The Newfoundland

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Weight: 100 — 150 lbs
Height: 26” — 28”
AKC Rank 2008 #44
Lifespan: 8—10 yrs
Group Working
Origin Canada

Dog Breed Info - The Newfoundland

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Breed Overview

Origin: 1700’s. All-purpose water dog, fishing aid. Today, water rescue. Drools a lot. This is a large, heavily-boned dog, strong enough to pull a drowning man from a rough ocean, and imposing enough to make a good guard dog.

The breed goes back to the Tibetan Mastiff. The original dogs were found along the coast of Newfoundland. This breed is an all-purpose water dog that can haul heavy fishing nets and other equipment and can perform as well in cold water as on land. They work as draft and pack dogs too. These dogs have saved many people from drowning in the frigid ocean. This is one of the more popular of the large breeds, especially in colder climates. The AKC registered the breed in 1979..


Yes, easy to train, especially in anything to do with water rescue or rescue in general. The breed is quite smart and responds very well to clicker training and positive reinforcement.

Crate Training

Want to crate train your Newfie puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.

Potty Training

The Newfoundland puppy is usually pretty easy to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.

If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.

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They have a very sweet temperament which they are known for. The breed is calm and patient. They are friendly, easy going giants and can become a friend to everyone. If it’s family is threatened, however, it can act protectively. This fine dog needs daily exercise to stay fit.

If you happen to get a Newfie puppy with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."

Friendly Toward Other Dogs

Yes. He gets along with just about anyone and everything. This is not an aggressive dog. They have few enemies.

Friendly Toward Other Pets

Yes. Does very well with the whole household.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Yes. Loves people. Bring on the relatives and neighbors. This is a real companion.


Yes, as playful as a big dog can be! Be careful not to get this fellow too worked up and rambunctious, as his weight could do harm.


Yes! Very affectionate. The Newfoundland excels here. This is a calm, quiet, laid-back dog that loves his people and shows it. The breed is known for their affection and loyalty to family.

Good with children?

Yes. Caution with very small children. The Newfoundland is a big, heavy dog and could cause harm to very small children by accident. The dog drools a lot and some kids might not like that.

Good with Seniors over 65?

No. Too big for a senior to handle and get to a vet.

Living environment

House with medium size fenced yard is ideal where the dog can play vigorous games of fetch for exercise.

The Newfie needs a cool climate. Can NOT be in warm, humid climate. Temperate to cold and dry okay.

Farm or ranch are good too.


Energy level


Exercise needs, daily

Moderate. Two good walks on leash are needed for the Newfoundland. This dog loves to swim, especially in cold water.


Somewhat. They seldom bark, but will alert if the danger is great enough

Guard dog

Yes, they will protect family and property. They are not overly aggressive though. Their size alone might ward off some intruders.


Yes, some. Newfoundland's are not known to be hard on allergy suffers though.


Must be brushed with a firm bristle brush two to three times a week, otherwise the coat will tangle. They have a double coat that can mat easily.



Suggested Reading For The Newfoundland
Click on the cover photos for more book information and reviews.

3rd book from the left is "50 Games To Play With Your Dog." This is a good book that offers a variety of simple, easy to teach challenges for your dog to have fun and get mental exercise at the same time. We've had a lot of fun with this book.

The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. It's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners and should be kept ready and available for the unforeseen. You get Vol 2 and includes a DVD.


Newfoundland Breeders

In the event you decide to go looking for Newfoundland puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training.
Newfoundland Breeders with puppies for sale. If you don't find what you need here, go online and see if there are other Newfoundland Breeders you can access.

Newfoundland Rescue

In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of an older dog and are looking for a Newfoundland Rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Newfoundland Rescue - (Nationwide) At this time, there are only 185 available Newfies listed in the USA by Go online and search for Newfoundland Rescue or kennels. If you do adopt one, try to locate the dog health records and save for possible future reference.
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you might have to check your local newspapers for kennels and foster homes as well as dog breed rescue groups. Newfoundland Rescue is what you want to ask for.

Dog Health Issues For The Newfoundland
Below are the dog illness / illnesses or medical problems listed for the Newfie by various vets.

