Newfoundland was developed on the island of Newfoundland on the east coast of Canada. The ancestors of the Newfoundland dog breed are uncertain. Some breed experts feel that the Great Pyrenees is the primary ancestor breed, while others believe that the Tibetan Mastiff was also an ancestor. In any case, the dogs were bred to the small black water dogs (most likely the same breed that produced Labrador Retrievers), producing a giant dog who was a hard worker on land and an excellent swimmer.
A Newfoundland stands between 26 and 28 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 100 and 150 pounds. The Newfoundland dog breed is heavily boned, muscular, and strong. The Newfoundland’s body is slightly longer than tall, head is large and broad, and the eyes are dark brown. The ears are triangular and folded. The tail is plumed and carried low. The Newfoundland has a double coat, with the undercoat soft and dense. The outer coat is coarse and moderately long. The backs of the legs are feathered. Coat colors include black, brown (bronze), gray (blue), and black and white. The coat needs thorough brushing two or three times per week, more during the spring and fall when shedding is at its worst. If the dog spends any time in the water, the coat should be thoroughly dried afterward to help prevent tangles and mats.
Most Newfoundlands drool, especially around dinnertime and after drinking. The Newfoundland needs exercise each day, but her requirements are not excessive. A good long walk morning and evening will suffice, as will a chance to go swimming. Young Newfoundlands with excess energy can be creative about getting into trouble and can be destructive chewers. Training should begin early; a Newfoundland could easily overpower her owner. Newfoundland puppies enjoy the socialization of a puppy class and will join in with the play of other puppies. Training and socialization should continue after puppy class; this is a working dog who needs a job to do.
Newfoundlands can be wonderful family dogs. The Newfoundland puppies are big and clumsy and need to be taught to be gentle with small children. They are usually good with other dogs and can be good with small pets, although interactions should be supervised. Health concerns include hip and elbow dysplasia, bloat, torsion, and eye disorders.