Photo by mastahanky
Newfoundland - Breed Profile:

Origin: Canada / England
Black, brown, grey, landseer (white with black)
Size: Extra large
Type of Owner:
Exercise: Moderate
Grooming: Regular
Trainability: Slightly difficult to train
Combativeness: Friendly with other dogs
Dominance: Low
Noise: Likes to bark

Physical characteristics

The Newfoundland is an extra large working dog with a broad head, abundant coat and powerful build. Well-boned. Slightly longer than tall. The head is massive with well-developed cheeks. The top of the muzzle is rounded, and the bridge is straight or only slightly arched when viewed in profile. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. The eyes are dark brown. The pendent ears are relatively small and triangular, with rounded tips. The tail follows the natural line of the croup; it hangs down. The feet are webbed for better swimming. The gait is effortless, smooth and rhythmic, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps.
Adult Newfoundlands weigh 100 to 150 pounds. Their height is 26 to 28 inches. Females tend to be smaller.


The Newfoundland is legendarily known for its calm nature and sweet temperament. "The gentle giant" is one of the breed's nicknames. "The nanny dog" is another one, given for the dog's excellent behaviour with children. Newfies are also very good with other animals, though proper socialization at an early age is still necessary because male Newfs tend to be aggressive with other male dogs. Excessive shyness has also been noticed in poorly socialized Newfs. Even though they are very patient and gentle, Newfoundlands are not pushovers. They do have an independent streak and must learn their manners. They respond well to patient obedience training. Stable Newfoundlands are courageous, generous, peaceable, and trustworthy. Obedient to its master. Newfies are smart enough to know who is a threat to the pack and who is not. Any dog, other animal, child, or visitor who has no evil intention will receive a friendly welcome. Brave and protective, Newfs will generally act if the family is threatened. They enjoy the outdoors, but also require a lot of human companionship. To stay fit, Newfoundlands need long daily walks.
9 week old Newfoundland puppy. Photo by Tracy Lee.

Coat and grooming

The long double coat of Newfoundlands is water-repellent. The outer coat is coarse and moderately long; it can be either straight or a bit wavy. The undercoat is soft and dense. During the summer months and in warmer climates it tends to be less thick. The hair on the face and muzzle is short and fine. The tail is covered with long dense hair. Brushing should take place on a regular basis, preferably daily.
Newfs come in solid black, brown, and grey colours. Some white is allowed on the chin, chest, toes, and tip of tail. Landseer Newfs have white base coat with black markings.


Beware of hip and elbow dysplasia, obesity, and hereditary heart disease called subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS). Sensitive to heat. Make sure there is always cool water and a shaded place for the dog to lay. Newfs drink a lot of water and may be messy about it, as they love to get wet. Tend to drool.
The lifespan is relatively short - under 10 years.

Other interesting facts

Newfies are inborn long-distance swimmers and have true lifesaving instincts in the water. These dogs will never miss a chance to swim.
This dog's huge body tends to move rather slowly. Take this into consideration when you train your Newf.