Newfoundland dog with owner

The Newfoundland is the gentlest of dogs you could easily mistake for a bear!

The Newfoundland dog or Newfie as it’s affectionately known originated in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. This is also true of the world’s most popular dog, the Labrador. This is what the province’s website has to say about their people and culture:

Newfoundland and Labrador has a reputation for being friendly. Warm and welcoming, fun loving and funny to the core, the people here are also known for their natural creativity, unique language, and knack for storytelling. Perhaps that’s why Maclean’s magazine thinks Newfoundland and Labrador has one of the Top 10 Friendliest Cultures in the World!

Their legendary reputation seems to have rubbed off on their dogs too. For instance my first ever dog, Labrador Monty. Monty was one of the most loving dogs you could ever hope to shake paws with!

Yesterday I had the pleasure to meet a Newfoundland dog called Otis. I discovered he embodied the same warm, welcoming nature of the Newfoundland people.

I thought Otis was a bear stalking a young couple with a child in a pram and a Shih Tzu. You’ve probably guessed I have a very fertile imagination!

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My heart leapt with joy at the sight of this big, bouncy, fun loving bear of a dog. And I was oblivious to his owners warning of Otis’ drooling as he ran towards me. This meant I just didn’t see the drool until it landed on my trousers!

Drool on your trousers is a very small price to pay for having a loyal, loving Newfoundland as your companion!

Life With A Newfoundland Dog

Would the Newfoundland be a good fit for your lifestyle?

Picture of a Newfoundland Puppy

The Newfoundland is the perfect companion for someone living on their own or a family. The dog has a wonderfully relaxed nature and are renowned first and foremost for their sweet temperament.

The Newfoundland dog would be the ideal lap dog if they weren’t so heavy (59 – 68kg). This won’t deter the Newfoundland from settling down on your lap. And it probably won’t deter some owners from allowing them – such is their charm!

The Newfoundland does not need a great deal of exercise and is happy to live in a house. Do take into account the size of the dog and the comparative size of your house and your garden. Like Greyhounds the Newfoundland has a habit of lounging around (usually on your best sofa). The Newfoundland also has a tendency to put on weight. This can easily happen if the balance of exercise and food intake is out of kilter.

You need to provide a Newfoundland with sufficient balanced food. This is especially important during the first year of life when they can put on as much as 45kgs. After this period a Newfoundland needs less food. You d need to keep an eye on them to make sure they do not put on excess weight.

Newfoundlands are warm and friendly dogs who love the company of adults and children alike. They will put up with childrens’ rough and tumble behavior. Despite this children need to be taught how to look after this dog sensitively and with the greatest respect!

Although the Newfoundland has a gentle nature it is fiercely loyal to its family. This means you can count on him to protect you and your family should he ever need to do so.

They tend to drool and they do shed their coat. This means you have to be prepared to brush them regularly to remove the dead hair. Their nails need to be trimmed regularly too. This regular grooming is good for both their health and comfort.


As it’s name suggests, the Newfoundland dog was born on the world’s 16th largest island of Newfoundland. Newfoundland has an area of 108,860 square kilometres (42,031 sq mi). Although no one knows for sure many think the Newfoundland was developed from the Pyrenean Mountain Dog.

The Newfoundland with its webbed paws is renowned for it’s swimming ability. It’s swimming style is unusual in that it doesn’t use a typical dog paddle. Instead of the dog paddle it’s swimming style is more like the breast stroke. There are many recorded cases of it saving the lives of people who have got into difficulties in the water. This is probably why it gained popularity with sailors and fishermen. The Newfoundland was widely used in Britain and France on board ships.

One of its uses on ships was to swim ashore with a rope from the ship. This enabled people on the shore could secure a vessel. The Newfoundland is so strong it is used to pull in fishermen’s nets and small boats. Another way the Newfoundland’s strength is used is for performing heavy work on land by towing small carts with wood and suchlike.

Did You Know?

It is said that a fisherman’s Newfoundland dived off a boat at night to rescue Napoleon Bonaparte after he fell into the water!

