FCI standard Nº 50
|Group 2 Pinscher and Schnauzer- Molossoid breeds- Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs
|Section 2.2 Molossoid breeds, Mountain type
|Without working trial
Acceptance on a definitive basis by the FCI
|Wednesday 04 August 1954
Publication of the official valid standard
|Tuesday 29 October 1996
|Wednesday 06 November 1996
En français, cette race se dit
|Chien de Terre-Neuve
Diese Norm ist in deutscher Sprache sichtbar
En español, esta raza se dice
In het Nederlands, wordt dit ras gezegd
|Sledge dog for heavy loads, water dog.
Brief historical summary
|The breed originated in the island of Newfoundland from indigenous dogs and the big black bear dog introduced by the Vikings after the year 1100. With the advent of European fishermen a variety of new breeds helped to shape and reinvigorate the breed, but the essential characteristics remained. When the colonization of the island began in 1610, the Newfoundland Dog was already largely in possession of his proper morphology and natural behaviour. These features allowed him to withstand the rigours of the extreme climate and sea’s adversity while pulling heavy loads on land or serving as water and lifeguard dog.
|The Newfoundland is massive, with powerful body, well muscled and well coordinated in his movements.
|The length of the body from the point of shoulders to the point of buttock is greater than the height at the withers.
The body is compact. The body of the bitch may be slightly longer and is less massive than that of the dog.
The distance from the withers to the underside of the chest is slightly greater than the distance from the underside of the chest to the ground.
Behaviour / temperament
|The Newfoundland’s expression reflects benevolence and softness. Dignified, joyful and creative, he is known for his sterling gentleness and serenity.
|Massive. The head of the bitch follows the same general conformation as the male’s one, but is less massive.
|Broad, with slightly arched crown and strongly developed occipital bone.
|Evident, but never abrupt.
|Large, well pigmented, nostrils well developed. Colour : Black on black and white and black dogs, brown on brown dogs.
|Definitely square, deep and moderately short, covered with short, fine hair and free from wrinkles. The corners of the mouth are evident, but not excessively pronounced. Flews soft.
Jaws and teeth
|Scissors or level bite.
|Relatively small, moderately deep set ; they are wide apart and show no haw. Colour : Dark brown in black and white and black dogs, lighter shades permitted in brown dogs.
|Relatively small, triangular with rounded tips, well set back on the side of the head and close lying. When the ear of the adult dog is brought forward, it reaches to the inner corner of the eye on the same side.
|Strong, muscular, well set in the shoulders, long enough to permit dignified head carriage. The neck should not show excessive dewlap.
|Bone structure is massive throughout. Viewed from the side, the body is deep and vigorous.
|Level and firm from the withers to the croup.
|Strong and well muscled.
|Broad, sloping at an angle of about 30°.
|Broad, full and deep, with good spread of ribs.
Underline and belly
|Almost level and never tucked up.
|The tail acts as a rudder when the Newfoundland is swimming ; therefore it is strong and broad at the base. When the dog is standing, the tail hangs down with, possibly, a little curve at the tip ; reaching to or slightly below the hocks. When the dog is in motion or excited, the tail is carried straight out with slight upward curve, but never curled over the back nor curved inward between the legs.
|The forelegs are straight and parallel also when the dog is walking or slowly trotting.
|Very well muscled and well laid back.
|Close to the chest.
|Large and proportionate to the body, well rounded and tight, with firm and compact toes. Webbing of toes is present.
|Because driving power for pulling loads, swimming or covering ground efficiently is largely dependent upon the hindquarters, the rear structure of the Newfoundland is of prime importance. The pelvis has to be strong, broad and long.
|Wide and muscular.
|Strong and fairly long.
|Well bent, but not so as to give a crouching appearance.
|Relatively short, well let down and well apart, parallel to each other ; they turn neither in nor out.
|Firm and tight. Dewclaws, if present, should have been removed
Gait and movement
|The Newfoundland moves with good reach of the forelegs and strong drive of the hindquarters, giving the impression of effortless power. A slight roll of the back is natural. As the speed increases, the dog tends to single track with the topline remaining level.
|The Newfoundland has a water resistent double coat. The outer coat is moderately long and straight with no curl. A slight wave is permissible. The undercoat is soft and dense, more dense in winter than in summer, but always found to some extent on the croup and chest. The hair on the head, muzzle and ears is short and fine. The front and rear legs are feathered. The tail is completely covered with long, dense hair, but does not form a flag. Trimming and scissoring are not encouraged.
|Black, white and black and brown.
Black : The traditional colour is black. The colour has to be even as much as possible, but a slight tinge of sunburn is permissible. White markings on chest, toes and/or tip of tail are permissible.
