After hearing about the breed “diver”, not everyone immediately understands what kind of animal it is?
But in fact, almost everyone knows this dog. Diver, aka Newfoundland, aka newf, are known as the best rescue dogs. In appearance, this is a formidable dog, but in fact – an affectionate and good-natured pet.
History of the breed
This breed appeared on the eponymous island of Newfoundland in the 16th century. The progenitors were Mastiff-like dogs brought from Europe, and Laika-like “native” dogs. It was not until the nineteenth century that the diver’s ancestors were brought to France.
After seeing how beautiful and intelligent dogs grew out of the puppies brought by fishermen, it was decided to strengthen the genotype of this breed. By the end of the 19th century, the first standards appeared.
Description of the breed
One of the largest dog breeds in the world. The height is approximately 66-71 cm, but the weight reaches 75 kilos, the girls are lighter – up to 65 kilos. The musculature is well developed. The animal looks very harmonious.
The fur of the newf is long and very thick. Its color is different, but the main colors are black, brown and gray. Allowed not only pure color, but a bronze shade of hair or small white spots on the legs, chest, chin and tip of the tail. Although registered and black and white color (Landseer).
The head is large and resembles a square. The coat is short and very soft. Eyes wide set, brown in color.
The ears are only small at first glance, but this is all because of the long coat. If you gently pull it forward, it becomes clear that the tip of it reaches the eye.
The jaws are powerful. The bite is straight. The backbone is strong. The line of the back and abdomen is straight.
The tail is very strong, because during swimming it helps the dog, something like a rudder. And it also perfectly suggests the dog’s emotions. If the “diver” is calm, then his tail is straight, hanging down. If the newf is happy, it raises its tail and twists its tip a little.
Character of the diver
Despite all its external menace, newf is an incomparably affectionate and gentle dog. Hunting and guard qualities of this breed are practically absent, not for this purpose the breed was bred. As you remember from the history of the breed, dogs lived initially on the island, then were brought by fishermen.
And fishermen are much more important than the hunting qualities of the accompanying dog, but fearlessness and loyalty, so that the pet, without hesitation, rushed into the water if something happens to the owner.
To this day, Newfoundlands “work” on the water, saving drowning people. A strong dog saves lives in the water, on the ground, and in the mountains, looking for survivors under the rubble or under the snow after an avalanche. But in addition to performing such complex and responsible work, divers easily, and, most importantly, are happy to babysit children.
Newfoundlands make excellent friends, affectionate, gentle, loyal, smart.
Despite all their seriousness and high level of intelligence, divers are not such “obedient sheep”, and can rest. However, in an emergency situation, the dogs make their own decisions, and do not wait for the command. And their decision is almost always correct.
The dog is not afraid, so you can safely go somewhere on the bus or train, leave the children, go on noisy holidays. A dog with a normal balanced mind will not shake, hide behind you or follow you on half-bent paws.
The animal is very strong, so it can pull heavy loads, but a sled with a child or a bag from the store will seem easy for a “diver”.
Maintenance and care of a dog of the “diver” breed
Because of the thick and long coat, the Newfoundland owner needs to spend a lot of time with the comb. Special cosmetics are also required: shampoos and conditioners. Without regular combing (at least once a week) and periodic washing, the wool will get tangled and spoil the diver’s exterior.
For show dogs, washing should be done once a week or two. For those dogs that do not appear at exhibitions so often, there is no need to wash, but you can not go dirty. The frequency of water treatments for such animals is once a month.
And we must not forget about the most accurate trimming of the tips of the wool (grooming salons will come to the rescue if you are afraid to spoil the “bear coat” of newf).
You need to feed very high quality, monitor the caloric content of the diet, as well as its balance. If in doubt, contact your “family” veterinarian or breeder for help. And do not forget about physical activity during walks. Without them, the dog will weaken, its muscles will lose their tone, and the pet itself will start to get fat.
Predisposition to diseases
Obesity. Newfs are very large, so the owner may not immediately notice how his pet has gained extra weight. Therefore, divers often overfeed, and without proper physical activity, fat accumulates.
Hip dysplasia is an age – old problem of large breeds. The joints are under tremendous strain, but if you monitor the weight of the animal, its diet and do not overload the hind limbs, the dog even with a hereditary predisposition may not know about the pain and discomfort. A lot depends on the owner.
Again, diseases of large dogs, including newfs, can include heart defects (including aortic stenosis), inversion or bloating of the intestines, eversion/inversion of the eyelids, as well as various dermatitis. All these diseases are most often registered in large breeds of dogs.
Even divers tend to develop cataracts and hypothyroidism (the thyroid gland does not cope well with its function, not enough hormone is produced), and because of the thick and dark coat, Newfoundland can have heat strokes (and not only in Sunny weather, but also in a stuffy room).