It’s always nice to see kids and pets getting along with each other. Indeed, more than just getting along: being best friends. Dogs, in particular, can be wonderful pets for children. They’re consistently friendly and playful while also taking a loving and protective attitude to their little human friends. There are breeds that are especially good as family pets, for instance, golden retrievers and beagles. Newfoundland dogs, also known as “Newfs,” belong on that list, too.
Newfoundlands are the working dog par excellence. They were originally bred as helpers for the fisherman of that windswept, hardscrabble island. Like other mastiffs, Newfoundland dogs have strong legs, big bones, and large heads. Newfs are also really big: males usually weigh somewhere between 150 and 175 pounds. What the breed is most famous for is being a strong swimmer with an amazing talent for water rescues. The 19th-century American humorist Josh Billings quipped: “Newfoundland dogs are good to save children from drowning, but you must have a pond of water handy and a child, or else there will be no profit in boarding a Newfoundland.”
And yet for all their legendary strength and derring-do, Newfoundlands have a remarkably sweet and gentle disposition. In fact, they make such good therapy dogs that they’ve earned another nickname: “the nanny dog.”
Some of that nannying is on display in the video posted below. A girl named Sierra has a set morning routine. Before she leaves for school, she tracks down her friend Samson, a great big Newf. As a way of telling him, “I love you and I’ll see you later,” she gives him three kisses and then gets a gentle bark or two in return. Since the camera is rolling this time, she turns around all smiles.
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