The Newfoundland is a gentle and loving dog with a history rooted in hard work as well as search and rescue. While the breed isn’t commonly seen working the jobs of yesteryear due to modern changes, demand for this breed’s companionship hasn’t diminished. With it’s giant bear-like appearance and stoic demeanor, there is no confusion about the Newfoundland’s great personality — only how to pronounce his name!
Some believe the European predecessor of the Newfoundland made its way to the island with the Vikings around 1000 AD. This breed, known as the Viking Bear Dog, was crossbred with the native nomadic Indian dogs. Around 1610, when colonization of Newfoundland and Labrador began, the development of the Newfoundland as a breed was changed forever. Fisherman and tradesman brought their European dogs to the island and mixed them with the local breed.
Fishing was and still is a huge part of life in Newfoundland. Outfitted with webbed feet and a heavy, oily coat, the Newfoundland is perfectly equipped for the rigors of hard work in extreme northern climates. Used for everything from hauling wood to pulling nets through the icy North Atlantic waters, the Newfoundland was in high demand as a working breed. At home in the water and on land, the Newfoundland is a brave water rescue dog.
A Working Breed
During the 1600s larger European breeds like Mastiffs and Pyrenees were introduced by fishermen from the Old World. Gradually, the Viking/Indian mix was transformed into a larger, stockier and heavier coated dog. This is the Newfoundland we all know and love today. read more…