Landseer (Europäisch-kontinentaler Typ)

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clear white with distinct black patches on body and croup
very large
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Pros Cons

  • wonderful family companion

  • gentle with children

  • friendly

  • great watch and guard dog

  • sheds a lot

  • coat requires regular grooming


The Landseer is a graceful yet powerful and tenacious dog, which was developed by German and Swiss breeders. It’s oftentimes mistaken for the Newfoundland but this unique breed is officially recognised by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI). It’s justly considered as multipurpose dog since it thrives both in working environment and as gentle and lively family pet.


The Landseer was created by German and Swiss dog’s experts who were inspired by depictions of the large black and white dog made by the proclaimed animal painter Sir Edwin Landseer. Evidently the breed got its name in the honour of this renowned painter. He has painted this dog countless times and he took for its prototype the actual dog named Bob. There was an old story that the dog and its owner were wrecked twice. Bob managed to save its master from drowning the first time but failed to do so the second. So Bob turned into a stray but didn’t cease to pull drowning people out of water in the near-by dockland. Because of this heroic behaviour the dog was sheltered by the Humane Society. At least 23 people owed their lives to Bob, which served as a rescue dog for long 14 years.

The direct progenitor of the Landseer is famous and honourable Newfoundland that inhabited the Newfoundland islands for over 200 years. These huge dogs were extremely useful for the English fishermen helping them to pull nets to the shore and to retrieve everything fallen overboard. Additionally Newfoundlands saved countless people from drowning throughout the breeds’ history for which it has been the topic of numerous books and paintings. Previously it had been widely regarded that this breed was imported to European countries in 70s of the XVIII century but early and profuse reference of the dog in the European literature proved otherwise.

The Landseer essentially presents a black and white variety of the Newfoundland although with some small modification. It’s widely suggested that the Pyrenean Mountain Dog was added to the gene pool in order to invent the dog that would look like the dog in the artworks done by Sir Edwin Landseer. Substantial contribution in the development of the breed made Otto Walterspiel. The first pure-blooded specimen was born in Holland in 1893.

The Landseer distinguishes from its closest relative by its slender physique and more energetic temperament. It was recognised as a separate breed by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) in 1960. In the modern world the breed enjoys popularity in its homeland as long as in other European countries.


The Landseer is a gentle giant with sweet and kind temperament so it excels in the role of a companion dog. This dog seems to possess innate and well-defined dignity but it’s usually outgoing and highly affectionate with people it loves. It gets along with children if it has learned the basic rules of communication with them. On the whole the dog is very patient with kids and handles them with appropriate cautiousness.

The Landseer is renowned for its overall friendliness and usually shows its sociable disposition when it meets unfamiliar people. Actually the Landseer tends to exuberantly welcome newcomers in your house and should be trained to respect their private space. The dog is notable for strongly developed protective instinct, which means that it can make an outstanding watchdog. Nothing can prevent it from standing between a possible threat and its beloved family and the Landseer will sacrifices its life for it without a shadow of a doubt. That’s way it will become a wonderful guardian.

The Landseer hasn’t been noticed in any kind of canine aggressiveness so it can be fairly simply introduced to the household with other living dog. However the owner should be extra vigilant when two strange dogs meet for the first time since they can wage a fight over dominance. On the whole the Landseer tolerates non-canine animals and won’t bother a home cat if they have been living together since its puppyhood. It’s wise to remember though that no dog can be fully trusted with street cats so it should be leashed at all times.

Health Problems

The most common problems for the breed include:

· canine hip dysplasia;

· obesity;

· heart diseases.


The grooming of the Landseer demands tons of time and efforts because of its dense double coat. It should be carefully brushed on a daily basis with hard brush. It will help to get rid of any tangles and mats. Additionally its hair requires brushing with a regular brush to spread the natural oil along its full length.

This oil renders the coat of the dog water-resistant quality and frequent bath can easily wash it off. That’s why the dog should be bathed only if it’s absolutely necessary. The breed is an extremely heavy shedder and replaces its undercoat twice a year.


The Landseer can be trained relatively easily especially if compared with other giant breeds. This clever dog derives true pleasure from learning process and it’s really willing to oblige its master. However it certainly has a mind of its own and won’t follow your commands blindly. It’s crucial to establish confidential relationship with the dog from the first lesson.

The docile Landseer is capable of grasping things better and quicker if it’s encouraged with kind words and tasty treats. Rough-housing in training of this dog is totally unacceptable since it reacts to it with open defiance or even aggression.


The Landseer is a moderately active dog, which will be fairly satisfied with a long and brisk daily walk. The breed is an avid swimmer and craves nothing more than a walk to the local pond. The dog tends to be lazy and relaxed indoors once its exercise need has been met.

Despite its size the breed adapts well to the big city life and will become an outstanding companion dog for sport-minded people as well as for fairly sedentary families. But always keep in mind that if the Landseer doesn’t get enough opportunities to burn its excessive energy it tends to develop major behavioural problems for example predisposition to excessive barking, destructiveness, unreasonable nervousness.