“Benevolent” is not a word usually associated with our domestic canines and it is certainly not a word that you would expect to find in a Kennel Club breed standard. That is absolutely so with one very important exception – for the Newfoundland dog.
About Peter Maniate
Posts by Peter Maniate:
Just when I thought that everything that could be written about the war hero, Gander, had been, along comes a marvellous book about this incredible Newfoundland dog. The book is entitled A Dog Named Gander and it is co-authored by Sergeant Major George S. MacDonell and Sue Beard. One of the factors making this book(…)
In 1975 I got my first Newfoundland and as I look back over the past 39 years I see many changes involving our breed here in their country of origin. Six areas in particular stand out in my mind: appearance, health clearances, diet, life span, rescue, and working events. Appearance When people look back at(…)
Previously I have described Newfoundlands as first cousins to the polar bear so it may seem strange that there could be any winter hazards for such a hearty cold weather breed. However I have found four possibilities; if they lived in the wild like the polar bears that list would be narrowed down to only one.
As a Newfoundland breeder with a special interest in dog carting I am often asked what criteria I use to select a pup as a potential draft dog. My answer comes in three parts and the second part usually surprises people.
Like most volunteers with organizations that rescue Newfs in need, I want nothing more than to put ourselves totally out of business by having the need go away. Regrettably we appear to be going in the opposite direction.
Since the 1800’s there has been fascination with three wheeled draft vehicles for dogs to power. One of the most unique is this tricycle from France in 1875. The back wheels were like giant hamster wheels with the dogs inside of them. Fortunately this didn’t catch on but similar devices were patented in both France and the USA.
Newfoundland dogs have long been the subject of hoaxes. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s there were many fabricated newspaper reports about our breed. This was understandable as main stream journalism in that period was akin to tabloid journalism today and most people knew of the amazing abilities of the Newfoundland dog.
Modern day wagons tend to have 10 inch diameter wheels although there are some with 13 inch wheels. The smaller wheels on a wagon means more rolling resistance which causes the dog or dogs pulling it to have to work harder. However the four wheels of a wagon make it a more stable platform and this enables greater versatility both in terms of types of cargo and for jazzing up the appearance.
Just as it is undisputed that a Newfoundland is the strongest swimmer in the dog world, so too is the fact that this breed is unmatched for distance swimming. Of course quantifying these facts is no easy matter. The Guinness Book of World Records does not have such categories nor anyone else. No one has ever set up tests to formally measure the unique swimming capabilities of our Newfie dogs.