A-z - Animals


newfoundland overview

Newfoundland as a pet:

general health
energy level
chewing tendency
family and kid friendly

separation anxiety
preferred temperature
average climate
exercise needs
be friendly with other dogs
Thoroughbred Cost of Ownership
At least $800 from a reputable breeder
pack of dogs
male weight
130-150 lbs
female weight
100-120 lbs

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See all Newfoundland pictures!

The Newfoundland is one of the few dog breeds with webbed feet and a water-resistant coat.

© AZ-Animals.com

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The Newfoundland (or Newfie for short) is a highly gifted working and guard dog that originated in the Canadian province that bears its name. It was bred by early settlers to rescue drowning fishermen from the icy waters surrounding Newfoundland; its flippers and thick coat made it an ideal rescue dog.

The breeding process may have involved breeds such as the Great Pyrenees, Portuguese Water Dog, Leonberger and St. Bernard, all of which were imported from Europe. The result was that the small St. John's developed into the Labrador Retriever and the large St. John's into the Newfoundland.

Most of the Newfoundland's physical and behavioral characteristics were established in the 17th century: broad skull, large nose, massive frame, pendulous ears, and skin around the face.

The thick double coat is usually all black, brown or gray. There is also a black and white version called Landseer. According to the American Kennel Club, the Newfoundland is one of the most popular large dog breeds in the United States.

3 Pros and Cons of Ownership

Black Newfoundland running in the water
The Newfoundland is a large, muscular breed that makes a great family dog.

© rzoze19/Shutterstock.com

Health and Recreation in Newfoundland

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advantage! shortcoming!
Excellent strength
This muscular breed makes an excellent working and guard dog.
huge weight
Newfoundland is a real beast to manage.
friendly and loyal
Newfoundlands are great companions for adults and children alike.
health problems
This breed is prone to several health problems resulting in a relatively short lifespan.
patient demeanor
This breed is hardworking, down-to-earth, and easy to train.
high separation anxiety
You should not leave your Newfoundland for extended periods of time.

size and weight

Large and muscular, the Newfoundland is well-suited for tough tasks. Here's a more complete breakdown of its dimensions and weight.

height (male) 28 inches
height (female) 24 inches
weight (male) 130 to 150 lbs
weight (female) 100 to 120 lbs

Learn more about the best large dog breeds here.


Landseer Newfoundland
This Landseer is a black and white Newfoundland that also has the breed's kind and gentle personality.


The Newfoundland is a large, loving companion dog with a kind and gentle personality. Owners often say that it possesses a sweet and unassuming personality that would suit almost any lifestyle (although it does need enough living space to accommodate its large body).

This breed is not a troublemaker, but should not be left alone for long periods of time, indoors or outdoors, due to its separation anxiety. If you want a dog that can get its own way, then this probably isn't for you. The Newfie will have a calm and relaxed behavior as long as you give it enough love and attention. The only exception is that it can be somewhat protective of its family. Still, this isn't necessarily a bad trait if you're looking for a good guard dog. Newfoundlands are popular search and rescue dogs for the British, French and Italian coastguards.

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common health problems

Unfortunately, Newfoundland suffers from several health problems. Some of the more serious problems include: eye conditions such as cherry eye and cataracts; subvalvular aortic stenosis, which narrows blood flow out of the left ventricle of the heart; hypothyroidism, or low production of thyroid hormones, leading to lethargy and obesity; and Hip and elbow dysplasia, which is a joint misalignment. Other problems include bloating, kidney or bladder stones, seizures, and torn or ruptured ACLs in the knee. Cancer is also one of the leading causes of death. It's unlikely that either condition will show up alone, but you should pay attention to the signs so you can catch them early. To summarize the most serious health problems:

  • eye condition
  • cancer
  • Hypothyroidism
  • tears and rupture
  • Dysplasia


Largest Dog Breed: Newfoundland
Newfoundlands are one of the largest dog breeds and require a lot of maintenance and care.