Famous People Who Have Owned Newfoundland Dogs

Famous Newfoundland Dogs


  • Child Friendly: Yes
  • Dog Friendly: Yes, provided properly socialized and trained from an early age
  • Energy: Needs moderate amount of exercise
  • Intelligence: Very intelligent
  • Loyalty: Very loyal and protective of other family members and other humans in danger
  • Personality: Sweet natured and docile
  • Tendency to Bark: Does not bark a lot
  • Tendency to Drool: Drools a lot
  • Tendency to Snore: Minimal risk of snoring
  • Tendency to Dig: Does not tend to dig
  • Tendency to Seek Attention: Has a moderate need for attention
  • Trainability: Responds well to commands and is easy to train

  • Families
  • Farmers
  • Fishermen
  • People who love the outdoor life
  • Singles
  • Breed Group: Working Group
  • Coat: Double layered and straight
  • Colors: gray, brown, black, and a black-and-white
  • Height: 28 inches (male), 26 inches (female)
  • Life Span: 9-10 years
  • Litter Size: 4-12 
  • Origin: Newfoundland
  • Weight: 130-150 pounds (male), 100-120 pounds (female)

Newfoundland Dog Pictures

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Did You Know?

A Newfoundland called Mother Theresa appeared in the 2005 romantic comedy “Must Love Dogs” that starred John Cusack and Diane Lane. Mother Theresa was actually played by two Newfoundland puppies!

More Detailed Information


Newfies enjoy outdoor exercise and need at least half an hour per day to maintain their mental and physical wellbeing. They love all outdoor activities , especially what they were originally bred for – their ability as strong swimmers to rescue those at sea and in peril. So they really appreciate being given the opportunity to swim regularly. And after all what could be better than watching a Newfoundland with its unique breast stroke retrieving a ball from a lake!

The Newfoundland is very strong and so also appreciate any opportunities to pull carts and love agility, flyball, herding and obedience training.

The Newfie as a companion dog for the walker or hiker is hard to beat since it comes into it’s own on long walks or hiking. And as an added bonus it can easily carry your flask and sandwiches or even a picnic hamper!


Many Newfoundland dogs live happy and health lives into old age whereas others may have health issues. Therefore we list steps you can take to minimise the risk of getting a Newfoundland Puppy that is predisposed to genetic health conditions as well as health conditions that have been experienced by Newfoundland owners. Newfoundlands are prone to the following conditions:

  • Cataracts
  • Cherry Eye
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Thrombopathia
  • Von Willebrand’s Disease

Breeder Checklist

If you are considering adding to your family with a Newfoundland here’s a checklist to minimise the risk of choosing a puppy that’s likely to have health problems later:

  1. Ask for the medical history going as far back as the great grandparents to determine if any diseases have been present in the family history.
  2. Ask the breeder how you can inform them of any serious genetic disease should it occur in the lifetime of the dog. Bona fide breeders will ask you to let them know of any such diseases to help them make future breeding choices.
  3. Only buy from an AKC registered breeder if you live in the USA.
  4. Buy from a breeder who uses or is happy to use the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): and who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:
  5. Or alternatively a breeder who follows the Kennel Club’s Standard for Dog Breeding: Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Newfoundlands Potential Health Conditions

Addison’s Disease

Addison’s is a rare disease caused by a dangerous fall in the body’s natural steroid levels. This condition can occur when the steroids produced by the body’s adrenal glands fail. Addison’s symptoms are difficult to pinpoint. This makes the disease difficult to diagnose. Treatment consists of using steroids to bring the natural steroid level back to normal. Diagnosing Addison’s early is critical and if so a successful outcome with steroid treatment can be expected. Hwoever Addison’s is fatal if left untreated.

Aortic Stenosis

Certain breeds are prone to this hereditary condition – mainly the Newfoundland, Boxer Dog, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler and Dogue de Bordeaux. It has also been reported though not to the same extent in the Samoyed, Bull Terrier, Mastiff, German Shorthaired Pointer, English Bulldog, German Shepherd and Great Dane.

Aortic Stenosis is the narrowing of the heart’s aortic valve either in, above or below the valve. This makes the heart work harder to push the blood from the left ventricle through the aorta and can lead to heart failure.

Often there are no visible symptoms meaning that discovery is usually made when a vet makes a routine check and finds a heart murmur. Sometimes if the condition is moderate or severe aortic Stenosis is discovered at birth. However if mild it may not be detected until the dog is 6 – 12 months old.

