The Newfoundland dog, also known as the Newfie, is a giant breed of dog that resembles a teddy bear! Gentle and loving, don’t let their large size put you off — these pups are the perfect family dog for any household big enough to home them. Kindhearted and gentle, these dogs get along with everyone, children included.
Hailing from the Newfoundland area of Canada, these dogs used to be used as working dogs but are now seen as companions and therapy dogs. If you’re interested in learning more about this large breed and seeing whether they might be the pup for you, keep reading below!
History Of The Newfoundland Dog
The Newfoundland dog is primarily a companion dog that makes an excellent family pet and is great with children. However, they weren’t always used as companion dogs and were actually used as working dogs due to their size and strength. They are one of the biggest breeds of dogs out there!
The Newfoundland dog is recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the Fédération Cynologique International. They have been recognized for over a century! They have an official breed club called The Newfoundland Club of America.
The Newfoundland dog comes from the Newfoundland area of Canada. Originally, they were used as lifeguards by fisherman and helped to save lives. They are closely related to other water Retriever breeds such as the Labrador Retriever and the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever.
The Newfoundland got it’s unique appearance after being bred with Portuguese Mastiffs that came to Canada in the 16th Century. Two different dogs were created — The Greater and The Lesser. The Lesser was also known as the St Johns Dog but it is now extinct.
The Greater was later renamed to “Newfoundland” and is the dog we know today. They were used for pulling carts and carrying equipment until they became companion dogs.
Characteristics Of The Newfoundland Dog
As you can imagine, Newfoundland dog puppies are extremely cute and look like little balls of fluff! Normally, they are born in litter sizes of between 4 to 10 puppies and a puppy may cost anywhere between $500 and $1,500. You should be able to bring your Newfoundland puppy home at around 2 months old.
The Newfoundland dog is a giant breed that is a fluffy mastiff type! Their body is muscular and bulky and they have a large head and a fluffy tail. They also have large ears, large eyes and droopy jaw. They must have brown eyes as any other color will exempt them from kennel club registration.
An interesting fact about the Newfoundland dog is that they love to swim and are very confident in water. In fact, they have webbed feet to help them swim!
A male Newfoundland will weigh between 145 and 175 lbs and stand between 26 and 28 inches tall. Females are usually of the same height but weigh slightly less, between 120 and 145 lbs.
Easily identifiable, the Newfoundland dog has a large, fluffy double coat. They have a dense undercoat with a long, shaggy and rough to the touch outercoat.
Unfortunately, they are heavy shedders all year round, but are also known as seasonal shedders and will shed slightly more in the spring. Regular grooming can help you keep on top of their fur, but they are not the breed for those with allergies. We will go into more detail about grooming later on.
Thee dogs can either be a solid color or bi-colored. The most common colors for this breed are black, brown, white and gray.
The Newfoundland dog is a docile and gentle breed and are often known as gentle giants. Their breed standard even states that any Newfoundland who is not sweet-natured and friendly doesn’t fit into the breed standard!
These dogs love humans, both adults and children, and are very happy to join in the fun or simply watch it happening. While inside the house, they can seem quite lazy and will happily lay next to you on the couch and watch TV. However, they are actually an active breed and will love to exercise as soon as they get outside!
This large dog gets on with almost anyone, although you should be wary of their size. They can be strong and sometimes don’t realize their own strength. These pups can also be known to bark occasionally, but this is something that can be trained out of them.
The average life expectancy of a Newfoundland dog is between 8 and 10 years.
Known Health Issues
The Newfie is known to be a very healthy breed. However, like all dogs, they are still prone to some health problems. We have laid out the main health concerns below.
- Hip Dysplasia — this is when the thighbone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia.
- Elbow Dysplasia — this is a common condition in large breed dogs. It can be caused by different growth rates and can cause lameness. It can be fixed with surgery.
- Hypothyroidism — this can be caused by a deficiency of the thyroid hormone and may produce signs that include infertility, obesity, mental dullness and lack of energy. It can be treated with medication.
Regular vet checkups and keeping an eye on your dog will ensure you can catch any of these issues before they become untreatable.
Remember — buy from a reputable breeder and the chances your dog will suffer any health conditions will be greatly reduced.
Now we know all about the traits and characteristics of the Newfoundland dog breed, it is time to take a look and see what living with one of these dogs on a day to day basis is really like. We will cover their grooming needs, their exercise requirements and their food and diet.
Food And Diet
The Newfoundland dog eats quite a lot, which is no surprise when you look at their size! These pups require around 1,500 calories a day, which equates to around four cups of dog food. Of course, you should double check the back of the food packet to see how much of a certain food you should be feeding your dog based on their weight. Split their food into two to three meals a day.
