This is an adorable Newfoundland puppy who's photos I found on the internet. His name is Hersheybear. He makes me think of a giant sweet Gingerbred Cookie, or a Cinnamon Chocolate Cake dusted with powdered sugar. He is my Christmas inspiration, that which brings the joys of Christmas home by the warm fireplace decorated with colorful Christmas stockings and twinklie lights. Look, there's Santa and his sleigh! Is he bringing me a Christmas ginger-chocolate-cinnamon bear-puppy dusted with powdered sugar? I hope so!! Maybe he will bring you one too!!
Newfoundland, a cold and rugged land with rocky terrain, surrounded by a rough and frigid sea, not only brought us the Newfoundland Dog, but a gorgeous little pony, a hard working animal with a gentle and sweet temperament like the Newfoundland Dog. Also equipped with a dense long coat to defend against the severe winter weather, it was a hearty companion to the Newfoundlander farmers. Not needed as much now for work, the little pony is becoming known more as a rare breed. It would be great if the residents of Napa would rescue some of these sweet and friendly ponies to compliment their grazing land and Newfoundland Dog breeding kennels!
No, silly, it's not a Bench Show...... it's a Benched Show! That's where the dogs have to stay at their benched area when not in the show ring so the public can come by and visit and learn more about the breeds. No, there are no park benches. It's just an area where the dogs can keep their crates side by side usually grouped with the same breed, amongst friends who have the same breed. The big Westminster show in New York is a benched show. Here in California we have our benched show in San Francisco with the Golden Gate Kennel Club held at the Cow Palace. No, there won't be any cows there. Yes, Hummer will be there with all of his friends. It will take place on January 24th and 25th. Yes, puppies are allowed to compete but you have to be at least 6 months of age and have received a blue ribbon in a previous show. There will be a $500 cash prize for the dog who gets Best in Show, and a $100 prize for Best Puppy in Show. We get to decorate the bench area and try to win a prize for Best Bench in Show. No, it's not the same as "decorating the kennels" which I know you are good at! Yes, when you are big like Hummer you can go to the Cow Palace. You want to go to the park now? Ok, let's go.
Dog show expenses vary from show to show depending on the number of dogs you enter, the distance you have to travel to get to the show, and whether or not you have to stay in a hotel or rent trailer or RV space at the show grounds. For one dog, the entry fee is approximately $25 per day. That's the easy part. Gas, Food, and Lodging range any where from $200 - $400 per weekend. Miscellaneous expenses include parking ($5 per day), catalogue ($10), new show outfit ($100), bait ($3), and Handler Fees can cost upwards of $200 per weekend). Handling your own dog can cut expenses considerably but you have to be able to compete with the professional handlers in the ring. With a professional handler, your weekend bill for showing one dog can reach $500 or more if you get a Group or Best in Show placement. This does not include the time you have spent grooming and feeding your dog.
Dog show equipment can be very costly. To groom your dog properly, you need a grooming table, a forced air dryer, extension cords, possibly a generator, specialty combs and brushes, a dolly to transport all of the stuff, a portable chair, a nice grooming box to keep all of your combs, brushes, and scissors. Good grooming scissors cost at least $200 a pair and it will cost $6 to sharpen them which needs to be done at least twice a year if you trim your dog often. Long-haired breeds require a great deal of trimming and special shampoos and rinses to maintain a nice coat worthy of competition. A show dog's coat should be lush and beautiful which requires not only consistent care, but excellent nutrition. Nutritional supplements are also very expensive.
The Newfoundland Show Dog requires a dedicated attention to coat-care and nutrition, training for fitness and notable ring presence, and is demanding in time and expense. The pay-out, however, is a tremendous satisfaction in owning and appreciating one of the most beautiful dogs ever as well as a the pride in developing such a magnificent breed of dog. Winning is just the icing on the cake. With a Newfoundland dog, from the days of the developing puppy to the prospect of a competitive show specimen, to a proven Show Champion, and on to winning Best of Breed, the experience is..... priceless.
It's that time of year, a chill in the air and all the leaves turning different hues of golds and reds. The days are getting shorter and a fire in the fireplace warms our hands and hearts. We get out our pie recipes and allow the dogs to linger on their walks a little longer because it is so cool and beautiful outside. The aroma of baked apples and cinnamon with brown sugar fills the kitchen and you can't wait to try that Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon you have been aging so long in the cellar. It's time for Thanksgiving, a chance to tell your family and friends "Thank You" for all they have done for you, for the fun and laughter, sharing and caring.
The first North American Thanksgiving event occurred in Newfoundland, Canada, in 1578. The farm workers filled a curved goat's horn with fruit and grain to give thanks for their harvest having been a good one. This horn was called Horn of Plenty, or "Cornucopia". Whatever your harvest, be it fruit, fortune, friends, or the warmth of the soft thick coat of your Newfoundland Dog, may your Cornucopia be full this Thanksgiving, and bring you joy.
After a nice win in Roseville at the Donner Trail Kennel Club show,Phoebe looks forward to joining the competition challenge at the Newfoundland Regional Specialty in Dixon on Friday October 24th for her first Major entry. With Fall in the air and the weather turning cooler, the Newfoundlands are more animated and growing their thick luxurious black coat. We look forward to seeing Newfoundlands from all over the Northwestern Region of the United States.
Happy Birthday Cher who is 3 years young today! Like a playful puppy she loves her toys and any chance she gets to swim or chase a squirrel or bird. She loves her brothers Hummer and Blazer who warmly welcomed her into the pack. After Blazer passed away, Hummer and Cher became an inseparable pair. An incredibly bright and affectionate Labrador, Cher is the ever-happy bundle of tail-wagging joy in our home. We love her very much.
