Saturday, March 13, 2010

Daylight Saving TIme

The ISNS would like to welcome in Daylight Saving Time with a "Yipee!!!!!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Friday, August 14, 2009

Newfoundlands Saving Italy's Swimmers

Canine Heroes Saving Italy's Swimmers

(Tom Kington, Monday 10 August 2009 18.32)

"Italy's bronzed and muscular life guards are under threat this summer as a new breed of lifesaver grows in popularity, despite being shorter and a lot hairier.

"Three hundred dogs are now licensed to save drowning bathers at Italy's beaches and lakes, and have already helped save seven lives.

"Accompanied by instructors, the labradors, newfoundlands and golden retrievers plunge through waves or even leap out of boats and helicopters to help pull bathers to safety.

"'The dogs are notching up more rescues and becoming increasingly popular', said Donatella Pasquale, vice-president of the school run by Italy's civil protection agency where dogs have trained since the 1980s.

"Pasquale said dogs learned to tow their instructors out to sea, leaving them the strength to give medical attention to drowning swimmers. 'The dogs are incredibly strong', she said. 'Our record is one Newfoundland dog towing 40 people at the same time.' They were rarely sent into the water on their own, she added. 'If you're drowning you might get a shock if a wet dog, rather than a Baywatch character, appears to save you.'

"Five of the school's graduates have debuted this year near Venice, where Marcello Monaco, a coastguard official, said they were a hit. 'They are constantly listening for yells from the water and scanning for waving arms', he said."

Friday, August 7, 2009

When Irish Spots Are Smiling: Basic Color Inheritance In The Newfoundland Dog

Basic Color Inheritance In the Newfoundland Dog

(Courtesy of Cindy Williams, Pipeline Newfoundlands)

"In every dog, every characteristic, such as size, color, eye color, coat, shape of skull, etc., is controlled by a pair of determiners which we call genes. At conception, when a new individual is formed, one gene is inherited from each parent so that the new individual has two genes to control each physical trait. A great many characteristics are what is known as simple dominant, or simple recessive traits. This means that if a gene for a dominant trait is present, the dog will show that trait even if he also carries the gene for the recessive trait. On the contrary, if the trait is recessive, it will be hidden in any case where the dominant gene is present.

This pattern is easily illustrated by the inheritance of the Landseer color in the Newfoundland. The color Black is dominant in Newfoundlands. Let us name the dominant Black gene with a large B and the recessive Landseer recessive with a small l. If we have a Black dog that carries only the dominant Black genes, we will call his color inheritance BB. Mated to a bitch that is also carrying only the dominant Black, the puppies produced will have a color inheritance as follows - every time:

BB mated to BB

All of the puppies will be Black, and will be purebred for Black. Under no circumstances, no matter what they are bred to, can they ever produce Landseer offspring.

Now, suppose that one of these BB pups is mated to a Landseer bitch, or one of the bitches is mated to a Landseer male. The resulting litter will inherit the following pattern:

BB mated to ll
Bl Bl Bl Bl Bl Bl Bl Bl

Every puppy in the above mating will be Black, but each of them will carry the recessive gene for Landseer. This is not optional - it will happen every time, because the Landseer parent has no Black gene to offer, and therefore gives every pup a Landseer color gene.

Now suppose that you took two of the Bl puppies and mated them together or bred one of them to another Bl dog. You would expect the following results:

Bl mated to Bl
BB BB Bl Bl Bl Bl ll ll

Two puppies would be Black, and be purebred for Black, having taken a Black gene from each parent. About four would be Black, but carry Landseer, having taken one recessive color gene from each parent. Two pups would be Landseer, having taken the recessive Landseer genes from both parents. Generally, the number of puppies used to demonstrate the likelihood of color inheritance is eight, because this is large enough for color variations to be averaged.

If you study the following chart, it is easy to see that two Landseers can produce nothing but Landseers when mated, but apparently Black dogs can produce Landseers, because they can carry the recessive. In other words, when a dominant characteristic is not visible (i.e., Black), it is not present at all. With a recessive, however, it can be masked for generations only to reappear when the conditions are right - when it is teamed with another recessive gene.

It must be remembered, however, that the following Mendelian Expectation chart applies over large numbers, with the expectation to be exact in only lines 1, 2, and 6 where no variation will occur.

Since the color Grey is recessive, like Landseer, it is obvious that a great many dogs can carry Grey, but the only time a Grey pup will show up in a litter is when both parents give their recessive Grey gene.

