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Most "bomb-proof" breeds?

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Tyler

Whippy- The- Whipador
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 5:43am PST 
I don't have tons of knowledge on Newfies, but i used to work at a boarding kennel and the owner had Newfs that she showed from time to time. All were what i would consider "bomb proof". Great with all the noise and hustle and bustle of kennel life, totally happy and content around new people and dogs and gave the BEST hugs wink The youngest was 6 months old and so very un puppy like in the sense she wasn't mad cap excitable and she was very well behaved already. I and a couple of other kennel girls had the joy of grooming the oldest out now and again and my god, the amount of coat that came off him was amazing! Definitely NOT for the house proud!

Edited by author Wed Feb 20, '13 5:44am PST

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"Selli"

The Muddy- Princess
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 6:55am PST 
I have groomed several Newfs for years all were bombproof although Molly, who I groomed a couple of days ago, took a few years to settle into her uber-calm Newf personality. Sweet and forgiving, cuddly to the MAX and very into their humans in a good non-annoying way. They are excellent with other animals and are protective in a watch-the-kid and keep him-out-of-trouble kind of way rather than the keep-the-bad-guys-away way. I really can't imagine any Newf chasing a car, unless the car had driven into the water and the Newf was trying to rescue the people in it.

There are four problems with Newfs in my opinion.

1) Too big, I mean there is no way I could pick up an adult Newf in an emergency situation. Which when added to their thick coat means FAR more hair than I could handle.

2) They drool, they ALL drool. After a large Newf got a bath he left a long drool string hanging from the florescent light fixture on the ceiling. Clipping them, I always get covered in drool.

3) Their color, I love their coloring, BUT it makes then uncomfortably hot in the summer.

(I thought if you could breed a smaller, non-drool, lighter-colored dog with a bit more energy and a bit more biddable, it would be THE perfect dog. Then I realized I was describing the Golden)

4) The biggest problem with Newfs is their short life span. Eight years old is an old Newf. Won't get one mainly for that reason.
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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 8:16am PST 
We had a Newf in the family when I was a child. A sweeter, more willing dog I have never met. Sadly Sabre died very young a a result of an injury he sustained at 7 months. But for the 2 years we had him he was a joy. Adored children, was never snappy or short even in pain, played gently with my Yorkie and was ever up for a grand adventure. My only complaint about him was his refusal to let me swim. I would run into the water, he would follow and gently drag me out.laugh out loud Days at the beach involved a lot of avoiding Sabre.
Given my young age and the short duration of his stay, the impact that he had on my life was profound. When my Gram passed a few years ago I inherited Sabres collar. It rests near my bed, next to Freeways ashes. A truly great dog and one that can still make me laugh, and cry, 40 years later.
As far as life expectancy, attention to bloodlines is key. Sabres parents lived to 12 and 13.
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 20, '13 9:04am PST 
I absolutely loved Selli's description! I always, always admired the breed but living with one? Head over heels!

Very dear friends of my parents had retired near Asheville, NC to a gentleman farmer's existence on a nice spread of land, and when I got hired on a horse farm nearby I stayed with them in a small, private cottage that literally abutted the Blue Ridge Mountains. They warned me about a snake who lived there who was huge but "harmless" but I was from Manhattan...I was scared to put my feet on the floor the next morning wink Then I heard this huge footfall and this very heavy breathing by my window, and peeking over saw this huge thing with black fur and thought it was bear!

But it was Splash. He had belonged to tenants of theirs at their old CT house who had divorced, and they had agreed to take him. He settled himself in and took over being farm guardian. He was a senior, but he dragged himself up this huge hill every morning to escort me down to the main house. When everyone left the property for whatever reason, he'd work his way halfway down the winding driveway, and lay down flat across it and go to sleep. That way, you'd have to stop to wake him up to complete the drive up the long driveway. He'd follow you in. He was incredibly responsible and dear. An amazing guardian. As Selli said, not in a teeth bared sort of way. He just took all individuals into his heart and responsibility. He was always aware of where everyone was and tended to them. You always felt he was the giver rather than the receiver. He was just so together. A really remarkable, mega responsible and insightful animal.

