- Dog Breed:
- Breed Group:
- Working Group
- Sweet, majestic, devoted, patient, and affectionate.
- 26 -28 inches
- 100-150 pounds
- Life Span:
- 9-10 years
- Coat Colors:
- Gray, brown, black, and black and white.
- Area of Origin:
- Best For:
- Large Living Space/Families who are not too house proud/Owners with funds for the high food and veterinary care bills.
About The Newfoundland
Large powerful dog
Prefers cooler climates
The massive Newfoundland is a powerful dog which combines a strong working ability with a sweet-natured temperament. However, owning a dog who may weigh more than you do comes with its challenges. Not only do you need to consider the size of your home but also if your car will be big enough for trips out or vet visits.
This is not a breed that needs to be walked for hours every day, but they still need daily exercise. You also need to schedule in time for training classes. With a dog of this size, it is essential that they have good manners and can greet people politely to ensure that they’re not a liability.
Coming from the cold of Newfoundland, they have a preference for cooler climates. They can cope with warmer climates, but care will be needed to ensure that they don’t overheat.
Newfoundland Breed History
Developed in Canada
Used as a draught and water dog
Recognized by the AKC in 1886
The Newfoundland was developed on the island in Canada from which it takes its name. It’s thought that the Newfie was bred from a combination of native Indian dogs and the many European breeds, which traveled across with explorers and fishermen. Come the 17th century, the breed had become well established as the large, web-footed dog we now know.
The Newfoundland’s useful qualities both as a draught dog and in the water soon came to the attention of the Europeans. When this working ability was combined with their balanced temperament and ease of training, demand was high, and considerable numbers were exported across the Atlantic Ocean. However, not all of these dogs were destined for working life. Many were brought to wander in the estates of the rich and to entertain their children.
In 1886, the Newfoundland was recognized by the American Kennel Club and is currently the 40th most popular breed out of a total of 195.
Newfoundland Size & Weight
A giant breed
Height of 28 inches for males and 26 inches for females
Males weight up to 150 pounds and females up to 120 pounds
This is a giant breed with males standing 28 inches at the withers and females at 26 inches. The approximate weight of adult males is from 130 to 150 pounds, and adult females from 100 to 120 pounds.
Despite their sweet temperament, this is still a lot of dog to be exercised and to live with. Very careful consideration is needed as to whether your lifestyle can accommodate a Newfoundland and successfully meet all their needs.
Newfoundland Personality & Temperament
Can be protective
Get on well with other family pets
The Newfoundland is well known for their exceptionally gentle and docile nature. Often known as the ‘Nanny Dog,’ their affinity for children is renowned. As youngsters, however, they will need supervision, just in case they accidentally knock toddlers over.
Many tales have been told of the Newfoundland’s courage in lifesaving exploits from saving Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815 when he was knocked overseas through to a 10-month-old Newfoundland named Boo who saved a drowning man from the Yuba River in Northern California in 1995.
Despite being sweet-tempered, the Newfoundland does also have strong protective instincts. While they are not a breed who will make a good watchdog, they are protectors of their loved ones.
Newfoundlands’ generally get on very well with other dogs and pets in the home. Supervision will be needed where there are smaller dogs to ensure they don’t get injured in play.
Newfoundland Health & Grooming
Genetic testing of dogs needed before breeding
Through brushing needed once a week
Drools a lot
Newfoundlands’ are prone to some health conditions which you need to be aware of before deciding if this is the breed for you. Responsible breeders who are keen to maintain the health of the breed will be able to show test results for the pups’ parents for some of the following potential health problems –
- Hip and Elbow Dysplasia both conditions which cause deformities of the joints resulting in lameness, pain, and arthritis
- Cardiac Exam to ensure that the heart is healthy and free of any problems
- Cystinuria DNA Test. This condition leads to kidney stones and the urinary tract becoming inflamed. It then makes it difficult for the dog to urinate and may result in kidney problems and eventually death if not treated.
The Newfies heavy coat will need a thorough brushing at least once a week. Using a long-toothed comb will help to remove any dead hair and also prevent mats from forming. The Newfoundland will shed some hair throughout the year, but there are usually two main annual shedding seasons, and then grooming will be needed every day.
This is a drooling dog, and so you’ll often see owners carrying round a small towel with them to ‘mop’ their dog’s mouths or see the dogs wearing a bib.
Outgoing and intelligent
High prey drive
Known for being vocal
The Newfoundland puppy is outgoing and intelligent. Attending puppy classes is highly recommended to ensure that they grow up to be a well-mannered companion. With their affectionate and trusting nature, they respond well to gentle reward-based methods.
Newfoundland Breed clubs across the world arrange training days for their members to teach the skills needed for both water work and drafting. The Newfoundland Club of America has a series of tests starting with beginners to assess and develop the breeds’ natural abilities.
Some Newfoundlands’ can have a high prey drive. This then means that training control exercises, along with an excellent recall, are essential to keeping them safe when out on walks.
This isn’t a breed which is known for being vocal. Generally, if they do make a noise, then you know that you need to go and investigate to see what’s happening.
Newfoundland Exercise Requirements
Outgoing and intelligent
High prey drive
Known for being vocal
The adult Newfoundland does not demand a great deal of exercise but can quickly become a couch potato. Daily walks, a run in the garden, or a swim will help to keep them fit and prevent them from becoming overweight. Care is needed not to over-exercise puppies while they are still developing their bone structure.
Newfies can be playful dogs; however, they tend not to play with the intensity of other breeds, and so short and frequent playtimes tend to suit them best.
Newfoundland Diet & Feeding
Speak to a veterinarian for advice on individual dog’s needs
Look for foods formulated for large breeds
Can be liable to bloat
For professional advice on your individual dog’s needs, we recommend speaking to your veterinarian or pet nutritionist.
Most dogs start on specially formulated puppy food, which they stay on until they’re around six months of age. They can then slowly transition on to a diet designed for adolescent or adult dogs. Many food manufacturers now produce food specially designed for large breeds of dog, and these ensure that they receive all the nutrients needed without becoming overweight.
The Newfoundland can experience bloat, which is a life-threatening condition causing the stomach to twist. To reduce the likelihood of bloat happening, it’s recommended that you feed several small meals a day rather than free feeding or providing one large meal. Avoiding exercise before and after mealtimes is also suggested.
Newfoundland Rescue Groups
Sadly, there are times when Newfoundlands’ can find themselves in need of a new home. While it may because of life circumstances such as illness or divorce, there are also times when owners just didn’t realize the responsibility they were taking on.
Breed rescue groups such as those listed below can provide help and advice if you’re thinking about offering a Newfoundland their new forever home.
The Newfoundland Club of America Rescue Network – https://www.ncarescue.org/
Colonial Newfoundland Rescue – https://www.colonialnewfrescue.org/
South Central Newfoundland Rescue – http://www.scnewfrescue.org/
For further information on this amazing breed, take a look at the website for the Newfoundland Club of America – https://www.ncanewfs.org/.