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BaxterBoo Blog
May 16, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Newfoundland

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  • Height: 25"- 29”
  • Weight: 100-150 pounds
  • Historical function: Water rescue, fish net retrieval.
  • Modern function: Companion
  • AKC classification: Working

Physical Characteristics:

The Newfoundland, also called the Newf, or Newfie, is an enormous, bear-like dog with a thick, double coat. The head is large and broad with a slightly domed skull. The muzzle is also broad. The eyes are somewhat small, dark brown, and wide set. The body is rectangular and heavy boned. The feet are webbed. The weatherproof coat can be black, brown, gray, and Landseer (white dog with black markings.) The Landseer coloring is considered a different breed in some countries. They tend to move slowly.

History of the Breed:

The Newfoundland originated in Newfoundland, an island off the coast of Eastern Canada. There is much discussion about possible contributing breeds, but this gentle giant found a definite niche in working with the coastal fishermen. He was used for hauling nets, swimming boat lines to shore, retrieving items that had fallen overboard, and rescuing drowning and shipwrecked victims. They also were employed to haul lumber and other loads.


The Newfoundland is a friendly, cheerful, even-tempered dog that is excellent with children. They are sweet and courageous. They are accepting of visitors but will not hesitate to guard their family from someone with ill intent. They are more likely to corner an offender than bite. They are devoted and trustworthy.

  • Best suited for: Any family that needs a nursemaid and doesn't mind a bit of  drool and a lot of hair. Can actually do okay in an apartment as they tend to be fairly inactive.
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog does best in cooler climates. Loves to swim.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: This thick coat requires daily brushing. Bathe rarely to keep from stripping the water-resistant oils. Dry shampoo is a good option. Sheds heavily, especially in the spring.
  • Exercise needs: Daily walk even if the dog looks content just being lazy.
  • Life expectancy: Average of 10 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to obesity and heart disease. Also prone to hip dysplasia.

Breed Club Links: Newfoundland Club of America Perfect Pairings: Guardian Gear Splash About Dog Pool.

Have any stories about a Newfoundland? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Jim Danvers.

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