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Newfoundland Breed

Profile photo of Heather Venkat, DVM, MPH.By Heather Venkat, DVM, MPH, DACVPM


If you are on the lookout for an all-around family dog, look no further!

The Newfoundland might be the pup for you!

This breed is known for being gentle, affectionate, and sensitive.

He is incredibly social and loves meeting new people and animals.

Originally, the Newfie was a working dog on fishing vessels.

He loves the water, and even has webbed paws, which help him swim.

The breed is still commonly used to assist in water rescues.

You will not find a more gentle or loyal companion!

 

So, what kind of care does this breed require?

This article will cover a variety of topics surrounding the Newfoundland.

The Newfoundland is a large pup.

His hair and slobber are forces to contend with, so prepare accordingly.

You will also learn more details about the Newfie’s personality.

We will look at any potential health issues the breed is predisposed towards.

In addition, this article will give you an overview of what to expect when training your pup.

Are you ready to learn more about this gentle giant?

Let’s get started!

 

Appearance

Cute black doggo

The Newfoundland is one big dog!

The females weigh in at 100-120 pounds, while the males can weigh up to 150 pounds!

Typically, the breed stands 26-28 inches tall.

He boasts a double coat of medium length that comes in black, brown, or gray, sometimes with white markings.

His thick coat helps to insulate your pup from cold weather.

This is also the reason the Newfoundland has been used as a rescue dog in the North Atlantic.

The insulation provided by his double coat allows this breed to tolerate cold water.

In addition, this breed boasts significant webbing between his toes, which helps with swimming.

 

His gentle nature belies how large this dog actually is.

The Newfoundland is big-boned and incredibly muscular.

A large head and small ears make this pup look almost like a bear.

Despite how big he is, this breed is known for his sweet tenderness towards humans.

He is known to be especially careful around children.

The Newfie has large, soulful eyes that will gently follow your every move.

If you want a giant, snuggly teddy-bear, the Newfoundland might be the pup for you!

Just don’t forget that there is some significant time that goes into caring for his coat.

We’ll talk about that below.

 

Personality

As mentioned above, the Newfoundland is known for his gentleness.

Made popular by Nana, the fictional Newfoundland in Peter Pan, this breed is known for his babysitting tendencies.

A mature Newfie will not be fazed by rambunctious children.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a wailing baby or toddlers trying to ride him like a horse.

Your pup will take it all in stride and do his level best to keep everyone safe and happy.

This translates to other animals as well.

Your Newfie loves other animals and will try to make friends with other pets they encounter.

 

Newfoundlands are, at their hearts, working dogs.

If you give him a task, your Newfie will do everything in his power to do it.

This dog is often described as a couch-potato because he’s so easy going.

But don’t let that fool you.

He will sleep until you need him to do something, and then he’ll throw himself into the given task.

This breed is also extremely affectionate.

You will notice that your Newfie always wants to be touching you or cuddling with you.

Despite his large size, your Newfoundland may still consider himself a lapdog.

You can never doubt the loyalty of this cuddly and doe-eyed giant of a dog!

 

Exercise

This breed was originally bred for working purposes in Canada.

So, the Newfie still exhibits a lot of the drive that most working dogs have.

However, he is not an overly energetic pup.

Especially once he’s matured, your Newfoundland will be very laid-back.

You will find that your dog will happily snooze the day away until you have a job for him!

That being said, this breed does still need exercise.

 

Your Newfoundland needs roughly thirty minutes of moderate exercise on a daily basis.

This will help him maintain a healthy weight and keep him happy and fulfilled.

Your pup loves outdoor activities, so there are many options for exercise!

Hiking, swimming, and running around at a dog-park are all great options.

Because of his tendency to want work, you can utilize this to exercise your Newfie.

Playing fetch in the water or having him pull a cart will fulfill the part of your pup’s brain that wants to work.

If you have kids, they will love the opportunity to be pulled around in a cart by your massive dog.

Entertainment for both children and dog.

That sounds like a win-win to me!

 

Grooming

Fluffy giant in a garden

The Newfoundland’s thick coat can look overwhelming.

Don’t be scared, your pup doesn’t need intense grooming.

As long as you are regular with your grooming, your pup will stay clean and happy!

Because he loves the outdoors, your pup will be a magnet for burrs, dirt, etc.

Expect to brush your Newfie on a weekly basis minimum.

Depending on how much you want to be cleaning your house, you might want to plan on a daily brushing.

In addition, regular baths are a must for this breed.

 

Other than brushing and washing, the Newfie doesn’t require any special grooming.

His coat has a special insulation built into it that keeps him warm in the cold.

This coat will shed year-round, so make sure to keep up with your pup’s regular brushing.

This breed is known for his drooling.

His propensity to drool is just something the Newfie does.

If you are not a fan of drooling or don’t want to clean up the mess, this might not be the breed for you.

Regular teeth-care is a must, as well as cleaning your Newfie’s ears.

Because there is long hair around his ears, always be sure to carefully dry them after a bath.

Always check your pup’s nails and clip them regularly.

A clean Newfoundland is a happy Newfoundland!

 

Training

Training a Newfoundland is relatively easy on the spectrum of dog breeds.

Your puppy is going to be curious, friendly, and exploratory.

Experts recommend a lot of daily human interaction for your puppy.

As always, early socialization training is important.

This is especially true since this breed grows to such a large size.

Your pup needs to know how to behave around other people and animals.

One day, he will most likely be the largest animal in any given situation he finds himself in.

 

Your Newfoundland is a working dog at heart.

He wants to do what you say and make you happy.

This makes your pup an easy breed to train.

