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Is the Newfoundland right for you?

Species group:

Other name(s): Newf; Newfie

The basics:
This big black bear of a dog is one of the gentle giants, a large working breed from Newfoundland that may have been developed from the Great Pyrenees that Basque fisherman brought to Canada. The cooperative Newfie would haul in nets and retrieve goods-- and even drowning sailors-- from the water. To this day, the Newfoundland is a top notch water rescue dog that excels at water trials, obedience, pulling carts, and backpacking. Their sweetness toward their humans, especially children, makes them a well-regarded companion for families that can spend enough time with these social dogs. Their intimidating appearance means that they can deter intruders, but they shouldn't be tossed in a back lot and expected to spend long hours alone.

A black-and-white variant called the Landseer has been accepted by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI) as a separate breed. However, it is not yet recognized by the AKC, the Kennel Club (UK), and so on, and you may assume its personality is the same or similar to the traditional Newfoundland.

Appearance / health:
The Newfoundland is a large, heavily coated, well-balanced, muscular, and strong dog. Its appearance is square, in that, the length of the dog, from the top of the withers to the base of the tail, is equal to the distance from the top of the withers to the ground. The distance from the top of the withers to the underside of the chest is greater than the distance from the underside of the chest to the ground.

The excess hair of the Newfoundland may be trimmed for neatness. The whiskers need not be trimmed. The Newfoundland sheds its coat twice a year in spring and in fall, with the heaviest period coming in spring. Regular brushing is necessary to keep the coat in good condition.

This breed requires a large amount of exercise. Letting them run around in a small backyard may suffice.

This breed is generally a healthy one. However, it may be prone to bone and joint problems. They need to be periodically checked for elbow, hip, heart, and eye problems.

Behavior / temperament:
The Newfoundland is neither dull nor ill tempered. It is a devoted companion. It is capable of draft work and possesses natural lifesaving abilities. This breed can recognize a dangerous situation and will generally act if the family is threatened. The Newfoundland breed has a tendency to drool.

The Newfoundland responds to calm and balanced training methods. This breed is sensitive to the tone of its master's voice. Harsh methods that involve shouting, scolding, or hitting are not likely to work.

They are not excessively noisy.


constant shadow, Gentle Giants, cuddly, laidback dog, great therapy dogs, affection, loving family dog


hip problems, genetic health problems, intimidating, maintenance, untrained 100 lb, daily brushing, drool


water rescue dogs, water resistant, incredible strength, swimming ability, extremely thick coat

From shelters/rescues




Chantilly, VA


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