The Truth About Newfoundlands

The Newfoundland is a large, usually black, breed of dog originally used as a working dog in Newfoundland. They are known for their sweet dispositions, loyalty, and natural water rescue tendencies.

The origin of this working breed is disputed. Vikings and Basque fishermen visited Newfoundland as early as 1000 AD and wrote accounts of the natives working side by side with these retrieving dogs. The breed as we know it today was developed in England, while the island of Newfoundland nearly legislated the native breed to extinction in 1780. Then, shortly after World War I, a magnificent dog named Siki became not only the most famous show Newf in history, but the most famous stud dog of the breed. Most Newfoundlands in the conformation ring today can trace their pedigrees to Siki.

Essentially the Newfoundland dog is as much at home in the water as on dry land. Canine literature gives us stories of brave Newfoundlands which have rescued men and women from watery graves; stories of shipwrecks made less terrible by dogs which carried life lines to stricken vessels; of children who have fallen into deep water and have been brought safely ashore by Newfoundlands; and of dogs whose work was less spectacular but equally valuable as they helped their fishermen owners with their heavy nets and performed other tasks necessary to their occupations.