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Newfoundland: The Ultimate Guide

By Kerry
Updated on

Bringing a new dog into your family is an exciting experience, but trying not to get too caught up in your excitement and rush into it is crucial. You will need to do lots of research to learn more about the breed, as this will help you figure out if it is the right dog breed for you.

There are so many things that you will need to consider, from their temperament to their grooming requirements, and there is much to learn about the Newfoundland breed before making a decision. Fortunately, we are here to help you with the research side of things to help to save you some time.


The Newfoundland dog is a large working dog that will require a lot of your time and energy, but they are also outgoing, intelligent, and loving, all of which are great qualities for a dog to have. You can keep reading our ultimate Newfoundland breed guide to learn more about these dogs.

Key Facts

Before we get too far into this article, we feel some key pieces of information you should know about the Newfoundland breed. So, we are going to take a quick look at their average lifespan, exercise needs, coat, and monthly costs below.

Average Lifespan

On average, the Newfoundland breed will live for between 8 and 10 years. 

Minimum Exercise (Per Day)

Newfoundlands need about 30 to 60 minutes of exercise and activity every day. This should include a daily walk with additional free play and strengthening exercises. High impact or over-strenuous exercise can lead to joint pain.

Newfoundlands can sometimes be considered a little lazy and may become a couch potatoes. Ensure that they do get exercise on a daily basis to maintain a healthy weight and to keep muscles and joints functioning at their best.

Being a water dogs, most Newfoundlands love the water, so give them the opportunity to swim whenever possible. Also, include mental stimulation to prevent boredom such as puzzle toys or scenting games.

Coat Length

The Newfoundland has a long coat that can either be black, gray, brown, chocolate, or liver in color. They have double-layered coats.

The outer coat is coarse and flat, with an oily and water-resistant quality that is well-suited to this dog’s strong desire to be in the water. The undercoat is soft and dense and requires regular daily brushing. 

Minimum Cost (Per Month)

You can expect to spend a minimum of $80 on caring for your Newfoundland dog. However, this will all depend on their insurance provider, food brand and quality, and where you are shopping. It can easily cost more than this amount if you are not sticking to a strict budget.


Newfoundland dogs are one of the largest dog breeds, and they have broad and large heads with smaller ears that lie close to the head. Their feet are wide, and they even have webbing between their toes that helps them when they are swimming.

These are strong and big-boned dogs that are very muscular, and most of their height will come from the rise of their deep chests and broad backs from stout yet powerful, legs. Some of the coat colors that you can expect are black, black and white, and brown with white splashes on the chest and tail tip.


Newfoundland dogs are particularly large in size. 

Average Height

On average, the Newfoundland dog will stand between 26 and 28 inches tall at the withers.

They weigh 100–150 pounds.

Average Weight

These dogs will typically weigh between 100 and 150 pounds on average.


Newfoundland dogs are known for their sweet disposition and loving and friendly towards all members of their family. They love children, are really intelligent, and aim to please.

They are at their happiest when they are in the company of their families, which is why they should not be left alone for long periods.

It is really important to be aware of the fact that Newfoundlands, just like every other dog, will need early socialization. It is essential to expose them to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences when they are still young. This will help to ensure that they grow up to be well-rounded dogs.

Apartment Living

Newfoundlands can do well living in an apartment. However, due to their large size, it can be difficult for them to navigate a small apartment that doesn’t have much room, especially if they are feeling playful.

This is why they are typically better suited to living in a house, especially one with a secure backyard in which they can run around.

Good for Novice Owners

Some dogs are naturally easier to take care of than others, and Newfoundlands are somewhere in the middle when it comes to this. They can make excellent family dogs and are very loving, but they can sometimes have a mind of their own, which can present a new challenge for first-time dog owners.

Sensitivity Level

Newfoundlands can be quite sensitive at times, especially when it comes to being left in their own company. They are very sociable dogs that need a lot more company than other breeds.

They have sensitive minds and hearts and will not respond well to being scolded. However, you will find that they can easily be motivated through lots of praise as they love to have your full attention.

Tolerates Being Alone

Newfoundlands are a breed that is prone to developing separation anxiety, which is why they should not be left alone for long periods of time. If they are left alone for more than a few hours at a time, their behavior can become destructive, leading to barking and chewing.

Tolerates Cold Weather

Even though Newfoundlands can get cold in extremely cold temperatures, they can withstand the cold better than we humans. Their coats have a water-resistant double coat, which helps keep their undercoat dry and warm when it is cold outside.

Tolerates Hot Weather

Due to their heavy double-layered coats, Newfoundland does not tolerate hot weather well. They should be kept indoors or in the shade when it is hot outside. You can also trim their coat in the summer to help them deal with the heat better and keep them more comfortable. 

Affectionate With Family

The Newfoundland is an affectionate and gentle dog breed that makes the perfect companion for members of your family.

They are versatile dogs with a natural instinct to protect those they are close to and are known for developing strong bonds with their family members. This makes them excellent family pets, and they will likely show you affection in lots of different ways.

Is A Newfoundland Kid-Friendly?

Newfoundlands are cuddly dogs that are highly tolerant of children and get along well with children of all ages. However, due to their large size, they often don’t seem to be spatially aware, and they can also accidentally knock over small children.

This is the main reason why they are typically better suited to families with older children. They can also sometimes appear intimidating to children, which can be an issue.

Dog Friendly

As long as you properly train and socialize your Newfoundland, they will usually get along well with other dogs and animals.

Friendly Toward Strangers

Newfoundlands are typically calm and friendly for the most part, but they can sometimes become protective of their owners when in the presence of a stranger. They will not get along well with strangers that they perceive to be a threat, but they will warm up to new people well when given a chance.

