There are many theories about the origin of the Newfoundland dog, some seem more likely than others. What is known, however, is that in the mid-19th century Newfoundland dogs, which were very similar to those of today, were working with fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada.
They helped pull in the nets and were good life savers. They had enough strength to pull a drowning person ashore and a coat that allowed them to endure sub-freezing temperatures.
Newfoundland – Fisherman’s Friend
It almost seems as if Newfoundland was bred from water retrievers and herding dogs. Another theory puts it as a descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff, to which it bears similarities.
However, how this breed found its way to Canada from the Himalayas in the 19th century remains a mystery. However, his working life is not limited to “Fisherman’s Friend”; because of its strength, it is also used as a drover and draft dog.
In character, he is one of the most loyal and reliable dogs. Calm, peaceful, patient, and devoted to his owner or family, he acts as a self-proclaimed guardian and protector of those around him.
Newfoundland dogs have many admirers, such as Landseer, who liked to paint the breed and gave his name to the black and white variety. The poet Byron was also enthusiastic about them. The poem on the gravestone of his Newfoundland Dog, Boatswain, recalls the qualities of this breed: “…by one who possessed beauty without vanity, strength without cockiness, courage without ferocity, And all the virtues of man without his vices…”
Keeping a Newfoundland dog as a pet requires a lot of money and time. Even if the coat is water-repellent, it needs a lot of care. Everything about this dog is huge, from their need for food to their need for lots of space. Its thick fur makes it difficult for it to tolerate heat. But because of his temperament and loyalty, fans will always say: There is no one who can hold a candle to him.
The Newfoundland has a stocky, rectangular build, with a broad chest and a tummy that is not tucked up. Its powerful head with the short, rather square snout shows a not too pronounced forehead. The small, dark brown eyes are set a little deep on the forehead. The high set, small ears hang flat. The coat is coarse, straight, flat, greasy, and impenetrable, the undercoat is very dense.
The color of the coat is black, bronze or white with black markings. The latter is referred to as “Landseer”, but this can lead to confusion with the real Landseer breed. Its strong, bushy, and slightly curved tail is carried hanging down when at rest and elevated when moving.
The dog should be brushed regularly to prevent the coat from becoming matted. Overhanging hair between the balls of the feet must be cut off.
The Newfoundland is a particularly gentle and pleasant dog that enjoys great sympathy everywhere. Lord Byron, for example, described him as follows: “He has all the qualities of man without having his faults.” This brave, very even-tempered, and extremely intelligent dog makes an ideal babysitter. When dealing with children, he always remains gentle and good-natured and proves to be an absolutely reliable and loyal companion.
Training should be done calmly and prudently. Dogs have a good sense of changes in tone of voice.
Dogs of this breed are particularly good housemates. Other dogs, pets, children, visitors who aren’t up to anything bad – everyone is welcomed in a friendly manner.
Area of life
It is advantageous if the animal has direct access to water, something to a stream, a lake or the sea. However, it is also used to living in the “dry”, bearing in mind that it has a very dense coat and suffers from high temperatures.
As long as the dog is not fully grown, you should not necessarily go on day trips with it. Since Newfoundlands love to swim, the best form of physical exercise is obvious. The dense fur protects against rain and game – the dogs can be kept outdoors without any problems.