Newfoundland Dog

Written by: Jamie
Updated: March 31, 2021

The Newfoundland is the epitome of a gentle giant. Learn all about this large, cuddly breed in today’s guide below!

newfoundland dog beside a pond

Height: Male 28 inches, female 26 inches
Weight: Male 59-68 kilos, female 45-54 kilos
Lifespan: 9-10 years
Pedigree? (registered with the KC?): Yes, this breed is registered with the Kennel Club.

Positives and Negatives

Below are the positives and negatives of the Newfoundland dog:


  • Calm and kind temperament. Referred to as a Gentle Giant
  • Excellent search and rescue worker
  • Drafting dog used to pull carts and sleds
  • Sociable with both humans and animals


  • High grooming maintenance
  • Requires lots of exercise and mental stimulation
  • Sheds fur throughout the year
  • Drools heavily

newfoundland dog standing on orange leaves


The Newfoundland is a powerful and robust canine that is enormous in size! Thankfully this breed is prized for its calm, well-natured temperament and is often referred to as a Gentle Giant.

Hailing from Canada, the Newfoundland dog is a natural-born swimmer thanks to their webbed feet. They just love spending time in the water!

A large garden and home will be needed to accommodate a Newfoundland dog. These pooches can be prone to weight gain so it’s important they’re being exercised regularly.

Yet despite their needs being high maintenance, this breed is a popular breed choice amongst dog enthusiasts in the UK.

If a Newfoundland is left alone regularly, without exercise, they may develop separation anxiety. This will lead them to become instinctively destructive.

A dog of this size, with a mouth that wide can easily destroy a sofa in seconds! It is important potential owners understand just how much time and dedication Newfoundlands require.

The Newfie dog has large jowls that will drool regularly. A towel should always be kept to hand, especially after a drink!

They shed all throughout the year and will also blow their coats in Spring and Autumn. Grooming maintenance will be time-consuming.

Newfoundland puppies need considerable care during puppyhood. They grow rapidly and could become susceptible to bone disorders. This giant breed can be expensive to look after once you factor in food and vet insurance.

The initial cost of a Newfoundland puppy is also pricey, starting from a minimum of £800.

newfoundland dog standing in the wild


Newfoundland dogs were developed in Newfoundland, Canada where they were commonly seen working alongside fishermen. They are thought to have been imported here years ago from Europe.

They are believed to share a relation to the Curly Coated Retriever, Labrador Retriever, and Irish Water Spaniel.

Be it land or water, Newfoundlands make excellent working canines. They’re used as therapy dogs and assistance dogs, but in their previous years were mostly used for trawling (fishing), cart, and sled pulling.

They would often jump into the freezing waters to retrieve lost fishing tackle. Lumberjacking was another task the Newfoundland would assist in.

Nowadays this breed makes an ideal family companion due to their wonderful temperament. The Newfie is also popular as a show dog and won Best in Show by Westminster Kennel Club in 2004.

But above all, these canines are exceptional search and rescue workers! Their acute sense of smell is priceless to a life or death situation.

J.M Barrie propelled the Newfoundland dog to fame. In 1904, the play Peter Pan was performed followed by the novel in 1911. Nana, a Newfoundland, is a nurse to the Darling children.

The Scottish playwright was himself a proud owner of a Newfoundland named Luath, adopted in 1903. It was his second dog after the death of his St Bernard.

In 1862, the Newf was used to perform at Van Hare’s Magic Circus. Out of all the working Newfoundlands, Napoleon stood out the most. He even performed in London at the Pavillion Theatre.

Unfortunately, a circus accident saw him pass away at the age of 11. The Newfoundland Club established in the UK in 1886 is the oldest of all breed clubs.


Newfoundland Dog Temperament:

Newfoundlands are described as docile, loyal, and deeply loving companions. Families are keen to have this friendly giant in their home! No matter the dog they mustn’t be left alone with a child!

Newfies won’t be ideal for first-time owners as they may push boundaries and require strong leadership.

brown newfoundland dog in the park

Due to their intelligence and incredible work mentality, the breed excels as a service dog.

Newfoundlands aren’t known to be guard dogs but can become protective of their family. Newfies have the perfect skill balance to assist humans in multiple ways.

Recommended: The Kangal Shepherd Dog is prized for its gentle and calm temperament around children.

Are Newfoundlands Good with Strangers?

Newfoundlands will typically accept strangers that are introduced to them through their owners. If they sense danger they may become instinctively protective. Newfoundlands aren’t natural watchdogs or guard dogs but still require lots of early socialization.

Are Newfoundlands Good with Children?

