A Landseer dog poses for a pic. This dog is the black and white version of the Newfoundland dog

Are Landseer and Newfoundland Dogs the Same: Yay or Nay?


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Landseer dogs recently started trending on Google search. Why is this? We’re not sure. But if you’re asking we’ll answer. If you’ve found yourself googling the Newfoundland dog instead you might be interested to know this search spike is even greater. You’ll also notice if you search for one, the other always comes up.

So what’s the difference? Is one breed gentler, bigger or more active than the other? How and why are these dogs so connected?

In this article PD Insurance gives you the answers. Whether you’re a Landseer lover or a Newfoundland fan here’s what you need to know.

In this article

A Newfoundland dog lies down in front of sunflowers in the sunset

Is a Landseer dog the same as a Newfoundland dog?

Is a Landseer dog the same as a Newfoundland dog? This is a funny question because the answer simply depends on where you are in the world.

The Newfoundland dog comes in several shades including black, brown, grey and black-and-white.


In continental Europe the black-and-white Newfoundland dog has come to be a recognised breed of its own. This breed is called the Landseer dog. The largest international federation of national kennel clubs, the Fédération Cynologique Internationale lists the black-and-white Landseer dog as a distinct breed in its own right. More specifically, it’s the Landseer European Continental Type.

Therefore the Landseer dog and the Newfoundland dog are essentially the same. However, a grey, brown or black Newfoundland dog isn’t classed as a Landseer dog anywhere in the world. Just the black-and-white one.

US and UK

On the flipside, the American Kennel Club lists the black-and-white Landseer dog as a Newfoundland dog. The oldest kennel club in the world, The Kennel Club (UK) does too. In fact they list ‘landseer’ as one of the colour variations of the Newfoundland.

So coming back to whether the Landseer dog is the same as a Newfoundland dog, that’s a yes and a no. Depending on where you go!

A Newfoundland Landseer dog looks out over the wilderness of a hilly expanse

Why are black and white Newfoundlands called Landseer?

Like many cool and interesting concepts, the Landseer name takes its inspo from an artist.

The English painter and sculptor Sir Edwin Henry Landseer often depicted the black-and-white Newfoundland dog in his paintings. Landseer was fond of painting animals and especially enjoyed featuring dogs and horses in his works of art. Nice!

If you visit Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square you’ll see Landseer’s lion sculptures at its base. His classic Landseer painting, A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society paints this pup in a great light.

How much do Newfoundlands weigh? 

A common question people tend to Google is how much do Newfoundlands weigh? Given these canine buddies are classed as ‘extra large’ dogs by our national kennel club, Dogs New Zealand (read about our Dogs NZ partnership) it’s not surprising we all want to know the answer to this question.

Here’s how much the Newfoundland dog weighs and some other fast facts about this canine companion:

Weight Males 65–80 kg / females 55–65 kg
HeightMales 71 cm / females 66 cm
Life span8 – 10 years
Litter size6 – 12 puppies on average
CoatDouble coat, thick and straight
ColourBlack, grey, brown, or Landseer (black and white)
Interestingly, grey is not a recognised colour for the Newfoundland dog breed outside of the US. In addition, brown is not a recognised colour in the Canadian standard for this dog breed. 

With all the chopping and changing of breed standards across different global regions, you can see why some people might wonder whether the Landseer and Newfoundland dogs are similar, different or actually the same!

A large black Newfoundland dog stands in front of trees in a meadow

Newfoundland and Landseer dog origins

Just like the mystique between different colours and breed categories, the Newfoundland and Landseer dog origins are also a tad mysterious…

We already know the Landseer dog gets its name from a famous artist. You might be interested to discover that the Newfoundland dog takes its name from the Eastern region of Canada called Newfoundland.

🐶 Newfoundlands and Labradors, natural BFFs

Newfoundland and Labrador are two parts of the Easternmost region of Canada and, as you guessed it, the Labrador dog takes its name from Labrador.

But wait! This isn’t the only similarity between these two dogs, there’s more… Both these pups are water loving dogs that have helped fishermen haul their catch. Both have webbed paws and double coats that are waterproof. And of course both breeds developed, at least in part, in Canada.

Like the Lab, the Newfoundland dog may well have originated elsewhere. Some believe this pup may have been bred from a Tibetan Mastiff. It’s thought this early version of the dog could have ended up in Scandinavia. From there it’s speculated that the Norse explorer Leif Ericsson brought the dogs with him to Newfoundland.

Here the early progenitor would have bred with dogs that lived with the aboriginal Canadians. The puppies of these two pooches are very possibly the earliest ancestors of our contemporary Newfoundland breed.

🐶 Newfoundlands and Saint Bernards, shared history

Newfoundland dogs are sometimes compared with Saint Bernards and there’s a reason behind this… Not only do the two breeds have a similar look, heavy drool and gentle giant status but they’re also distant relatives.

That’s right, in the 1800s the Newfoundland dog was used to breed with the Saint Bernard to help further refine the Saint Bernard breed. Cool huh? That means that Newfoundland dogs are in some way connected to Saint Bernards, Labradors and, of course, the Landseer dog.

🐶 Shared talents

Like the Lab and Saint Bernard, Newfoundland and Landseer dogs are well known for being great family dogs. They’re generally good with kids and other household pets and train easily. Another shared trait among these breeds is their reputation for rescue and support.

While Labradors make great assistance dogs, Saint Bernard and Newfoundland dogs often work as rescue dogs.

Pro health tips. If you own one of these dogs keep in mind they all have double coats that need regular grooming. Another health consideration is that their large size and therefore weight makes all these breeds prone to hip dysplasia in dogs. 

A good way to help safeguard against this is keeping them to a healthy weight and avoiding obesity. Here are more great cat and dog weight tips from Dr Cath Watson:

Soft landings for Newfoundland and Landseer dogs

Whether you have a Newfoundland dog, a Saint Bernard, Labrador, Landseer dog or another breed – or a glorious mix – be sure to give them a soft landing. Getting your dog or cat a pet insurance plan helps ensure you can protect them through thick and thin.

Whether you can afford costly unexpected vet and hospital treatments when the unexpected happens won’t be a question you’ll need to ask yourself if you have a pet plan. Pet insurance helps pay for an array of medical bills for cats and dogs, like X-rays, prescribed medication, surgery and so much more. You get to choose your pet’s level of cover with no lock-in contracts.

Get one or more months of award winning pet insurance free when you buy a PD Pet Insurance pawlicy online today. Click below for more.

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