This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are dog illness and medical problems this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.

The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.

  • Cystinuria—Hereditary. A genetic defect. Kidneys are unable to process a basic amino acid called cystine the right way. It generally takes many years before it is noticeable in the dog. The retained cystine clumps together and forms stones or blockages in the urinary track which is a life-threatening condition that requires quick surgery. Common to Newfoundlands.

  • Elbow Dysplasia—This, as with hip dysplasia, is something some Newfoundlands are born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the Newfoundland is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)

  • Cardiomyopathy—Disease of the heart muscle causing the heart to enlarge and not function properly. Cause is unknown. Older, bigger dogs , 4 to 10 years are usually affected. The prognosis is generally about 6 months to 2 years for a dog with this form of heart failure and only a matter of weeks for some severe cases.

  • Cystinuria—Hereditary. A genetic defect. Kidneys are unable to process a basic amino acid called cystine the right way. It generally takes many years before it is noticeable in the dog. The retained cystine clumps together and forms stones or blockages in the urinary track which is a life-threatening condition that requires quick surgery.

  • Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back leg acts lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain, lameness and difficulty walking for the Newfoundland. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.

  • Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.

  • Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem:
    Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse.

  • Patent ductus arteriosis—PDA - Canine congenital heart failure. Before birth, blood from the heart passes the lungs by a small vessel called the ductus arteriosis. That small vessel is supposes to vanish after birth and the infant breathes on it’s own With this disease, the vessel does not go away resulting in improper circulation of blood.

  • Osteochondritis dissecans—A common type of elbow dysplasia except ity can occur in any joint. Flaps of cartilage run against tissue causing irritation, pain, lameness and in time, joint degeneration disease. Pieces can break loose and float around limiting movement, or getting lodged or wedged inside the joint itself. Look for lameness, pain and swelling in joints./b Treatments include Non-steroid anti-inflammatory meds, weight loss, confinement to rest the joints, and dietary supplements for joint health. Surgery is the last option for very severe cases.

  • Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the Newfoundland's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.

  • Atrial septal defect (ASD - Hereditary. A hole between the right and left of the atria, or separation, of two of the heart chambers. Obviously, not a good thing to have. Causes abnormal blood flow. A tiny hole will not affect the dog. A larger hole can lead to right-sided heart failure. Breathing problems, fainting, inability to tolerate exercise and even sudden death can follow. Treatment includes medication, diet and sometimes surgery.

  • Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.

  • Ectropion—A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some dogs will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.

  • Aortic stenosis—Hereditary heart defect. A narrowing of the aorta inhibiting blood flow in the heart, causing the heart to work harder If the condition is mild, the dog may never show symptoms and live a long life. If severe, the dog will object to exercise, possibly faint at times or experience sudden death. In 90% of the affected dogs, the condition of the heart would not change from around 1 to 2 years on through it’s life. The dog’s most affected by this condition are the Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Boxer, and Golden Retriever.

  • Von Willebrand"s Disease—A deficiency in clotting factor in the blood. The affected dog does not properly utilize the blood-platelets for blood-clotting. Thus, the dog is prone to excessive bleeding if in an accident or surgery.

  • Cataracts—Hazy or cloudy vision, similar to humans and can cause blindness if not treated properly.

  • Heat stroke - The Newfoundland has a heavy double coat of fur that means she can not stand long exposures to warm or hot weather. She can become seriously ill if left out in the hot sun because her body can NOT shed the heat and humidity. She does not have the ability to keep cool so YOU must keep her cool and indoors on hot days. Heat stroke is life-threatening.

  • Tricuspid valve dysplasia—Hereditary. Malformation of the tricuspid valve in the heart allowing a backflow of blood, or “tricuspid regurgitation. Narrowing of the valve is also possible. The heart is working inefficiently. The dog may have cold limbs, no tolerance for exercise and a distended abdomen as the liver enlarges and may collapse. In severe cases, the dog may develop right-sided heart failure. Mainly a problem for the breeder.

  • Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that usually appears at around age 2 to 4 or 5 in dogs.

Other health problems could occur with your Newfoundland. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.


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