About 200 years ago these big, white and black dogs
were spotted on the island Newfoundland by European
fishermen. Because of their appealing appearance these
giants were brought to England. The 'dogs of Newfoundland'
were present on the island in great numbers and helped
the fishermen by towing nets out the water to the mainland.
They also helped to bring people who threatened to drown,
It is believed that around 1770 these dogs have been
exported to England in
great numbers. However, these dogs were seen and reported
much earlier. It is
known that there is a painting of a boy, named Henry
Sidney the later "Earl of
Romney", with his white and black 'dog of Newfoundland'.
The first written reports of 'the dog of Newfoundland'
are from 1732 by a
"Person of Quality" in the book "The
Gentlemen farrier". This is followed by "An
History of the Earth and Animated Nature" dated
1774 written by Oliver
Goldsmith. This is a very extensive and impressing description
of 'the dog of
In 1778 the 'dog of Newfoundland' is first reported
on our continent by E.A.
Zimmerman. In 1790 Thomas Bewick's famous work follows:
"A General History of
Quadrupeds". His work contains a picture (drawing)
of the dog.
From that moment until about 1880 there are at least
60 books known to us and a large number of paintings
that include the large white and black dogs. The most
famous painting ever is "A Distinguished Member
of Humane Society" painted by the famous animal
painter Sir Edwin Landseer in 1838. Because Sir Edwin
Landseer always painted these large white and black
dogs these dogs where referred to as
"Landseer-dogs". This explains how the Landseer
got his name.
In England these
dogs were crossed with the black Newfoundland regularly
and it was soon a fact that there were more differences
between these 2 dogs than just their colour. Gradually
it became clear that the white and black dogs were much
higher and more active than the black variety. One could
clearly see the
The first pure Landseer litter was probably
born in Holland in 1893. However,
these dogs were crossed with the black Newfoundland.
The second Landseer litter was born in Switzerland in
1902 and this litter may be considered to be the
revival of the Landseer on the European mainland. Altogether
it took until 1960
before the Landseer E.C.T. was considered a separate
breed. It is now protected under number 226 of the F.C.I.
Landseer-Newfoundlands have usually
more black on their body and blacker
heads. The name 'Landseer-Newfoundland' is mostly used
to indicate the colour of the Newfoundland. This is
not the same as Landseer E.C.T. Besides the colour,
the characters are also different: a Landseer E.C.T.
is much more active and remains active till his last
day. The Newfoundland is usually somewhat calmer.