Select Page

I’ve got a number of short and unrelated items about Newfs, so I thought this would be a good time to play DID YOU KNOW?

DID YOU KNOW that you can tell when a Newfoundland had reached maturity by his ears? The maturity we’re talking about is physical maturity. Humans seem to reach both physical and mental maturity at about the same age, 25 years. After that it is downhill, at least physically. Newfs on the other hand reach physical maturity somewhere between two and six years of age, but mental maturity can take much longer (I had one bitch that I couldn’t take off leash in the house until she was 11½ years old). Anyway, to determine physical maturity, you can use the ear test that comes straight out of the CKC breed standard: “When ear of the adult dog is brought forward, it reaches to inner corner of eye on the same side.” If your Newf’s ear goes past the inner corner of the closest eye then you know that the head has to grow some more to fit the ears. Just like in humans, the head is the last part of the body to finish growing.

DID YOU KNOW that the website mascot for the Canadian Kennel Club’s Junior Kennel Club is a Newfoundland puppy named Webster. Explanation: “He’s a perfect pup for the job because he’s got ‘Web’ feet and is one of Canada’s indigenous breeds.”

DID YOU KNOW that the British Heart Association is funding a three year study on familial dilated cardiomyopathy, a potentially fatal human heart problem, that is based on approximately 150 Newfoundland dogs? Researchers at Edinburgh University believe that it may easier to find any genetic causes of the disease in the dogs than in humans. This is because the dogs tend to have big litters and a shorter life span than humans. The testing on the Newfs involves scanning and blood samples and we have the assurance that no dog will be harmed.

DID YOU KNOW that back in the wife swapping days of eighteenth century England a man offered to trade his wife for a Newfoundland dog. He would accept either two and a half pounds for his wife or one pound plus a Newfoundland dog.

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.

Dogs in Canada

March 1999