Dog sitting beside a fisherman in his boat would bark to alert oth- ers of their location. There are stories of dogs swimming consider- able distances from one boat to another, carrying messages. On land they were even used to haul wood on sleds from inaccessible places. Newfoundland was also home to a plentiful source of game birds. The settlers found the St. John’s Dogs were ideal hunting compan- ions, easily retrieving the shot game. It appears the St. John’s Dog could turn his paw to any job required! Such was the dogs’ energy, their compliant nature and enthusi- asm for life, that having finished one job, they were always ready and waiting for the next. By the end of the day, still in excellent hu- mor, they were quite content to settle down to relax and amuse the family’s children. I knowmany of you who own Labs today will recognize so many of these endearing characteristics, including their love of water, of retrieving, and of human companionship—all inherited directly from the St. John’s Dogs.
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