There is some speculation on the origins of the Newfoundland breed. Some say the line started with Black bear Dogs used by the Vikings, but this story likely has little basis in truth. More probable, the modern Newfoundland breed found it's roots with what is now called the lesser Newfoundland, or St. John's dog, that lived and worked with fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada. As one could assume from the name, this breed was of smaller stature. The St. John's breed was then crossed with Portuguese Mastiffs that came to the island with Portuguese fishermen around the 16th century. As well, many St. Bernard lines have Newfoundland blood in them and indeed the Newfoundland, St. Bernard and other Mastiffs share similar characteristics. The Newfoundland breed was used by fishermen to help haul nets, rescue items and people that went overboard and even pull small carts on the mainland. There are many stories of the heroics of this gentle giant in rescuing people from the sea.


The Newfoundland is a large dog growing as large as 29 inches at the shoulder and averaging as much as 150 pounds, although the largest newfoundland on record weighed 260 pounds, so extremes do exist. Needless to say, these are very large dogs. The Newfoundland breed are water dogs and as such have an oily double coat; a course water resistant overcoat and a softer undercoat suited for swimming. The breed also has webbed feet to aid in swimming. Coat colors include black (most common), black with blue highlights, black with white markings, brown and gray. There is such a coloring as white with black markings known as a Landseer that, in some European countries, is considered...

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