It’s known for sure that the Newfoundland was developed in the Canadian province of the same name in the beginning of the XVII century. From that point opinions of the dogs’ experts about its origin differentiate greatly so the reports about ancestry of the breed represent only the number of pure speculations. Three theories prevail in this dispute. One group of scientists claims that the breed gradually appeared as the result of multiple crossing the Tibetan Mastiff and the now-extinct American Black Wolf. Another speculation assumes that the breed is a direct descendent of the Viking’s dogs which they left behind during their visit to the New World in the I A.D. Later on these dogs were mixed with Canadian wolves and became known as the Newfoundland. The last suggestion concludes that the breed gradually evolved from numerous crosses of the European breeds around XV and XVI century. The list of the most probable candidates includes the Pyrenean Sheep Dog, the Mastiff, and the Portuguese Water dog.
Initially the Newfoundland was used to pull out of water and into the shore fisherman’s tackle. Additionally the part of its duties on board was to retrieve stuff that fell off boats. Gradually it deserved the reputation of a wonderful rescue dog and it still does exceptionally well in this role. Its sturdy build, thick, waterproof coat and webbed feet made it capable of enduring the icy waters off the coast of Newfoundland region. On land the Newfoundland was used as a tireless cart dragger, as a ferocious guardian for farmer’s houses and as a faithful companion dog. This multipurpose dog quickly reached other countries and gradually acquired small but steady following throughout the United States, Canada as well as Europe.