© iStock.com/Dixi_

The Newfoundland's large size requires a lot of maintenance and upkeep, and it can be expensive to own. For best results, you should obtain a Newfie puppy to socialize and train as soon as possible. You should also take it for an annual health check so problems can be caught early.

best dog food

Newfoundland dogs need approximately 4 to 5 cups of high-quality dry food divided into two meals per day. The exact amount will depend on the dog's age, size and activity level. Obviously, young and active dogs need more food. If your dog begins to gain a lot of weight, then you should manage his calorie intake carefully. For an ideal member of the breed, you should be able to feel but not see the ribs through the skin. If you need some advice about your dog's diet, then you should consult your veterinarian. The Newfie's weekly food costs are likely to be higher than most other breeds.

The best bet for Newfoundland owners is to look for a dog food specially formulated for large or giant breeds. A great Newfoundland dog food is Royal Canin Giant Breed Adult Dry Dog Food.

And since it's designed for the largest breeds, it has everything a Newfoundland needs, from taurine for the eyes and heart, to glucosamine, chondroitin to give those joints the extra help they deserve , DHA and EPA. Plus, antioxidants support immune and cellular health, and the protein is well balanced with fiber for worry-free digestion.

Check out Royal Canin Giant Breed dog food on Chewy or Amazon.

Best for Giant Breeds

Maintenance and Grooming

Newfoundland dog posing in front of colorful leaves
Newfoundland dogs are loyal, hardworking and easy to train.

© Panda/Shutterstock.com

Newfoundlands are content with weekly brushing for most of the year and daily brushing at the height of shedding season. If the dog has been neutered or neutered, then it may need to be brushed several times a week throughout the year. Nails should also be trimmed and ears cleaned regularly. You may need to clean up your dog's constant drool.


Training a Newfoundland is a breeze. Loyal and hard-working character, he obeys orders easily and will not be provoked. However, you should know that it responds best to gentle and aggressive training methods. Negative training or yelling will only backfire and may just stop it from working with you. But if you handle it right, the Newfie can excel in obedience and agility training. It is also an excellent working dog and can be trained to pull carts, logs and nets. Plus, thanks to its flippers, enormous lung capacity, and greasy double coat, the Newfie can be trained as a rescue dog to rescue drowning victims and bring them to shore.

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Newfoundlands need about 30 minutes of moderate exercise each day. Although primarily an indoor dog (and probably not for someone who wants a highly athletic breed), the Newfoundland does enjoy swimming, hiking, and long walks. Swimming may be an ideal sport for this breed. Not only is the Newfoundland an excellent swimmer, but the sport is low impact and does not strain the body. Due to the long double coat, you'll want to make sure your dog is properly cool and well-hydrated during the warmer months.


Black and White Newfoundland (Landseer) Puppy
Newfoundland puppies grow fastest between 4 and 7 months of age.

©Waldemar Dabrowski/Shutterstock.com

Newfoundlands grow very quickly between 4 and 7 months of age. Because rapid growth puts a lot of stress on its joints and bones, you should let your puppy run and play on soft grass, not sidewalks and other hard surfaces. Swimming is also ideal for the above reasons. For maximum health, you should feed your puppy enough protein to support his growing body. It is always a good idea to purchase your puppy from a reputable breeder who is screened for possible health problems.


Few other dog breeds are as kind and gentle with children as the Newfie. While its large size can be a bit intimidating to young children, the Newfoundland's protective nature has earned it a solid reputation as a very good sitter dog. This breed also has a high tolerance for rough play. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind. No matter how close they are, you should always try to supervise every interaction between your child and dog so you can intervene if something goes wrong. Second, you should teach your children not to disturb a sleeping or eating dog. Learn more about the best dog breeds for families with children here.

similar dog

The Landseer is the closest dog to the Newfoundland. It has almost all the same characteristics and physical characteristics. In addition to the Landseer, you can also look at the following working dogs:

  • St. Bernard – Originating in the Swiss Alps, this kind and docile behemoth was bred for rescue work at the Great St. Bernard Hospice sometime in the 17th century. The coat comes in two different varieties, smooth or rough, either of which have a mixture of white and brown markings. The St. Bernard differs from the Newfoundland in that it is, on average, larger in size.
  • English Mastiff – Another large, strong, docile breed, the English Mastiff is often compared to the Saint Bernard. The short coat is light brown or tan around the body and black around the muzzle, ears, nose and eyes.
  • Great Dane – Also known as the German Mastiff, this breed is a friendly dog that thrives on the physical affection of its owner. It originated as a medieval hound and tended to have floppy ears, a large nose, and a square body with a short coat of fawn, black, brindle, or clown.
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Some Newfoundland dogs have become famous for saving people from drowning.


