The Newfoundland dog is a giant breed that has a very large, heavy and muscular appearance that can seem very imposing, but these big canines are actually very gentle, calm and kind. Originally bred as a working dog by the fishermen of Newfoundland, the breed are excellent swimmers and very at home in the water, helped along by their unusual webbed feet!
Males of the breed can stand up to 30” tall at the shoulder, and weigh on average up to 70kg, but can often be seen much larger! Females tend to be slightly smaller than males. As well as being tall and heavy, the Newfoundland is also a very long dog, which can measure as much as six feet from nose to tail!
The Newfoundland coat is very dense and rather oily, making it water resistant and not prone to becoming waterlogged when swimming. They can be seen in either brown, black, or black and white, with the latter colour being referred to as “Landseer.”
If you have a soft spot for the gentle giants, the Newfoundland dog may be worthy of consideration as a potential pet, providing that you have enough room to accommodate them comfortably! When considering ownership of any breed, it is of course vital to do plenty of research first, and this is particularly true when considering buying a giant breed such as the Newfoundland. In this article we will look at the hereditary health and recommended health tests for the breed in more detail.
The average lifespan of the Newfoundland is 8-10 years of age, which is relatively low when compared to the vast majority of other dog breeds, but is well within the average rankings for giant breeds, which tend to live shorter lives than their smaller counterparts.
The coefficient of inbreeding statistic for the Newfoundland dog is 6.1%, which is within the acceptable range for pedigree dog breeds of 6.25% or lower.
The general shape and build of the Newfoundland is large and muscular, but considered to be well proportioned and free of exaggerations.
Like most very large breeds of dog, the Newfoundland is at risk of bloat or gastric torsion, a condition in which the stomach fills with gas and may flip over on itself.
The shape of the eyes also makes the breed prone to medial canthal pocket syndrome, in which the eyes create pouches or pockets in the lids, which can collect dirt and debris.
The British Veterinary Association and The Kennel Club recommend a range of pre-breeding health tests for the Newfoundland dog, due to a hereditary predisposition to certain health problems across the breed as a whole.
Current testing schemes for the breed include:
Newfoundland breed clubs also make the following recommendations:
As well as the conditions mentioned above, the Newfoundland has also been identified as having a breed propensity to certain other health issues as well, for which no pre-breeding schemes are currently available. These conditions include: