Mystery seems to surround the origin of the Newfoundland, and history books tell us that the breed as we know it today almost certainly did not originate in North America. Legend has it that the Newfoundland developed from an early Tibetan Mastiff type that accompanied tribes who crossed the Polar region. Examples of the Newfoundland came to Britain on trade ships, the original dogs being lighter boned and smaller than today’s breed and with a wide variance in colour. The standard for today’s Newfoundland was written in the late 1800s and about this time the solid black became all the rage in England, and is now almost the only type known here.
A gentle giant, this large, strong, heavily built dog combines docility with a mild guarding instinct. Robust and eager to please, he makes a very suitable companion for children, joining in their games and keeping a watchful eye on them in the absence of adults.
As a puppy he looks like a cuddly teddy bear, but grows remarkably quickly into a very large, thick-coated adult. He loves water, and is a powerful swimmer, capable of pulling a rowing boat, or ‘rescuing’ anyone he feels might be in distress!
Definitely not for the flat-dweller, he requires a moderate amount of exercise and regular grooming. Colours range from black and brown to Landseer, which is white with black markings and derived from Sir Edwin Landseer, who depicted many of these dogs in his famous paintings.
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Under 10 Years
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on
the Kennel Club website
The Working Breed Group
Over the centuries these dogs were selectively bred to become guards and search and rescue dogs. Arguably, the working group consists of some of the most heroic canines in the world, aiding humans in many walks of life, including the Boxer, Great Dane and St. Bernard. This group consists of the real specialists in their field who excel in their line of work.