The Newfoundland Dog

When it come to life saving - Newf Dogs are Tops!

Newfoundland Dog picture

Breed History

The Newfoundland originated in the island bearing his name, but his ancestry is, and will always be, uncertain. There are those who say he descended from centuries of mating the indigenous dogs to the Viking Bear dogs brought by the Vikings. Then another faction say that the Great Pyrenees brought to the island in the summer months, by Basque fishermen played an important part in their development. Taken to England in the 19th century, the Newfoundland dog became a popular status symbol. The traditional color is black, but in England, the Landseer dog, a white and black variety was developed, named after Sir Edwin Landseer who featured the variety in his famous painting, "A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society". This two colored Newfoundland dog is known as the “Landseer” variety. Today, most of the pedigreed Newfoundland dogs, even those from their native island, trace their ancestry back to British dogs.
Dog Height:  28 in. (71 cm) on average.
Dog Weight:  130 - 150 lb. (59 - 68 kg) range.
Bitch Height:  26 in. (66 cm) on average.
Bitch Weight:  100 - 120 lb. (45 - 55 kg) range.
Affection Level:  Very affectionate.
Other Pets:  Very friendly.
Watchdog:  Good.
Protection:  Very good.
Cold & Heat Tolerance:  Excellent & Low.
Life Expectancy:  8 - 10 years.


The Newfoundland dog has several qualities which enable the breed to achieve its tasks. It has big webbed feet, and is very muscular and powerful. Its long dense coat provides lots of insulation for working in the icy waters off shore. It is an excellent swimmer and possesses strong life-saving instincts. There have been many cases authenticated, of these big dogs saving drowning people, many of them children. They were also known to have carried lifelines to men in floundering boats thus saving them. The dog was also used as a true working dog, pulling cars with heavy loads over the marshy fields. Today, in North America, the Newf is kept mainly as a family pet. If one wishes, there are harnesses available at pet supply stores, and training books for cart pulling. There are also AKC and CKC competition events, especially suited for this breed, "Draft Dog Tests" and "Water Rescue Tests".


The Newfie is a devoted companion and family dog with a very sweet temperament. Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland. It is by far the most important characteristic of the breed. Bad temperament is not to be tolerated. It is a disqualification. The Newf has a particular liking for children and because of his size and strength, can tolerate a lot of rough play. A Newfoundland puppy is a good choice for a family with children. Although a quiet dog by nature, its size is enough to keep at bay, anyone with evil intent. The breed gives never-ending devotion, constant protection and is totally involved with its family. Owners will have to accept a certain amount of drooling and messy waterbowls. The Newf prefers cooler weather, the outdoors and country living.

Health Concerns

The Newfoundland dog does have some Health Problems and therefore it is important to buy your puppy from a trustworthy breeder, one who always has their breed stock tested "clear" for various genetic concerns before breeding. Only by careful breeding from genetically sound stock, is the chance of a serious problem lessened. We suggest that you start your search with the breed clubs. Most clubs have a code of ethics and while it doesn't guarantee a perfect Newfoundland dog puppy, it's better than dealing with breeders who don't know or care about such matters. The Newfoundland puppy is a very fast growing pup and therefore has special needs with respect to vitamins, bone and muscle development. Proper food for giant breeds is essential. Rapid growth is not a friend to big boned dogs.
Note: Some Newfoundland dogs are sensitive to anesthesia. Also, they do not tolerate heat well.