Watercubs & Kivisilmän
working show-quality newfoundlands
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There are three theories that exist to explain the existence and origination of the large, black dogs on their native island of Newfoundland. The three theories are:
Because theories are only speculative, the true origin of the breed will always remain a mystery. No matter what the true origin, these big black dogs have always impressed man with their great strength, size, natural swimming abilities, instincts and gentle dispositions.
They hauled wood for fuel and for construction.
They even were used by farmers to haul and deliver milk.
The breed itself was not formally named until the
latter half of the eighteenth century, when George Cartwright appropriately
applied the name of the breed's native island to his own dog in 1775.
During this time of the early 1800’s
Newfoundlands were being exported from Canada to England to keep the breed
alive. The Newfoundlands however became very popular in England.
As the breed became more and more popular, it is thought that the English Mastiffs were crossed to the Newfies to obtain the size and massiveness known in the breed today. It is also possible that the Springer Spaniel may have been used to contribute the black and white color - known as Landseer.
Sir Edwin Landseer frequently portrayed this type
of Newfoundland in his paintings, hence the reference to Landseer.
The first record of official showing of the breed was held at a dog show in Birmingham, England in 1860, where six Newfoundlands were entered in the show. The first Newfoundland was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1879, and in 1883, a Newfoundland named "Sam" was the first American champion of the breed.
Most of today's Newfoundland's can be traced back to a English show dog named "Siki" from the 1920's. "Siki" was an outstanding example of the breed, but more importantly, he was a very prepotent sire that produced outstanding progeny. "Siki" and three of his sons were imported into the United States and when crossed with the American Newfoundland, began the definition of the Newfoundland standards as we know them today. Almost all Newfoundland's can trace their pedigrees back to "Siki".