Health And Grooming


Now that you know pretty much everything that there is to know about the temperament and personality of the Newfoundland breed, it is time to take a close look at their overall health and grooming requirements.


Newfoundlands tend to shed often all year round, which is why it is important to brush out their coat daily. This will not only prevent their fur from becoming matted, but it will also help to get rid of any dead fur and limit the amount of fur that is left around the house.


Newfoundland dogs are much more likely to drool than some other breeds of dogs. They drool the most when they are begging, eating, drinking water, and when they are too hot or excited. If you are looking for a dog that doesn’t drool, this might not be the right breed.


The thick coat of a Newfoundland will need to be brushed at least 2 or 3 times a week, but they will only need to be bathed when needed, around once every 1 or 2 months.

Many Newfoundland owners will hire a professional groomer to take care of their dog’s grooming needs as it can be a daunting task. Either way, you will still need to brush them regularly. 

Just like any other dog with a fluffy coat, Newfoundland gets dirty quite easily. You can expect muddy paws, leaves or burrs stuck in the coat, and feces on the hindquarters.

These are all things that you will have to clean up regularly.  You will also need to brush your dog’s teeth daily to prevent a tartar buildup and eliminate any bacteria. This will also help to prevent things like gum disease and bad breath.

General Health

Generally speaking, Newfoundland is a relatively healthy dog. However, there are some health conditions they are predisposed to, and they are important to be aware of if you consider this breed. You can find out what these health conditions are below.

Common Health Problems

Some of the more common health problems for the Newfoundland breed to develop are:

  • Addison’s Disease
  • Cataracts
  • Cherry Eye
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis
  • Epilepsy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Elbow Dysplasia
  • Cancer
  • Cystinuria
  • Gastric Torsion
  • Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament

Potential For Weight Gain

These dogs are more likely to gain weight, especially if they are fed too much. It is really important to ensure that you are feeding them a quality and complete diet.

You should avoid giving them scraps of food or too many treats and set aside feeding times in the day, rather than leaving food out all day long.


Due to their size, it is important not to let your Newfoundland dog take advantage during their training. They can sometimes have a mind of their own, but this is something that can be overcome as long as you are firm and consistent with your training sessions.

Easy To Train

As long as you start their training really early on, you should find that training your Newfoundland is relatively easy to train, and they will respond well to any given commands. 


The Newfoundland is regarded as one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Due to this, it is much easier for them to be trained as they easily pick up new commands. It also doesn’t take them long to learn new things.

Potential to Bite

When Newfoundland dogs are puppies, they are likely to bite pretty much anything that they can get their mouths around. It can be quite painful if this happens to be your hand. If you are thinking about getting a Newfoundland dog, you will need to be prepared to tackle this kind of behavior, just in case they don’t grow out of it.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl

Newfoundlands are pretty calm and gentle dogs, and they don’t typically make a habit of barking excessively. They are quiet most of the time and will only usually bark if they see something out of the ordinary.


The Newfoundland breed originally comes from the Canadian province that is also called Newfoundland, which is how they got their name. Although even though they originate in Canada, little is known for sure about their origin. There are 3 theories of how the Newfoundland breed came to be, and it is difficult to validate any of these theories as fact.

The first theory is that Newfoundland is a cross between the Tibetan Mastiff and the American Black Wolf. The latter of these is now extinct. It is thought that through the pairings of these two animals, Newfoundland eventually evolved into the dog breed that we know today.

The second theory is that Vikings left the dogs when they visited the New World in 1000 A.D. It is thought that these dogs then interbred and were eventually bred with wolves native to Eastern Canada.

The third theory would suggest that Newfoundland is the result of many European breeds that cross-bred around the 15th and 16th centuries. Some of the dogs that were thought to be involved in the process include Pyrenean Sheep Dogs, Mastiffs, and Portuguese Water Dogs.

What we know about these dogs is that sometime in the late 18th century, Sir Joseph Banks, an English botanist, acquired several Newfoundlands. Later, in 1775, George Cartwright named them. In the late 1800s, another fan of the breed, Professor Albert Heim of Switzerland, identified and described the breed.

However, the existence of the Newfoundland breed was in jeopardy up until this point. In the 

In the 1780s, the breed was almost completely wiped out because the government created restrictions that mandated that Canadian families pay taxes on the one dog they were permitted to keep.

Someone that contributed to the resurgence of the Newfoundland breed was Sir Edwin Landseer. He liked to include the Newfoundand in his painting, and this breed’s black and white variety was even named Landseer in his honor.

However, the future of the breed was truly solidified when Harold MacPherson, the governor of Newfoundland, made the dog his breed of choice.

In 1860, the first Newfoundland was shown in England, and the breed was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1879. Following on from this, the first American Newfoundland champion was titled in 1883.


The average cost of a Newfoundland dog from a responsible breeder will typically range from $1200 to $3000.

Newfoundland Fun Facts

  • Newfoundlands are named after a place called Newfoundland, in Canada
  • Newfoundlands are amazing swimmers that love to be in the water
  • Newfoundlands make great water rescue dogs
  • Newfoundlands have webbed feet to help them swim
  • Newfoundland puppies just love to eat and are very food motivated
  • You won’t find a more loyal pet than a Newfoundland

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About the author


Kerry White is an avid dog lover and writer, knowing all there is to know about our furry friends. Kerry has been writing for PetDT for three years now, wanting to use her knowledge for good and share everything she can with new dog owners.Kerry has two dogs herself - a German shepherd called Banjo and a chocolate labrador called Buttons. Kerry knows more than anyone how adjusting to new life with a puppy can turn your life upside down, and she wants to ease some of the burdens through her articles.