Newfoundland Rescue is an organisation usually run by the breed clubs. They take in and assess unwanted newfoundland dogs and find them new, forever homes.
It is an unfortunate fact of life that too many people buy a puppy on impulse, then find they do not have time or do not have space for these large dogs. I hope by reading and keeping up with this site, you will not make that same mistake.
Dogs end up with Newfoundland Rescue for many reasons, some genuine, some not so genuine. Perhaps there has been a marital split, or financial difficulties that can force the owner to give up a much loved newfie. If you are lucky enough to adopt a newfoundland puppy or adult dog under these circumstances, you will be lucky.
Unfortunately, the reasons given for people giving up their newfies are not always truthful. This is where Newfoundland Rescue plays a wonderful part. They will take the dog, foster him or her for a while so that they can assess the dog's temperament before rehoming him.
It could well be that the dog is aggressive - yes, it does happen, even with a newfie. Dogs are not born aggressive, especially our gentle giants. Aggression usually stems from fear. Perhaps the dog has not been socialised with other dogs, perhaps he has been harshly treated. You will likely never know, because the former owners will not admit to that.
I have heard of and met a few people who say their newfie does not like other dogs. To me, this is quite unbelievable, as my two love other dogs. I think the problem may stem from the fear that they could hurt a smaller dog (and let's face it, they are nearly all smaller) so they do not let them mix. This will cause the dog to be afraid of other dogs because they are not used to them, and like any other breed, they may become aggressive toward anything they are afraid of.
My dogs' breeder told me she had had two of her dogs brought back because they got too big! Amazingly, people seem to ignore the fact that their cute little puppy is going to grow into a giant dog. When I buy a giant breed, I will be very disappointed if he does not get as big as possible!
There was a well known newfie called Gander who saved the lives of several Canadian soldiers during the second world war and received the Dickin Medal. The dog was given to them because the owner thought he was aggressive. His crime? He had scratched the face of small child. So this beautiful dog was about to be euthanised basically for giving his paw. I had an evil scratch on my face once, where Ferdie had given me his paw! This is just one example of how stupid people can be and how the poor dog suffers for it.
Have you ever read the free ads or internet sites? Have you ever seen some of the unbelievable excuses people use for giving up their dogs?
It is a fortunate dog who is either returned to the breeder - and any good breeder will take him back at whatever age - or is given up to Newfoundland Rescue. Many of them are advertised on shady internet sites because their owners are thinking about getting their money back instead of the dog's welfare. Because of this, some of the newfies who end up with breed rescue have been shunted around to many different owners, all trying to get a refund on their purchase price.
I recently met a newfie bitch who was being fostered. They had been trying to find a home for her for ages and the reason nobody wanted her was because she had only one eye. With all that black fur, it was barely noticeable and if it were not for the expense of the two I already have, I would have been sorely tempted.
Rescuing a newfoundland dog is a wonderful thing to do, but it is a great commitment. Generally, you will not get a well trained, socialised dog, but one who is insecure, confused and could well suffer from terrible separation anxiety. It takes months, if not years, for a dog that has been shunted about to feel secure in their new home.
If you still want to give a forever home to one of these newfies, you will first be visited by a volunteer representative of Newfoundland Rescue, who will do a home visit. They will make quite sure that you have the right home for a rescued newfie. The sort of things they will want to be sure of is that you have a properly fenced garden, that you have experience of large dogs, that you know what you are taking on. They will want to meet the entire family and any other animals you have.
They may not have a dog available that will fit in. They need to make quite sure of this, as the last thing they want is for that dog to be returned to them. These poor dogs have had enough disturbances in their lives.
Depending on where you live, take a look at the breed clubs on the Newfie Breeders page. They will put you in touch with the right branch for your area and give you all the information you might need.