Newfoundland dogs originate from the island of Newfoundland, Canada. During the 18th and 19th centuries, this huge, intimidating-looking dog, with its thick double coat, large lung capacity, and webbed feet that benefit its ability to swim, were frequent companions to fishermen on Canada’s east coast. Its previous origin and development is not entirely clear, but it is believed that it comes from the extinct San Juan spaniel, from whom Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers also originated, so the three breeds would have this ancestor in common. This is what they believe in Canada, in fact, where there is a sculpture in homage to the San Juan spaniel that brings together the breeds that were created through it.
There is a color variation in the Newfoundland, bicolor black and white, which has another name: Landseer, named after the English painter Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, and although it comes directly from the Newfoundland, the breed is registered as native to Germany and Switzerland. . There is no general consensus among international breed registry associations or kennel clubs with some considering it only a color variant of the Newfoundland and others recognizing it as a separate breed with its own individual standard.
This may change over time in light of studies, such as this one, which, after analyzing digitized historical newspapers, indicate that solid colored coats such as black and brown were introduced to the Newfoundland dog population in the mid-nineteenth century . Until then, it is presumed, according to the results of the study, that the original Newfoundland dogs were black and white just like the Landseer.
Be that as it may, the Newfoundland dog had so much sympathy since before 1775, the first time its name appeared in official writing as a breed, that even the Beothuk Native American population, settled on the island of Newfoundland and whose last member of the tribe passed away in the nineteenth century, they had a cultural and religious myth based on what is believed to have already been Newfoundlands, judging by the description of the dog in the legend.
Slow maturing, docile and calm dogs
The Newfoundland, as a giant breed, has a slow physical development, and the growth plates do not finish fusing until approximately 24 months or two years. This implies that physical exercises, which must be low-impact, must be adapted to the vulnerable growing anatomy until complete ossification, to avoid bone malformations. Breeders, experts and people who live with Newfoundland dogs define them as very kind and self-confident animals, adaptable to practically any environment and tolerant of small children and coexistence with other animals. It is an easy-to-train dog that loves water sports activities. Due to its size and enormous physical strength, it requires a basic education to avoid behavioral problems.