Sweetbays Family Companions
A Sweetbay Newfoundland is the ultimate family companion. His gentle, sweet, willing nature makes him perfectly suited for this role, with an unsurpassed devotion to his family and the powerful instincts and intelligence necessary to fulfill his destiny as childrens companion and benevolent protector.
First and foremost, every Sweetbay dog is a family companion. They are carefully bred to genetically possess the traits that make a dog such a pleasure to live with. And then they are raised superbly and socialized to the max. When they go to their new homes, this care continues. High quality tech support is a given at Sweetbay. Got a question? Were here. Want some advice? Happy to oblige. Interested in trying a particular form of training? Were glad to help, and have the knowledge and experience to do so.
What makes a dog a good family dog? A superb dog is made up of many parts, all of which affect our lives in a positive, heartwarming way. But four words come to mind instantly. Comfort. Safety. Entertainment. Affection.
A great dog has an uncanny ability to read your moods and to know just what to do to help. Hes available to be hugged. He stays close when you're sick, and you can't help but feel better thanks to his calm presence. Hes quite good at showing concern when theres emotional or physical hurt to overcome. Hell listen for as long as necessary without showing the slightest trait of annoyance, and he never offers unwelcome advice. Most of all, hes simply there. Come home after a bad day at work and life instantly seems brighter because your dogs at the door, tail wagging. Get into a nasty argument with your in-laws, and even if youre in the wrong, your dog will still think youre the most wonderful person in the world. Thats comfort.
To a Newfoundland, job one is safety. And that means keeping his humans all humans safe from harm. The breeds skills as lifesavers are legendary, whether its heroic water rescues in a tempestuous ocean or searching on land for lost children or avalanche victims. Anyone who has known Newfoundlands for even a short time will have rescue stories of his own. Theres a lovely example in this web site, called Lindseys Story.
Yet often its the quiet stories, the ones you never see in print, that are so emblematic of this breed. The toddler who is gently nudged back away from the basement stairwell. The teenager who changes his mind about swimming in the swift river because his dog makes it clear that that would be a mistake. The tired hiker who fumbles for her car keys in the parking lot and her dog growls a warning so that a menacing stranger, approaching surreptitiously behind her, turns about and swiftly leaves.
And it isnt just humans who benefit from this instinct for protection.
In Indiana, theres a ranch thats well known for its Morgan horses. Its a high quality breeding operation, and each new foal is precious. A Sweetbay Newfoundland who lived next door sounded an alarm one day, barking ferociously and escorting the ranchs owner into the paddock with utmost urgency. Just in time to save a newborn foal who had fallen into a stock tank and, muzzle underwater, was close to drowning.
In Edmonton, Alberta, a massive Newfoundland has rescued dozens of injured birds, squirrels, rabbits, and other creatures. He finds them in the wilds, carries them home gently cradled in his jaws, and then watches over them without cease until they are well again.
Comfort and safety. Yes, indeed. But entertainment?
We all have our favorite Sweetbay stories. These are dogs who want you to laugh with them. And they are endlessly inventive.
And affection? Newfoundlands are exactly the right size and shape. Its hard to hug a Chihuahua satisfyingly without crushing ribs or endangering fragile bones. But a Newfoundland can and delightedly will accept a generous hug, and then ask for more. Its hard to keep your hands off a Sweetbay dog. All that fur feels wonderful, and they are so eminently pettable. Yet they give back as much affection as they gather. Sometimes its quiet, just a soft chin on your lap and an adoring gaze. Other times, its a full-body press with every hairy pound pushed into action.
Think about what you want in a dog. Every breeder has his preferences, too, and those will affect the dogs from his kennel. Maybe you like a high energy dog. Or perhaps you prefer a very quiet, mellow dog. Research enough breeders and you can find a Newfoundland that's just what you want. Some Newfoundlands love to retrieve; others are disinclined. Some are superb swimmers. Some are uninterested. Or worse, they cannot swim; they sink like stones. Some Newfoundlands are eager to learn and catch on quickly. Others are extremely difficult to motivate and have no interest in your wishes. What is it you want in a dog? Figure that out, and you're halfway to finding the dog of your dreams.
At Sweetbay, we have always focused on those traits that we felt were essential to a companion animal. However, we know that what we prefer in a dog is not universal. Thats why its so important for those looking for a puppy to determine what they want in a dog. Then they can search for a kennel that reliably produces those traits.
However, some things are universal. Sweetness of temperament. Good health. A willing disposition. A cheerful nature. Empathy. And a social outgoing outlook.
I have to admit, the first time I heard that question, it surprised me. Of course we place puppies in family homes. Competing with that dog is not only not required, but not expected.
And yet, reflecting, I realized that our web site might give a browser that idea, as it is packed with titled water dogs, obedience dogs, tracking dogs, draft dogs, agility dogs, and champions. But many of our dogs go to families that indeed do no competitive training or showing. And thats wonderful.
After all, a working dog does not have to be a competition dog. Sweetbay dogs enrich their owners lives by faithfully getting the newspaper or the mail every day. Keeping watch over the little ones. Bringing back the tennis ball as you endlessly practice your serves. Keeping the kitchen floor spotless by slurping up errant crumbs. Making sure the cat doesn't get too big for his britches.
Every dog pictured in
every section of the Sweetbay web site is a family
companion dog. Their contributions to their families are
as numerous as the dogs themselves. But wed like to
share a few more photos with you. Of Sweetbay dogs
just being dogs.
When the great outdoors beckons, there are no better companions than these Sweetbay Newfoundlands. New England is spectacular hiking country, and Jazz and Mocha love to accompany the Freimer family on their outings.
A grinning youngster is given a swift tow to shore by two year old Jazz.
Two year old Rose listens patiently as Caitlin shares a confidence.
Scott Bruns finds the beach at Gearhart, on the Pacific ocean, a perfect spot for a quick nap, and Kirby and Rose discover he makes a marvelous pillow.