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Landseer Dog (European Continental): Pictures, Info, Care Guide & More

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By Nicole Cosgrove

landseer dog

The Landseer (European Continental) is a European-based dog breed that comes from a giant parent dog, discovered in North America during the colonial era. This stunning and large dog breed has a noble appearance and is often referred to as a breed of gentle giants. They are also known to be a muscular breed that is protective and imposing enough to deter most threats.

Due to their impeccable swimming skills, these dogs were mainly used by fishermen to help tow nets ashore. They were also well known for their ability to rescue drowning people.

In this article, we will discuss more on the Landseer (European Continental) breed to determine whether they are the right fit for your household.

Height: 26.5–31.5 inches
Weight: 100–156 pounds
Lifespan: 8–10 years
Colors: Black and white or clear white with distinct black patches on the body
Suitable for: Active families with children looking for a watchdog, possibly living in a house with a yard
Temperament: Loyal, playful, gentle, and confident family dog

While many people in Canada and the United States refer to any black and white Newfoundland dog as a Landseer, few people know about the European Continental type or Landseer ECT. In fact, Landseer dogs are usually not considered their own breed but rather a color variation of Newfoundland. It is only the Federation Cynologique Internationale that recognizes the Landseer ECT as a separate dog breed.

However, just like their Newfoundland relatives, Landseer ECTs are also strong and highly intelligent. They don’t bark as much as many dogs do and have a surprisingly low incidence of biting since they can amicably get along with people.

Yet, they can be very boisterous and play-bite the owners at times. Landseer ECTs are also incredibly social animals and will not do well when left alone for a long period. But overall, they can make a great addition to your household if you are looking for a large dog breed for a family companion.

Landseer (European Continental) Characteristics


Divider 5Landseer (European Continental) Puppies

landseer puppy
Photo Credit: Waldemar Dabrowski, Shutterstock

A strong and healthy Landseer ECT female can produce a litter with 4–10 puppies. However, the puppies take longer to mature when compared to similarly huge dogs and will need to be kept on diets with high proteins to develop properly.

When raising puppies, ensure that you provide them with plenty of space because they like to wander between the yard and the house.

Landseer ECT puppies usually reach puberty between 16-20 months. During this stage, their growth plates will close, so they need to be neutered or spayed. If neutering is done before your dog reaches puberty, research studies show that your dog could develop issues with the connective tissues and joints.

Since the Landseer ECT is a purebred dog, you can expect the puppies to retail at a hefty price. However, this doesn’t mean you should look for cheaper alternatives because the canine market is replete with puppy mills that often sell untrained, unsocialized, and even unloved puppies.

So, your best bet would be to look for an ethical and moral breeder or opt to adopt one from an animal rescue center.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Landseer Dog

The Landseer ECT is renowned for their loyalty, courage, patience, and serene nature. While the Newfoundland variety has a calm demeanor, the Landseer ECT is a bit more energetic. However, both do not display fearful behavior or unprovoked aggressiveness towards other animals and people.

These dogs also have a lively temperament and love to learn new things. They can learn tasks such as carrying a shopping bag to the house, especially if they get a treat afterward. In essence, the whole being of this dog involves working with the family. They are always desperate for walks and love to run.

But perhaps what gives this dog the greatest pleasure is swimming and playing in water. They will utilize any opportunity to happily splash away in large water bodies. Therefore, they will thrive with families that also enjoy water-based activities.

Kennel living is inappropriate for this dog breed because it can easily lead to loneliness. Therefore, they are best suited for active families that enjoy spending their time outdoors. Moreover, their beautiful coat requires occasional sunlight exposure to keep them shiny and healthy.

landseer dog pure breed
Photo Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Landseer ECT is a great dog breed you can have in your home if you have small children. Even though it is a large dog breed, they are very gentle and crave human affection. They also love playing, are self-confident, and enjoy cuddles. When around family members, this dog breed unfolds their good-natured characteristics.

The gentle and playful nature can be attributed to the fact that these dogs were not used as hunters but instead as protective dogs. This makes them excellent watchdogs, very protective of their family members. But since they come with such a massive size, they shouldn’t be left unsupervised around smaller kids because they can accidentally knock them over when playing.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

As mentioned earlier, the Landseer ECT was initially used as a guard dog. This is perhaps why their instincts allow it to get along with other pets.

In addition to your household pets like cats and smaller dogs, they can also get along with larger animals like pigs or goats in your household. This is because they were originally used to protect livestock such as sheep. So bigger pets and livestock in your home wouldn’t faze them.

landseer dog puppy playing
Photo Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Landseer (European Continental):

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Landseer ECT puppies need a stable supply of a high-protein diet to promote healthy growth in their first 18 months of existence. Once the puppy has matured into adulthood, you should also feed it commercial dog food that is specifically formulated for big dogs.

Since Landseer ECT are prone to overweight issues, you should feed your dog only twice a day, preferably with three cups of food. You can also opt to follow the instructions offered on the food package you buy for your dog. However, your best option would be to consult your local veterinarian for specific recommendations for your canine friend.

In addition, Landseer ECT thrive best in predominantly cool climates, so they do not drool as much as their Newfoundland relatives, but they still pant a lot to cool off their bodies. So, they will need plenty of water to replenish the amount lost through panting.

Exercise 🐕

Landseer ECTs are more active than the Newfoundland breed. This makes them excellent companions when going for outdoor adventures such as camping, hiking, and daily walks.

Sure, they may be comfortable and content just lounging around your house, but they also tend to wander around. So, it’s pertinent that your yard is fenced all round since they are not afraid to interact with strangers or even vehicles on the road.

