“There are differing opinions on how the Newfoundland breed came about. Some believe the breed’s progenitor was the Tibetan Mastiff, which may have migrated to both Newfoundland and Scandinavia. There are those who theorize Leif Ericsson brought the Viking ‘bear dogs’ with him when he arrived in Newfoundland in AD 1001 and they mated with the dogs of the Maritime Indians. There, the giant black dogs evolved in comparative isolation. During the 19th century, the breed became a European status symbol and at one time, Newfies were the most popular import to Great Britain. The breed was used to re-establish the Alpine rescue dogs at the Hospice of St. Bernard after their numbers were decimated by a distemper epidemic. In Britain, the black and white variety became known as the “Landseer” after the famous artist who featured the breed in his painting, ‘A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society.’
The Newfoundland’s temperament is reflected in his soft expression. The breed is benevolent, intelligent and dignified but capable of fun. He is known for his gentleness and serenity. Generations of children have taken their first toddling steps holding on to this fantastic family dog.
The Newfoundland is an excellent swimmer with a strong life-saving instinct. There are hundreds of documented water rescues performed by this breed. The Newf has also been used as a draught dog and fisherman’s helper. This easygoing dog loves the outdoors and country living, especially if he has access to water.
The average height for adults is 26-28 in (66-71 cm) and weight may be in the vicinity of 120-150 lb (54-67.5 kg).
The Newf’s coat was designed to aid him in water work. It is flat, dense and water-resistant, being somewhat oily. The outer coat is moderately long and straight. It may have a slight wave but no curl.”