The Newfoundland is a large working breed used for pulling fishing nets and heavy equipment which originated in Newfoundland. Its ancestors, big black bear-like dogs introduced by the Vikings, also produced the St. John’s Dog. The size of the breed was produced when large mastiffs were introduced into the gene pool. Irish and English fishermen visiting Newfoundland in the 1880s accurately describe the breed as it is today, due to early establishment of its attributes. The breed is not only an excellent working breed; it excels at water rescue as well. It has been stated that one Newfoundland once rescued 92 people on a sinking ship during a blizzard.
The breed is remarkably large, generally standing 22 to 30 inches tall and weighing 100 to 200 pounds. The Newfoundland has a water-resistant coat and webbed feet which aids it with its working duties. The Newfoundland can be one of several colors: black, brown, gray, and landseer, depending on the kennel club standards.
The breed is known for its sweet temperament. It is a loyal breed with a deep bark; it is known to be an excellent guardian and watchdog. The Newfoundland is loving and excellent with children, due to its patience and gentle nature.
The breed needs regular maintenance. It needs to be groomed at least twice a month.
The Newfoundland, like many other large breeds, is prone to several health problems. These include: hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, cystinuria, and subvalvular aortic stenosis, a heart defect which can cause sudden death at an early age.