Ensure you are feeding your pup high-quality kibble that meets their nutritional requirements. For a dog of this size, it is best to go for a food formulated for large breeds so you know the food is tailored to them. Take a look at the food we recommend below.
Best Dog Food For The Newfoundland DogBUY ON AMAZON
We recommend the Life Protection Formula for large breeds from Blue Buffalo for your Newfoundland. This food is formulated with protein-rich chicken as the first ingredient, ensuring your doggie gets all the nutrients they need to keep their muscles healthy and strong.
Designed specially for large dog breeds, this food contains glucosamine and chondroitin to help support joint health and overall mobility of bigger dogs. There are also antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support immune system health, life stage requirements and a healthy oxidative balance. Even better, there are no artificial flavors or preservatives in this recipe, only good, wholesome ingredients that’ll keep your Newfoundland healthy.
The Newfoundland dog can seem lazy inside the house, but once they are outside their energy levels pick up! These pups require at least 60 minutes of daily exercise. This should be split into two walks a day, with extra time for playing games such as “fetch” or frisbee.
The Newfie loves to swim and has webbed feet just for the purpose! You can take them to the beach or the lake to exercise too and these water dogs will love it.
As a puppy, ensure you don’t overexercise your Newfoundland dog. As a large breed, this can be detrimental to their skeletal system while they are growing. It is recommended that you stick to the five minute rule — five minutes of exercise for every month of their age while they are a puppy.
We have mentioned above that the Newfoundland dog loves people. For this reason they make an excellent family pet and get on with everyone! They love adults, teenagers and children and can make the perfect playmate. They are not advised as a pet for seniors simply due to their size and strength — although they are docile and very friendly, you need to be strong to handle them!
For the same reason, you should never leave very young children alone with the Newfoundland dog. While they would never intentionally hurt a child, their size can make them a liability. The Newfoundland gets on very well with other dogs and pets too, although socialization is still advised.
Again, due to their size, these pups need to live in a large home with space to run outside. They won’t do well cooped up in a small apartment! These big dogs are better suited to rural life rather than city living.
Newfoundland dogs are eager to please and therefore training is not difficult. Like all dogs, the Newfoundland responds best to reward based training and positive reinforcement training. This includes verbal praise as well as treats. You should never get angry or annoyed with your Newfoundland dog because this will make them not want to learn.
Due to their intelligence, the Newfoundland breed is great for teaching tricks to! They can also excel at obedience and agility training.
The Newfoundland gets on well with everyone — adults, children and other pets. However, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to socialize them from a young age.
You should introduce your Newfoundland dog to different sights, sounds, places, smells, people and animals in a safe and controlled way to ensure they learn there is nothing to be afraid of. Early socialization will help them to develop into a well-rounded and good mannered pup!
The Newfoundland dog sheds all year round. However, they are also seasonal shedders and will shed slightly more in the spring. Regular grooming is essential to keep on top of their coat and it is recommended that you brush them every day to remove loose hair and dirt from their coats. There fur can also start to matt if you don’t brush them regularly.
You should refrain from bathing your Newfoundland dog regularly as this can cause skin issues. When it must be done, use a hypoallergenic shampoo and ensure that you dry their coat thoroughly.
The Newfoundland dog drools a lot so you must be prepared for it! You will most likely have to clean their face often and clean anything they sit on. Try to keep on top of their teeth brushing too, to help prevent dental decay and disease.
Newfoundland Dog FAQ’s
How much does a Newfoundland dog cost?
A Newfoundland dog can set you back between $500 and $1,500. More expensive dogs will likely be bred from show lines or have kennel club approved breeders. You should always make sure you are buying from a reputable breeder who can show you health clearances for both parent breeds.
If buying one of these dogs is a little out of your price range, you can always think about adopting. Check your local shelter or have a search online for organizations who rescue these dogs. The Newfoundland Club of America is a great place to start.
Is the Newfoundland good with children?
The Newfoundland dog is a very docile and gentle dog, making them excellent with children! These pups love to play and can become your children’s best friend. While they never have any intention to hurt children, it is advised very small children are surprised with the Newfoundland purely because of their size. They may end up accidentally hurting them without meaning to!
A loving, friendly and sweet-natured pup, the Newfoundland dog really is a gentle giant. These fluffy teddy-bear dogs love humans and are extremely sociable, excelling in a family environment where they can either get involved or sit back and watch the action. While they are quiet and lazy inside the house, as soon as you take these dogs outside they love to run and exercise, making excellent playmates for everyone! Although they have high grooming needs and eat a lot, their intelligence means they are easy to train and easy to live with. If you’ve got the space, why not thinking about adding one of these loving dogs to your home?