The Newfoundland is a large breed of dog originally bred and used as a working dog by fishermen in the Colony of Newfoundland, now part of Canada. They are known for their tremendous strength, innate swimming abilities and loyal character.
There are many legends relating to the origin of the Newfoundland. Some consider it a descendant of the Tibetan Mastiff, others a relative of the Labrador Retriever and still others that it is genetically related to a nomadic Indian dog. The most probable theory is that the breed descends from the large working dogs of the Pyrenean Mountain dog type that were brought to Newfoundland by the European fishermen settling there. These early dogs may have been crossed with sled dogs that had been imported into other parts of Canada, to make them more adapted to the local living conditions.
Newfoundlands can be black, brown or grey. The Landseer color, white with black pachtes and black head variety is considered a separate breed in many countries. In Britain and the United States, however, it is considered just a color form of the Newfoundland.
The Newfoundland is typically well-behaved, loyal and affable. It is friendly and placid but does require a certain amount of training and daily exercise.