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The Internet today is probably the most important communication media shaping how people feel about dogs in general and specific breeds in particular. To see how our breed is perceived outside of the Newfoundland dog fancy I decided to check out the “top” lists for dog breeds to see how we fared.

Here is a typical list of lists that include the Newfoundland:

High Shed Dog Breeds
Less Prone To Wander Breeds
Well Suited for Cold Weather Breeds
Prone To Health Problem Breeds
Dog Breeds Best Choices For Cat Owners

No great surprises there. Not all the listings provide a ranking of their choices but of those that do I found two where Newfs were #1.

21 Extremely Messy Dog Breeds
The 15 Quietest Dog Breeds

When my late wife, Maribeth, and I were looking for our first dog in the mid 1970’s we first and foremost wanted to find a breed that would be good with children as we were hoping to have some. So now, four decades later, I expected to see internet reflect the same conclusion that Newfoundlands were the best of the best with kids. To my great surprise, Newfs only made about half of the lists for best breeds with children and in none of them did they come in first. Here are some where the Newfoundland dog is at least included:

16 Best Dog Breeds To Get Along With Kids
Top 10 Dog Breeds For Kids
Best Dogs For Children
10 Best Family Breeds
10 Best Family Dog Breeds
10 Breeds For Homes With Children
The 10 Best Dog Breeds For Children
10 Best Dog Breeds For Children

Even on the lists above, some have caveats about Newfies. Size is often cited as a potential danger when a Newfoundland interacts with a child. The other concern is that their double coat may represent an allergy risk.

Something was amiss – how could Maribeth and I have been so wrong? Then I dug deeper into my memory bank and remembered what the clincher was: a Newfie is much more than good with children, they are natural protectors of the young ones. Obviously this fact is not well promulgated on the internet but after much searching I did find one site that shows Newfs as #1 in this the most important category IMHO:

Dog Breeds That Protect Children

Here is some of what the site says about our wonderful breed:

Newfoundland might be the perfect guardian for your child. He is very friendly with children and he has a great instinct to protect children. This is probably due to the fact that in ancient times he was bred as a rescue dog. Patient, playful and very loving with children – this dog is a nanny.

Peter Maniate has been writing columns for the Newf News, the magazine of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada, since 1979.  In 1996 he started writing a Newfoundland dog column in the Breedlines section of Dogs in Canada magazine on behalf of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada.  When Dogs in Canada ceased publication at the end of 2011 he continued the Breedlines column in the Newf Newfs.

Permission is granted for re-publication of the preceding article or excerpts from it as long as the author is credited and the name of the original publication and date of first publication is included.

Newf News

July/August 2014