AKC Dog Breeds: Newfoundland

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Working Group
Height 26 to 28 inches  Weight 100-150 pounds Color black, brown, gray, and white and black.

A large dog and a true workhorse, the Newfoundland is a master at long-distance swimming and has true lifesaving instincts in the water. He is large and strong, possessing a heavy coat to protect him from icy waters. There are many conflicting stories as to the origin of the Newfoundland – some say he descended from the Great Pyrenees or a "French hound" – but nearly all agree that he originated in Newfoundland and his ancestors were brought there by fisherman from the European continent. In Newfoundland he was used as a working dog to pull nets for the fishermen and to haul wood from the forest. He also did heavy labor, such as powering the blacksmith's bellows.

General Appearance
The Newfoundland is a stately, strong, and massive dog with a broad heavy head. Elegant, harmonious, agile and hardy. The wide muzzle is rather short and squared-off. The small triangular ears are pendant. The small eyes are dark brown; the conjunctiva should not show as it does in the St. Bernard. The nose is generally black except on bronze-colored dogs, which have brown noses. The feet are webbed for better swimming. Dewclaws should be removed on the hind legs. The tail hangs down. The water-repellent long outer coat is flat, oily and slightly wavy with a thick oily undercoat. Dogs that live indoors, however, tend to loose their undercoats. The coat most often comes in black, (sometimes with a little white on the feet, end of the tail, or chest) black with blue highlights, bronze sometimes also in brown or gray and Landseer (White with black markings), note: in the USA and Great Brittan the Landseer is considered the same breed as the Newfoundland, however in some European countries the Landseer is a totally different breed than the Newfoundland. Landseers in Europe have longer legs than newfies, Landseers are not so massive, they are more sporty dogs. In shows, they compete separately.


A sweet natured, calm, and loyal dog, the Newfoundland is an excellent choice for a family pet, suiting both inexperienced and experienced dog owners. These giant dogs are docile and mild manners, carrying themselves with dignity and offering plenty of love, devotion, and affection. This is a very intelligent and responsive breed, and training should not prove too difficult. The Newfoundland is a dog that is eager to please his owner, although males may be a little more stubborn than females. Too large to fare well as an apartment dog, this breed enjoys space in which to play and exercise, and should be provided with a large, secured, and safe area. He loves water, and will be happy to go for a swim at any time. Regular walks are recommended in order to help this gentle giant keep fit. The Newfoundland is a very friendly and sociable breed, but some lines can be dominant or overly timid, and therefore early socialization is required. The Newfoundland thrives on affection and attention from his owners, and is not the dog for you if you do not have the time to commit to a pet. These dogs do drool a lot, and this is something to consider when thinking about taking on this breed. The Newfoundland gets along very well with children, and will also get along with other pets, although some can be aggressive with same sex dogs. This sweet natured and patient dog will also welcome strangers. However, he can still make an effective watchdog simply because of his bark and his size.

The Newfoundland is an average shedder throughout the year and does need regular grooming to keep the thick, dense double coat from hopelessly matting. Most breeders recommend at least four times per week that the dog be completely groomed with a stiff wire brush, grooming rake or long pin brush designed specifically for large size dogs. This regular grooming will keep debris and knots from becoming irritating or problematic.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
As with most other giant breeds, the life expectancy of the Newfoundland is far shorter than that of smaller dogs, and these dogs live to around ten years of age. There are a number of problems associated with this breed, and this includes bloat, SAS, entropion, thyroid problems, ectropion, OCD, HD, heart problems, allergies, skin conditions, and heatstroke in humid or hot conditions.

Activity Level

The Newfoundland is a very calm breed that is prone to turning into a non-exercising dog if allowed. They will happily go with owners on walks or outside to explore, but they are not good at self-exercising. Newfoundlands are prone to weight gain and do need to be exercised on a regular basis to prevent obesity and health concerns related to increased weight.


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Newfoundland profile on dog encyclopedia
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