The giant Newfoundland is big in all respects—their charming demeanor is matched by their propensity for drool and abundant shedding. For those who are not house-proud, Newfs can make wonderful companions.
Newfoundlands are named for the island where they originated. Originally used as fisherman’s helpers, they traveled aboard coastal fishing vessels and then hauled the catch to market in carts. They are strong dogs with solid working drive. Stories abound of heroic Newfoundlands rescuing sailors and children from drowning.
Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland breed, but they are still dogs at heart. They require consistency and limit-setting during puppyhood and adolescence to grow into their full potential. Newfoundlands are the happiest when they are spending time with their family, and are amenable to many types of training.
- Newfoundlands need regular exercise, they enjoy walking (2-3 miles/day) and swimming. They are not good running companions.
- Newfoundlands are generally good with children and other dogs, as long as they receive consistent training and management.
- A family that has time to spend on daily/weekly grooming and upkeep of their long double coats.
- People fastidious about a clean house.
- People who are not willing to invest in training to build a solid relationship.
- People who have multiple flights of stairs, or yards that can only be reached by stairs.
- Sweet and silly.
- Stable temperaments and easy to train.
- Easygoing and mellow with other dogs.
- Excellent with children.
- Daily grooming required.
- Must have training during puppyhood and adolescence.
- Not generally good as watch dogs.
- Health issues – hip and elbow dysplasia, SAS and PDA (heart conditions), cystinuria (bladder stones) bloat and cruciate ligament tears are found in the breed.
Females: Average 26 inches at the shoulder, and roughly 110 pounds.
Males: Average 28 inches at the shoulder, and roughly 140 pounds.
Black is the dominant color in the breed. Solid brown and solid gray are also accepted colors. Solid color dogs may have white on the chin, chest, tips of toes and tip of tail. White/black Newfoundlands are white dogs with black markings on the head, saddle and rump. White/brown; white/gray; cream (tan or beige) are possible but are not accepted colors in the breed.
Adults are typically laid back and mellow, but pups can be fairly high energy and need training and management to grow into good citizens as adults.
Average is 9 to 12 years.
Known as the Nana dog from Peter Pan, Newfoundlands are renown for their care of children, but they are still dogs and require training and supervision to reach their full potential.
When introduced carefully, Newfoundlands make good pack members with other breeds, and usually are quite doting on felines who don’t mind a little drool.
Water rescue is the premier job of the Newfoundland, they are also exceptional draft dogs – pulling carts and wagons. Newfoundland perform well in obedience and rally. They make excellent tracking and Search and Rescue dogs. Their gentle demeanor make them excellent therapy dogs as well.
Newfoundlands have a heavy double coat that requires daily combing, weekly full brush-out and regular bathing and trimming. While they shed regularly, twice a year they “blow” their undercoat, creating a large amount of shed hair and will get skin infections and hot spots if this is not groomed out of their coat regularly.
Bloat is a life-threatening medical emergency that can occur in the breed—this happens when gas builds up in the stomach causing a twisting of the intestinal tract.
Hip and Elbow dysplasia are genetic disorders which result in arthritis as the dog grows, which can require surgical intervention or medications to treat.
SAS (sub aortic stenosis) is a developmental cardiac disorder which affects the breed; all puppies should be screened prior to placement, as often the first visible symptom is death, often before 1 year of age.
Learn more about health issues in the Newfoundland: www.newfdoghealth.org