The Newfoundland is a large working dog. They can be either black, brown, grey, or white-and-black.
The Newfoundland breed originated on Newfoundland, and is descended from a dog landrace indigenous to the island known as the lesser Newfoundland, or St. John’s water dog.
They were originally bred and used as working dogs for fishermen in Newfoundland. Canadian fisherman long relied on Newfoundlands as peerless shipboard working dogs who specialised in dramatic water rescues. Newfs are born swimmers, complete with partially webbed feet, and strong enough to save a grown man from drowning.
They are sweet, patient and extremely devoted.
The Newfoundland is known for its calm and docile nature and its strength. They are highly loyal and make ideal working dogs. It is for this reason that this breed is known as “the gentle giant”.
What the Saint Bernard is to the Alps, the Newfoundland is to the icy waters of the North Atlantic.
A well-visited tourist attraction in England, where Newfoundlands have always been a great favourite, is a monument erected by Lord Byron at Newstead Abbey for his cherished Newf, Boatswain.
The monument’s inscription, devised by the great poet himself, eulogises Boatswain,
“Who possessed Beauty without Vanity / Strength without Insolence / Courage without Ferocity / And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.”
Such was Byron’s regard for his Newfoundland that Boatswain’s tomb at the abbey is larger than his own.