If you could cross a dog with a mermaid, you'd probably get the Newfoundland. Their fans call them Newfs or Newfies. But whatever you call them, it's clear these dogs were born to be on the water. This enduring, majestic breed makes for great swimmers: their strong tails act like a rudder while they're swimming and their feet are fully webbed like a duck's! It's no surprise then that many Newfoundlands work in water rescue — they're strong and hardy enough to break through ice and withstand frigid water temperatures.
Nana, the canine nanny in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, was a Newfoundland, but we can't hold her responsible for Wendy, John, and Michael's trip to Neverland. After all, she was bred to swim, not fly!
Originally from the Newfoundland Province in Canada, this large-sized and medium-energy breed can grow to between 100-150 pounds and lives an average of 8-10 years. The breed is recognized by the American Kennel Club and classified as a member of the Working group.
|Breed's original pastime||Water rescue|
|Average lifespan||8-10 years|
|Date of origin||1700s|
|Original function||All-purpose water dog|
|Today's function||Water rescue|
|Average size of male||Height: 28 Weight: 130-150|
|Average size of female||Height: 28 Weight: 130-150|
|Energy level||Low energy|
|Affection level||Very affectionate|
|Friendliness toward other dogs||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward other pets||Very friendly|
|Friendliness toward strangers||Very friendly|
|Ease of training||Moderately easy to train|
|Protection ability||Very protective|
|Grooming needs||Moderate maintenance|
|Cold tolerance||High tolerance|
|Heat tolerance||Low tolerance|
BEHAVIOR & TRAINING
WHAT IS A NEWFOUNDLAND'S PERSONALITY LIKE?
There's just so much to love with a Newfoundland. They are devoted, sweet, patient, and affectionate. These loving dogs have a go-with-the-flow demeanour and are often great with kids. Strangers—whether human, canine, or other—are simply friends your Newfie hasn't met yet.
WHAT IS NEWFOUNDLAND BEHAVIOR LIKE?
Newfoundlands can be a protective breed, especially toward children. They are somewhat active and will enjoy long romps and space to explore. They also excel in dog sports, including agility, tracking, drafting, conformation, carting, obedience, and—of course—water tests.
HOW EASY IS IT TO TRAIN A NEWFOUNDLAND?
Newfoundlands are a very trainable breed — you could say these dogs are teacher's pets. This breed learns quickly and is eager to please. Be gentle with this sensitive soul. She'll respond very well to food rewards.
CARE & HEALTH
HOW MUCH DO NEWFOUNDLANDS SHED AND WHAT ARE THEIR GROOMING NEEDS?
A Newfoundland's double coat is durable and water resistant, with a fine, soft undercoat and long outer coat. Newfs are heavy, seasonal shedders. All that hair will need regular brushing. You also might want to keep a pet-safe wet nap or towel to hand to deal with the slobber.
WHAT HEALTH PROBLEMS DO NEWFOUNDLANDS HAVE?
This is a fairly sturdy breed. Some of these dogs are prone to heart disease and hip dysplasia; others suffer from kidney stones.
Feeding your baby Newfoundland a growth food for large-breed puppies will slow their rate of growth but not diminish their adult stature which may help prevent or reduce the impact of adult-onset hip dysplasia. Some adult Newfies tend toward pudginess, so be mindful about meals and snacks.