History is full of examples of famous novices. Here are just a few of them:

  • A Newfoundlander named Seaman was part of the 8,000-mile Lewis and Clark North American expedition in the early 19th century. One thing stood out. On the night of May 29, 1805, Meriwether Lewis wrote in his diary that Seaman scared off a large buffalo that was approaching the tent.
  • Since 1862, Napoleon the Wonder Dog has been the star of the Van Heil Magic Circus. He tours the country, dazzling onlookers with entertaining tricks and routines.
  • Chief Sable served as the mascot of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment in World War I.
  • Nana is the fictional Newfie in JM Barrie's Peter Pan , based on his own dog Luath (although the 1953 Disney animated film changed it to a St. Bernard).
  • Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, James Buchanan, and Rutherford Hayes all retained Newfoundland. So did poet Emily Dickinson and Lord Byron.
  • The Swansea Jack (1930-1937) saved 23 to 27 people from drowning, earning him the title of "Dog of the Century" in his native Wales.

Thepaws.net website suggests 10 unique names for your Newfoundland:

  • tex
  • penny
  • low quality coal
  • Dracing
  • Gracie
  • mercy
  • Bruno
  • Romy
  • garnet
  • predicament

See all 61 animals starting with N

Newfoundland FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Are Newfoundland Dogs Good Pets?

The Newfoundland makes an excellent companion and working dog if you're willing to invest the time, budget, and effort into its care.

Are Newfoundland dogs aggressive?

Newfie is a sweet and gentle giant. It can be somewhat protective of its family, but this breed is almost never aggressive unless severely provoked.

How Long Do Newfoundland Dogs Live?

The typical life expectancy for a Newfie is about 10 years. If a dog is particularly healthy, it can live up to 15 years.

Are Newfoundland Dogs Healthy?

Newfoundlands do suffer from some unfortunate health issues that can limit their lifespan. Some of this may be due to the dog's enormous size. Once you take responsibility for Newfie's care, you should watch for early signs of health problems.

How big is Newfoundland?

Newfies generally don't exceed 150 pounds and 28 inches at the shoulder. The largest specimen ever recorded was a muscular specimen weighing 260 pounds and measuring more than 6 feet from nose to tail.

Is Newfoundland a herbivore, carnivore or omnivore?

Newfoundlands are omnivores, which means they eat both plants and other animals.

To which kingdom does Newfoundland belong?

Newfoundland belongs to the animal kingdom.

Which category does Newfoundland fall into?

Newfoundland belongs to the class Mammalia.

What gate does Newfoundland belong to?

Newfoundland belongs to the phylum Chordata.

What family do Newfoundland dogs belong to?

Newfoundland dogs belong to the canine family.

What order does Newfoundland belong to?

Newfoundland belongs to the order Carnivora.

What type of mulch is there in Newfoundland?

Newfoundlands are covered in fur.

What genus is Newfoundland in?

Newfoundland dogs belong to the genus Canis.

What are some interesting facts about Newfoundland?

Newfoundland was introduced by the Vikings over 1000 years ago!

What is the scientific name of Newfoundland?

The scientific name of Newfoundland is Canis Lupus.

How many babies are there in Newfoundland?

The average Newfoundland has 8 babies.

What's the Difference Between a Newfoundland and a Leonberger?

The main differences between Leonbergers and Newfoundlands are origin, coat color, head shape, temperament, and swimming movement.

What's the Difference Between a Newfoundland and a Bernese Mountain Dog?

Newfoundlands are larger than Bernese Mountain Dogs in both height and weight. Also, the Bernese Mountain Dog comes from Switzerland while the Newfoundland comes from Canada.

What is the Difference Between the Great Pyrenees and the Newfoundland Mountains?

The main differences between the Great Pyrenees and the Newfoundland include size, appearance, longevity, level of drooling, and level of barking.

Thanks for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/newfoundland/
  2. American Kennel Club, available here: https://www.akc.org/expert-advice/lifestyle/7-facts-about-the-newfoundland/
  3. Paws, available here: https://www.thepaws.net/162-best-newfoundland-dog-names/