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September 14, 2012 at 8:00 AMComments: 1 Faves: 0


By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Purebred Star Blog Series

Do you LOVE the personality traits of this gentle-giant? Do you live near water? Would you be ok with an abundance of drool and excessive shedding? The black bear look-a-like Newfoundland could be the dog you are looking for!

The Newfoundland originates from an island east of Canada called Newfoundland. There are several tales of "lifesaving" heroic events by a Newfie. One famous tale is about a Newfoundland rescuing Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. During Napoleon's famous escape from exile on the island of Elba, he was knocked overboard. A fisherman's dog jumped into the sea and rescued Napoleon by keeping him afloat until they reached safety.

Bred For

The Newfoundland was bred to work with fisherman, but were also used as a guardian dog too. They were used to pull in nets, tow lines, pull carts, and water rescue. It is believed they are descendants of the Great Pyrenees which were brought to Canada by fisherman. They are often referred as the Saint Bernard for water and it is believed that the Saint Bernard has Newfie lineage.


The Newfoundland height is 26-28 inches and they can weigh between 100-200 pounds.The Newfie is considered a "Giant" breed. They have a large head and muzzle.; Their eyes are dark and large too. Their ears hang naturally as well as their tail too. The Newfoundland has webbed feet, making them an excellent swimmer. They have a thick double coat that sheds heavily and will require daily grooming. The most popular color of the Newfie is black, but they can also be brown, or gray, with or without white markings. There is also a Landseer-type Newfie, which are white with black markings. With their droopy lips and jowls, the Newfie is a "slobbery" breed. So people that don't enjoy loads of drool and slobber should reconsider owning a Newfie. Many owners of Newfies have a towel handy at all times to wipe their dog's mouth, and the areas where their drinking bowls are.


Known as a gentle-giant, this breed is particularly excellent with children, and other animals. They LOVE the water, and many Newfies will attempt to save people in the water that don't require rescuing. The Newfie traits are calm, docile, even-tempered, and are often referenced as the "Nanny Dog." Most famously noted as "Nana" the nanny dog in the Peter Pan stories. Although they are fantastic with children of all ages, they can accidentally knock over small children because of their enormous size. The Newfie is bred to have a strong working relationship with a partner; they bond very quickly to their humans, and enjoy being around them as much as possible.

Activity Level

Their activity level can be moderate. The Newfie enjoys a daily walk of 30-45 minutes. This breed is perfect for anyone that lives near water or has a pool. They fare better in cooler climates, and should not be left outside in extreme heat. Because the breed has a strong bond with their humans, they do very good with off-leash training. But around water, they will happily try to "rescue," or swim without your permission. This breed requires a gentle and easygoing owner when it comes to training. Like all dogs, Newfies should be socialized around young children, other animals and dogs at a very young age.

Health Concerns

A typical life span for the Newfoundland is 8-10 years. Health concerns are: Skin Allergies, Hip and Elbow Dysplasia, Bladder Stones, a Genetic Heart Defect, and Hypothyroidism.

Rescue First

As you begin looking for a Newfoundland, please check with rescue organizations first. Every year there are millions of dogs being euthanized, not because they are bad dogs, but because there is no home for them and insufficient resources to care for them at rescues.  By adopting a dog, you are truly saving a life!

At the very least, NEVER purchase any dog from a pet store. Unfortunately, those puppies almost always come from puppy mills. Instead, look for a reputable breeder to work with.

On a final note, it is important to spay and neuter your puppy by 6 months old to have a healthy and happy pet for many years to come!


Dog Breed Info

Original Dog Bible, 2nd Edition by Kristin Mehus-Roe

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1 Comment

  • Please write an article on the Komondor. I have a NewfKom--cross between a Newfoundland and Komondor which produced a dog that does not drool or shed. A vet told me that the Newfie is the poster dog for cruiate ligament disease. My dog tore both legs and he is 2. Was not mentioned in your article. Thanks!

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