Symptoms of heart failure may be seen in severe cases such as coughing, lethargy, breathlessness, open-mouth breathing and fainting.

Treatment isn’t needed if the aortic stenosis is mild although your dog should be closely monitored.

Moderate to severe cases will require medication in the form of beta blockers and surgery is sometimes another option to clear the valve constriction.


There are various forms of cancer some more serious than others that a dog can suffer from. If your dog is diagnosed with cancer it can be devastating because you may automatically assume cancer is a death sentence. However , you need to be aware that not all cancers are fatal.


Cataracts are common in all dogs especially older ones. Cataracts are a cloudiness of the eye that happen from changes within the lens of the eye. They prevent light from reaching the back of the eye, reducing vision and ultimately causing blindness. A variety of health issues can result in cataracts forming. Once a cataract has formed it cannot be cured unless removed by surgery. If your dog’s eyes become cloudy, the first step is to book an appointment with your vet to identify the cause since there are several possibilities.

Cherry Eye

In the corner of a dog’s eye sits a third eyelid with a tear gland you cannot see provided it is healthy. The name cherry eye is given to the condition that exposes the gland so you can see it and this condition is commonly called cherry eye because the gland looks like a small cherry.

You need to get this condition treated by a vet as soon as possible. Usually surgery is needed to pop the gland back into the correct position.

If your dog has anything at all wrong with its eyes please treat this seriously and contact your vet immediately.


This condition is a genetic condition that results in a build up of the amino acid, cystine in the bladder and kidneys. Cystine crystals and/or stones then form which can block the urinary tract. Symptoms to look for are typically urinary tract infections, flank pain, hematuria and nausea. Treatment focuses on the prevention of stone formation and the relief of symptoms.

Elbow Dysplasia

This condition is a painful swelling of the elbow joint that leads to arthritis. Often it starts when the dog is 5-18 months old. Elbow Dysplasia mainly found in medium and large breed dogs and is usually hereditary. Surgery is sometimes used to alleviate the condition along with pain relief, exercise, weight management and physiotherapy.

Elbow Dysplasia is a very painful condition that can be prevented by only breeding from healthy dogs.

Some breeds are particularly susceptible to this condition and such breeds need to have a good diet and exercise regime.


Epilepsy is frequently hereditary and often causes seizures in dogs aged between six months and six years old. There is no cure for epilepsy. It can be controlled using drugs. Sometimes dogs that are perfectly healthy can have an epileptic fit perhaps once or twice in their lives.

Gastric Torsion

Otherwise commonly called bloat, this is a serious painful condition that requires immediate emergency treatment. It’s caused by a bloated, twisted stomach. Your dog must be treated by a vet immediately to increase their chances of survival. Obvious symptoms are a swollen and distended stomach that’s hard to the touch and retching. Dogs with this condition require immediate surgery to un-twist the stomach and even then GDV as it’s called can still prove fatal.

Breeds most at risk to this condition are large and giant breeds with deep chests.

Hip Dysplasia

This painful condition is usually inherited from one of the dog’s parents and results in abnormalities in one or both of the hip joints during puppyhood. It causes the joins to swell, eventually leading to arthritis. Hip Dysplasia can be found most often in medium to large breed dogs. The prescribed treatment is weight management, pain relief and carefully controlled exercise. If the condition is severe surgery may be needed.

Before mating two dogs it’s essential to check both for hip dysplasia to minimise the risk of passing on the condition to puppies.


This condition is caused by underactive thyroid glands. Dogs with hypothyroidism are subject to fur loss, weight gain and low energy. The treatment is medication to replace the absent thyroid hormones. The prognosis for dogs receiving this treatment is excellent. You need to contact your vet if your dog is showing signs of hypothyroidism.

Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament

The first sign of a cruciate problem is limping. The cruciate ligaments attach one bone to another and can be compared to elastic that holds the knee together. A rupture to the cruciate ligament makes the knee very painful and unstable. The damage is commonly caused by turning, twisting, jumping or skidding. Cruciate ligament injuries are most common in dogs that have inherited a weakness in this area or overweight dogs.

Cruciate injuries don’t always need surgery to repair the damage. You need to contact your vet if your dog is limping so that they can assess and recommend the best form of treatment.


