One of the most common conversations that I’ve had with people who met Sherman and Leroy for the first time was “I didn’t know they came in brown.”
That always started a little lesson in “Colors of the Newfoundland 101”
Of course most people we met thought that the only color a Newfoundland could be was black which is understandable because black is the most common color seen in this breed.
People were surprised that Newfies could be other colors than black and it was always a fun conversation.
Most of us that have Newfies of other colors get this all time and because of that, our Newfs are often mistaken for other breeds.
Let’s take a look at some of the colors of the Newfoundland breed and what is acceptable across the world.
When we say acceptable it means colors that are recognized by the Newfoundland Club of America and The American Kennel Club.
It doesn’t mean that Newfies of other colors are not Newfies, it means that those colors would not be able to compete in the conformation ring.
Because all dog breeds have to have a set of breed standards.
It’s kind of like a blueprint.
If you don’t have a blueprint to build a house you’re going to run into a lot of problems down the road.
You need a basic set of plans for all houses for them to be built properly and for chaos not to ensue.
Acceptable Newfoundland Dog Colors in the United States
According to the Newfoundland Club of America, recognized Newfoundland colors are black, brown, gray, and white and black.
Color is secondary to type, structure, and soundness.
Acceptable Newfoundland Dog Colors in Canada
According to the Candian Kennel Club, recognized colors of the Newfoundland are black and white & black (Landseer)
The traditional colour is black.
White markings on the chest, toes, and tip of tail are allowed.
In the Landseer variety, the base colour is white with black markings.
The preferred pattern is a black head, saddle, rump, and upper tail.
Acceptable Newfoundland Dog Colors in The U.K.
Black, brown, and Landseer-white with black markings only.
What about those brown and white Newfoundlands?
Those are still Newfoundlands they just aren’t a recognized color in any country.
They can sill be registered and compete in working and obedience trials.
After years of research on this topic, I have no good, solid reason for this (and no one else does either)
There’s plenty of opinions on the topic though.
Most reputable breeders won’t breed for a brown and white because it’s not considered an acceptable color within the standards.
Therefore, many backyard breeders or rescue groups are the only places that you will find this color.
(Sometimes you will find a reputable breeder that does have the occasional brown and white)
However, if it became an acceptable color I think many brown breeders would offer this color in the United States.
Just my opinion.
What about beige Newfoundlands?
Also known as champagne or cream.
This is not an acceptable color in any country.
What about blue Newfoundlands?
There is no such thing as a blue Newfoundland.
It’s a grey Newfoundland.
A breeder referring to a blue Newfoundland is up to no good.
White and Grey Newfoundland?
White and grey Newfoundlands do exist but are not acceptable.
Irish Spotted Newfoundlands
An Irish Spotted Newfoundland is a black Newfoundland with white markings.
These white markings are on the tips of the toes, chest, and tail.
Irish spotted is just a term used, not a color.
In reality, it is a mismarked black dog.
Does Color Affect Health?
The only Newfoundland dog color that has been proven to have health issues associated with it is grey and beige.
This is due to the dilute gene which can cause color dilution alopecia.
Color dilution alopecia “is a genetic recessive inherited condition that causes patches of hair thinning or loss, and may also include flaky and/or itchy skin. The condition is associated with individuals who have what is called “dilute” color.”
Does color affect personality?
Great question and there seems to be a lot of different opinions on this.
It seems to come down to the actual dog but many Newfie owners have said that Landseers are bit more high-strung than other colors.
Odin is my second Landseer and I do think that they are a bit more active.
The Landseers that I’ve had seem to have a bit of a crazy side to them.
It’s like an on/off switch.
As far as browns go, Sherman was a laid back as they come but Leroy was goofier.
Share with us your findings!
Landseers Vs. Landseer ECT
Here’s where things get confusing.
In the U.S. and Canada, we refer to the white & black Newfoundland as a Landseer.
A Landseer in the United States and Canada is a white & black Newfoundland.
In Europe, a white & black Newfoundland is called a white & black Newfoundland.
Also in Europe, there is a breed of dog called the Landseer ECT (European Continental Type).
This looks similar to an American Landseer but it is not a Newfoundland.
This breed is taller and has a different personality.
If you live in the U.S. and have a tall Landseer, you most likely do NOT have an ECT Landseer you just have a tall Landseer.
There are only 1 or 2 breeders in the United States that breed ECT Landseers and they are not a recognized breed by the AKC.
“As of 1998, every country except the U.S. and Canada recognize the ECT as a separate breed from the Newfoundland.”
When discussing colors of the Newfie it’s important to always remember that soundness and structure come first and to remember that different countries accept different colors.
Do you have a favorite color of the Newfie? Share it with us in the comment section below!
For more information about color genetics in the Newfoundland check out: Historical analysis of Newfoundland dog fur colour genetics