Everything You Need to Know About

Newfoundland Dog Breed

A giant dog breed, the Newfoundland Dog standing on a rock outside.
A giant, fluffy dark brown Newfoundland Dog sitting in the snow with tongue out.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are partner links, meaning that at no cost to you, we may earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Table of Contents

Newfoundland Dog General Information

Newfoundland Dogs are large, hardworking dogs from Newfoundland.

They were originally bred to assist fishermen in pulling nets and hauling wood.

Today, these giant dogs make great companions and amazing water rescues due to their thick waterproof coats, webbed toes, and gentle personality.

The Newfoundland Dog’s role in society is further cemented by the Newfoundland Dog’s temperament: sweet-tempered and trainable dogs who are always ready to save the day.

Their loyalty has earned them the title of the 35th most popular dog breed of 2017 — a big deal when you consider that there are more than 300 recognized dog breeds in the world.

Characteristics of A

Newfoundland Dog

The most common traits of the Newfoundland dog breed include:

Temperament

The Newfoundland Dog Breed is known for its gentle, trustworthy, and docile nature.

These large dogs are generally loyal, intelligent, and dignified. Despite there being plenty of temperamental differences between individuals, Newfoundland Dogs are rarely skittish, shy, or aggressive.

Not only that, but Newfoundland Dogs just may be the sweetest dogs you’ll ever come across. This cuddly personality closely matches their teddy bear look.

Newfoundland Dogs are usually very sociable, calm, good-natured, and highly trainable.

Energy Level

A Newfoundland Dog’s energy levels are generally considered mid-range. This means that the recommended amount of exercise is about 30-60 minutes of exercise per day.

The recommended amount of exercise for a Newfoundland is 30 minutes per day, twice per day.

A Newfoundland Dog’s exercise time should include walks, swimming, and playing.

However, high impact and strenuous exercises are not recommended for Newfoundland Dogs as they can lead to joint pain.

Size

As a giant dog breed, Newfoundland Dog’s general size and weight can exceed the range of most dog breeds.

    • Weight
      A Newfoundland Dog’s weight reflects their massive size.
      Females range from 45-55 kg (99 – 122 lbs) and males capable of reaching a whopping 70 kg (155 lbs), with 60-70 kg (132 – 155 lbs) being the normal range.
    • Height
      These gentle giants range in height from 63-74 cm (2 – 2.5 ft).
      Females are usually in the 63-69 cm (24-27 in) range, while males are typically larger at 69-74 cm (27-29.1 in).

      Their overall body length ranges from 93-107 cm (3 – 3.51 ft).

Average Size Chart

Weight

Female
Male

45-55 kg

99-122 lbs

60-70 kg

132-155 lbs

Height

Female
Male

63-69 cm

24-27 in

69-74 cm

27-29.1 in

Length

Female
Male

93-107 cm

36-43 in

93-107 cm

36-43 in

Weight

Female

45-55 kg

99-122 lbs

Male

60-70 kg

132-155 lbs

Height

Female

63-69 cm

24-27 in

Male

69-74 cm

27-29.1 in

Length

Female

93-107 cm

36-43 in

Male

93-107 cm

36-43 in

Trainability / Intelligence

When it comes to training a Newfoundland Dog, this breed is generally not a challenge.

It is always best to start training a dog early. Newfoundland Dog training should begin at 12–18 weeks of age and should include routine building, potty training, leash training, and perhaps obedience training.

Newfoundland puppies usually need to be trained out of habits like chewing and jumping up on people, which can be a problem later on as these huge dogs grow.

Good habits should always be encouraged with a lot of positive reinforcement — treats and praise.

Other Pets / Children

    • Other pets:
      If you are considering getting a Newfoundland Dog but already have other pets, don’t worry. You can rest easy knowing that these gentle dogs tend to be friendly to all living beings.

They are perfectly peaceful with most dogs and generally view cats and other smaller animals as potential friends.

