The German Shepherd Newfoundland Mix is a mixed Dog Breed between the German Shepherd and the Newfoundland. These are two very unique breeds. Both are very strong and powerful in their own right. The Newfoundland is known more for its working ability, it’s comfort in the water and it’s working ability in the water. The Shepherd is well known for it’s working and protection abilities.
While we really recommend that you acquire one through a rescue, we understand that some people might go through a breeder to get their German Shepherd mixed with Newfoundland puppy. That is, if they have any for sale. Always screen your breeders as much as possible to ensure that you are getting as high a quality dog as is possible.
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Here is a brief history of both the Shepherd and the Newfoundland. Being that this is a mixed breed dog, there isn’t a lot of history to it. However, we go more in depth to the history of all of the breeds.
As his name suggests, the German Shepherd originated in Germany, where he was created in the nineteenth century primarily by Captain Max von Stephanitz, who wanted to develop a dog that could be used for military and police work. The result was a dog that encompassed striking good looks, intelligence and versatility. World War I put a dent in the breed’s burgeoning popularity because the dogs were associated with the enemy. German Shepherds braved artillery fire, land mines and tanks to supply German soldiers in the trenches with deliveries of food and other necessities. After the war, movies featuring Rin Tin Tin and fellow German Shepherd Strongheart brought the breed back into favor. American audiences loved them. For a time, the German Shepherd was the most popular breed in the United States.
The Newfoundland Dog is well renowned for its working ability. It has been referred to as the the original "ships dog." Working aboard ships it has been used for taking ropes ashore in North Atlantic seas, retrieving lost fishing gear and rescuing humans. It is strong and powerful and excels at swimming. This power and swimming ability give it the ability to pull in heavy nets in cold, rough water. It has a thick double layered coat that make it ideally suited for the work it does. It has also been used as a pack animal, sled dog, and carting dog. It has a very gentle nature and mild guarding instinct that have endeared it to people throughout history.
There a lot of urban legends with the breed as we know it today. It originated from dogs brought from the island of Newfoundland to England in the early 1800's. As it stands, the first written record of the Newfoundland Dog occurs in 1775 when George Cartwright, an entrepreneur and sportsman, applied the name of the breeds native island to his own dog. In 1780, in order to promote sheep raising, the then Commodore-Governor of Newfoundland, Richard Edwards, limited the legal ownership of Newfoundland Dogs to one per household. This decree failed to help sheep raising but did drive the native Newfoundland dog to the edge of extinction. During this time many dogs were exported or destroyed and it was only due to a few newfoundlander's breaking the law for their love of the breed, that the breed survived on the island.
Even Lewis and Clark relied on a sturdy Newfoundland dog to accompany them on their westward trek through the Americas.
"Summer 1803, Lewis oversees construction of big keelboat in Pittsburgh, then takes it down Ohio River, picking up Clark and some recruits along the way. With Lewis is a Newfoundland dog, Seaman, he has purchased for 20 dollars."
Height: 26-28 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 120-175 lb.
Lifespan: 8-10 years
Height: 22 - 26 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 75 - 95 lb.
Lifespan: 10 - 14 years
The best way to really understand a mixed breed personality is to observe them. One of the parent breeds might shine through more than the other. The Newfoundland is known as a gentle giant that is sometimes calm and dignified, and is more laid back than the Shepherd. They do have mild protective instincts. The shepherd is known for being stoic and loyal.
All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems as all breeds are susceptible to some things more than others. However, the one positive thing about getting a puppy is that you can avoid this as much as possible. A breeder should absolutely offer a health guarantee on puppies. If they won’t do this, then look no more and don’t consider that breeder at all. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.
The Newfoundland mixed with German Shepherd might be prone to the following: Joint dysplasia and allergies.
Do not purchase a puppy from a breeder who cannot provide you with written documentation that the parents were cleared of health problems that affect the breed. A careful breeder and one who truly cares about the breed itself, screens their breeding dogs for genetic disease and breed only the healthiest and best-looking specimens. One of the most common health problems with dogs is obesity. Keeping this under control is your responsibility.
There is a good chance they are going to shed a lot and are going to need lots of exercise. This won’t be a good dog for a couch potato as it is going to want to be active and engaged in activities. Being that the Newfoundland is such a strong swimmer and loves the water, being in the water would be ideal for this guy. So make sure that you can fit long walks and hikes and possibly swims into your daily routine. Be prepared to brush them a couple of times a week and have a good vacuum at your disposal to clean up the floors. Give them baths as needed, but not so much that you dry out their skin.
A lot of times diet is done on a per-dog basis. Each one is unique and has different dietary requirements. Most dogs in the U.S. are overweight. A mix like this one that is prone to hip and elbow dysplasia should really be on fish oil and glucosamine and chondroitin supplements as soon as possible. Overfeeding any dog is not a good idea as that can really exacerbate health problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia.
A good diet to look into is Raw Food Diet.
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