Author: Katie Dolan
“I used to have dogs, now I have Newfoundlands,” writes breeder Rhoda Lehrman.
That’s certainly my experience: we’ve had large purebred and mixed breed dogs since I was a child, but getting a Newfoundland, raising a litter of eight puppies, and years of owning Newfoundlands made me fall in love with these gentle, people-focused giants. Along the way, I’ve learned from other breeders, puppy owners, veterinarians, books, and the dogs themselves about how to care for and nurture them.
Your conceptions might include shaggy Nanna from Peter Pan, Emily Dickinson’s patient companion Carlo, Seaman, the dog of the Lewis and Clark expedition, heroic water rescue dogs, or the elegant black and white dogs featured in Edward Landseer’s beautiful oil paintings. These famous and noble creatures are only part of the story. Newfoundlands, harkening from the cold north Atlantic coast, worked to bring in fishing nets, and over the centuries, have hauled materials, rescued drowning people, turned spits, and done a variety of other jobs. The dogs are big, messy, drool, require regular grooming, and thrive in a home where they can be with their people.
This updated guide offers owners’ favorite stories and useful information for new Newfoundland owners and anyone contemplating adding this special dog to their family. It provides practical, breed-specific suggestions on finding a dog, checking out breeders, bringing a new dog home, health issues, training, nutrition, exercise, potential hazards in your home, socializing, working with your dog, and tips on caring for your Newfoundland from puppydom to old age.