White and black : This variety is of historical significance for the breed. The preferred pattern of markings is black head with, preferably, a white blaze extending onto the muzzle, black saddle with even markings and black croup and upper tail. The remaining parts are to be white and can show a minimum of ticking.
Brown : The brown colour goes from chocolate to bronze. White markings on chest, toes and/or tip of tail are permissible. White and black dogs and brown dogs are to be shown in the same class as blacks.
Size and weight
Height at withers
|The average height at the withers is for adult males 71cm (28 inches), for adult bitches 66cm (26 inches).
|The average weight is approximately 68 kg for males, approximately 54 kg for bitches.
Large size is desirable, but is not to be favoured over symmetry, general soundness, power of the structure and correct gait.
|• Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.
| General appearance : Legginess, lack of substance.
General bone structure : Sluggish appearance, fine bone.
Character : Aggressiveness, shyness.
Head : Narrow.
Muzzle : Snipey or long.
Flews : Pronounced.
Eyes : Round, protruding, yellow eyes, showing pronounced haw.
Back : Roached, slack or swayed back.
Tail : Short, long, kink tail, curled tip.
Forequarters : Down in pastern, splayed toes, toeing in or out, lack of webbing between toes.
Hindquarters : Straight stifles, cowhocks , barrel legs, pigeon toes.
Gait/Movement : Mincing, shuffling, crabbing, too close moving, weaving, crossing over in front, toeing-out or distinctly toeing-in in front, hackney action, pacing.
Hair : Completely open coat, lack of undercoat.
| Aggressive or overly shy.
Overshot or undershot bite, wry mouth.
Short and flat coat.
Markings of any other colour than white on a black or brown dog.
Any other colour than black or white and black or brown.
|• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation should be used for breeding.
|To qualify the mysterious origins of Newfoundland can be considered pure perversity. In fact, does not everyone know that this big black dog who excels in sea rescue is native to the island of Newfoundland, quite simply? Well no. It's not that clear, far from it! In fact, the origins of Newfoundland are a real enigma for race lovers. But if this dog with a bear and a jet gown is not from Newfoundland, where does it come from ?
First of all, where is this island, and what does it look like? Newfoundland is today a province of Canada including the island itself and part of Labrador, another equally austere region. The nickname "Land of the cod" that gave him in 1497 the Venetian Sebastien Cabot, come to take possession of it in the name of England, says a lot about the kind of population of the island. Fish, certainly, but human beings, point. No more than dogs, by the way. This desert aspect is confirmed by Captain Richard Whitbourne, who, around 1615, after accompanying the British cod fishermen, asserted that there was no island population, no men, no dogs, nothing. A century and a half later, there is another testimony, that of Sir Joseph Banks (1743 - 1820). A member of the Royal Society of London, Banks knew each of the 100,000 square kilometers of the island to have furrowed in its entirety. He also assured that he did not encounter any autochthonous dog that could be distinguished from the canine population then present on the island: a very mixed population, dogs "mostly bastards with the signs of crossing Mastiff".
And it is a fact that the many dogs that, at the end of the eighteenth century, began to flock to Europe, mainly to England, were very diverse. All shades were possible: browns, reds, blacks, more or less marked with white, white and brown, white and red, white and black, and even plain yellow, are more frequently mentioned. Some were tall, others smaller. Most had a predilection for working with water.
How did all these dogs grow in Newfoundland? Can we unravel the fabric of their origins since the arrival of European settlers, or even before? Various theories, some of which are very attractive, have been proposed, notably to explain the molossoid character of these dogs.
One of them attributes the paternity of Newfoundland to Oolum, the Bear Dog of Leif Eriksson, himself the son of the illustrious Erik the Red. Around the year 1000, the Vikings reached the shores of America (which they called Vinland), perhaps as far as present-day Maryland, and no doubt they visited the island of Newfoundland . Would the Vikings' dogs have left traces of their passage in these regions? Nothing can confirm it.
Another solution is that suggested by the presence of many Basque fishermen in Newfoundland. Since 1504, they had indeed invested the island, to the point that there is still a locality called Port-aux-Basques. As the American cynologist J wrote in 1824. S. Skimmer in The Dog and the Sportsman, the fishermen of Biscay had their premises and their houses guarded by Pyrenean mountain dogs when they left off. They could have brought some specimens during their travels. However, the case is not so simple. As noted by Dr. Luquet, veterinarian and dog historian, the Newfoundland does not have double lugs on the hind limbs. Now, it turns out that the mountains of the Pyrenees have and that this trait, however minor, is considered by amateurs as a sign of purity. Moreover, this ergot is genetically dominant, that is to say that it is transmitted to a whole range when only one parent is a carrier. Does the absence of spurs in Newfoundland then invalidate such a pretty and convenient theory? Not necessarily. There are many examples where the lobes have disappeared in a breed because of selection or over time; this is the case among the St. Bernard and the Mastiffs of Tibet. This detail does not preclude the hypothesis of Mountain contribution of the Pyrenees.
