Newfoundland dog | Newfie | A gentle giant

Newfoundland dog are very large fluffy dogs that originated in Newfoundland, Canada known for their sweet nature and swimming abilities. They were originally bred as working dogs for the fishermen.

They are friendly family dogs who will be lethargic with in the house but would need his bit of exercise for being fit. Newfoundland dogs are also popularly known as “Newfie”.


There is no certainty on the history of the Newfoundland dog. There are mainly three theories but there is not much evidence to validate any of them.

Few believe Newfoundland was a cross breed between Tibetan mastiff and the American Black Wolf which is extinct now.

Few others believe that he descends from Great Pyrenees brought to Newfoundland by Basque fishermen.

Other school of thought is that they were bred by cross breeding of black ‘bear’ dogs transported by Vikings around 1000 A.D. and the local dogs and wolves.

The first record of this dog is from 1775 when George Cartwright named them. In 1780, Commodore-Governor of Newfoundland, Richard Edwards issued a decree that no one can have more than one dog to increase the sheep raising. This ruling almost put this breed on to extinction.

The breed again became popular by the paintings of Sir Edwin Landseer around 1850’s. Sir Edwin painted many Newfie specially the white and black one. Thus the white and black Newfoundland dogs started to be known as “Landseer Dogs”.

Newfoundland Dog

Newfoundland dog Temperament

Newfie are known for their intelligence, loyalty and gentle disposition.

They love to be around the family and do not like to left alone. They love to play with children who find him to be a big size teddy bear.

But as with all dogs and specially with large dogs like Newfoundland dog, early socialization with other humans and pets is required.

They are quite protective of the family and are known for their water rescue skills.

Physical Characteristics of Newfoundland dog

Newfoundland are very large fluffy dogs who are known for their massive size. They have webbed feet which aids them in swimming. Newfoundland dogs were originally bred as working dogs for the fisherman and nowadays known for their water rescues.

They have a water resistant double coat. The outer coat is rough and large while the inner coat is dense and soft.

Newfie coat come in different colors. Popular ones are black, brown, and grey. There are also some Newfie having white coat with black markings known as Landseer dogs.

Newfoundland dog can grow to a height of 28 inches having an average weight of approx 150 pounds. They have a lifespan of average 8 to 10 years.

Newfoundland dog as a family dog

Newfoundland dog is known for their sweet disposition. They love being around the family and are known to be great with children. This makes them great as a Family Dog.

At the same time, they suffer from separation anxiety. So if you would need to leave your dog alone for long time, Newfoundland dog is not the right choice for you.

Newfoundland dog are gentle and enjoy playing with children, but there are also instances reported by Newfie owners of knocking their children down.

Being a massive dog, one needs to socialize him with human and other pets since beginning. Children also needs to be taught of the respect that he should show to this gentle giant. As he is a dog after all and any sudden provocation may take him off guard.

They are mostly lethargic but needs daily walks to keep them healthy.

Newfoundland dogs having the double coat shed heavily so if you are looking for a Hypoallergenic dog than this is the not the one for you. They also drool a lot so be aware that you might need to wipe your floor clean often.

They are good for colder regions however if you are in a warmer area, keep them in shady areas, air conditioning or fans.

Care required


Newfoundland dog are recommended to have high quality dog food. Take the advise of the vet who can advise servings based on the age, size and build of the dog.


Newfie shed a lot. So frequent brushing and vacuum is required. Else you will find Newfoundland dog fur every where. Like other fluffy hair dogs, their coat can become muddy easily.

They also drool a lot. So if you are one looking for Hypoallergenic dog, this is not the one for you.

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Exercise and Training:

Newfoundland dogs are mostly placid inside home but need their bit of exercise like daily walks to keep them healthy. They are intelligent dogs and are easily trainable.

They need to be trained for good manners so that they don’t become destructive. Leash training is recommended for them as they weigh more than 100 pounds.


Newfoundland dogs are prone to some diseases like below though not all dogs are affected by them. Still you should be aware of these if you plan to pet a Newfie

  1. Hip Dysplasia – This is a condition where bone doesn’t fit into the hip joint.
  2. Hypoadrenocorticism: Popularly known as Addison’s Disease is caused by an insufficient production of adrenal hormones by the adrenal gland. Symptoms include vomiting, having a poor appetite, and lethargy
  3. Excessive bloating – This could become life threatening as well and and prone to large dogs with big chest.
  4. Hypothyroidism – The condition where Thyroid gland is not as active as it should be.

Most of these diseases are due to passing of the genes and hence it is best to get your Newfoundland dog from a reputed breeder.


Nana from Peterpan – Doggie Nursemaid

Perhaps the most popular Newfoundland is Nana in Peter pan. The fictional Newfoundland dog employed as a nanny by the Darling family.

Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie put on the forefront the loving and caring attitude of the Newfoundland dog in Peter Pan which later became very popular.

Pros and Cons of Newfoundland Dog

A Gentle giant and great family dogShed a lot. Blow their inner coat twice a year
Highly IntelligentDrool a lot so be ready to wipe the floors often
Great Water Rescue DogsHigh cost for maintaining them


Do Newfoundland dogs shed a lot?

Newfoundland dogs shed a lot. Frequent vacuuming and bushing would be required. Further they drool a lot as well.

How big do Newfoundland dogs get?

Newfoundland dogs are large dogs who can grow to a height of 28 inches with an average weight of approx 150 pounds.

Is Newfoundland dog friendly with Kids

Newfoundland dog is calm, sweet and friendly towards children though as they are large dog, they should be socialized and trained since beginning. Also children should also be taught to treat him with respect.

Can Newfoundlands be left alone?

Newfoundland dogs love to be in the company of humans. They are prone to separation anxiety and should not be left alone for long.

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