Newfoundlands are known for the massive size and large coats but if you take a closer look you will discover they are just gentle giants. Out of the large dog breeds Newfoundlands top the chart as the 5th largest in the world standing at between 27-30 inches tall and weighing as much as 150 pounds. Add to their height the thick double coat that covers them, they appear even larger. The breed, as the name suggests, comes from the Canadian island of Newfoundland. Fisherman in the area needed dogs who could aid them onboard and with their natural ability to swim due to their partially webbed feet, Newfoundlands were a natural choice. The dogs kept warm by their fur, were strong enough to save a grown man from drowning. This kind of loyalty has made them ideal pets to their families, who, as you will see from this list, have had to make a little extra room in their homes.
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History is filled with famous Newfoundlands. In 1802 Lewis and Clark brought along a Newfoundland named Seaman for their 8,000-mile trek across America. He earned his place on the expedition as a hunter and guard dog and even saved their lives against a rogue buffalo.
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While they have made a name for themselves with their survival and rescue skills, they have also been able to adapt to help in the home. Their sweet and gentle nature with children has even earned them the title of the "nanny dog." For example a Newfoundland named Brumus was documented to have been the "nanny dog" for Senator Robert F. Kennedy and his wife's 11 children - just like in Peter Pan.
Even sweet domestic Newfoundlands need to romp and play. They have an enormous lung capacity, which helps with water rescue but also means they might wear you out before they even begin to get tired.
If you plan on getting a Newfoundland it's important to do your research and prepare your home for lots and lots of drool. As very athletic dogs with a large coat this is how they keep cool.
Newfoundlands gain 100 pounds within the first year of their life, which means lots and lots of dog food. Luckily their metabolism slows after that as well as how many calories they need.
Grooming is another important aspect of Newfoundland care. Their enormous waterproof coat sheds frequently and must be brushed regularly. In addition your dog should be taken for regular nail trims to prevent the feet from splaying under their enormous weight.
Newfoundlands can be found all around but thrive best in cool climates with wide open spaces. Dog owners who live in warmer climates must keep their dogs near air conditioners or in the water when it is especially hot to prevent heat stroke.
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These silly, curious dogs are one of the smartest dog breeds. Their brains mixed with their unique swimming abilities are why Newfoundlands are still used as rescue dogs and lifeguards.
Even with their sweet nature many Newfoundlands find themselves in need or adopting or fostering because their original owners' weren't prepared for the amount of care that goes into raising a dog this large, so it's always important to research first.