    • Children: They are also great with kids, to the point of having earned a reputation as a ‘nanny dog.’ Large dogs such as Newfoundland Dogs, while gentle, should still be supervised with children as their large size makes them susceptible to accidentally knocking small children over.

Shedding / Coat

Due to their thick double coat, Newfoundland Dogs can shed a lot, and they shed all year.

Newfoundland Dog’s primary shedding season is spring and fall. This is when they blow their coats.

Luckily, the seasonal shedding doesn’t start until they reach about three years of age. However, once it does, there is no going back — Newfoundland Dogs are some of the heaviest shedders around and can require daily grooming such as brushing.

Grooming / Care

Newfoundland Dogs have long hair, and need frequent grooming to stay healthy and minimize excess hair around the home.

Their coat should be brushed every day to keep shedding manageable.

Newfoundland Dogs also need to be bathed regularly to keep their coat looking shiny and beautiful.

In addition to daily brushing, Newfoundland Dogs need their fur trimmed regularly to maintain a neat appearance and avoid unkempt fur leading to matting and skin issues.

Nails should also be carefully trimmed or clipped every 3-4 weeks. Vet or groomer appointments for nail trimming are usually quite affordable.

Newfoundland Dogs have long hair, and need frequent grooming to stay healthy and minimize excess hair around the home.

Their coat should be brushed every day to keep shedding manageable.

Newfoundland Dogs also need to be bathed regularly to keep their coat looking shiny and beautiful.

In addition to daily brushing, Newfoundland Dogs need their fur trimmed regularly to maintain a neat appearance and avoid unkempt fur leading to matting and skin issues.

Nails should also be carefully trimmed or clipped every 3-4 weeks. Vet or groomer appointments for nail trimming are usually quite affordable.

Common Health Issues / Veterinary Needs

Newfoundland Dogs are not as genetically prone to diseases as some other dogs, but certain problems come with being a giant breed.

    • Newfoundland Genetic Health Issues:
      Newfoundlands are prone to health issues like gastric torsion, Subaortic Stenosis, cystinuria, canine hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and elbow dysplasia.

For these reasons, regular vet checkups are a must.

Newfoundland Dogs must be brought to a vet at least once a year when young and twice a year once they cross the age of seven and become seniors.

Nutrition

These giant dogs need a fair bit of protein and animal-based fat to develop properly and maintain their health.

Newfoundland puppies need about 22%-24% of protein and 12%-15% fat.

Adult Newfoundland Dogs need a lot of nutritious food to fulfill their energy requirements, maintain lean muscles, keep their skin and fur healthy, and support a healthy immune system.

These giant dogs need a fair bit of protein and animal-based fat to develop properly and maintain their health.

Newfoundland puppies need about 22%-24% of protein and 12%-15% fat.

Adult Newfoundland Dogs need a lot of nutritious food to fulfill their energy requirements, maintain lean muscles, keep their skin and fur healthy, and support a healthy immune system.

First Time Owner?

A Newfoundland Dog’s calm and gentle personality can make them an excellent choice for first-time dog owners.

However, they are quite high maintenance. The combination of intense shedding, drooling, and their large size can make them a handful, and may not be suitable for an inexperienced dog owner.

Before coming to a decision, you may try to reach out to other Newfoundland Dog owners and learn from their experiences.

Special Needs

• Water

Newfoundland Dogs were initially bred as working dogs for fishers.

Dogs of this breed usually love water — playing in it and drinking a lot of it.

A Newfoundland Dogs’s water bowls should be washed and refilled at least two times per day to ensure their access to fresh, tasty water 24/7.

To clean less bowls, invest in a large water fountain instead.

Newfoundland Dogs were initially bred as working dogs for fishers.

Dogs of this breed usually love water — playing in it and drinking a lot of it.

A Newfoundland Dogs’s water bowls should be washed and refilled at least two times per day to ensure their access to fresh, tasty water 24/7.

To clean less bowls, invest in a large water fountain instead.

• Swimming

The Newfoundland Dog Breed was basically bred to swim.

These dogs are great swimmers, and in general they love swimming to the point that it’s basically a need.

