Your Guide to Owning a Newfoundland Dog

Newfoundland dog portrait
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Newfoundlands, known for their immense size and gentle nature, are a beloved dog breed that can make a wonderful addition to your family. Whether you’re considering bringing a Newfoundland into your home or already have one, this comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable information about these majestic and devoted dogs. From their origins and physical characteristics to their health, behavior, and care, this guide has everything you need to know about Newfoundland dogs.

Newfoundland Dog Overview

Newfoundland dog on a walk in the woods
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Newfoundland Origins

Newfoundlands have a rich history that traces back to the island of Newfoundland in Canada. Originally bred as working dogs by fishermen, they developed into excellent water rescue dogs with their webbed feet and thick water-resistant coats. Their ancestry includes breeds like the Pyrenean Mastiff and Portuguese Water Dog.

Newfoundland Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Mammalia
  • Order: Carnivora
  • Family: Canidae
  • Genus: Canis
  • Scientific Name: Canis lupus familiar

Newfoundland Facts

  • Common Name: Newfoundland
  • Fun Fact: They are exceptional swimmers and have water-resistant coats
  • Diet: Omnivore
  • Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Weight: 100-150 lbs (male), 80-120 lbs (female)

Newfoundland Physical Characteristics

Coat Type

Newfoundlands have a dense, water-resistant double coat that can be either straight or wavy.


Newfoundlands are known for their relatively shorter lifespan, often living up to 10-12 years with proper care.


Newfoundlands are one of the larger dog breeds, with males weighing between 130-150 lbs and females between 100-120 lbs. Their height typically ranges from 26 to 28 inches.

Newfoundland as a Pet

newfoundland sitting by pool
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

General Health

Newfoundlands are generally healthy dogs, but they can be prone to specific health issues such as hip dysplasia, heart conditions, elbow dysplasia, and a genetic condition called cystinuria. Regular veterinary check-ups are crucial for their well-being.

Energy Level

Despite their large size, Newfoundlands have a moderate energy level and are known for their calm and gentle demeanor. They enjoy both indoor relaxation and outdoor activities.


Newfoundlands have a heavy shedding season, and regular grooming is necessary to manage their coat, especially during shedding periods.

Training a Newfoundland

Newfoundlands are intelligent and can be trained with patience and positive reinforcement. Early socialization and obedience training are recommended.

Tendency to Chew

Like many large breeds, Newfoundlands may have a tendency to chew, so providing them with appropriate chew toys is essential.

Newfoundland and Children

Newfoundlands are known for their gentle and patient nature, making them excellent family dogs. They get along well with children and are often referred to as “gentle giants.”


Newfoundlands are not known for excessive barking, but proper training is essential to manage their behavior.

Separation Anxiety

Newfoundlands may develop separation anxiety if left alone for long periods. They thrive on human companionship.

Preferred Temperature

Newfoundlands are well-suited to cold weather due to their water-resistant coats. They may find hot weather challenging.

Exercise Needs

Newfoundlands have moderate exercise needs. Daily walks and playtime are sufficient to keep them healthy and happy.

Friendly With Other Dogs

Newfoundlands generally get along well with other dogs, and early socialization is crucial.

Toys For Newfoundlands

Selecting the right-sized and durable toys is important for Newfoundlands, considering their size and strength. Reputable brands like Playology and Chuckit offer suitable options.

How Much Does A Newfoundland Cost?

Acquiring a purebred Newfoundland from a reputable breeder can cost at least $1,000 or more.

Newfoundland Behavioral Traits

Newfoundland dog playing in field
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Newfoundlands are known for their unique behavioral traits:

Gentle and Patient:

Newfoundlands are gentle giants, known for their patient and calm demeanor.


Despite their friendly nature, Newfoundlands can be excellent watchdogs and are watchful of their surroundings.

Newfoundland Maintenance and Grooming

Newfoundlands have specific grooming needs:

Coat Type:

Regular brushing is necessary to keep their dense and water-resistant coat in good condition.

Dental Care:

Like many large breeds, Newfoundlands can be prone to dental problems. Regular tooth brushing is important.


Bathing should be done as needed, typically every 6-8 weeks, to keep them clean. Use a pet-friendly shampoo.

Nail Trimming:

Regular nail trimming is required to prevent overgrowth and discomfort.

Ear Cleaning:

Check their ears regularly for dirt or wax buildup and clean them as necessary.

Newfoundland Exercise Requirements

Newfoundland dog laying on ground after long walk
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Newfoundlands have moderate exercise needs:

Daily Walks:

Daily walks of around 30-45 minutes provide them with the physical activity they require.


Interactive play sessions with toys and games outdoors are essential for their mental and physical stimulation.

Dogs Similar to Newfoundlands

If you’re interested in Newfoundlands, you might also like these large dog breeds:

  • Saint Bernard
  • Leonberger
  • Great Pyrenees

Famous Newfoundlands

Newfoundlands have made their mark in pop culture with some famous examples:

  • Seaman: The Newfoundland who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their expedition.
  • Nana: The nursemaid dog in J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

Popular Names for Newfoundlands

If you’re looking for a name for your Newfoundland, consider these popular choices:

  • Bear
  • Bella
  • Max
  • Daisy
  • Murphy
  • Luna
  • Toby
  • Sadie
  • Thor
  • Molly

Newfoundland FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Here are answers to some common questions about Newfoundlands:

How long do Newfoundlands live? Newfoundlands have a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years, with proper care.

Are Newfoundland’s good pets? Newfoundlands make excellent pets for those seeking a large, gentle companion with a calm disposition.

What problems do Newfoundlands have? Common issues include hip dysplasia, heart conditions, elbow dysplasia, and cystinuria.

Are male or female Newfoundlands better? The choice between a male or female Newfoundland depends on personal preference, as both genders can make wonderful pets.

How big do Newfoundlands get? Newfoundlands typically weigh between 100-150 pounds and stand around 26 to 28 inches tall.

Types of Newfoundlands

There are no distinct types of Newfoundlands; they are recognized as a single breed by kennel clubs.

Newfoundlands: Gentle Giants with Water-Resistant Hearts

I hope this guide has given you valuable insights into the world of Newfoundlands! Whether you’re contemplating adding one of these gentle giants to your life or you’re already fortunate enough to have one, remember that each Newfoundland is a unique individual with its own quirks and personality. Cherish the bond, provide proper care, and enjoy the companionship of your Newfoundland for many happy years to come.

Corey Turner
Corey Turner, owner of, draws on a lifelong love for dogs and extensive pet ownership to offer a unique perspective in the pet industry. With a successful background in project management, he excels in critical analysis, precise attention to detail, and quality assurance. This expertise allows him to effectively differentiate true value from marketing hype in the pet sector. Corey’s contributions have been featured in various publications including Rockery Press Guide Books and During his free time, he enjoys disc golfing, rock climbing, and bonding with his cherished FurBall friend, Harvey.