This is an inherited disorder characterised by excessive loss of blood from an injury or during surgery. It is caused by abnormal platelets that lead to blood at the site of an injury not clotting. If this happens to your dog he must be treated by a vet without delay to avoid him going into shock and dying. Cases of thrombopathia have been reported in Basset Hounds and in the Finnish Spitz.

Von Willebrand’s Disease

This condition prevents the blood from clotting which like hemophilia A in humans is an inherited defect. High risk breeds such as the Scottish Terrier, Doberman Pinscher, Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, Standard Poodle, German Short-Haired Pointer and Miniature Schnauzer should always be screened prior to breeding.

How to Groom Your Newfoundland

Grooming a Newfoundland is no mean feat. At 150 pounds and sometimes even more there’s a lot of coat to cover. If money is no object then you can of course use the services of a professional groomer. The more frugal or those that don’t want to entrust the care of their Newfoundland to someone else may want to groom their cuddly “big bear” themselves.

The Newfoundland has a coat with two layers – a soft, thick undercoat and a long outer coat that’s quite coarse. Both coats are water – resistant as you’d expect with this breed’s remarkable ability as a swimmer/rescuer.

Daily grooming, at least to remove mats are essential to ensure their coats and skin are in tip-top condition.

Should you choose to groom your dog yourself it’s imperative that you learn how to do so correctly. Mistakes can prove costly since you may need to take your Newfoundland to a groomer to rectify them!

Newfoundland in the Snow

How to Brush and Comb the Coat

Your busiest times for this activity are likely to be during the Spring and Autumn (Fall) because that’s when the Newfoundland’s shedding is at it’s height. During those seasons you will probably need to comb your dog daily to remove the undercoat being cast off. This is vital to maintain the condition of the coat and skin.

Remove any mats you find using a large slicker brush. The way you brush is very important – always in the way the hair grows using slow, short strokes. Use your detangling comb to free any mats you find gently and if that fails then your will need to cut the offending mat out using scissors.

Following the direction of the hair, brush the coat with a large wire-pin or firm bristle brush. Always do so gently using long strokes and start from the dog’s head, then the shoulders, along the back and finally the tail and legs.

Next use either the wire-pin brush or bristle brush on the undercoat. In this case you need to brush the undercoat against the direction of the hairs’ growth using strokes that are short and gentle.

How to Trim the Coat

Trimming your Newfoundland’s ears, feet, legs and chest can prove tricky especially if you haven’t done this before and you do need to learn to do this properly to avoid accidentally injuring your dog. Trimming your dog’s ears correctly is important to avoid a pseudomonas infection which the breed is predisposed to. You can go a long way to learn how to do this properly by a demonstration from a professional groomer using YouTube videos like the one below:

For the Newfoundland’s chest you will need to use a grooming rake to thin his coat there. You need to hold this grooming tool at a forty-five degree angle to the body. Rake his coat in the hair growth direction quite firmly. When the dead hair accumulates you need to remove it before continuing.

Trimming the feet is the next step and apart from comfort and appearance this is an important activity to avoid infections. You will need straight edged scissors for this to cut any excess fur between your dog’s toes. You may choose to use a professional groomer to avoid injury for this task which can prove to be tricky if your dog is fidgety or you are not used to doing this.

How to Bathe Your Dog

This task should only be undertaken twice a year and only when absolutely necessary to avoid removing the oils that make your Newfoundland’s coat water-resistant. Excessive bathing can lead to problems with your Newfoundland’s skin.

Only use tepid water to avoid scalding your pet, filling your bath tub with to around 8 inches depth. You may need to bribe your Newfoundland with a treat to get him into the bath! Pour water over your pet and massage it into his coat. Ideally use a shower head for this to make sure you soak this coat through.

Thoroughly massage good quality dog shampoo into his coat using just your hands or alternatively a bath mitt. Ether way works provided you take care to make sure you penetrate all areas of his coat.

Make sure you rinse all traces of the shampoo out by using a combination of the shower head and massaging his coat. This is vital since any traces left can cause drying of the coat leading to irritation of the skin.

Empty the bath and then towel dry your dog’s coat with a large towel removing as much water as possible. Finally use a hair dryer set at low heat to complete drying his coat.

