So, my first few posts might almost seem discouraging if owning a Newfoundland is something that you are considering. Yes, they are a relatively high maintenance dog, but there are so many rewards that go along with it. Today is a good day to share a few.
For one, they have an amazing disposition. They love EVERYBODY! And people will want to pet your baby, so get in a s much socialization as possible as often as possible (humans and other dogs as well). As an example, last year when I took Freyja to Pendleton, Oregon for a dog show, we went on a few casual walks between rings appearances. I have never had people stop their cars as they passed to ask what sort of dog she was, much less if they could pull over and pet her. Absolute strangers! Your Newfoundland is a wonderful ice breaker. She will have people flocking to you no matter where you may be.
They grow fast, so enjoy those first months before their swishing tail helps you clean off end tables and other places. This is another good reason to get in early socialization that includes obedience. Not everybody will understand that your 140-plus pound baby is just saying “hello!” when they gallop up and try to leap into their arms.
The Newfoundland is a very affectionate animal. They are great for things like companionship. They are also often trained as therapy animals. Your Newf may have the perfect disposition for visits to senior centers, pediatric wings in the hospital, and other such things where a person just needs a little something special. There are many places that will help you and your Newf if that is something that interests you.
Water is where many Newfoundland’s thrive. Their feet are designed for it and they even have a unique swimming stroke that allows them to be trained for things such as water rescue. They are the aquatic St. Bernard if you will. Naturally not all of them take to it so readily, but for many, they will be like little children in that they will veer towards even the smallest puddle when on a walk.
Draft cart work is another exercise that many take to almost instinctively. With the right training/coaching, your Newf can add an alphabet of letters in the form of titles to his or her name. And this also allows you to build an even stronger bond with your Newf.
And for the truly ambitious, there is always the show ring. Each of these journeys deserves its own post, and they will be coming as my Newfoundland Mondays continue throughout the year. The ring is a monster that I will only mention here as a possible venue. I will save any other comments on it for the post. Just be aware that it exists for now.
There are likely local clubs in your area. I suggest finding them and meeting the Newfoundland owners in your area. It is more than likely that one of those people will be the breeder you will be working with when you make that step and add one of these amazing dogs to your family.