But there is more troubling: February 20, 1874, the following text appeared in the newspaper Acclimatization: "There are in the Pyrenees several types of large dogs said mountain dogs, and, among other things, two distinct races. One that could be referred to as the "Eastern Pyrenees dog" is particularly widespread around Bagnères-de-Bigorre; she has a thick muzzle, drooping lips, rounded ears, a somewhat frizzy coat, white and black. The canine section of the newspaper was under the direction of colonel Dommanget and Rohan de Kermadec, two cynologists of the greatest seriousness, so the partisans of the Pyrenees Mountain could believe they had scored a point, because many Newfoundland of the time was black and white, with a coat reminiscent of that of the astrakhan. Only the end of the article is ambiguous and sows doubt. The authors suggest that the fishermen could have brought back Newfoundland dogs, the latter then creating the variety mentioned above. Who gave birth to whom? Impossible to say.
Another hypothesis has been further advanced by the American dog-catcher Fred Stubbart: descendants of Dogs of Tibet have come from Asia by the Aleutian Islands and Alaska, at the same time as the ancestors of the Indians. This hypothesis; that no evidence supports it; refers to those concerning the distant origin of American dogs, which is very controversial.
Because, in America, the dogs did not miss before the arrival of the Europeans. From Virginia to Labrador, the Indians held their dogs in high esteem, the chiefs burying themselves with their favorites. They were also the most useful pets, since they provided fur, meat sometimes, guard, help for hunting, work. Thus, the role of draft animal was the common dog of Indians. Once disassembled, the tipis, these large removable tents, were folded and installed on some sort of stretchers called travois, pulled by dogs. For a long time the Indians knew no other traction than that of the dog; thus, when they had domesticated their first horses, they immediately named them "seven dogs," according to the work report they had observed between the two animals. These dogs, however, should not be physically impressive or strange, since, despite the exaggeration and detail of settler stories about Indian manners, none of them mention dogs in particular. It is presumed that, far from the molossoid, they were rather of primitive type, like Spitz, anyway lupoid.
In areas along the east coast, dogs were also used for fishing. Presumably of medium size, brown, black, yellow, robust, they were quite comfortable in the icy water. When the Europeans arrived in the area, from the sixteenth century, to fish for cod, they called on them to catch the escaped fish from their nets. These dogs were implanted in Newfoundland, where their resistance and their ability to water developed further. It is in particular of these dogs, or rather of their descendants, that, later, would have come the Retrievers. This would be the case of the Chesapeake Bay Retriever, whose legend attributes paternity to Newfoundland. The breed owes its existence to the sinking of an English brig near the coast of Maryland in 1807. A Newfoundland couple (one black, the other, brown) would have been on board and would have stayed in the area. Crossed with local dogs, he gave birth to Chesapeake.
As far as the Labrador Retriever is concerned, it was around 1820 that the Earl of Malesbury bought his first water dogs on the wharves of Poole, the port of Southern England where land products were landed. Neuve. Asked about the breed of these dogs, the salesman answered without hesitation that they were "Labrador dogs", a name that the count gave them and which remained to them. There is also a great deal of physical similarity between Newfoundland and Labrador. A Labrador owner said of his dog: "It's a small Newfoundland with no big hair."
In the meantime, there is no doubt that the fishermen, then the colonists, both French and English, had introduced to the island of Newfoundland European dogs of very different types. Thus, the Barbet, very old breed of French water dog (and ancestor of the Poodle), is often quoted. This hypothesis is preached by Benion, when he states in 1861 that Newfoundland "is a dog from the Mastiff and Barbet", and shared by J. -C. Hermans, who notes that many French boats had a Barbet on board. What about the almost total lack of resemblance between the two races? The Newfoundland of yesteryear was certainly not the massive dog of today. Appreciated for his qualities and not for his physique, he was far from having a homogeneous type. Among the dogs of Newfoundland landing in England from 1815, it is said that the most beautiful came from French institutions known as "Three Mountains" and their thick black fur more or less curly recalled the astrakhan. So this hair, Barbet's resurgence ?