Other Important Grooming Tasks

How to Trim a Newfoundland’s Nails

Trimming any dog’s nails should only be undertaken by a professional groomer, veterinarian or the dog’s owner provided he or she has had proper training. Trimming your Newfoundland’s nails is without doubt the most difficult grooming task. It’s fraught with danger since it’s so easy result in bleeding and pain. Generally a Newfoundland’s nails will need to be trimmed each month.

How to Check Your Newfoundland’s Ears

Your dog’s ears will need to be checked daily for any signs of infection or inflammation. At the first of scratching his ears or shaking his head you need to take your dog to your veterinarian for an examination.

How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears

Newfoundlands are prone to ear infections such as Pseudomonas. This bacterial infection is extremely difficult to treat so prevention by cleaning your dog’s ears once a month is essential. Using a dog ear cleanser you need to squirt the prescribed number of drops into the ear canal. then you need to massage gently for around 10 seconds to make sure it’s evenly distributed. You then need to remove any dislodged dirt or ear wax and remaining cleanser using cotton balls.


Newfoundland Puppies

The golden rule is to follow the breeder’s diet recommendations and continue with the diet they have been offering your Newfoundland puppy. Changing any puppy’s diet suddenly can lead to stomach upsets. If you do want to change your puppy’s diet do so gradually over say a week. The weight of your puppy up until 6 months old should increase by roughly 3 -4 pounds per week. It’s important that you prevent your puppy from becoming overweight since this can damage the growth of his legs and joints. The acid test is you should be able to feel all the ribs when you run your hand along the ribcage. Always buy the best quality food for your puppy consisting of 24 percent protein and 15 percent fat to support their growth. Remember your puppy does not need milk after 8 weeks old.

Newfoundland Adults & Seniors

The Newfoundland does well on any high quality dog food you prepare your self or manufactured reputable brands. The recommended amount of quality dry food per day is 4-5 cups, divided into two meals. Your Newfoundland’s diet will of course vary according to their stage in life (adult or senior). You can use treats for training as longs as you avoid giving too many because this could lead to obesity. Some Newfoundlands can become obese so always be aware of the relationship between calorie consumption, exercise and weight. Some human foods are toxic to dogs so make sure you know what these are so you don’t give them to your dog or allow access to them. You can weigh your dog at your local veterinarian and ask his advice for maintaining a healthy weight. The Newfoundland because it’s a large deep chested breed is prone to bloat which means the gut twists trapping air in the stomach. This leads to the blood supply being cut off to vital organs and if not operated on immediately to untwist the gut is often fatal. Although the cause of bloat is not known how to minimise the risk is. And that advice is to feed small meals per day and avoid vigorous exercise before at least an hour before and an hour after meal times.

Waggly Dogs recommends this dog bed to ensure your Newfoundland has a good night’s sleep.

Recommended Toys

Training Your Smarty-Pants Newfoundland

The Newfoundland is a member of the working dog breed group. Dog breeds in this group share certain traits. According to the AKC ” dogs of the Working Group are intelligent, strong, watchful, and alert. Bred to assist man, they excel at jobs such as guarding property, pulling sleds and performing water rescues. Doberman Pinschers, Siberian Huskies and Great Danes are part of this Group, to name just a few.”

Any similarities between your Newfie and one of these other members of the working dog group end there as you’ll discover as soon as you welcome your cute fur ball into your home.

That should not come as any surprise to you because you chose the Newfoundland because of their quirkiness – didn’t you? I hope so otherwise you are in for some big surprises not to mention potentially big bills for repairing damage to your furniture and fittings!

The good news is properly trained and socialized your Newfoundland can become a paragon of virtue! Well perhaps I’m exaggerating a bit maybe it would be fairer to say that you can expect your home contents insurance premium to increase slightly rather than substantially post Newfie.

Every Newfie’s personality is different so getting to know your oh so huggable puppykins is paramount before training begins. By all means start with finding out about what you can expect from the Newfoundland breed in general. I hope you have done that already before making the decision to invite him to become a member of your family – after all forewarned is forearmed!

Next you need to home in on those nuances that make your dog who he is, otherwise known in human terms as his authentic self.

If you had the opportunity of observing your Newfie interacting with his litter mates this will have given you some pointers already.

