly powerful swimmers and have webbed feet, which makes them well-suited for swimming long distances.
Because of their swimming ability, Newfoundland dogs have been used as water rescue dogs for centuries. These dogs are capable of rescuing drowning victims and have even been known to tow boats to safety. Their thick, waterproof coat keeps them warm in cold water, and their large size allows them to pull people and objects to safety.
Did you know they don’t actaully doggy paddle like so many other dogs do while they are swimming. Instead they do something more similar to the breast stroke, which gives them added power and strength in the water.
2. Newfoundland Dogs are Gentle Giants
Despite their large size and impressive strength, Newfoundland dogs are known for their sweet and gentle personalities. These dogs are incredibly patient and loving, and they make excellent family pets.
Newfoundland dogs are also great with children and are known for their nurturing instincts. They are often referred to as “nanny dogs” because of their tendency to watch over and protect young children. Their gentle nature makes them a great choice for families with young kids, as they are less likely to accidentally knock over or hurt a child. That doesn’t mean they won’t while they are puppies, when they still haven’t learned their size and want to play. But as a general rule, they are gentle with children.
In addition to their gentle personalities, Newfoundland dogs are also very intelligent and trainable. They are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement training methods. These dogs are often used as therapy dogs and have been known to bring comfort and joy to people in hospitals, nursing homes, and schools.
3. Newfoundland Dogs Have a Unique Coat
Newfoundland dogs have a unique coat that is thick, double-layered, and waterproof. Their coat is made up of a soft undercoat and a longer outer coat, which provides insulation and protection from the elements. This coat comes in a variety of colors, including black, brown, gray, and white-and-black. There are several other colors Newfoundlands can come in, but the four listed are the acceptable colors in the US. Stick around on the blog and the future podcast and we might go down some dog world rabbit holes regarding color someday.
Because of their thick coat, Newfoundland dogs require regular grooming to prevent matting and tangling. Their coat also sheds heavily, especially during the spring and fall months, also known as shedding season. Owners should definitely be prepared to brush their dogs frequently.
4. Newfoundland Dogs Love the Cold
Because Newfoundland dogs were originally bred to work in the cold waters off the coast of Newfoundland, they are well-suited for cold weather. In fact, they thrive in colder temperatures and it is often a challenge to convince them to come back inside the house during the cold winter months.
Their thick coat provides insulation and protection from the cold, and their large size allows them to generate and retain body heat. So don’t be surprised if they prefer sleeping on a snow bank during a blizzard instead of snuggling up with you on the couch.