He adopted me and was a very good friend. For however much I loved him, he was the most unfathomably messy creature. He drooled a lot, he shedded a lot....and that is a LOT of dog to drool and shed. When I got home every day sweated up from the horses, he'd follow me back to my cabin and as I sat in the chair to pat him drool would be going, all his flyaway hair coating me, and it was like sitting in front of a hot furnace with his happy face panting. I wanted space, but he was too sweet to tell to go away. You couldn't help but adore him. He was just such an awesome dog. And the Newf people I've dealt with in the years hence reflect on much the same. Dutiful, devoted, insightful and rock solid.

They put up with everything with a discernible steadiness. They are never in a rush to go anywhere...they are chill....but in an even way, as they are always up to go anywhere. They love water, they love hikes, they love training as well. Their draw to and patience with children is legendary, and they very naturally appoint themselves as guardians for them. They are VERY gentle, and save for when they are younger and a bit rambunctious, exceedingly aware despite their size and mass. Extremely earnest.

IMO, anything that is arouseable can't be considered bombproof. Dogs get involved in things that arouse them, and then there can be drama. Evenness and steadiness are an inherent part of bombproof, and those are quintessential Newfie traits.

I agree with Selli re the lifespan and mess. Those are two huge ticks on their negative column. I find by age five I am starting to get in a rhythm with a dog. They have done all their growing, have settled into their adult version, and then you settle into some sort of a perfect flow. That's one of the things about Giants I love. They literally don't get old....they do not grey, aren't particularly prone to arthritis, and if you are lucky live fifteen years, still bouncing around and vivacious. So while getting to five is really this drawn out pain in the bottom, in terms of years it truly is a beginning. Many more years now with a dog who has settled down with so much horizon. I think five or six on a breed like a Newf, and you know it is a few years more and then he's gone. Stuff like that really weighs on my heart.

But what an awesome breed. Social, trainable, reliable, incredibly responsible, insightful, fun, highly trainable and very willing about it. Everyone in their family is one of their "charges"....two legs or four, big or small, old or young. And they are incredibly attuned. Alas, you need to be very careful where you get them. Mill bred Newfs can show aggression, whereas the correct Newf is far removed from that possibility. They are not fearful....they are indeed quite confident....and are truly gentle souls. And then health matters also. No such thing as too much pedigree in terms of health. I pull a lot from shelters, and while granted I rarely see them in there, I'd never trust one I did. They are very easy dogs to get along with, and as such spectacular critters easy to rehome, despite their size. You can't meet one and fail to fall in love. So one in a shelter makes me extremely suspicious.
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 9:58am PST 
I find a lot of Golden people have a big spot in their hearts for Newfs. smile


Now are you also looking for dogs in the under 60 lb range?
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Thu Feb 21, '13 10:29am PST 
Goldens and Newfs seem in approximately same ranges of many basic personality and temperament functions. Goldens are more eager. Newfs are just one of the breeds that "transfers well." They are rescue dogs, and they obviously need to be a little independent with that work, and also very calm. But also very gentle, social and loving. Goldens are very much a "master's dog" so more dependent. A really good Newf doesn't need as much. Splash, the Newf I referenced, he didn't even live anywhere particularly. He was just "about the farm" and would go where he was needed, or just be off by himself somewhere, enjoying the breeze. He cared less about when you left, more about when you got back so he could greet you and check on you. Newfs want to be helpful in their own way. They don't hinge on you as much. One thing I notice about Goldens, which is one thing that draws me in a bittersweet way, is that they are very hard to lose. People seem to struggle with their loss, as if they've lost their helpful shadow and don't know how to function. Not just mourning the loss of their dog, but feeling some loss of themselves....how will they go on without their constant helper by their side. In my experience....Goldens and Boxers bring about two of the most traumatic sense of loss. Boxers are not bombproof, though wink
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Lancer

Lickin your feet- all the time
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 22, '13 1:08am PST 
Selli, good point on their weight in emergency situations... how would that issue be solved? But I suppose I don't need to worry about that until I do start living with a Newfoundland. confused

But I'm so glad to hear such great stories about them! I appreciate the extensive anecdotes, it really gives me an almost personal feel for the breed. I'll keep looking back on this thread when making my decision.
It's sad to hear that they have such a short lifespan... seems like a common con among the giant breeds. frown

Dr. Watson, if possible, I am looking for a medium~large, over the giants. Unfortunately, I also personally can't stand too much drool- though I'm sure if I really DID end up with a Newfie, I would fall in love and wouldn't mind religiously wiping the drool every hour. laugh out loud

