Newfies to the Rescue: Tales of the Newfoundland Dog by Dr Carrie Wachsmann by Dr Carrie Wachsmann - Read Online

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Newfies to the Rescue - Dr Carrie Wachsmann

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Chapter 1

The Remarkable Newfoundland Dog

Introduction & History

Handsome, beautiful, adorable, intelligent, crafty, playful, powerful, loyal... some of the words used to describe the Newfoundland dog.

Originating from the now extinct American black wolf, the Algonquin Indians domesticated the black wolf. These wolves, different from other wolves, could easily be tamed and were affectionate.

The Newfoundland or Newfie, as the dog is affectionately nicknamed, was developed by the Indians before the white man came to Canada. Sioux and Apache used a similar type dog until the horse replaced them in the 1600’s.

A black wolf was similar in size to today’s Newfie, but with a shorter outer coat.

The Black Wolf Artist: William Jardine Published by Lizards, 1839 (Public Domain )

He was large for a wolf. The male was all black while the female was black with a splash of white on the chest. These wolves acted as a beast of burden for the Indians. They were also pets and hunters. The black wolves’ natural instinct was to retrieve game and catch fish.

The wolves’ fishing method was to stand near a small waterfall and catch the jumping salmon with its mouth. Most Newfies still do this instinctively.

Another fishing method is to lie quietly by a stream with one foot dangling in the water, using it as a lure. When an inquisitive fish comes along, the wolf or dog will grab it with its teeth.

The most common Newfies are black or black with small patches of white. Another common variety is called Landseer. The Landseer is mainly white with black spots or blotches. The Landseer was named after an English painter, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, because he painted many beautiful oil paintings, as is depicted here, with this particular black and white dog.

Artist: - Sir Edwin Henry Landseer Dated 1831. The original painting of Bob hangs in the Tate Gallery of London. The most famous of all Sir Edwin Henry Landseer’s Landseer paintings. (Public Domain )

Why do these dogs make such good pets?

"Calmness is one of the traits that makes these special dogs wonderful pets; even for city-dwellers. They sleep or nap quietly for hours at a time. They adapt easily to almost any family living pattern. They love affection and attention but are not as demanding as most hyper breeds. They love long walks, water activities, and frolicking in the snow.

There was never a nicer, more comfortable ‘easy chair and slippers by the fireplace’ dog. 1. Dog Fancy, op. cit.