Newfoundland Dog

Photograph shows a rare breed of Newfoundland dog bred to hunt bears?

Claim:   Photograph shows a rare breed of Newfoundland dog bred to hunt bears.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, February 2012]

this is a rare breed of Newfoundland, they were breed to hunt bears.


Origins:   As described by the American Kennel Club, the Newfoundland breed of dog:

A large dog and a true workhorse, the Newfoundland is a master at long-distance swimming and has true lifesaving instincts in the water. He is large and strong, possessing a heavy coat to protect him from icy waters. Equally at home in the water and on land, today’s Newfoundland competes in conformation, obedience, agility, tracking, draft and water tests, and carting. His coat can be black, brown, gray, or white and black.

There are many conflicting stories as to the origin of the Newfoundland — some say he descended from the Great Pyrenees or a “French hound” — but nearly all agree that he originated in Newfoundland and his ancestors were brought there by fisherman from the European continent. In Newfoundland he was used as a working dog to pull nets for the fishermen and to haul wood from the forest. He also did heavy labor, such as powering the blacksmith’s bellows.

The Newfoundland falls into the “Giant” weight range for dogs, with males typically ranging from 130 to 150 pounds and standing about 28 inches tall at the shoulder, while females typically range from 100 to 120 pounds and stand about 26 inches tall at the shoulder.

The canine shown in the above photograph is not “a rare breed of Newfoundland bred to hunt bears,” however. Newfoundlands are large dogs to begin with, and the perspective in this picture creates the illusion that the Newfoundland shown here is even larger than it really is. The dog is in the foreground, close to the photographer (so much so that its front feet are not visible) and elevated on a table, while the woman stands significantly farther away from the camera, at the dog’s hind end. This arrangement creates a forced perspective effect which exaggerates the size of the dog to the viewer’s eye. (Similar effects can be seen in some of the photos displayed in this gallery of large dogs.)

Last updated:   22 February 2012