Is your Newfie a dominant character for instance or does your Newfie always seek your approval?

Perhaps your Newfie is a fun Newfie who takes great delight in clowning around or perhaps your Newfie is a rather sombre retiring character? – VERY UNLIKELY!

Is your Newfie a chilled out Newfie or one that tears around your home looking for his next adventure?

Whatever your Newfie’s personality you need to start training him from day one and thereafter every single day to make sure your Newfie can lead a happy, fulfilling life.

How To Find Out How To Train Your Newfie

Thanks to the Internet there’s no shortage of “how to’s” out there. Remember though it’s ultimately your decision and responsibility on how to train your Newfie:

If you don’t feel confident in undertaking your Newfie’s training all by yourself you may wish to use the services of an accredited dog trainer – ideally someone who has some experience of training Newfoundlands.

Don’t Be Let Boredom Creep In

Remember that training your Newfie should offer variety. The Newfie is a highly intelligent breed who needs mental stimulation and for that reason you may find your Newfie’s attention starts to wain after a few minutes of using a command like “Stay.”

You can avoid this happening by closely observing your dog to check that he is still focused. It also helps if you don’t use same command for longer than 10 minutes or until you see that his attention has gone whichever happens first.

Train Your Newfie Everywhere

Training your Newfie shouldn’t be reserved for a training class or in the comfort and quiet of your own home. All dogs need to be socialised and that needs to be done from day one. This means every situation can and should be viewed as a training opportunity.

This means taking your Newfie to the park, on walks, to the shops or any places that you frequent. Meeting other people and other dogs is a crucial part of the Newfie’s training and socialization program. It allows you to socialize too as you will find there is no better people magnet than a Newfie!

Do You Have The RMA?

How do you feel about training your Newfie? Do you see training a necessary evil or an opportunity to have fun with your Newfie?

Having the RMA or right mental attitude is key to achieving any task in life and perhaps none more so than training your Newfie. Remember that your fluffy friend is ultra sensitive to your feelings and he will soon detect if you are viewing training as a tiresome chore and switch off.

So try to always view your Newfie’s training as a fun activity for you and him!

Training For Life

How long do you think training your Newbie Newfie should last – a month, two months, 6 months or perhaps until he’s a year old? The fact is training should be a continuous activity all your Newfie’s life!

Your reward will be a happy dog that’s safe everywhere you take him because he will obey your commands.

Have a Fun Time

Living with a Newfie demands you see every situation as an opportunity to have fun. I would suggest that apart from having love in your life (something you will certainly have with your Newfie) having a sense of fun comes next. What could be better than sharing your life with a dog who appears to think his only purpose in life is to find ways to make you laugh!

Get You And Your Newfie Into A Routine

You really need to train your Newfie every day using the same method you have chosen whether that be positive reinforcement , clicker, relationship based training etc.

When using treats only use them for training NOT for any other purpose and make sure that everyone in your household is aware of and use the same commands that you use.

Practise What Your Professional Trainer Preaches

Make the most of your investment in training classes for your Newfie by continuing to practise what you learn in training classes each and every day.

Breed Clubs

CountryClub Name Website
AustraliaNewfoundland Club of New South Wales
AustraliaNewfoundland Club of South Australia
AustraliaNewfoundland Club of Victoria
AustriaOsterreichischer Neufundlanderklub
BelgiumThe Club Belge du Terre-Neuve
CanadaThe Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada
Czech RepublicThe Newfoundland Dog Club of Czech Republic
DenmarkNewfoundlandklubben i Danmark
EstoniaNewfoundland And Landseer Association Of Estonia
FinlandSuomen Newfoundlandinkoirayhdistys
FranceClub Francais du Chien Terre-Neuve et du Landseer
GermanyDeutscher Neufundlaender Klub
GermanyVND Verein von Neufundlander-Freundenund-Zuchtern in Deutschland e.V.
IrelandNewfoundland Club of Ireland
IrelandThe Emerald Isle Newfoundland Club
ItalyClub Italiano del Terranova
JerseyJersey Big Dog Club (all large breeds)
NetherlandsNederlandse Newfoundlander Club
New ZealandThe Newfoundland Club Inc
NorwayNorsk Newfoundlandshund Klubb
PolandZwiązek Kynologiczny w Polsce Klub Nowofundlanda i Landseera
ScotlandScottish Newfoundland Club
Slovak RepublicSlovak Newfoundland Club
South AfricaThe Newfoundland Dog Association
SpainClub Español del Terranova
SwedenSvenska Newfoundlandshund Klubben
SwitzerlandSchweizer Neufundlander Klub
United KingdomNorthern Newfoundland Club
United KingdomThe Southern Newfoundland Club
United States of AmericaNewfoundland Club of America


Newfoundland Puppy


The Newfoundland male dog stands at 28 inches at the withers and can weigh anything between 130 – 150 pounds.