Because of his sensitive nature, the Newfie doesn’t take harsh responses well.

Always maintain a gentle and loving approach to your pup’s training.

Under positive reinforcement, your newfoundland will blossom and grow in his training.

As with any dog, continuing training throughout his life will only benefit both you and your pup.

Remember the Newfoundland’s origins as a water, working, and rescue dog.

Incorporate these aspects of his nature into different training and games.

Your Newfie will be excited at the new challenges and feel fulfilled.

 

Health

Black dog on a beach

If you are considering getting a Newfoundland puppy, it is important to know what to expect from the breed medically.

Newfies are prone to several different conditions.

As always, only trust a breeder who is up front with you about potential health risks.

In addition, a reputable breeder will have completed health screenings for you to look over.

 

These large dogs have an average lifespan of 8-10 years.

Much of your pup’s growth happens in his first year, when he will gain more than 100 pounds.

Because of this rapid growth rate, the Newfoundland is predisposed toward having joint issues.

It is imperative that you keep your pup on a strict food-to-exercise ratio.

Extra weight will only exacerbate your pup’s joint pain.

 

Many of the conditions that a Newfie is prone to are not detectable in puppies.

This makes it even more imperative that you purchase your pup from a reliable breeder.

Any breeder worth his salt will have his dogs checked for any existing health issues before breeding them.

This doesn’t prevent health issues from developing independently.

However, it can prevent any problems from being passed on genetically from your puppy’s parents.

 

History

The Newfoundland breed is from…you guessed it: Newfoundland!

He is related to the Irish water spaniel, labrador retriever, curly-coated retriever, and St. John’s water dog.

The Newfie is a hard-working water dog.

They were originally bred to assist Canadian fisherman while out at sea.

From helping haul in nets to making daring water rescues, these pups are well-loved by all!

Because of his size, the Newfie has been known to rescue fully grown men.

His water-resistant coat and webbed paws enable the Newfoundland to swim with ease.

Any Newfie puppy has a natural affinity for the water.

Experts recommend introducing your pup to water as early as 4 months!

 

One very famous Newfoundland, Seaman, was one of the members of the Lewis and Clarke Expedition in 1802.

This brave pup traveled over 8,000 miles, protecting the expedition and helping to hunt for food.

He even saved the camp by running off a charging buffalo!

 

Now, Newfoundlands are a well-beloved rescue and family dog.

Hard-working but gentle to a fault, this massive fur-ball will weasel his way into your heart and never leave.

It’s not hard to see why people all over the world love the Newfie!

 

Where Can I Find Newfoundland Puppies?

Finding a reputable breeder is imperative.

A reliable breeder checks several boxes.

They should do health clearances for all the dogs they intend to breed.

If you ask for documentation, a good breeder will be happy to provide you with this paperwork.

This ensures that all resulting puppies will be as healthy as foreseeably possible.

The environment the breeder raises their puppies in is loving, safe, and ethical.

Your breeder is up front with you about the lifespan and potential health-risks for your puppy’s particular breed.

Finally, any good breeder will have your puppy screened at the appropriate age for any testable conditions that may manifest later.

Asking your breeder about the items listed above will help you make a decision on their reliability.

I don’t want you to fall prey to a puppy mill or internet scam!

 

When choosing a puppy, don’t hesitate to ask your breeder about personality.

Even before they mature, each puppy will show an individual personality.

Many breeders have a personality quiz that you can take so they can suggest potential matches.

If at all possible, meet your puppy at least twice before taking him home.

It is even better if you can do so with any children you have.

This will enable both the puppy and the kids to get used to each other.

If you have decided on the Newfoundland breed, you won’t want for a more loving and gentle companion!

 

FAQ

Q: Does the Newfoundland require a lot of grooming?

A: Yes, typically a medium to large amount. The Newfie’s thick coat picks up a lot of dirt and debris from outside, so they need a daily brushing.

Q: Are Newfies good apartment dogs?

A: It depends. The Newfoundland is a large dog that sheds consistently. If you can live with that in the confined space of an apartment, go for it!

Q: How does the Newfoundland behave around children?

A: This breed is known to be gentle and patient around kids, often being described as ‘The babysitter breed’.

 

In Closing

Have you fallen in love with the Newfoundland’s sweet and charming nature?

This gentle giant will be a loving addition to any family, with or without children!

Look at those expressive eyes and see what they say to you!

If you have decided upon the newfie, check out these Newfoundland puppies for sale here!

Until next time!

Heather

Dr. Heather Venkats Signature

 

References

American Kennel Club. (2022, 2 10). Newfoundland. Retrieved from American Kennel Club: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/newfoundland/

Daily Paws. (2022, 2 10). Newfoundland. Retrieved from Daily Paws: https://www.dailypaws.com/dogs-puppies/dog-breeds/newfoundland#section-78a795c0-aa29-4d20-a653-d9c2689e5a42

Dogtime. (2022, 2 10). Newfoundland. Retrieved from Dogtime: https://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/newfoundland#/slide/1

Hillspet. (2022, 2 10). Newfoundland. Retrieved from Hillspet: https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/dog-breeds/newfoundland

Vetstreet. (2022, 2 10). Newfoundland. Retrieved from Vetstreet: http://www.vetstreet.com/dogs/newfoundland#overview

Profile photo of the author Heather Venkat, DVM, MPH.

Dr. Heather Venkat has been a veterinarian since 2013, working in companion animal medicine with dogs and cats, as well as veterinary public health. Her passion is in prevention, One Health, and strengthening the human-animal bond. A bonafide animal-lover, she competes in dog sports and currently shares her home with a border collie mix named Luna, three cats, and two leopard geckos.

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