Newfoundlands ("Newfies") have webbed feet and a water-resistant coat. Males weigh 60-70 kg (130-150 pounds), and females 45-55 kg (100-120 pounds), putting them in the "giant" weight range.
Most Newfies are black, but brown and gray varieties exist, as well as the striking black-and-white Landseer (named after the artist Sir Edwin Landseer, who featured them in many of his paintings). Some kennel clubs consider the Landseer to be a separate breed; others consider it simply a Newfoundland color variation.
The Newfoundland is similar in size, shape, and coat type to the Great Pyrenees, except that the Great Pyrenees is usually white and the Newfie is usually black. The Landseer Newfoundland and a Great Pyreness with dark patches on its coat are difficult for the layperson to distinguish.
The origin of the breed is uncertain, but they were in use as working dogs on the island of Newfoundland in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, as early as 1000 AD. Newfoundlands have been used as water rescue dogs, and for draft work. The breed almost became extinct and most modern-day Newfoundlands trace their ancestry to a single stud dog named Siki who lived in the 1920s.
Newfies have a gentle, placid disposition. Indeed, the official AKC breed description says "Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland; this is the most important single characteristic of the breed." They are protective of children, and the dog Nana in James M. Barrie's Peter Pan was a Newfoundland. (Newfie owners resent the depiction of her as a St. Bernard in the Disney animated film version; the 2004 film Finding Neverland used a Great Pyrenees).