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Newfoundland Dog Breed… Everything That You Need to Know at a Glance!

Say hello to this gentle giant!

To put it bluntly, the Newfoundland Dog is a magnificent beast. He is large, he is heavy dog and he exudes a sense strength and greatness that few other dog breeds can match!


Throw in the fact that these guys are also courageous and highly intelligent and before you know it, you’re going to start convincing yourself that you should absolutely adopt one of these guys even if you live in a 300 sq. foot studio apartment!

And why…

Shouldn’t you want to adopt one of these guys, because the truth is, they make for wonderfully house hold pets that can protect you and your family on land or at sea!

You see…

These guys have a reputation for being real life “savers”.  In fact, the Newfie, or Newf, as this big dog is fondly referred to as, has been portrayed in numerous books, paintings and movies as a life saver. He is a marvelous swimmer and is used by many search and rescue groups.


Not only is he naturally gifted, but he also has webbed feet, which makes him one of the best water rescue dogs. He is blessed with great courage and fortitude, and doesn’t think twice about jumping into icy water to save people if he has to.

You may even…

Have heard about one of the most famous Newfs of all time was one called Rigel, which was on board the doomed ship Titanic and swam in the icy waters of the Atlantic Ocean for hours, searching for his owner.


Rigel wasn’t able to save his owner, but he did manage to draw the attention of a steamship passing by to some of the survivors of the Titanic who were in a lifeboat. If not for his loud bark, the survivors may have gone unnoticed and die of cold and thirst.

But, is this dog breed the one for you?

That’s the million-dollar question and one that we hope to help you be able to answer for yourself here in this article.  You see, the last thing that we would want to see happen is for one of these magnificent creatures end up in the wrong home.

So, without further ado, let’s discuss the Newfoundland dog breed a bit more so that you might be better prepared to know for sure if adopting one is going to be “right” for you and your family.

Newfoundland Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: Canada

Original Purpose:  General assistance water dog

 Height: 26 to 28 inches at the shoulder

 Weight: 100 to 150 pounds

Dog Breed Classification:  Working group

 Life Span: 8 to 10 years

Origin of the Newfoundland Dog Breed

The Newfoundland Breed comes from the Island Of Newfoundland in Canada. Where these gentle giants where breed to take on all sorts of roles that a fisherman might need.  Roles such as water retrieval, hauling heavy fishing nets and even lifesaving instincts!

But their…

Work didn’t just stop at the water’s edge, because these guys also proved to be quite useful on dry land.  This is why many European visitors immediately recognized the usefulness of this breed and would often export Newfoundland puppies back home with them so that they could take advantage of their skills and companionship back home.

This combined…

With the fact that early on in this dog breeds development, Newfoundland had certain laws in place that “forbade” the ownership of more than one Newfoundland at a time.  As a result, due to this law and the emerging popularity of this dog in Europe, the Newfoundland’s number diminished greatly in Canada, making England the new “hub” of the Newfoundland breed.


Like many dog breeds throughout Europe during the 1920’s and 1940’s many of the Newfoundland’s numbers were greatly affected by both World War I and World War II which led to the breed having to rely on the few American breeders who were around to keep the breed alive.


Because of their efforts, we still have the Newfoundland to today and is why we can still have an opportunity to own one now.

But where did this big dog “originally” really come from?

It’s hard to tell. Some experts say that this breed has descended from the Great Pyrenees Dog, but that’s still up for debate.  You see, some say that this big dog was brought to Canada by wandering Basque fishermen from Norther Spain, while others say that he descends from ancient dog breeds such as the French boarhound or some of the Nordic breeds.

And while…

One is free to debate which theory is correct, what isn’t up for debate is the fact that the Newfie has always been a very useful working dog who never complains or whines about being given too much work.  And even though these guys have been depicted in many works of art and literature as a fearless and courageous dog that loves children – Nana, the canine nursemaid in the famous children’s classic, Peter Pan, is a Newf they have never been able to be more than a moderately popular dog in America – not too popular.

Which is probably why…

It took the American Kennel Club (AKC) so long to finally decide to “officially” recognize the breed in 2000 despite the fact that there has been a well-established Newfoundland Club of America in existence since 1930!

Physical Characteristics

The Newfoundland is a large, stately, massive dog. Even the Newf Puppies are big in size. The adult dog rises up to a height of 28 inches (male) / 26 inches (female). Males are heavier at around 150 pounds and females weigh around 120 pounds.

The Newfie is…

A big, strong dog with a broad head, square-shaped muzzle, triangle shaped ears and dark brown eyes. He has a kind, noble expression on his face and has an air of wisdom about him. He has a very muscular physique and is capable of exerting tremendous strength when he wants to.


He has a water-resistant, thick, fluffy double coat that doesn’t get too wet when he goes swimming. His outer coat is long, fluffy and thick and of the color black, Landseer (a black and white pattern unique to this breed), brown, or gray.

Which is great…

But it does make grooming the Newfoundland Breed take a lot of time. He has a fluffy coat, which is often covered with a lot of dirt. You’ll need to brush his coat daily so that it remains clean and the coat hair doesn’t get tangled up or matted.

 Newfoundland Dog Breed Temperament and Personality

The Newfie is a perfect family dog, a gentle giant with a docile temperament. He has so much love for children. He is wonderful around kids; he is very protective of them and considers them to be a part of his flock.

The Newf can also…

Be a good playmate for your child. He enjoys being a part of the silly games that kids play. You can count on him to protect your kids from potential kidnappers or other types of dangerous criminals when they are at the playground. He is like an affectionate but watchful big brother to them.

They are also a…

Very loyal dog. He forms an extraordinary bond with his human family. Those who have him at home consider him to be more of a family member than just a pet dog. He is intelligent, sensitive and wise.

This is why you should…

Understand that these guys are a family dog, a companion dog, not the sort of dog that you live all alone in the yard. He is a sensitive dog; the worst thing you can do to him is to ignore him.

Newfoundland Dog Breed Health Problems

The Newfoundland Dog is a large dog, and like all large breeds, has many health problems, some of them serious. That’s why his life expectancy is only 8 to 10 years. He is susceptible to the following health concerns…

Since the Newfie is such a large dog, the cost of the medical treatment can be very high,  anything from $2,000 to $8,000, or more.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Kathy February 18, 2020, 5:24 am

    I’ve read nothing but how gentle the newfield is. I have a seven month old puppy and I love this big guy to death. He has stolen my heart. But he is very aggressive toward my other dogs. What am I doing wrong? Please let me know what I’m missing here. I dont want to train him wrong

    • indulgeyourpet February 18, 2020, 9:18 am


      As you know, every dog despite his or her “breed tendency” will have his or her own personality. This is why our suggestion would be to first reach out to a professional trainer (many big block pet stores will offer free training sessions on weekends) and see what he or she says, and then from there try and acclimate your pup with other dogs as frequently as possible (and as safely as possible). Sometimes puppies just get over excited when around other dogs particularly if they don’t get to do so frequently enough.

      But remember, if your dog does tend to get aggressive around other animals, ensuring their safety as well as your own dogs safety is a must. For this reason, we would recommend that you utilize a muzzle when visiting other dogs. Do so will not only save you from constantly worrying that your dog may injure another one, it could also save you significant vet bills as well.

      Good luck!


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