- The Newfoundland was developed on the coast of Newfoundland in the1700s. The breed's origins are unknown, but they seem to trace back to the 1662 settlement of the Roougnoust colony. The settlers are said to have included Great Pyrenees dogs. These dogs were bred with black English retrievers and possibly some husky-type dogs.
- The result was a large water-loving dog that was resilient to freezing weather and water. The dogs were all-purpose water dogs, hauling nets through the water, and even saving people who fell in. On land, they served as draft dogs and pack animals.
- By the late 1700s, they were called Newfoundlands. They came in solid black and in black and white; the latter were dubbed Landseers in 1779, named after the prominent artist who painted them.
- European visitors took specimens back to England, where they entered the show ring. At the same time, numbers dropped in Newfoundland. Eventually, Canadian and American breeders had to replenish their stock with Newfoundlands brought back from England.
- The AKC recognized the Newfoundland in 1886.
- World War II decimated the breed in England. This time, the American dogs had to replenish the European stock.
- The Newfoundland quickly regained numbers. It remains one of the more popular giant breeds.
Newfoundland Behavior Concerns
- Makes a devoted and sweet companion.
- Patient and good with children. As with all large dogs, dogs and children should always be supervised.
- Very affectionate.
- Very friendly toward strangers.
- Friendly toward strange dogs.
- Good with other pets.
- Learns quickly and is willing to please.
- Does best with reward-based training with food rewards.
Newfoundland Suggested Exercises
- Makes a calm and well-mannered housedog.
- Requires daily exercise in the form of a moderate walk or short jog.
- The Newfoundland enjoys cold weather, but doesn't do well in warm weather.
- Swimming is a favorite exercise.
- Obedience training is essential not only for control, but for the mental exercise it provides.
- Coat consists of a soft dense undercoat and a coarse, moderately long, straight outer coat.
- The coat needs only occasional brushing, once or twice every week, more often when shedding.
- Shedding is above average.
- Be prepared for drool.
Suggested Newfoundland Nutritional Needs
- Newfoundlands tend to stay in good weight or be slightly overweight.
- Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.
- Puppies should be fed a large-breed growth food, which slows their growing rate but not final size. This may decrease the incidence or severity of hip dysplasia in adults.