Your fence should also be high quality and sturdy because the Landseer ECT is notorious for digging below the fence line. So, ensure that your fencing posts are firmly rooted to the ground to prevent your dog from wandering off and getting hurt.

Initially used as water dogs, these dogs also feature web feet, which makes them excellent swimmers. If you live in a cool climate, be sure to add swimming as part of your dog’s regular exercise regimen. But make sure that your dog is only swimming in clean water.

Training 🎾

Landseer rescue dog
Image Credit: Melounix, Shutterstock

As much as the Landseer ECT breed is known to be docile, they can also feature a stubborn streak. Therefore, training and socialization should begin at the puppy stage.

Due to their large size and friendliness towards strangers, this dog breed can easily frighten people if they charge toward them, unexpectedly. So, you should train your dog to always stay by your side. The best way to train them is by using consistent positive reinforcement.

Just like you would train a human child, training on Landseer ECT puppies should be done in short increments and on a routine basis. You could start with 15–20 minutes at a time for several sessions a day. This should match well with their attention span instead of having one long training session that lasts for more than an hour.

Also, you should put your focus on training one fundamental skill at a time, then proceeding to the next after the skill has been mastered. You can also use treats as rewards during training but do not overdo it because Landseer ECTs are prone to obesity.

Grooming ✂️

Generally, Landseers have a double-layer coat made up of a soft insulating undercoat, which is protected by a thicker outer layer of fur that can be short to medium length. Granted, the coat of a Landseer ECT is thinner than the Newfoundland variety, thus easier to clean and maintain, but they still need a significant time commitment to keep them clean and healthy.

You should only brush your dog’s fur coat once a week, preferably with a pin brush and a comb to remove dirt and debris and prevent matting. Make sure you brush the tail and behind the ears for a more thorough cleaning.

This breed also does well with frequent bathing, preferably every 4–8 weeks. Fortunately, the dog’s fur dries fast after contact with water, so you don’t have to worry about keeping your dog warm after a bath or swimming.

But do not bathe your dog as frequently as you want, as this would strip away the dog’s natural oils and weaken their coat. A dry shampoo would be ideal for this specific grooming activity.

However, this dog breed still sheds a lot, especially during seasonal changes. During this period, your grooming tasks will be more.

Caring for the nails and teeth of your canine friend is also a major necessity with this breed. Dental care for the Landseer ECT includes at-home brushing a few times every week and professional dental cleaning at least once a month. The nails should also be trimmed monthly.

Image credit: FotoEmotions, Pixabay

Health and Conditions 🏥

All dog breeds are susceptible to specific diseases or health conditions. And just like in humans, dogs can also inherit health issues from their parents. Fortunately, responsible dog breeders can help reduce the likelihood of inheriting some of these canine conditions by screening for heritable conditions and making informed pairs when breeding.

That being said, some of the health issues you can expect to find on the Landseer ECT include:

Minor Conditions
  • Heat sensitivity
  • Joint/skeletal conditions
  • Thrombopathia
  • Bleeding disorder
  • Lower eyelid droop
  • Cruciate ligament rupture
  • Abnormal eyelids
  • Cataracts, Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
Serious Conditions
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Cystinuria Type I-A

Male vs Female

Generally speaking, female Landseer ECT tends to be smaller than their male counterparts. On average, females can measure between 26.5 and 28.5 inches, while males measure 28.5 to 31.5 inches tall. Females also have a small stature, weigh less than males, and on average, can weigh up to 110 pounds.

Divider 5

3 Little-Known Facts About the Landseer (European Continental)

1. Landseer Dogs Are Named After the Artist Edwin Landseer

In the 19th century, most artists used this dog breed as an art subject. This is perhaps why many storybooks and art from that era feature the Landseer dog as a subject line. The dog breed was specifically named after Edwin Landseer because he enjoyed painting these black and white dogs.

In the late 19th century, the solid black breed variety dominated the canine world since the white color coat is a recessive gene. However, efforts were made to rebreed the black and white coat variety in the 1930s, which were later named Landseer after the artist who initially painted them in his work.

2. Landseer ECT Is a Descendant of Canadian Guard Dogs

Most historians believe that the Landseer came from dogs that were used by fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada. They were later exported to Europe by the Portuguese and used as water dogs and guard dogs for livestock.

They were different from typical herd dogs because they guarded livestock from within rather than corralling the herd. This trait is what makes the Landseer an excellent guard dog even today.

3. Landseers Were Once Used as First Responders

These dogs have also served as rescue dogs because they have an instinct that prompts them to act as a life preserver for a drowning person. They are even known to have gripped an unconscious person by the arms to prevent their head from staying underwater as they carried them ashore.

They even worked at the British lifeguard stations for a while, ensuring people didn’t wander off too far and even rescued swimmers in distress. Some legends state that Landseer once rescued Napoleon Bonaparte after he fell into the sea as he returned to France from one of his many trips.

happy landseer dog portrait
Image Credit: otsphoto, Shutterstock

Divider 5Final Thoughts

If you want an affectionate, loving, yet protective dog, the Landseer ECT is a lovely addition to your family. However, you have to be prepared to spend some time with your dog as this breed doesn’t do well in spending time alone.

This dog breed is also sociable, friendly, and loyal and can get along with all members of your household, including children and animals of different sizes. They are ideal for homes with a yard instead of those living in apartments.

If you can meet the dog’s dietary, grooming, and exercise requirements, you will have an excellent companion that is also a capable protector of your property and all your household members.

Featured Image Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock

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