English dogs, for their part, have certainly contributed to much of the molossoid aspect of Newfoundland. Louis XIV having abandoned his rights on the island to England in 1713, the British colonists began to exploit the interior of the land, and brought their dogs with them. If there were no doubt hunting dogs, such as Spaniels, the nature of most of these animals is not a big mystery, as we know they were used to pulling carts, small teams and sleds. The settlers carried all sorts of effects and materials. These dogs must have been very powerful, probably of the mastiff type; Mastiffs, St. Bernard and other molossoids were imported to the island.
In Newfoundland, dogs became so numerous that in 1780, the governor, Mr. Edwards, limited the dog population by imposing a single dog per household, while the Court of Disposal decided to slaughter any dog not muzzle. These drastic measures, intensified in 1815, led to the export of dogs from Newfoundland to Europe. It is not surprising, given the complexity of the origins attributed to Newfoundland, of the variety of tasks they were employed on their island, either inland or on the coasts, the number of crossings that were not These specimens, discovered by the English at the beginning of the nineteenth century, were so varied in appearance and size, that they were not wanting to take place among all these dogs. It was by selection that Newfoundland would become the race we know.
For fifty years, before the dog shows began, British breeders used various mountain dogs to assert the molossoid character of Newfoundland, including St. Bernard, then called Mastiff Alpin. An exchange of good practices, since a Newfoundland couple will save the legendary race from extinction in 1856. Papa Newfoundland and Mother Saint-Bernard will revive impoverished breeding, will give rise to the long-haired St. Bernard, today paradoxically more popular than his short-haired brother, yet an original variety. It was written that the Leonberg could have participated in the perfection of Newfoundland, but having not yet arrived across the Channel at that time, it could not be put to use. The word for the end of this troubled past belongs to the American scholar James Watson, who said in 1900: "Newfoundland is a modern English version developed from different kinds of common dogs, dress colors and various sizes."
From 1860, everything becomes clearer. Newfoundland is considered a full-fledged breed, and that year, six subjects make an impression at the Birmingham dog show (one of the first). His reputation of lifeguard having preceded him, he becomes the fashionable dog. Everyone is interested in him: Sir Edwin Landseer will pay him the tribute that we know, while other artists, not least (such as the poet Burns), will celebrate. Another favorite patronage was the Prince of Wales, who exhibited six Newfoundland at the Agricultural Hall in 1864. In 1878, the Kennel Club officially registered its first Newfoundland, and the year 1886 saw the creation of the Breed Club , one of the oldest in England to date. He is immediately responsible for drafting a valid standard. But the beauty of Newfoundland is not what pleases the public most, which requires rescue demonstrations. These events are developing so much that MC Marshal decides to regulate them and creates "special Newfoundland" trials in Maidstone and Portsmouth. The program is very demanding, because it requires courage, intelligence and power from the dog, who must dive and bring back an object, tow boats and people, and finally ride the current or the tide in a minimum of time.
Many breedings express themselves through their products during this period, and the breed takes the opportunity to spread in Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Holland, Germany and of course in France where it is already well represented . It will however be necessary to wait until 1963 to see to create a Club of race in the Hexagon. The first work competition was held in 1977 in the Somme, and its program was adopted by the Central Canine Society in 1981.
Newfoundland has been assigned to monitor beaches in some areas, but its attachment to a single master (hence the difficulty of changing it, is however frequent in the administration) and its cost quite important have terminated the experiment. Americans have not been so easily discouraged, and they have used Newfoundland as a guide dog for the blind and as a dog for the disabled. The budget for maintaining such a large dog is of course an obstacle to such uses, even though Newfoundland is good at it. The United States, Germany and Canada are nevertheless continuing their programs with him.
A very complicated story for a dog so frank. Highly appreciated in France, Newfoundland today represents to the public the teddy bear, what it is in its hours. It will not be forgotten, however, that it comes from hard dogs, whose work required strong temperaments and obvious qualities. No one could, with regard to Newfoundland, conclude with more admiration and elegance than Lord Byron himself, who made his dog Boatswain the following epitaph: "He is the one who possesses beauty without vanity." force without insolence, courage without ferocity, all the virtues of man without his vices. Some believe him fierce, others debonair. Such a mass, such good eyes, so abundant fur sometimes make it look like a simple teddy bear, while its powerful paws, its huge head and its impressive jaws can be scary. So, Newfoundland, brute or stuffed dog? Newfoundland simply.