However, like all giant dogs, Newfoundland Dogs are susceptible to joint damage due to intense exercise. Exercising via swimming eliminates this risk.

Swimming makes Newfoundland Dogs happy, which is why they should have access to a nearby lake, pond, or pool that allows dogs. If that’s not possible, setting up a large fold-able dog pool in your backyard may suffice.

• Cold Temperature

Due to their thick water-resistant coat, most Newfoundland Dogs prefer the cold and aren’t well suited to warmer climates.

Newfoundland Dogs can do well in the 32 – 61°F (0 – 16°C) range but can stand and even enjoy temperatures as cold as -40°F (-40°C).

As for heat, Newfoundland Dogs can tolerate temperatures up to 85°F (29.4°C) for short durations of time. Too long at this temperature can put them at risk of a heat stroke.

During hotter parts of the day, keep your Newfoundland Dog inside, especially if its coat is a darker color like black which absorbs more heat.

• Enough Space

Though a giant breed, Newfoundland Dogs can even live in apartments when they have access to large spaces to play. Frequent walks and visits to nearby dog parks are recommended.

Of course, their massive size means that to truly thrive, they would do best with a yard to play in, in addition to walks and parks.

    • Stairs and Puppies:
      It is recommended that Newfoundland puppies not walk up and down a lot of stairs while still growing. Carry your dog up and down any stairs during the puppy stage to avoid accidental damage to their developing bones and joints.

A decently sized house with minimal stairs and a large fenced yard is ideal.

Other Things to Consider

• Drool - Do Newfoundland Dogs Drool A Lot?

Newfoundland Dogs have loose lips and downturned mouths that make them prone to drooling.

This tendency to drool manifests differently in different individuals. Some Newfoundland Dogs may only drool while begging or eating, while others drool all the time.

A giant, fluffy dark brown Newfoundland Dog sitting in the snow with tongue out.

The amount of drool also varies, but the likelihood of drooling only increases as your Newfoundland Dog gets older.

As such, the best course of action is to just keep a rag around so you can clean up any drool immediately or get a dog bib if the drooling is serious.

Newfoundland Dogs have loose lips and downturned mouths that make them prone to drooling.

This tendency to drool manifests differently in different individuals. Some Newfoundland Dogs may only drool while begging or eating, while others drool all the time.

The amount of drool also varies, but the likelihood of drooling only increases as your Newfoundland Dog gets older.

As such, the best course of action is to just keep a rag around so you can clean up any drool immediately or get a dog bib if the drooling is serious.

A giant, fluffy dark brown Newfoundland Dog sitting in the snow with tongue out.

Newfoundland Dog FAQ

Do Newfoundlands Sleep A Lot?

No! Contrary to popular belief, Newfoundland Dogs are not lazy dogs who sleep all day long.

The average sleep time of an adult Newfoundland Dog is 12-14 hours, which is the average sleep time for most other dogs.

How Long Do Newfoundlands Live?

Newfoundland Dog lifespan averages around 8-10 years.

The oldest Newfoundland dog recorded was Katie Lou Bugum, who lived for 15 years and 9 months.

The reason for this short lifespan is the Newfoundland Dog’s predisposition to subvalvular aortic stenosis or SAS, which is a common defect of the heart valves.

Do Newfoundlands Smell?

Yes and no. Well-cared-for Newfoundland Dogs do not smell any better or worse than any other dog breeds.

However, they do have a greater potential to stink due to their tendency to drool, pass gas often, and develop skin and ear infections.

Keep grooming on a regular basis to keep your Newfoundland Dog smelling great.

Newfoundland Dog Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Calm and affectionate
  • Good with kids and seniors
  • Rarely develop behavioral issues
  • Good swimming / boating companions
  • Giant breed that can do well in smaller homes
Cons
  • Significant drool
  • Shed all year
  • Frequent Maintenance: need grooming often
  • Need cool temperatures
  • Need high protein diet
Share on facebook
Share
Share on twitter
Share
Share on google
Share
Share on email
Email
Share on print
Print