• Category SizeGiant
  • SheddingModerate
  • Grooming RequirementsDaily
  • Alone1 to 3 hours
  • Other PetsHigh
  • VocalUsually quiet
  • AllergiesNo
  • Suitability As GuardLow
  • Dog Group Kennel ClubWorking


The Newfoundland dog is best described as being a gentle giant. They are large and heavy in both bone and coat. As puppies they look like a cuddly teddy bear but this stage does not last long as they grow very quickly. They can be black, brown or white and black (Landseer) in colour. The average adult male is 71cm in height and 64-69kg in weight; adult females are 66cm and 50-54.5kg.


It's almost certain that the Newfoundland dog breed (or 'Newfie') did not originally inhabit Newfoundland. However, the island was inhabited by native people and their wolf-type dogs during the 15th century. These dogs were used for hunting, fetching and carrying. When European settlers started to occupy the island, only the most useful and obedient dogs were kept. The surviving dogs bred with others that were introduced to the island by traders and the resulting offspring were left to fend for themselves. Over the years, a dog resembling the Newfoundland dog of today started to emerge. By the early 18th century word of these extraordinary dogs that could haul heavy loads and help fishermen had reached Europe, and breeding began in earnest.


Newfoundland dogs are docile, gentle and make great family pets, getting on well with both people and other animals. They have a natural life-saving instinct, which can be a nuisance when they continually try to drag you out of the water! They are outgoing dogs, full of energy and said to be one of the friendliest breeds.


As with many dogs, the Newfoundland breed can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). They are also prone to a particular bladder condition and heart disease.


Newfoundland puppies should have all their exercise monitored while growing to ensure that no damage occurs to the bones and joints. They love water, swimming being one of their favourite forms of exercise. A fit, healthy adult needs at least an hour's daily exercise and will happily take more.


Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Newfoundland dog is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.


The double coat is dense, oily and water-resistant and the needs a fair amount of grooming attention. Newfoundland dogs should be brushed daily, with particular attention being paid to the feathering on the legs, which can become entangled.