General Description

(Newf, Newfie) The Newfoundland is a multi-purpose working and companion dog with a large, well-balanced build and a strong, heavy-boned, muscular body. They present themselves with pride, dignity, and a sweet disposition. The breed’s neck is strong, well-set onto the shoulders, and long enough to permit a high head carriage. They have a broad back that is strong and well-muscled, and it is level from the point just behind the withers to the croup. Their full, deep chest extends down to the level of their elbows, and their shoulders are well-muscled and laid back. Elbows of this breed lie directly below the highest point of the withers. They have well-sprung ribs, a deep flank, and a broad, slightly sloping croup. The broad, strong, slightly curved tail correlates with the line of the croup. Their cat-like feet are webbed and their size is in proportion to the rest of the dog’s body. They have heavily boned, powerful hindquarters and their limbs are straight and parallel when perceived from the rear. The hocks are well let down and the thighs are broad and comparatively long. The massive head of the Newfoundland features a broad skull, a slightly arched crown, and well-developed cheeks. Their stop is moderately defined, but it can appear more prominent because of the well-developed brow. They have a clean-cut, broad muzzle that has a rounded top and a straight bridge. The breed’s teeth close in a scissors bite and their small, deep-set eyes are dark brown in color. Their ears are small and triangular, and they have rounded tips. The flat double coat of the Newfoundland consists of a coarse, long, straight or slightly wavy outer layer and a soft, dense under layer. The hair around the face and muzzle is short and fine by comparison. Coat colors of this breed include black, brown, gray, or a white base coat with black markings. Clear white or white with minimal ticking is also accepted. A variety of markings may be present on dogs with solid-colored coats.

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The Newfoundland is an outstanding companion with a good-natured, courageous, generous, and intelligent temperament. They are noble, loyal, and calm, and they are hopelessly devoted to their master. They are patient by nature and mild in the company of strangers. Some become so attached to their family that they cannot adapt to a new one. They have strong protective instincts, but rather than bark or growl, they tend to place themselves between the intruder and their family. Some males may be aggressive towards other dogs. In general, the Newfoundland gets along well with other animals. They are loving, playful, and patient with children. They love the outdoors and they love to swim. They tend to drool and slobber, but not nearly as much as other large dog breeds.


25 – 29 inches

Males: 27-29 inches. (69-74cm) Females: 25-27inches (63-69cm)


100 – 150 pounds

Males: 130-150 lbs (59-68kg) Females: 100-120lbs (45-54kg)

General Health

Like many other large dog breeds, the Newfoundland is prone to hip dysplasia. They are also susceptible to a hereditary heart disease called sub-aortic stenosis (SAS). It’s very important for owners of this breed not to let their Newfoundland(s) become overweight. This breed typically live for 9 – 15 years.


The Newfoundland originated in Newfoundland as the result of crosses between dogs native to the island and big, black, bear dogs that were introduced by the Vikings in 1001 A.D. While the breed was shaped and improved with the advent of European fisherman, the essential characteristics of the Newfoundland remained. By the time of colonization in 1610, the distinctive attributes of the Newfoundland were firmly established. The breed was utilized by the fisherman for a number of working purposes including hauling in nets, carrying boat lines to shore, and retrieving anything which fell overboard. They were also used to pull mail sheds, deliver milk, haul lumber, and carry loads in packs. The breed is an outstanding water rescue dog, and they have saved many lives throughout the course of history. In addition to being a wonderful companion, the Newfoundland excels at water trials, competitive obedience, weight-pulling, carting, backpacking, watching, and guarding.


The coarse, thick, double coat of the Newfoundland requires daily to weekly brushing with a hard brush. The breed’s undercoat is shed twice per year, and extra care should be given to the coat at these times. They should be bathed only as necessary. Excessive washing will strip the coat of its natural oils.

Ideal Environment

The Newfoundland is content to live in a small household or apartment if it is sufficiently exercised. They are a comparatively inactive breed indoors, and they are happiest with at least a small yard. Because of their thick coat, they are very sensitive to hot weather. They have a propensity to become lazy, but they benefit from moderate amounts of physical activity. The Newfoundland should be given plenty of opportunities to swim and frolic.

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