Irish Spotting, on the other hand, is recessive to Black, but dominant over Landseer. If you bred a Black female that carried Irish (I) to a Landseer, you might expect the following:


About half of the pups will be Irish Spotted, and half will be Black. All of the puppies will be Landseer recessive, because with one Landseer parent they have no alternative but to carry Landseer - the Landseer parent has to give a Landseer gene.

If you took the same bitch and bred her to a dog that was purebred for Black (BB), the resulting litter would be as follows:


All of the pups would be Black, but about half of them would carry Irish Spotting, having taken the dominant Black gene from their father and the recessive Irish from their mom.

Take the same Black Irish Recessive female and breed her to a dog that is Black Landseer recessive and you could expect the following results:

BB BB Bl Bl BIrish BIrish IrishLandseer IrishLandseer

Most pups will be Black, carrying either Irish or Landseer. You will likely get some Irish Spotted pups, in the case where they took their father's Landseer gene and their mother's Irish Spotted gene. The Irish Spotted gene will dominate the Landseer gene, as will the Black. You cannot get Landseers out of the breeding unless both parents carry a Landseer gene. It must be noted that when dark Landseers are bred into a line that is known to carry Irish Spotting, it can be difficult to determine if you have a very dark Landseer or a very light Irish Spotted.

If you took two dogs that were Black/Irish Spotted and bred them together, you could expect the following genetic breakdown on color:


Some of the pups will be Black, and purebred for Black. Some will be Black carrying Irish, and a couple will be Irish, carrying only Irish."








(Editor's Note: How do you determine the sex of a chromosome? Pull down its genes.)

A Message From The Irish Spotted Newfoundland Society

We would like to invite all Newfies of all colours to join the ISNS.
Whether you would like to post photos, stories, or anything else (within the bounds of a civilized world), we welcome you. Please feel free to do some via Comment or by sending an e-mail to

Grazie mille!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Irish Spotted Newfoundland Society Welcomes Seadog Boomer

From Capt'n Andy & Seadog Boomer with apologies Hans Zimmer:
To The Irish Newf Society

"Yo, ho, haul together
hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, Black and White
never shall we die.

The Giz and his men
stole the bones from the box
and buried them in his bed.
The seas be ours
and by the powers
where we will we'll drool.

Yo, ho, haul together
hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, Black and White
never say we die.

Some Newfs have died
and some are alive
and others rescue on the seas
- with rope in mouth - and the Devil to pay
we swim to Dairy Queen.

The stuffy has been raised
from it's slobbery grave...
'Do you hear it's squeeking tone?'
We are call to dinner,
pay head the door
and turn your tail toward home!

Yo, ho, haul together
hoist the colors high.
Heave ho, Black and White
never shall we die."

Ay lassie to The Boomer's Mum -- she drank the Screech, that wicked rum, and then fell on her bum.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The Legend Of The Irish Spotted Newfoundland Dog


There is a land where the waves explode upon the reef in a boiling foam, there the legend was born.

As the story is told, God turned one day to contemplate all of his creations and saw on that Newfoundland Isle, flailed by storm a small nation of fishermen, whose rough, weather-beaten people fought courageously against the impervious elements of nature as the freezing cold winter and the unforgiving coastline took its toll, and the sea often asked the sacrifice of human life. Nevertheless, they remained deep-rooted, these men of Newfoundland with the stubbornness as great as their courage.

God saw, and in his infinite compassion, thought how he might alleviate their suffering. He searched among the creatures of his creations but found none that would serve. It was then he decided to create one anew.

He took the body of a bear, whose bone structure lent well to such arduous labours and whose thick fur would resist the bitter Newfoundland cold. Then he thought to sweeten this silhouette with the lithe, flexuous lines and movements of the seal, with all it’s prowess to swim and speedily slip between the waves.

Now turning to the sea, he saw the playful dolphins happily following the ships, their sweet, joy-filled eyes revealing their serene temperament, and more; they so love man that they often rescue them, saving them from the sea. Yes, they too would be part of this creature.

When he had done the moulding and casting, there suddenly appeared in his creative arms, a superb animal with glistening black fur; powerful and sweet in the same moment.

This new being, however, had to have an allegiance and faithfulness, tried and true, to be able to live beside man and be ever ready to offer his life for his master. It was at that moment that the Lord opened and placed in his chest, the heart of a dog, and the miracle was almost complete. Finally, the Lord added white, and sometimes spots, and the miracle was truly complete.

From that day onward, those men of the sea had beside them, their courageous companion ever strong, ever faithful the, Irish Spotted Newfoundland Dog.

(Reprinted in translation from the book Il Cane Di Terra Nova by Emmy Bruno, editor Mursia-Milano)