What is important to mention when talking about Newfoundland is its sweet and really kind side. A dog does not become a lifeguard without a certain love of the man. It is therefore a good and sociable dog that this black giant. With his masters, for example, there is no more affectionate than a Newfoundland. This affectivity can become overwhelming, in every sense of the word, because a colossus of 65 kilos who comes to make you a little hug it feels like passing! Yet Newfoundland is never brutal. Like many very big dogs, he seems aware of his mass and is relatively respectful of interiors and people. One of the main features of Newfoundland is its fidelity. Very attached to a master, he will have a hard time accepting another, hence the impossibility of using it in the administration, where dogs and masters meet and leave frequently. Of course, this character trait does not prevent him from working, and even very well, with other people than his master, with the water for example, but it is on condition that he finds his master and his family thereafter. In the same vein, Newfoundland has difficulty with kennels. Likewise, if he is called to be alone during the day, a "special solitude" apprenticeship will enable him to better live this daily separation.
Of course, it is preferable that Newfoundland has a garden, because to live such an animal in apartment is not frankly advised. Any large dog should benefit from a suitable habitat. However, Newfoundland is not a hyperactive dog; it requires less to spend than a Belgian Shepherd, for example, which is however much smaller gauge. The physical needs of a dog depend not only on its mass, but also on its nerve impulse. Being a molossoid, so a rather placid dog, Newfoundland does not need to frolic in the woods for two hours a day. Three hygienic outings plus a good walk in a green area every day are enough.
Newfoundland loves to play. So ; this is his often unrecognized retriever side; he brings back the object thrown at him and even, why not, look for his masters hidden behind a tree. But, of course, his great pleasure is water. It must be seen to dive with delight in the coolest waters. The holidays at the sea are for him an extraordinary happiness. He follows all the members of the family, splitting the waves of his strong chest, fetching the ball. If you have the opportunity, do not miss to put it in the water, it will be even more balanced and happier.
Balance is also his forte in his social life. Without aggression towards strangers, he can walk in a crowd without causing any damage, because he does not even care about passers-by. Your friends will be his after he checks their good intentions. He loves children: those of the neighbor will be able to caress him without fear. Can he keep the house? Huge, black in most cases, the massive head and the chops suggesting an impressive jaw, it is the most dissuasive of the cerberers, although its effectiveness as a guardian is below his intimidating skills. Before a stranger wishing to enter, he is content with barking guttural and peaceful, which, by the way, are generally more than enough to discourage any malicious intruder.
Of a mild nature, Newfoundland is exceptional with children. He carefully measures his movements to never rush them. He guides the little ones when they take their first steps, clinging to his thick fur, and he is an excellent companion for the older ones, taking part in all their games, until exhaustion of the two parts. However, Newfoundland, like any self-respecting Molossoid, also enjoys napping, so, to the disappointment of his little playmates, he will sometimes interrupt the party to take a nap on the softest carpet in the world house.
The other dogs do not pose any problem since they can not pose a threat to him. Aggressive reactions are to be watched over by the smaller ones, who often prefer to prevent than cure and, feeling inferior, try to impress him. Cats and other animals will be his friends on the express condition that he is used to it young and that he is firmly forbidden to continue, even to play.
This brings us to the chapter of education. Is Newfoundland a good student? Legitimate question, because an animal of its size could easily take advantage of it to impose itself on its masters. Newfoundland does not have this tendency, but to avoid any risk, it is imperative to start educating it at a very young age. Without training, learning the basic commands (sitting, lying, walking, not moving, etc.) is excellent, because it relaxes the dog and accustoms him to obey. Moreover, since Newfoundland is basically a utility dog, confining him to a pet dog's role would be a misunderstanding of his nature. This dog flourishes while working. Of course, he prefers working with water. That's why more and more owners are training their dogs for this type of exercise. Otherwise, he will work on the ground. Teach him to bring back various objects, apparent or hidden. Any intellectual gymnastics will help her to stay young and alive all her life and will ensure her total attachment. See how happy he is to pull his little masters in a cart or learn how to get a newspaper.
It goes without saying that a certain firmness is necessary with an animal of this size. To never have a conflict of authority with a Newfoundland, it must be understood from a very young age that it is not he who commands. This is not unnatural, on the contrary, because this is how wild dogs are organized, in highly hierarchical packs where all conflict is avoided and where fighting is extremely rare. Be nice but resolute with your puppy and erect prohibitions (armchairs, beds, begging at the table, nuisance barking ...), which will show him that you are a leader and that he can trust you. Once established, cohabitation should be ideal because Newfoundland is a docile dog. Even the reprimands (inevitable one day or another) will pass very well, because he will know that he deserved them, provided of course that they are just, otherwise he would lose this precious confidence in you. But, all this is not a problem and proceeds from a well-conducted education.
Newfoundland is therefore a pretty easy dog, given its stature. Very gentle, intelligent, learning fast, he will be a wonderful companion for a master worthy of the name. The main thing is to consider him a full member of the family. He deserves it.