An exceptionally gentle breed, this water-loving Molosser is a very popular family companion and service dog today. Newfoundland has a natural lifesaving instinct, making it an ideal rescue dog. Its webbed feet and water-resistant coat make the Newfie an excellent swimmer, which is why it was a favourite fisherman's dog in the past. The early ancestors of this breed were most likely first introduced to North America by the Viking explorers, but chances are that the Newfoundland we know today is a result of crossing now-extinct Russian water mastiffs, common Scandinavian bear dogs, British spaniels and a few types of St.John's retrievers, as well as the Great Pyrenees, which accompanied Basque fishermen to their expeditions to Newfoundland in the early 1660's.
It should also be noted that the breed didn't look as massive back in 1600s when it was brought to England as it does today, further proving that other Molossers had a role in its creation, as well. Easily trained, docile and devoted, the Newfoundlander makes a great companion and therapy dog. A massive breed, the Newfie has a large head and a strongly boned body, with broad shoulders and sturdy legs.
Being richly double-coated, this breed needs regular brushing. Colours are uniform black, bronze brown, ghost-grey and there is also a bicolour variant, called a Landseer, after the painter Sir Edwin Landseer, but this type shouldn't be confused with a separate breed called European Landseer Mastiffs. Average height is around 28 inches.