The Newfoundland dog is a breed of massive dogs, originating from Newfoundland on the eastern coast of Canada. They look somewhat like black Saint Bernards, but actually, it's the other way around (read the story at Saint Bernard).

Males average 71 cm (28") in height and 68 kg (150 lbs) in weight, females 66 cm (26") and 55 kg (120 lbs). Newfoundlands are usually black, but some are brown, bronze, gray or cream-colored. They may also have splashes of white. Landseer is a variation that is mostly white with black on the head, rump and tail.

The earliest ancestors of the Newfoundland dog were the local breeds of Newfoundland and black bear dogs brought by the Vikings almost a thousand years ago. These dogs were originally bred to haul freight in carts and on sleds, and aid in fishing in a cold climate, so they have several features suitable for this type of work. They are remarkably strong and do not tire easily. Their fur coat is two-layered (with an oily outer coat that repels water and a fleecy undercoat). Also, they have webbed feet (!) and swim with a breast stroke. Because of these attributes, they are used as water rescue dogs.

The Newfoundland dog is the most obedient and gentle of the giant breeds, but playful when excited. They are also very intelligent. Mine has a keen sense of humor and understands two languages, coming from a Swedish-speaking family. :)

Suomen Newfoundlandinkoirayhdistys (The Finnish Newfoundland Dog Association) -