Dog Health & More
The Newfoundland is a large, strong dog breed from — wait for it — Newfoundland. He was originally used as a working dog to pull nets for fishermen and haul wood from the forest. He is a capable and hardworking dog, well suited to work on land or water. He is a strong swimmer and equally strong "pack horse." Sweet-natured and responsive, he makes a wonderful family companion as well.
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Surely you remember Nana, the fictional Newfoundland employed as a nanny by the Darling family in Peter Pan? Sweet-natured Nana was first introduced to the public by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie in his 1904 play, Peter Pan, which later became the well-loved kids' story we know today.
It's true that Barrie's fictional account of Nana as a round-the-clock babysitter stretches reality a bit. However, there is truth in the author's characterization of the dog.
The Newfoundland really is a sweet dog who loves children. He's naturally gentle and friendly with them, as well as protective. Fans of this breed say the Newfoundland really is a natural-born babysitter.
Originating in Newfoundland, Canada, located on the northeastern shore of that country, the Newfoundland, affectionately nicknamed "Newfie," shares a birthplace with the popular Labrador Retriever. The breeds are similar in character, sharing a desire to please, intelligence, a strong work ethic, friendliness, adaptability and versatility.
The Newfoundland is a giant breed (about 100 pounds). Though relatively placid, he still needs daily exercise to keep fit.
Neat freaks need not consider the Newfoundland because his long, heavy coat is a mud-burr-dirt magnet. He is especially skilled at tracking dirt and debris throughout the house. You'll need to keep up with quite a bit of grooming to minimize the damage. And he drools — a lot.
But when it comes to training, you'll find the Newfoundland is an A student. He learns quickly and there is little this dog can't do. Training should begin early because the breed gets big quickly and it can be tough to haul a 100-pound pooch off the couch.
All dogs have the potential for heroism, but it seems to be a hardwired into this naturally strong swimmer. There are many accounts of Newfoundlands rescuing people from the cold waters of the Atlantic following a shipwreck or plucking children from icy deep water — just in time.
Regardless of the purpose of the Newfoundland in your life, be it worker or companion, he will no doubt capture your heart.