Intelligent and Versatile
Widely considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, the Newfoundland is an ideal companion. In addition to being an excellent pack carrier and guardian for children and families, the Newf is unmatched at water rescues. In modern times, it is brought along for hiking and camping expeditions, but is also still held in high esteem by rural families in need of a working dog.
A Gentle Giant
The Newfoundland is truly a massive dog in all respects. Standing at an average of 26 to 30 inches in height and weighing from 120 to 150 pounds, the powerful, heavily boned Newfoundland is strong enough to drag a drowning man from a turbulent sea. The massive head is set atop a thick and muscular neck, and a body both strong and broad in size. The Newf's body is longer than it is tall, and its gait is effortlessly powerful, with a good drive and reach that covers much ground in few steps.
Get Your Comb Out!
The Newfoundland's coat is generally black. The Landseer coat, which is white with black markings, is also a common coloration. It is comprised of a dense, soft undercoat that keeps the dog warm and dry at the skin, and a medium length water resistant outer coat that is straight or wavy and coarse to the touch. The undercoat is less dense during warm months, when the Newf will shed much of its hair.
Not a Couch Potato
The Newfoundland is calm, sweet and friendly, especially toward children, but he can be protective if the situation calls for it. Although he's not a workaholic like some dogs, he enjoys activity, especially swimming. Canine sports in which the Newfoundland participates include obedience trials; draft, tracking, and water tests; and sledding. He's also an excellent companion for a hiker or backpacker and makes a super therapy dog, being just the right height for standing at a bedside.
Out and About
As with any dog, early, frequent socialization is essential to prevent a Newf from becoming overly suspicious or fearful of anything new or different. Purchase a Newfoundland puppy from a breeder who raises the pups in the home and ensures that they are exposed to many different household sights and sounds, as well as people. Once certain vaccines are given and your vet gives the go-ahead, continue socializing your Newfoundland by taking him to puppy kindergarten class, visits to friends and neighbors, and outings to local shops and businesses.