the Newfoundland dog, the newfoundland dog

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Ocham

Senior Member
Japanese
Hi everyone, I need your help. In the dialog below, how should I put a dog breed? Wikipedia has it as "the Newfoundland dog" or "a Newfoundland." I don't know why it begins with a capital letter. Is it because it's derived from "Newfoundland"? Then I don't need to begin with "G" when I write "golden retriever" in a sentence.

And also I'd like to know if I neet to put "the" before "Newfoundland dog" and "a" before just "Newfoundland."

Barbara: I need a dog to guard my house. Is the Newfoundland dog a good choice?
Andy: You don’t know dogs. Not every dog can be a guard dog.
Barbara: You mean a Newfoundland is not suited to guard dog work?
Andy: They are very gentle with people, even with strangers.
 
  • The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    It's not necessary to say "dog": "Is a Newfoundland a good choice?" Dog breeds don't need to be capitalized but in this case Newfoundland is a proper noun.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Many dog breeds come from proper names but are more commonly written with lower case: alsatian, dalmatian, dobermann, labrador, and probably many others. But sometimes the place is very well known, and we are more likely to still use a capital for a German shepherd or a Newfoundland. There is no rule, just common choices.
     

    pob14

    Senior Member
    American English
    Dog breeders and people who show dogs tend to capitalize the breed, following the style of the American Kennel Club. Since I learned about many dog breeds from going to AKC shows, I tend to follow that style; for example, we own a Bichon Frise.

    There are one or two breeds that actually contain "dog" as part of the official breed name; the one that comes to mind is the German Shepherd Dog, occasionally abbreviated as GSD. Absolutely no one other than breeders and show handlers call them that, though. (No one will think you own an actual German person who tends sheep!)
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It's not necessary to say "dog": "Is a Newfoundland a good choice?" Dog breeds don't need to be capitalized but in this case Newfoundland is a proper noun.
    I always capitalized dog breeds. They are proper names. And the "dog" is required in certain cases at least.

    This is a German Shepherd Dog at work (but not a particularly good looking one):



    And this is Werner, a German Shepherd, also not particularly good looking:):

     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I always capitalized dog breeds. They are proper names. [...]
    That's not how dictionaries generally treat them. And the Chicago Manual, for example, has "golden retriever, English setter, King Charles spaniel," etc. The AKC, of course, has a vested interest.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Werner is a German shepherd, not a German Shepherd, though, right? :D
    Yes, my error. But whenever someone says, I have a German Shepherd, I envision them owning a little old man in lederhosen.

    As for a Newfoundland Dog, I would ordinarily refer to them as a Newfie, or a Newfoundland Dog.

    There are other breeds that I add "dog" or "hound" to regularly.

    An Afghan Hound
    An American Eskimo Dog
    A Bernese Mountain Dog

    I would have to go to the American Kennel Association list to come up with more, but I am certain at least 30% would require a specifier to be a dog breed.

    Addendum:

    Here is a link to the AKC and their breeds. Of the first page of listing only four of the 18 beginning with the letter 'A' could stand alone without the "hound" or "dog" added.

    Dog Breeds - Types Of Dogs
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    That's not how dictionaries generally treat them. And the Chicago Manual, for example, has "golden retriever, English setter, King Charles spaniel," etc. The AKC, of course, has a vested interest.
    3 More Answers to Questions About Capitalization

    3. Should names of dog breeds be capitalized — for example, pomeranian, labrador, “bull terrier,” “American pit bull terrier”?
    Dog breeds are not capitalized unless the name is that of a geographic region: Pomeranian, “Labrador retriever,” “bull terrier”, “American pit bull terrier.” (Dalmatian is an exception; it’s usually lowercase, but I would probably uppercase it when it appears with similar names normally capitalized.)

    Note: The Dalmatian was named for "Dalmatia" a part of Croatia. So why it is normally not capitalized is a mystery to me.

    I am OK with people who follow the above directions, however more breeds than not would be capitalized using the above rules.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Which reminds me of this picture of our Prime Minister Theresa May, who got a reputation at the Home Office for being tough on immigration.

    Like the vitriolic preacher spouting judgements of fire and brimstone, and hell and dalmatians!
     
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