History Of The Breed

The Newfoundland Dog is well renowned for its working ability, the original “ships dog” it has been used for taking ropes ashore in North Atlantic seas, retrieving lost fishing gear and rescuing humans. It has also been used as a pack animal, sled dog, and carting dog. Its immense strength and thick double layered coat make it ideally suited for the work it does, yet its gentle nature and mild guarding instinct have endeared it to people throughout history. From J.M. Barrie’s ‘Nana’ in Peter Pan to Byron’s “Boatswain”, the Newfoundland dog has been loved and adored the world over.

Newfoundlands have webbed feet and a water-resistant coat.Males normally weigh 60–70 kg (130–150 lb), and females 45–55 kg (100–120 lb), placing them in the “Giant” weight range but some Newfoundland dogs have been known to weigh over 90 kg (200 lb)

The history of the Newfoundland Dog is buried in the mists of time. The breed as we know it today originated from dogs brought from the island of Newfoundland to England in the early 1800’s.

The English Artist, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873) painted many Newfoundlands during his life, particularly, the white and black variety. Since that time white and black Newfoundlands have been named ‘Landseer’ in his honour. In some countries around the world the Landseer is regarded as a distinct breed and there its shape has diverged from the U.K. Breed Standard, producing a longer legged dog.

It is estimated that in 1824, as many as 2,000 Newfoundland dogs were working for their owners in the city of St. John’s, Newfoundland alone, being used to deliver milk and haul loads throughout the city.

In the UK and Ireland there are three recognised colours of Newfoundland, black, brown and landseer which are white and black. In America they also recognise grey newfie.

Newfoundlands are extremely good swimmers and it is second nature for them to save people. In Italy however they have taken this to another level!