The Newfoundland Regional Specialty Show is set for Friday October 24th at the Dixon May Fairgrounds in Dixon, California. Hosted by the Newfoundland Club of Northern California, it promises to be a fashionable array of some of the most beautiful Newfoundland dogs from the Northwestern Region of the United States. Best in Specialty Show
shares the top shelf with other coveted titles such as Winner's Dog, Winner's Bitch, Best Veteran, and Best Puppy in show. Sweepstakes winners receive cash awards and there is always a nice raffle with a bounty of Newfoundland Dog-related prizes. Rain or shine, the dogs all look their best from hours of grooming and training. The judging is intense and the handlers do their best to show that their dog deserves the win. It is a time to cheer and laugh and share a day with friends and some of the most wonderful dogs on the planet. So sharpen those scissors, gather your brushes and buckets, drool rags, bibs, crates, tables, secret shampoo and conditioners, and possible raincoat.... it's Show Time!
(All of the photos in this article are for the purpose of showing examples of the dog show world and beautiful Newfoundlands and are not for the promotion or endorsement of any particular dog, handler, judge, or breeder.)
Congratulations to Phoebe for taking the points at the Roseville Donner Trail Kennel Club show on Sunday October 5th. Working hard in the warm autumn sun, Phoebe became a Winner in the bitch classes with Judge Judy Harrington amongst a very nice line of competition including Bella in the Bred-by class. She had a great weekend with her friends Sophie and Bella who obviously gave her good pointers on how to be a show dog! Phoebe will try her luck again at the Newfoundland Specialty in Dixon, California, on Friday October 26th and the following Sunday at the Sacramento Kennel Club show with Peggy Helming of Pouch Cove Newfoundlands as Judge.
With miles and miles of waterfront and some of the best restaurants in the world, the San Francisco Bay offers the very best in dining-by-the-sea, unless you want to take your dog with you for lunch, then where do you go? I recommend the most fabulous indoor/ outdoor restaurant called Fish located dockside in Sausalito with large picnic tables, fresh ocean breezes and views of the bay from the boat harbor, not to mention excellent seafood and friendly waiters who will happily sidestep your dogs while serving very fresh fare from the sea and a great selection of beer and wine. All dogs are welcome in the picnic area just like the other day after the dog show when we shared a fabulous lunch with our 5 well-behaved Newfoundlands who relaxed with us by the picnic tables and enjoyed a nice sunny afternoon. It's always fun when the dogs can come along.
Phoebe did very well for her first show this weekend in San Rafael, the Sir Francis Drake Kennel Club show. Very sweet and well-behaved, she was somewhat timid on Saturday taking in all of the new sights and smells of the dog show with all of the new demands and having to stand for a strange judge who evaluated her from head to toe. With lots of positive reinforcement and treats, she learned well and was happier on Sunday winning Reserve Winner's Bitch. We look forward to our next show in Roseville on October 4th and 5th. She enjoyed the company of her friends Sophie, Bella, Satchel, Bruin, and Paris and she hopes they will all be there at the next show!!
Gentle Giants... A Book of Newfoundlands, by Bruce Weber
An American fashion photographer known for his ad campaigns for Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Abercrombie and Fitch, Bruce Weber works in black and white to give us a photo essay of the Newfoundland Dog with images and narration expounding the reverence and love for this beautiful and magnificent animal. Seeming at times like a bear in the woods or the shoreline of a lake, this book depicts the true character of the Newfoundland as a companion, a water dog, a child's best friend, and a dog who enjoys the company of other Newfoundlands. There are photos of the large rounded Newfoundland head with their expressive eyes and soft square muzzles that are just asking to be petted or allowed to rest in a lap or crook of an arm. One can't help but fall in love with every dog on every page, especially the puppy who decided to stand with his two front legs in a bucket, probably filled with water, which is a typical activity of Newfy puppies. Beaute Noir, or Black Beauty, a section of very black photographs of this great dog, a very difficult photograph to take with any results, shows the dog's sweetness with incredible artistry. A section interviewing Margaret Willmott, a renowned Newfoundland breeder in Saskatchewan, Canada, quotes her as saying "People nowadays are getting too far from agriculture, having horses, and so on. They think that because they're computer whizzes, raising a Newfoundland will be simple, but it isn't." Large with lots of hair and personality, and of course, lots of love, the Newfoundland draws you in with his beauty and strength of character. This book makes you want to go hug your own Newfoundland, or at least someone else's.
Can't wait for winter? Here are some nice photos of Newfoundlands enjoying the snow, not minding that it is probably at least 32* F if not below zero in parts of the world like Scandinavia where it is fun to take your dog out with you on a cross country ski trip or hiking in the quiet snowy woods. Pictured top is Gizmo, an up and coming Canadian Champion, who enjoys relaxing in his front yard on a chilly Canadian afternoon. The Newfoundland's double coat insulates him from the cold and damp and will keep his body temperature at a normal 101* even while resting on a cozy snow bank. California Newfs enjoy the coastline in summer where the cool breezes and marine fog keep him comfortable, not to mention a dip in the ocean. Until then we are looking forward to the next forecast of snow and will plan on a trip to the Sierras this winter!
In the heat of summer most Newfoundland owners experience what is known as "blowing coat" where their dog will shed his inner layer of insulation. Brushing often and regular bathing keep your dog free of mats and clumps of dead hair and will keep him cooler. Fans and lots of shade also help. Until then.....