Newfoundland dog breed characteristics and facts

Newfoundland dog breed characteristics and facts


Working Dogs


2 feet, 1 inch to 2 feet, 5 inches tall


100 to 150 pounds


8 to 10 years

Although it is not common to accidently keep a Newfoundland thing in your purse, the breed is also well known as a Newfie. Newfies are among the most remarkable and beautiful giant dog breeds with long, shaggy fur due to their large size. The Newfie has a species-specific  webbed foot and is known for his  rescue-worthy dog abilities in the water. That’s because this loveable, warm-blooded breed of canines is a natural-born swimmer with a perfect large lung size that helps them float swiftly and aid in life-saving missions.

Known for their kind, patient, and incredibly loving nature, these giant fluffy dogs became favorites among people. Newfies are the most devoted dogs to their families and are very protective of kids. They are good companions and therapy dogs due to their friendly and sociable personalities. Apart from water rescues, they are competent working dogs. Newfoundlands worked as draft animals historically, dragging carts and sleds. They were also employed to help fishermen haul nets or carry supplies. Even though Newfie willingly works, an easygoing nature puppy enjoys a relaxing day on the sofa.

Newfoundland Facts

  • Origin: Newfoundland, Canada
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Breed Group: Working
  • Height: 25-28 inches
  • Weight: 100-150 pounds
  • Temperament: Gentle, patient, and loyal
  • Grooming: Moderate
  • Exercise: Low to moderate
  • Training: Early and consistent training is recommended
  • Health: Relatively healthy, but can be prone to certain health problems, such as hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia

Newfoundland Overview

The Newfoundland is a loving giant and ideal vet for children. This overly friendly and affectionate breed was popularized through the character of Nana in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. While the novel and stage productions’ iterations depict Nana as a canine nanny who babysits children always, the reality is that this breed is indeed loving and protective on children.

The Newfoundland is also of Canadian descent; it hails from the same birthplace as Labrador Retriever. As a result, the two share characteristics. Newfoundlands are pleasant companion dogs that exhibit intelligence, draft skills, and elegant manners combined with ambition and hard effort. They are the quintessential gentle giants, friendly and versatile, willing and adaptable. This dog breed weighs 100 pounds, so it is a Giant breed that must get regular exercise. This is not the ideal dog breed for someone with an aversion to cleaning up diss, given that its long, thick coat falls out everywhere. Furthermore, because many drool – a lot – that’s why they dribble constantly. Nonetheless, they are simple to train. While it is best to commence them while they are as young, their growth is somewhat faster and difficult to manage when your dog is 100 pounds. Fortunately, Newfoundlands rarely exhibit overly hyperactive conduct and opt to lay on the sofa in most circumstances.

This breed has a natural affinity for water and strong swimming ability. Due to this, countless records have been preserved about the Newfoundland who saved the person from cold waters: he dragged people ashore during the wreck, saved drowning children from icy depths. These dogs’ feats are legendary, and the history of the Newfoundlands is full of their incredible bravery. The Newfoundland will win your heart, whether you need a worker or a loyal friend. Innate properties, combined with impressive size and strength, make them a dog breed that cannot but wonder and cherish.

Newfoundland Highlights

The Newfoundlands can fit into any living situation despite its size. This dog should be kept in a spacious place and is well suited for a large rather than small apartment. They don’t lack a calm attitude, and yet, they should be given enough play space. Since they are working dogs, it can be even better if their working ability could be utilized through training practices or participating in dog sports. If dog slobber is unsettling to a person, then the Newfoundland is not the kind of dog to be kept. They slobber excessively. Maintaining their thick fur in good condition requires regular grooming. Grooming could be provided jut as one decides: they can remove or have it cut. One may decide to do it themselves, although it takes too much time or have it groomed by a groomer, which would cost you more money.

The Newfoundlands are suited for cooler climates even though they are adapted to the warmer environment. During hot seasons, always ensure a Newfoundland that has access to air conditioning or fans to protect them against heat stroke. It is a great idea to avoid buying puppies from pet stores, puppy millers, or other irresponsible breeders. Instead, consider purchasing them from an ethical and responsible breeder or adopting from a rescue group, shelter, or rehabilitation-oriented shelter. Consider a breeder for genetic testing to make sure there are no genetic disorders and that breeding dogs do their temperament test.

Newfoundland History

The Canadian province of Newfoundland is the origin of the Newfoundland breed and has a historical connection with the local fishermen. The Newfoundland’s precise roots are uncertain, but many theories exist about them. One theory is that the breed resulted from a cross between the now-gone American Wolf and the Newfoundland’s wolf, the Tibetan Mastiff. A second theory is that the Vikings’ hounds settled and reproduced with native wolves when the Vikings left their dogs with Americans when they explored at the New World 1000 A.D. a third theory is that during 15th and 16th centuries the Newfoundland was a result of a cross between various European breeds, the Pyrenean Sheep Dogs, Mastiffs, and Portuguese Water Dogs. Still, there is a little proof to sustain these theories, which are common amongst pure breeds.

What is more familiar is that English botanist Sir Joseph Bank got a number of Newfoundlands in the late 18th century, and it was in 1775 when George Cartwright provided them with the name. About 25 years after the first introduction of the breed, the Newfoundland faces another threat, and only until the end of the 1800s, Professor Albert Heim, Switzerland, identified and described it. During the 1780s, it was near extinction after the government instated restrictions that forced each Canadian family to pay a tax for the one dog they could own.