Females typically measure 26 inches at the withers and can way anything between 100 – 120 pounds.


On land Newfoundlands can reach speeds of 20 miles per hour. In the water they are capable of up 3 knots which is almost twice as fast as an average human swimmer!


Brown Newfoundland dog resting

Newfoundlands have the following three main colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Gray

They can also have the three main colors with white on the toes, chin, chest and tip of the tail.


The Newfoundland tail is strong and at the base broad.When it’s relaxed it hangs straight or sometimes with a curve at the end. When excited or moving the tail stands out straight without curling over the back.


Despite it’s size and awesome appearance it would be difficult to find a gentler breed. The Newfoundland is the sweetest of dogs and this is probably the most well-known and endearing trait of the breed.

The Newfie has a natural affinity to children and is easy to train as long as the training is positive and is carried out gently and sensitively.

Children + Pets

The Newfie just loves to play with children and there tolerance level is high. Although they can be trusted with children like other dogs they should never be left alone with children. An adult should always be present if only to protect the dog when the children’s play get’s a bit out of hand!

The gentle, sweet-natured Newfie loves all creatures, including cats which they see as presenting an opportunity to make friends and not as a threat!

Key Points – The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Can you afford to invest in the Newfoundland breed and do you have the resources? I do not use the words invest and resources lightly! Because ensuring your canine companion is happy and healthy for its usual lifespan of around 10 years requires a considerable financial, physical and emotional commitment.

Is the Newfoundland worth this investment. Ask a Newfie owner and most will probably answer “Yes.”

And why not take a look at the following Epitaph to Lord Byron’s Newfoundland where he waxes lyrical about his beloved Boatswain just for good measure?

Epitaph to a Dog
George Gordon Byron – 1788-1824
Near this Spot
are deposited the Remains of one
who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferosity,
and all the virtues of Man without his Vices.
This praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
if inscribed over human Ashes,
is but a just tribute to the Memory of
who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
and died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808.

When some proud Son of Man returns to Earth,
Unknown to Glory but upheld by Birth,
The sculptor’s art exhausts the pomp of woe,
And storied urns record who rests below:
When all is done, upon the Tomb is seen
Not what he was, but what he should have been.
But the poor Dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend,
Whose honest heart is still his Master’s own,
Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,
Unhonour’d falls, unnotic’d all his worth,
Deny’d in heaven the Soul he held on earth:
While man, vain insect! hopes to be forgiven,
And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven.
Oh man! thou feeble tenant of an hour,
Debas’d by slavery, or corrupt by power,
Who knows thee well, must quit thee with disgust,
Degraded mass of animated dust!
Thy love is lust, thy friendship all a cheat,
Thy tongue hypocrisy, thy heart deceit!
By nature vile, ennobled but by name,
Each kindred brute might bid thee blush for shame.
Ye! who behold perchance this simple urn,
Pass on, it honors none you wish to mourn.
To mark a friend’s remains these stones arise;
I never knew but one—and here he lies.

However, before embarking on a spending spree and buying a Newfoundland or even better adopting one there are certain facts you need to be aware of. So here are the key points or if you like the pros and cons of owning this beautiful dog breed:

Do You Take Pride In How Clean And Tidy Your Home Is?

Maybe the Newfoundland isn’t for you! You see Newfoundlands drool and some drool a lot and shake their heads a lot distributing it all around your furniture, walls, floors and in fact anything that is in their vicinity. Well I suppose they have to get rid of it somehow! Of course you could always spend time following them everywhere with wet wipes at the ready to wipe the offending saliva from their mouths before they deposit it elsewhere!

