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My very favourite images are those of adult Newfoundland dogs with young children and this got started in the Victorian age, the heyday of the Newf. At first the children were dressed as young adults and formally posed with the dog. Below is one of the better examples. It is of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge with Nelson circa 1839. While it is a formal pose, the Newf is balancing something on his nose, possibly a treat. The artist, Sir Edwin Landseer, at least humanized the painting with this little extra touch.

Princess Mary & Nelson

Later in the era we started to see the children portrayed as the innocents that they are and in informal poses. Here are a couple of examples:

Victorian painting of child with Newf
Little Mull and her pet Major

Nowadays I encourage anyone who is fortunate enough to have a Newfoundland dog helping raise their young children to get as many intimate photos as possible – they’ll be treasures in the future. Here is one Mary-Wynn Fini of Toronto took a couple of decades ago of her seven year old daughter and their Newf, Brigus:

Katherine & Brigus

More recently Cathy Cartman of London, Ontario captured her five year old daughter, Anna, resting with Obi after a walk:

Anna & Obi

Going on the internet I found Newfs and kids were incredibly popular subject matter. Here are a couple of examples:

Peter Maniate has been writing columns for the Newf News, the magazine of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada, since 1979.  In 1996 he started writing a Newfoundland dog column in the Breedlines section of Dogs in Canada magazine on behalf of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada.  When Dogs in Canada ceased publication at the end of 2011 he continued the Breedlines column in the Newf Newfs.

Permission is granted for re-publication of the preceding article or excerpts from it as long as the author is credited and the name of the original publication and date of first publication is included.

Newf News

September/October 2015