Newfoundland’s are strong, massive dogs, but are truly gentle giants. Their heads are broad and heavy with a slightly arched crown. The neck and back are strong. The wide muzzle is about as broad as it is deep, and rather short. The nose is generally black except on bronze-colored dogs, which have brown noses. Newfoundlands are true water lovers and have proven themselves to be a fisherman’s friend and amazing water rescue dogs. They are commonly referred to as “newfies”.
There are many theories regarding the origin of this breed. Newfoundlands are thought by some to be a descendant of Viking “bear dogs”. Others believe they are closer related to the Labrador based on the two breeds’ similarities and their countries’ close distance. Many believe the Newfoundland originated from crosses between Tibetan Mastiffs brought to Canada by British or European fisherman and local dogs early in the 1700s. Regardless, the breed was vital in aiding fisherman off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
These gentle giants were used for hauling in nets, carrying boat lines to shore, retrieving anything that fell overboard, and rescuing shipwrecked and drowning victims. Newfie’s were used to haul lumber, pull mail sheds, deliver milk, and carry loads in packs. The Newfoundland was, and still is, an outstanding instinctive water rescue dog. Many owe their lives to members of the breed. In 1919 a gold medal was awarded to a Newfoundland that pulled to safety a lifeboat containing twenty shipwrecked people! They have been called the St. Bernard of the water.
The Newfoundland is a dog with an outstanding, sweet temperament: courageous, generous, peaceable and intelligent. A calm, patient giant that is mild with guests and are very devoted, loyal and trustworthy. Its huge body tends to move rather slowly. They rarely bark, but are protective and brave when they need to be. When an intruder is caught they are more likely to hold them at bay, either by trapping them in a corner or placing themselves in between the burglar and the family rather than an all-out attack.
Newfie’s are smart enough to know who is a threat to their pack (family) and who is not. Any dog, other animal, child, or visitor who they feel has good intentions will receive a friendly, slobbery welcome. Newfoundlands usually get along with other dogs, but should be socialized well with them, giving a correction at any sign of aggressiveness to ensure this behavior. Generally good with other animals, they are patient, playful and loving with children. Newfie’s enjoy the outdoors, but also need to be with their family. The Newfoundland tends to be very messy when drinking water and often drinks a lot. They do drool, especially after getting a drink, but generally are not one of the worst offenders compared to some other giant breeds. They love to swim, and will lie in water all day if they have the chance.
- Height: 27 – 29 inches
- Weight: 100 – 150 pounds
- Lifespan: 8 – 15 years
- Grooming: Must be brushed weekly or daily
Care & Health
Newfoundlands will do okay in an apartment if exercised daily. They are relatively inactive indoors and a small yard is sufficient. Newfies prefer colder climates and do not do well in the heat. Make sure there is always cool water and a shaded place for them to lie.
They are prone to a hereditary heart disease called sub-aortic stenosis and hip dysplasia. Be cautious your Newfoundland does not become overweight, as it could lead to unnecessary health issues.
Your Love Match
The perfect pet parent of a Newfoundland:
- Likes the water