One of the friendliest of all breeds, the Newfoundland was originally used in cod fisheries to pull nets ashore and to pull boats.
The exact origin of the Newfoundland is unclear, but the breed is widely believed to have developed on the coast of Newfoundland. Descended from the now-extinct Great St. John’s water dog, this large, water-loving breed has been bred to its present standard for over 100 years. Native North American, Viking and Iberian breeds may be included in the dogs background too.
Today, teams of Newfoundland are used in France to assist the emergency services in a sea rescue. Land-based tests include draught work and negotiating an obstacle course. If this benign, happy breed has a behavioral drawback, it is its inclination to rescue anyone from the water, regardless of their desire or need to be rescued. Thanks to webbed feet, powerful muscles, and a thick coat, the dogs excelled in the island’s cold waters and on land they are superb draft and pack dogs.
Beloved for its easygoing, sweet temperament and working ability, it has fans in the U.S. and Canada as well as throughout Europe.
Although a little prone to drooling saliva, it is a benevolent giant and a loyal friend.
Giant; females 26 inches, 100 to 120 pounds; males 28 inches, 130 to 150 pounds.
Color: Black, brown, gray, and white and black.
Sweet, calm, gentle, intelligent, and patient. Ideal for training. Friendly to all, but will protect family if threatened.
Energy level: Medium to low at maturity.
Best owner: Active family with fenced yard in suburbs or countryside.
Brushing (lots of it), daily exercise (walking, swimming, pulling, playing), room to stretch out, indoor companionship, drool duty, obedience training.
Life expectancy: 8 to 10 years.