One well-known artist who has assisted in the Newf’s resurgence was Sir Edwin Landseer since he included Newfoundlands in his works. In his name, the black-and-white coat variant was christened the Landseer variety of the breed. When the country’s leader of Newfoundland, the Honorable Harold Macpherson, selected as governor, he also selected the Newfoundland breed. The Newfoundland made its appearance in England in 1860. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1879. By 1883, the first American Newfoundland champion had completed his title.

Newfoundland Size

In terms of physical appearance, Newfoundland dogs are visually stunning. With males growing to a height of 28 inches or 71 cm at the shoulder, females will weigh as much as 150 pounds or 68 kg, which is slightly less. Both have strong, muscular bodies that hold up well in the water, and both have a thick double coat that has a water-resistant outer layer, with color being black, brown, billets, and Landseer.

Newfoundland Personality

The Newfoundland has a very affectionate nature that can be likened to that of a large, fluffy teddy bear. Indeed, this breed is characterized by a strong love for children, high intelligence, and the desire to do anything to please its family. Newfoundlands are great to have around, and they should never be left alone for extended periods of time or put in the backyard for isolation.

Early socialization is essential for Newfoundlands, like most canines. To become well-adjusted, socialized, and well-behaved dogs, you should expose your Newfoundland puppy to a variety of individuals, settings, sounds, and events from an almost unimaginably young age. One of my three favorite breeds, I must say, and not because the puppies are so cute. Puppy kindergarten is an excellent beginning to your Newfoundland’s life. In addition to having company over as often as possible, go to a busy park, take them on errands to a dog-friendly store, and go on leisurely strolls to accommodate your Newfoundland’s social abilities.

Newfoundland Health

There are certain health conditions that Newfoundland is susceptible to. Not all Newfoundlands will develop these diseases, so it is crucial to be aware of them. The Newfoundland breed is susceptible to the following health conditions.

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cataracts
  • Cherry Eye
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Cystinuria
  • Cancer
  • Gastric Torsion (Bloat)
  • Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Newfoundland Care

The Newfoundland is a laid-back breed, but they do need regular exercise. Newfoundlands are not made for running marathons, but they are keen swimmers. Be especially watchful when rearing a Newfoundland puppy. Giant breeds, including Newfoundlands, undergo a phase of swift growth between four and seven months of age. They can develop bone disorders as a result of it. Also, because they are big dogs, Newfoundlands mature faster than smaller dogs.

It is best to keep a Newfoundland puppy from running and playing on a hard surface such as pavement until he is 2 and his joints are fully developed. Running and playing can also be harmful before the joints are fully grown and cart pulling should start no sooner than 2 years of age. Normal play and body build that takes place during the growing up period can be done on grass. Puppy agility can be beneficial for strength if it is approached carefully. The jumps one inch because there is no lateral movements involved. Swimming is beneficial for pups because the nervous conditioning will help build his muscles and thus keep the joints themselves from being mutilated.

Newfoundland training should begin immediately you get your puppy home. Newfoundlands are usually desperate to satisfy, making them simple to coach. Furthermore, your Newfoundland can develop to over 100 pounds; consequently, you must properly prepare him or her about the leash. You must also enroll your puppy in a pup kindergarten and basic dog training class this way you can provide thorough training and meet other dogs.

Newfoundland Grooming And Coat Color

The Newfoundland has a double coat that is flat and resistant to water. The outer coat is coarse and long, while the thick and soft undercoat is dense. Shedding is average, but heavy during the spring and the ball months. Coats come in different colors, including solid black, brown, and grey, or Landseer, which is mainly white with black patches. Ensuring high hygiene even in the coat requires brushing two to three times per week. Bathing should also be done regularly, preferably after twenty three to sixty days. Since grooming is precarious, many owners prefer professional groomers but regular brushing is recommended.

Newfies, like other powder-puff dogs, get dirty. That means muddy paws, clumps of leaves or burrs, and doo on the back end. Nails should be clipped once a month to avoid painful tears and other issues. I recommend having your vet or a groomer do it if you’re unsure; shaving the quick will result in bleeding.

Weekly ear checks should be done to look for redness, odor, or signs of infection. Use a gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner applied to a cotton ball to clean the flap of the ear. Do not insert anything into her ear canal. There is nothing more endearing than a giant breed puppy. Start by acclimating her early to brushing and examination. Handle her paws often  and look inside her mouth, using lots of positive reinforcement  like treats and praise. That way when she’s fully grown, your veterinarian can groom her — which includes a veterinarian looking in her ears — without any fuss. During the grooming session, pay close attention to sores, rashes, redness, sensitivity, or inflammation on the skin, nose, mouth, eyes, and on your dog’s feet. Exterior certainly ought to be clear, with no sign of redness or discharge. A weekly once-over creates a routine examination that will help you spot any potential health flaws early.

Newfoundland Children And Other Pets

Known as the gentle giant, the Newfoundland possesses high tolerance for children and is therefore an excellent companion for a family. Nevertheless, due to its size and plush coat, the dog can accidentally knock over a toddler or a small child. In order to secure safe behavior, it is essential to explain to the child how to treat a dog. Children should be under strict supervision when interacting with a dog to rule out unacceptable behavior of a pet such as biting or tail and ear eventual pulling. It is crucial to ensure that children do not approach a dog lying or eating – it is considered a sign of aggression if a child approaches during a mealtime. Moreover, one should never attempt to take food from a dog. No dog, no matter how friendly or tempered, should be allowed to interact with a child without adult supervision. Also, the Newfoundland breed shares an indifferent or even player’s attitude toward other pets such as a cat or a small mammal. However, like in any other breed, socialization and training play an essential role in the behavior of its representatives towards other animals.