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Newfoundland Dog Breed Information

Size 26-28 inches (66-71 cm)
Weight 110-150 lbs (50-68 kg)
Origin Canada
Color Black, white/black, brown
Lifespan 8-10 years
Suitable as Family dogs
Personality Docile, intelligent, friendly, loyal, relaxed

Newfoundland Photo: Pandas/Shutterstock

Breed Characteristics

Newfoundlands are incredibly gentle, docile, peaceful, polite, good-natured, patient and devoted. They are like big, cuddly teddy bears and ideal for children. They get along well with other dogs and pets (including cats). If they believe that their "pack" is in danger, their great protective instinct will show. Now what are the downsides? Newfoundlands shed and drool quite a lot. If they romp around due to excitement, something can break. This is why they need a lot of space. Although they are laid back, they suffer terribly when left alone. They will start to destroy things. By the way, the Newfoundland has a nickname. It is called Newf or Newfie.

Pros and Cons


  • Easy to train
  • Likes to swim
  • Strong protective instincts


  • Not a beginner dog
  • Needs a lot of space (house, car)
  • Needs good socialization as a puppy
  • Needs a lot of grooming
  • Sheds a lot
  • Drools a lot

Newfoundland Photo: rzoze19/Shutterstock


Training and Discipline

Although the Newfoundland is huge, it wants to be as close to you as possible. That means it sometimes sits on your feet, snuggles up to your legs and leans against them with its whole weight. It might even try to sit on your lap. It is very important to train it as a puppy, because it really has to obey your commands when it is a large and heavy dog. Make sure that it meets other humans and animals at an early age and gets accustomed to different sounds and situations.

As they are also very intelligent and obedient, they are easy to train. But you shouldn’t leave them alone for too long. Although agility is not quite its favorite activity, dog sports such as obedience, tracking and carting can be great fun for him.

Exercise Needs

Newfoundlanders are moving slowly but happily and do not necessarily want to cover long distances. What they really do love is swimming. Their double coats are waterproof and they even have webbed feet.

Newfoundland Photo: kozorog/


Newfoundlanders have a long, soft, cuddly coat. They are either black, white-black or brown.


Health and Care

The Newfoundlands' coat should be brushed two or three times a week. Bathing is a real challenge, because it is such a large dog with so much fur. Usually it is sufficient to bathe it every one to two months.

History and Origin

Newfoundlanders used to help pull fishing nets out of the water. They have also been hauling small carts loaded with wood. They originate from the island of Newfoundland (Canadian East Coast). By the way, the Labrador Retriever comes from the same country, in the Canadian peninsula Labrador.

Newfoundlands are said to be a cross between the Tibetan mastiff of the Himalayas (mountain range in India) and the black wolf of North America. According to another theory, the Vikings left dogs in Canada, which then paired with wolves. Perhaps they are also a cross between Portuguese Water Dog, the European Mastiff and the Pyrenean Sheepdog (the Pyrenees is a range of mountains between Spain and France).

Where Does the Name Come From?

That's an easy one: The dogs' name comes from the island of Newfoundland in Canada.

Newfoundland Photo: Utekhina Anna/Shutterstock

Fun Facts

Swimming Style

When you look at a Newfoundlander swimming it is not doing the normal "doggie paddle". It does more of a breaststroke.

Rescue Dogs

Newfoundlander are great rescue dogs. They quickly recognize if a person is in need and come immediately to the rescue. There are even reports of Newfoundlands who rescued drowning people without having been trained for this prior. It seems to be a natural instinct for them.

The Newfoundland dog "Jack the Black vom Muehlrad" by Hans-Joachim Brueckmann has set a record: "Fastest time for a dog to retrieve a person from water (25 meters)" in 2013 at Kaarster See (Northrine-Westphalia, Germany). It took him only 1 minute and 36.812 seconds.

Comparable Breeds

Newfoundland Photo: noemie/


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