From Landseer to Lap Dog: Unpacking the Temperament Traits of Newfoundland Dogs


Newfoundland dogs are a beloved breed known for their large size, gentle demeanor, and swimming abilities. Originally bred as working dogs in Newfoundland, Canada, these dogs have since become popular companions around the world. From the Landseer variety to the smaller “lap dog” versions, Newfoundland dogs have a unique set of temperament traits that make them special.

History of Newfoundland Dogs

Newfoundland dogs were originally bred by fishermen in Newfoundland to help with tasks such as pulling nets, hauling carts, and rescuing people from the water. Their webbed feet and thick, waterproof coats made them excellent swimmers, and their strong build allowed them to perform these tasks with ease. Over time, Newfoundland dogs gained a reputation for their gentle and loyal nature, leading to their popularity as family pets.

Temperament Traits of Newfoundland Dogs

Newfoundland dogs are known for their sweet and gentle temperament. They are often referred to as “nanny dogs” because of their natural instinct to protect and care for children. These dogs are extremely loyal to their families and are known for their patience and calm demeanor. Newfoundland dogs are also highly intelligent and respond well to training, making them versatile and easily adaptable.

One of the most notable traits of Newfoundland dogs is their love of water. These dogs are natural-born swimmers and are often found happily splashing around in the water. Their webbed feet and thick coats make them well-suited for swimming, and they have even been known to rescue people from drowning. Despite their large size, Newfoundland dogs are surprisingly agile in the water, making them excellent companions for water sports and activities.

Varieties of Newfoundland Dogs

There are two main varieties of Newfoundland dogs: Landseer and “lap dog.” Landseer Newfoundland dogs are named after the renowned artist Sir Edwin Landseer, who frequently depicted these dogs in his paintings. These dogs have a white base coat with black markings, giving them a distinctive and striking appearance. Landseer Newfoundland dogs share the same temperament traits as other Newfoundland dogs, including their gentle nature and love of water.

The “lap dog” variety of Newfoundland dogs refers to smaller versions of the breed that are bred specifically for their smaller size and more manageable temperament. While these dogs still possess the same loyalty and intelligence as their larger counterparts, they are more suitable for families living in smaller homes or apartments. Lap dog Newfoundlands are affectionate and loving, making them perfect companions for those who may not have the space for a full-sized Newfoundland.


In conclusion, Newfoundland dogs are a unique and versatile breed known for their gentle temperament, intelligence, and love of water. From the Landseer variety to the smaller lap dog versions, these dogs have a special place in the hearts of dog lovers around the world. Whether as working dogs in Newfoundland or as beloved family pets, Newfoundland dogs continue to impress with their loyalty, devotion, and unwavering affection.


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