A large, very gentle, highly friendly companion dog for children, this rescue dog really loves the water.

This breed is named after the Victorian artist Sir Edwin Landseer, whose sentimental portraits of the dog first made it famous. It is sometimes referred to as the Landseer Newfoundland. Its original role was as a fisherman's draught dog.


The Landseer is so similar to the Newfoundland (see separate entry) that in both Britain and North America it is considered to be no more than a colour form of that well-known dog.

There was a time during the Victorian period when this version of the Newfoundland was more popular than the typical, all-black form. Landseer was not the only 19th-century artist to depict it. Sydenham Edwards, Philip Reingale and Samuel Jones all portrayed the Newfoundland as a black with white dog.

As time passed, however, the black dog became very popular and the breeding of the two forms – solid colour and bicolour – split apart. After a while, this meant that other minor differences began to creep in. For example, the Landseer gradually grew taller, with longer legs, less bulk, and a longer, more tapering head than the Newfoundland. Its coat was curlier, while that of the Newfoundland was wavier. It was because of this drifting apart that some countries insisted on calling them separate breeds. In 1976, the German Landseer Club was founded, and Belgium and Holland later followed their lead.

As regards its origins, its history, its early working roles, and its temperament, the Landseer remains basically the same as the Newfoundland.


The height at its withers should be about 27-31 inches/67-80 cm. Its body should be rectangular with a slight tuck-up, and a waist that is neither broad, nor deep.

Large sized, massive, strong, and heavily boned, the Landseer has slightly longer limbs and head than the Newfoundland; a quite massive head; large, rounded drop ears; and a long, bushy, hanging tail. It has a soft, close-lying undercoat, and a long, thick, slightly curly outercoat. The coat color is white, but with an entirely black head and markings on the chest and back.

To be correct the color should really be called white and black — white with black patches and not vice versa. Black should appear on the head except for the muzzle and a blaze. Large patches of black on the body should not go beyond the neck, chest, under belly or down the legs or tail.


Instinctively brave, intelligent, and mild, this dog makes a great, friendly companion, especially for children.

Care and Exercise

Frequent brushing is needed, especially when it is shedding, and dead hair should be carefully removed. Ample exercise should center around a pulling routine.

Puppies and Training

If the puppies, usually four to ten per litter, outnumber the mother's teats, supplemental formula feeding will be necessary. Born with an instinctive love of the water, the puppies will grow into powerful swimmers.

Gallery of Landseer