The drool problem is particularly bad after they have had a drink of water from their bowl because they tend to leave a drool stream from the bowl and around the house!

Also you need to consider that they shed quite a lot so you will need to be constantly hoovering to remove the offending hairs.

If you are a tidy hermit then spending all your waking hours tidying up after your precious pooch probably won’t matter to you – anyway just saying!

Don’t Let The Newfoundland’s Wide-Eyed Look Mislead You

You could be forgiven for thinking that the Newfie is not a particularly intelligent dog with that wide eyed innocent look of theirs. The truth is they are highly intelligent and will use this apparent dumbness to play you like a fiddle if given the chance.

Training the Newfie from an early age is vital if you are to retain your title of pack leader and avoid the consequences of a 150 pound dog taking you for a walk rather than vice versa!

How Gentle Giants Can Hurt You Sometimes

At 150 pounds or thereabouts the sweet natured Newfoundland is capable of wreaking havoc wherever they are – albeit unwittingly!

On the plus side cuddling up to a Newfoundland on your sofa at night (provided you have a very big sofa) is a wonderful heartwarming feeling. And you will not find a warmer, more enthusiastic welcome when you come home. Accidents do happen though with such an enormous dog with such enormous paws and a such a powerful tail. So from time to time you can expect to incur bruises and the odd broken ornament not to mention a well worm sofa that you may need to replace each year!

Why One Dog Is Never Enough

I see many dogs each week in the flesh when I’m out walking a neighbour’s dog and also browsing on the net. Some people seem satisfied with one dog whereas others have two and often two of the same breed.

When you ask someone who has two dogs of the same breed why they have two they usually say to keep each other company. Yeah right that makes sense. I suspect the real reason and I’m guilty of this myself is that they want a family not an “only child!”

Let’s face it the majority of dog owners view their pets as members of their family and so they should!

In any case when I met a Newfie for the first time recently I instantly fell in love with him (Otis) and could easily see why others would want to get another one to (ahem) keep each other company!

So be aware that if you get one Newfoundland you may well end up with another so along with twice the fun and loving devotion you will also receive double the costs.

They Can Never Get Enough

Food – that is! People often say that the Labrador is the most demanding when it comes to food. If that’s so the Newfoundland runs a close second!

Don’t let those eyes so helpless and appealing seduce you into giving your Newfoundland too much food. Let lean and mean be your mantra otherwise you’ll end up with a tubby unhealthy and lethargic Newfie.

Better you seek the advice of your vet to find out the ideal amount and type of food to ensure your dog stays in tip top condition together with a good exercise regime.

Keep Fit To Avoid Fat

Exercise is good for you and your Newfoundland so why not combine both and make sure you exercise each and every day.

This is especially important with a Newfie because they can be prone to weight gain and will sleep all day if they get the chance. Remember that the Newfie is classed as a working dog breed and as such working or at least exercising is in their DNA so don’t deny them this pleasure.

As one of the most highly intelligent breeds you need to exercise their minds too by providing fun activities especially involving swimming which of course they were bred for and excel at.

If you don’t engage their brains with challenging activities they will most likely provide these by themselves in the form of working out how to help themselves to their food or indeed your on top of a work surface, cupboard or fridge – YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

Love Is All You Need

It’s true that love is the foundation of any lifelong relationship and that’s true whether it’s loving another human being or your dog. There is no doubt though that in it’s lifetime your Newfoundland will not only need your undying love but also a constant supply of money to give him the life he so richly deserves. You could say that the love of a Newfoundland is priceless and it’s important that you realise there will be a heavy price to pay for this love.

What price is there to pay? Vet’s bills for one that could make you bankrupt for dealing with health problems and emergencies. It is not uncommon for large breeds like the Newfoundland to suffer from bloat for example or ear infections such as pseudomonas. Pseudomonas is particularly difficult to cure and often requires the ears to be cleaned and antibiotics administered several times to clear up the infection. These two conditions require general anaesthetics. Anaesthetics are one of the most costly items on vet’s bill and the amount needed for each operation depends on the weight of the dog! At 150 pounds a Newfoundland will need much more anaesthetic than a small or medium sized dog!

Also general anaesthetics are needed each and every time your dog’s teeth need to be cleaned and if you’re unlucky your dog may need to have his teeth cleaned once or twice a year!

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