Yes, this breed is known to be excellent with children of all ages. Their large size could accidentally injure smaller children, but never intentionally! Newfoundlands are tolerant to a child’s behavior, but kids should still be taught how to respect a dog’s space.

Are Newfoundlands Ok with Other Dogs?

Newfies are sociable and enjoy interacting with other dogs. Younger males, however, especially those intact may become dominant towards other canines. They can live with other dogs and cats but should be raised together as early as possible.


The Newfoundland dog breed will need up to one hour of exercise each day. These hard-working canines will also need mental stimulation to prevent boredom.

A prime trait of the Newfoundland temperament is its sociability. They make perfect companions in the park, politely introducing and gently playing with other dogs.

Typically, a Newfoundland’s prey drive is low, although there may be a minority of dogs that show an interest in prey. Their thick coat may overheat them, especially in Summer when they should be walked during the cooler periods of the day.

Newfies excel in dog sports such as agility, flyball, tracking, obedience, dock jumping, and rally.

newfoundland dog on snow

Recommended next: One of the most recognized breeds across the world is the Dalmatian.


Check out the breed-related health issues of the Newfoundland dog below:

  • Hip Dysplasia- The hip develops poorly causing hip joint laxity. Pain, swelling, and inflammation are common symptoms. Over time, arthritis will eventually form.
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvus- The stomach twists, trapping the food and gases within. This condition is commonly seen in large dogs and can be fatal. Surgery will be needed.
  • Elbow Dysplasia- Lameness is a common symptom of elbow dysplasia. Affected dogs will eventually suffer from arthritis.
  • Panosteitis- Typically seen in large breed puppies, this health issue is painful and affects the bones. Often called ‘Growing Pains’, symptoms include lameness and limping.
  • Hypothyroidism- An underactive thyroid can cause a dog to gain weight without an increase in appetite. Other symptoms include dull fur, hair loss, intolerance to the cold, and lethargy.
  • Atopy- A life-long skin condition triggered by an allergic reaction. Itchiness will occur and will need to be managed.
  • Entropion- The eyelids begin to fold inwards causing the eyelashes to scratch against the eye. It can cause pain, ulcers, and possible interference with vision.
  • Ectropion- The eyelids droop outwards showing the inner tissues which results in dryness.
  • Osteosarcoma- This condition is the most common bone tumor found in dogs. Mostly appears in the limbs although it isn’t uncommon to be found in the ribcage, skull, and spine.

Intelligence & Training

Newfoundlands are deeply intelligent dogs that are used for a variety of different working jobs. Thanks to their smart mind, the Newfie picks up on commands fairly quickly.

Although they will need a firm owner that won’t allow the rules to be broken!

Housebreaking won’t be too difficult. Always praise a dog when they go potty in the right area. This way they can resonate with that action as good behavior.

Some owners use crate training as a way to housebreak their dogs. Ensure the Newfoundland is given a suitable sized cage for an adult as they will grow quickly!

newfoundland dog on lawn

Harsh training methods will not work on the Newfoundland dog. They are sensitive and will become disinterested in their training. Affection, food, and toys can all be used to reward good behavior.

A firm voice and time-outs are better ways to correct bad behavior as opposed to other harsh techniques.

The Newfoundland dog weight can reach up to 68 kilos. For this reason, leash training is incredibly important. You don’t want a large dog that is dragging you around the park.

When a dog begins to pull stop walking, make them come back to you and reward the good behavior. With repetition, treats can eventually be left out of the equation.

Recommended: One of Scotland’s earliest working breeds is the Cairn Terrier. Find out everything you need to know about this cute and spirited dog.


Newfoundlands shed all year round but heavily during Spring and Autumn. Newfies aren’t a hypoallergenic breed.

They will need a thorough brush once a week. A pin brush, slicker brush, and grooming rake are the best tools to use on their coat.

Due to their excessive drooling they will need their mouthes wiped multiple times a day.

Newfoundlands are prone to bad odor and can be bathed every other week. They should never be left unwashed for a maximum period of 6 weeks. Watch out for any matts and tangles around the thighs, ears, and tail.

newfoundland dog on table

The Newfoundland dog size falls under giant breed. So, a large bath will be needed to accommodate their size!

If not the garden will just have to do. Blow drying the coat is vital to prevent any debris from sticking to the fur when wet. A consistently dirty coat can cause damage to the fur shaft.

Don’t forget to trim their nails every 10-14 days. Ears should be cleaned weekly to prevent any debris from building in the canal.

Teeth will need to be brushed at least three times a week, however vets recommend this is done daily.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Jamie! I've always been around dogs and now writing about them is an absolute joy.
Read more about my story here.
Reach me at or connect with me on LinkedIn below.

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