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Truly a gentle giant, the Newfoundland is a courageous and intelligent working dog who can masquerade as a couch potato inside the house.

Overall Status

Height 28 inches (average male), 26 inches (average fema
Temperament Sweet, Patient, Devoted
Weight 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)
Life Expectancy 9-10 years
Coat Color Black, Brown, Gray, White
Barking Level When Necessery

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Newfoundland has a water-resistant double coat of black, brown, gray or Landseer (white with black markings). Using a steel comb and wire slicker brush, groom the coat at least a couple times a week to prevent mats and remove dead hair.

Newfies shed, and regular brushing will help reduce the amount of hair floating around your house. Twice a year, in spring and fall, they shed heavily, called “blowing coat.” Plan to spend additional time brushing to keep all the hair under control.

Newfies also drool, so get in the habit of carrying around a hand towel so you can wipe your dog’s mouth as needed, especially after he eats or drinks. Bathe the Newfoundland when he’s dirty.

The rest is basic care. As with all breeds, the nails shouldbe trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause discomfort and structural problems. Brush the teeth frequently with a vet-approved pet toothpaste for good overall health and fresh breath. Most importantly, keep this water-loving dog’s ears clean and dry to help prevent ear infections.

Exercise Tips

The Newfoundland is a multipurpose dog, at home on land and in water. As well as being a devoted companion, he is adept at draft work and has natural lifesaving abilities. Newfoundlands need at least a half-hour of moderateexercisedaily to stay healthy and happy. While they are definitely meant to live indoors with their human family, Newfs enjoy outdoor activities, especially swimming, and make great companions on long walks or hikes. Newfs enjoy pulling a cart, and some even participate in carting and drafting competitions.

  • Walks – brisk moderate walk 20 to 40 minutes.

  • Swimmingor water play – as much as you are willing to let him or she has.

  • Games – 20 minutes of frolicking games.

  • Play in the snow.

Feeding Tips

If you get a Newfoundland puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again remembering that puppies need to be given a very nutritious diet for their bones and joints to develop as they should.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements.

Treatscan be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about whichhuman foodsare safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.The breed can experiencebloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren’t fully understood, but experts agree that multiple, small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes may help reduce the chances of it happening.

Health Tips

The average life span of the Newfoundland is about 10 years, similar to other giant breeds. This large purebred breed is no stranger to the disease. The Newfoundland is prone to Sub-Aortic Stenosis, hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, gastric torsion, and several common eye problems. As well, the Newfoundland can suffer from Von Willebrand’s Disease, an abnormal bleeding disorder, as well as epilepsy.


Good news – you’ll find Newfoundlands easy to train. You’ll get the best results by using positive reinforcement training methods. Because it is a sensitive breed, loud, raised voices are discouraging, so use repetition and positive rewards for the fast results.

Earlysocializationandpuppy training classesare recommended and help to ensure that the Newfoundland grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. A puppy who is going to be trained for water work should be carefully introduced to the water by the age of 4 months. Newfs are eager to please and generally easy to train. They are also affectionate and trusting; they respond well to gentle guidance but don’t respond well to harsh corrections or training methods.


Canadian fisherman long relied on Newfoundlands as peerless shipboard working dogs who specialized in dramatic water rescues. Newfs are born swimmers, complete with partially webbed feet, and strong enough to save a grown man from drowning. Their prowess as rescuers is the stuff of legend: What Saint Bernard is to the Alps, the Newfoundland is to the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Newfs also earned their keep by hauling fishing nets to shore and carting the day’s catch to market. Although the Newf’s career as a seagoing deckhand is mostly a thing of the past, the breed is still considered the premium water-rescue dog and is employed in that role the world over.

The Newfoundland was taken to England where he became popular and was bred extensively. One well-known reference to a Newfoundland is Lord Byron’s tribute to his dog Boatswain, whom he described as “one who possessed Beauty without Vanity, Strength without Insolence, Courage without Ferocity, and all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.” In America, a Newfoundland named Seaman, acquired for $20 (a great sum at the time) accompanied explorers Lewis and Clark as they mapped the great expanse -- all the way to Oregon -- that comprised Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase. Lewis named a northern tributary of the Blackfoot River “Seaman’s Creek.” Perhaps the Newfie liked to swim there.

Newfies are portrayed as lifesavers in art and literature for good reasons: they are life savers. A Newfoundland named Rigel went down with the Titanic and swam next to a lifeboat for three hours in the icy water, apparently looking for his owner, who had gone down with the ship. The people in the lifeboat were nearly run down by the steamship Carpathia because the crew couldn’t hear their weak cries, but Rigel's bark drew notice and the people and dog were saved.

The Newfie is moderately popular today. He ranks 44th among the breeds registered by the American Kennel Club, up from 53rd in 2000.

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