Tiller and Watson, I assume for Goldens then, there are many mill breeders who end up with ... straying temperaments? I've only been acquainted with five goldens in my life, and three of them weren't even close to the "bomb-proof" that we're talking about atm. I guess if I had to go into the story a bit, one eight year old female Golden suddenly had an irk with Kityra at the dog park, and went snarling after her for no apparent reason... seemingly in attempt to just scare her, if anything. A five year old male in my neighborhood gets really riled up seeing either of my dogs, and goes barking his head off from across the street whenever we pass by (and gets Lancer into a frenzy too....). What do you think of the breeding of Goldens these days? Do you think their capricious temperaments are more commonly the fault of the owner or the breeding? How would you recommend going about the issue? Is it even a substantial issue, or... am I just particularly unlucky with the Goldens I've met?

I'm located in Southern California. Then again, if there are other medium~large breeds that can near equal the Newfie in "bomb-proof"ness that I can know about, I'd love to know! It's currently sounding like the number one "medium newfie" is a well-bred Golden though-

Edited by author Fri Feb 22, '13 1:18am PST

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Sabi

When the night- closes in I will- be there
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 22, '13 7:18am PST 
I have never lived with one though I have known a few. What about a Flat coated Retriever? The ones I know are friendly, easy going dogs that like everything and are generally pretty unflappable dogs. Their downside according to their owners is the fixation with water or mud, but I think most Goldens have the same issue.
I'm sure Tiller must know about themwink
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Dr. Watson

Not a wiener- dawg!
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 22, '13 8:51am PST 
Flatties are lovely dogs -- the downside, and why I don't plan on one, although I love them, is their short lifespan.frown They are even more prone to cancers than Goldens. There is less of a field/bench split in this breed, and Flatties need plenty of exercise. Some find them a little needier than Goldens, but I've heard the reverse, too.

With Goldens, temperament declined with popularity and then poor breeding for the demand. Goldens became immensely popular due to their presence in the media. A Golden is a dog, first and foremost, and takes training just like any other dog. But their temperament is a classic, and a good breeder breeds for the temperament as much as for structure. If you need any help determining what would make a good breeder, esp. for Goldens (they need a lot of clearances, for example), please feel to ask and I am sure we can point you in the correct direction.

While I am planning on a well bred Golden pup in a couple of years, my previous Goldens were bybs. However, they had wonderful temperaments. They were especially child-friendly. But I was lucky.

You find so many Goldens today that aren't well-bred, and overbreeding/milling put the genetics for everything, esp. temperament, in a mess. But don't worry, there are plenty of responsible breeders still breeding for classic Golden temperament along with structure, function, clearances, etc. PM me if you want for any more info.smile
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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
 
 
Barked: Fri Feb 22, '13 9:38am PST 
Goldens have def gotten slammed with rampant, rampant BYB'ing. Sometimes you have a moment. I was co-hosting an adoption event this summer at Petco and this fellow shows up with his Golden pup for socialization. And in looking at this pup, who was very correct, it reminded me of how LONG it had been since I had seen a well-bred Golden. That's like Rottweilers. RARE you see a correct one. You see a LOT, but one from a good source is like gold dust. No one has numbers, but I wish there were ratios for dogs of those placed in homes, how many are commercial or BYB vs how many are from a strong source. Sadly, we are seeing the same with Newfs now. Aggression is starting to crop up, just because of the internet and the opening for BYBs, IMO. The whole pet store commercial thing had one quasi benefit to large dogs in that whatever pet store I walked into whenever years ago, it always was like one large breed for every ten smaller. But now, with the internet, I do feel they are getting milled more.

Ok, you want smaller? I am very hardcore when someone wants to say "bombproof." So here are others. Smaller sorts, Clumber Spaniel, although they drool. But it is hard to perturb one. Another drooler, and also SELECTIVELY ONLY!!!!!.....Bulldog. To some extent, Spinone or Otterhound, one because he's so mellow, one because he's so goofy. Basset Hounds, Bloodhounds too, can stack up pretty solid. All the GSDs, Flatties, etc. in the world will seem less bombproof stacked up against something like a Glen of Imaal, but you need to raise him right and deal with prey drive.
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