Where should a Newf live? Most people who love Newfs, out of financial necessity or because of personal choice, do not reside on vast properties with waterfront access. Therefore the number of “ideal” homes for Newfs seems rather limited and definitely not enough for the many hundreds of Newfs registered each year with the Canadian Kennel Club.
A quarter century ago when I first started breeding Newfs, I wanted the stereotypical home for my babies going to their adoptive homes. Soon I discovered that this was not to be. So I insisted on a detached dwelling with a good size yard. Over the years I started to make exceptions for special families that I knew would provide exceptional Newfie dog homes. Some lived in places like the Beaches in Toronto where a minimum size pen for a Newf took the entire width of their lot and up to one third or even one half of their total yard area. A couple of townhouses made it – in these cases their entire yard space became the dog pen. Shocking to me was the fact that the success rate for these “marginal homes” was 100% while, I’m sad to admit, the rate for the more ideal homes was somewhat less. I don’t know if the success of these placements was due to extra stringent screening on my part or an extra effort on the part of the adopting families. Some were wealthy enough to be able to afford dog walkers, doggy day care and/or in-house baby sitters; others simply had so many human family members that the pup never had a lonely moment. Perhaps it was a combination of factors and maybe both Newf and humans wanted so desperately to make it work.
Finally a family that lives on the sixth floor of a residence on campus at Harvard University convinced me, despite every roadblock that I put in their way, and in spite of the most stringent screening that I have ever conducted, to let them have a Newfie pup named Grace. Naively I thought this would be a first; well it was for me, but not for Harvard! There was already a male Newf named Gus in a near by residence on the campus. I now get daily reports by e-mail of Grace’s many adventures and this is turning out to be one of the best adoptions ever. From the internet mailing lists, I am now discovering that many other Newfs live in an apartment setting and all are doing just fine. It would seem that Newfs can live just about anywhere as long as they have humans to love and be loved by.
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.
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