Dog Breeds from Canada

Picture of a Labrador Retriever

If you’re thinking of adding a dog to your family, the first place to start is deciding upon a breed. With so many to choose from, finding the right pooch to add to your home can feel like a daunting task. There are many different breeds with origins from all over the world. Though Canada is not known to have a rich heritage in the development of dog breeds, there are some notable pooches that trace their roots back to the country best known for maple syrup, hockey, and a hearty helping of the Canadian classic poutine. If you’d like to add a dog of Canuck origin to your family, there are a few different breeds you can choose from.

Canadian Dog Breeds that Make Great Family Pets

Believe it or not, several of the most popular dog breeds of all time were developed and bred in Canada. One thing all of these breeds bear in common is coat. All of them are coated breeds perhaps to help them deal well with the extreme cold many of the provinces experience during the winter months.

Here is a list of dog breeds from Canada to consider if you want to add a Canadian pooch to your family:

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever

Picture of a nova scotia duck tolling retriever

The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever is a breed developed in Nova Scotia for hunting. This dog breed is known as a “gundog,” meaning a correct dog should possess the ability to lure water-loving birds within the gunshot field of its owner.

Typically referred to simply as a “Toller,” this breed is earmarked by its intense desire to please its master as well as its high energy requirements. The smallest of all of the breeds of Canadian origin, the Toller makes up for its smaller size with its large personality. Curious, alert, and highly affectionate, the Toller is a charming little fellow with much to offer a family with an active lifestyle. Tollers do best when given a job to do and will require regular physical and mental stimulation to remain content.


Typically black or white in colour, the Newfoundland Dog originated in Newfoundland, Canada. A dog breed best characterized by the title “gentle giant,” the Newfoundland Dog was bred to assist the fishermen of the region with their jobs. As such, the breed loves water and thrives when given opportunity to swim.

Newfoundland Dogs are well-renowned for their calmness and gentle demeanour. They are strong and possess a great working ability but also make loyal, loving family companion animals. A breed that is excellent with children, the biggest concern is the Newfoundland Dog’s size. A giant breed, the Newfoundland Dog is often not aware of how large and strong he is and can knock easily…and accidentally… over small children or toddlers.

Labrador Retriever

 Picture of a black, brown and golden Labrador Retriever

Perhaps the best known and loved of all the Canadian dog breeds is the Labrador Retriever. A dog which also finds it home Labrador, Canada, the Labrador Retriever enjoys immense popularity and is a fan favourite dog of most families.

Bred to be a loyal family companion, the Labrador Retriever also enjoys a rich heritage as a working dog where his primary role was assisting Newfoundland and Labrador fishermen with retrieving items from the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Today, the Labrador Retriever enjoys popularity worldwide and is highly sought-after breed for families with children. The Labrador makes an excellent dog for therapy work, hunting, fishing, or even just being the world’s best couch potato. They are well-known for their friendly natures and are gentle and affectionate with children.

Canadian Eskimo Dog

Picture of a Canadian Eskimo Dog

The Canadian Eskimo Dog, known as “Qimmiq” to speakers of Inuktitut, traces his roots back to the Inuit people who make their home in the Canadian Arctic. This dog breed has been a companion to the Inuit people for several thousand years. Originating in Asia, the Canadian Eskimo Dog was brought over to settle in Canada and assist its owners by working as a draught dog. The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a hardy worker and is capable of pulling loads of up to 45-80 kg per dog. Even more impressive than the amount of weight each dog can bear is the distance they can travel while laden with a burden: from 17 to 70 miles per day.

The Canadian Eskimo Dog has waned in popularity, and efforts are being made to preserve this noble, beautiful dog’s place in the landscape of Canadian dog breeds today. The Canadian Eskimo Dog is a breed known for its toughness and strong work ethic. A breed with origins in the Spitz family, the Canadian Eskimo Dog is not for the novice owner and does best when given a job to do. This dog breed is not tolerant of children. It is recommended that the Canadian Eskimo Dog be a family pet for a household of adults.

Landseer Dog

Picture of a Landseer

The Landseer is a dog breed of its own; however, it is often mistaken for a black and white Newfoundland Dog. Despite his large size, the breed is known to be quite agile. The Landseer is a breed that is characterized by its loyal personality. An incredibly intelligent breed, the Landseer thrives both in a home and outdoors. The Landseer’s biggest fault is he likes to drool a lot.

Considered a giant breed, the Landseer loves water with swimming being one of this breed’s favourite pastimes. The Landseer is gentle and affectionate but will defend his family from strangers if he feels they are in danger.

The Landseer is a sensitive breed but is often resistant to training. They require the companionship of their people to truly thrive.

Labrador Husky

Often mistaken for the dog of mixed breed origins known as a Husky Lab cross, the Labrador Husky is considered a purebred breed which finds its home in Labrador, Canada. This breed has been in existence since the 1300’s and was brought into Canada by the Inuit. The primary function of the Labrador Husky was to work pulling sleds and to help the people of Labrador survive in the tough, cold climate of the region.

Though the Labrador Husky is a large dog of great working ability, the breed is also known for its extremely gentle nature. Labrador Huskies are typically larger than the better known Siberian Husky. Unlike the Canadian Eskimo Dog, the Labrador Husky is a breed characterized by its love of children and makes an excellent family companion.

The Labrador Husky has a thick double coat which requires regular grooming. Unfortunately, the breed is also known to experience some serious health concerns including hip dysplasia.



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