When you mention the Newfoundland breed of dog, most people think of big, beautiful, loving, black-furred dogs. Many “Newfies” are beloved family pets, and some owners say these dogs are more likely to be found comfortably dozing on the sofa than running around outside. Not that they’re lazy, mind you…but they do like their lives of leisure. Don’t we all wish we had it like that?
You might not really think that Newfies have much in common with pro athletes…but they do. Newfies, and many other large dog breeds, are at higher risk of cruciate ligament injuries. (The cruciate ligaments are ligaments in the knees – or, in dogs, the “stifle” – that help stabilize the joint and resist movement of the bones in the wrong direction.) By studying cruciate injuries in Newfoundlands, including the study of potential genetic factors, researchers may shed some light on these common athletic injuries. It’s a win-win situation for animals AND people!