Newfoundlands are gentle giants; they are docile, eager to please and love to spend time with their humans. The Newfoundland is particularly well known for being a great companion for children, making them a very popular family pet. Some highlights:
Sweet, laid-back character
A great choice for families
Not known for barking
Newfoundlands are excellent companions with a lot of fantastic characteristics but, like all breeds, there are some factors that are important to be aware of when considering a Newfoundland puppy. Some downsides to the Newfoundland:
Can be messy as they drool and shed a lot
They grow to be huge in size
They do not like to be left alone
As one of the oldest dog breeds in existence, the origins of the Newfoundland are not fully known and the topic is debated with multiple theories regarding the breeds early development. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Newfoundland breed developed in a Canadian province called Newfoundland where they were used as working dogs. Unlike many dog breeds, the Newfoundland was actually used for working in water as well as on land. They would often assist fisherman with carrying heavy loads and would swim a line from the ship to the shore but the breed became most renowned for their work rescuing struggling swimmers. It is thought that Newfoundlands were brought over to Europe by fishermen in the 1800’s when it was common to see them aboard sailing vessels and along shorelines. There is no denying that Newfoundlands have natural abilities in the water and their strength, water-resistant coats and webbed feet make them ideally suited to working in and around the sea. Although it’s not known exactly when this breed was first seen in the UK, an English Botanist named Sir Joseph Banks acquired several Newfoundlands in the late 18th century. In the 19th century the breed became very popular in the country and the Newfoundland Club was formed in the UK in 1886. As with many breeds, the World Wars had a negative impact on the Newfoundland numbers but in the 1950’s the population began to stabilise again. The breed remains extremely popular to this day as both a companion and family pet. Contributing to the popularity of the Newfoundland is their portrayal in books and films, one of the most well-known examples being Nana, the nurse dog in Peter Pan.
An adult Newfoundland is a large dog, standing at between 66-71cm at the withers.
A female Newfoundland weighs around 54kg while males are slightly larger at around 68kg.
Newfoundlands can be black, brown or grey either solid or with white markings. They can also be white with black markings.
Calm, kind and gentle are three words that are often used to describe Newfoundlands. Despite their size, they are sensitive and quiet characters.
Newfoundlands can be great guard dogs as they are protective of their families and will alert you to anything suspicious. However, they are not aggressive and are innately friendly so they are better suited to being a guardian for children and spending time with the family.
No, Newfoundlands are quiet dogs that are not known for barking.
As Newfoundlands are intelligent they are easy to train using positive reinforcement techniques. They can be stubborn so training and socialisation should start as early as possible.
They can be playful at times, Newfoundlands love to entertain but they also like to think things through and take their time when playing games.
Newfoundlands are fantastic with children, they are sometimes called the ‘nanny’ dog thanks to their gentle and caring natures. Newfoundlands thrive in a family environment.
This breed tends to be good with other dogs but generally Newfoundlands aren’t the best with cats and smaller pets so care should be taken during any introductions or interactions.
Newfoundlands form very strong bonds with their family which means they are not happy if left alone. They are well suited to households where there is always one person at home to avoid separation anxiety and destructive behaviour.
Yes, Newfoundlands are a natural in water so will often jump at the opportunity to swim.
The average lifespan of a Newfoundland is 8 – 10 years.
A daily walk of at least an hour is necessary and if possible, your Newfoundland would love frequent opportunities to swim too. It is important to keep your Newfoundland cool during hot weather as their heavy coats mean they can overheat easily.
The Newfoundland breed is prone to a few health conditions including:
Hip and elbow dysplasia
Eye issues including cataracts
As Newfoundlands are very large in size they are not well suited for living in an apartment. Ideally, they should be in a house that has a secure garden to enjoy.
A high-quality diet is essential for your dog’s health and wellbeing. When bringing your Newfoundland puppy home, it is important to follow the feeding schedule provided by the breeder as this will prevent an upset stomach. Any changes made to your dog’s diet should be made gradually. As a rough guideline, a 60kg Newfoundland can be fed between 520 – 680g of good quality dog food each day.
When it comes to grooming, Newfoundlands are high maintenance. They have thick double coats that require daily brushing to prevent matts from forming.
Yes, Newfoundlands are heavy shedders and shed throughout the year. They will shed noticeably more twice a year during spring and autumn.
As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £800+ for a well-bred Newfoundland puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £150 per month
You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Newfoundland Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Newfoundland puppy buying advice:
As one of the most popular dog breeds in the UK, you are likely to come across a lot of online adverts for puppies. This can be overwhelming to navigate but for the health and future of your new puppy, make sure you choose a reputable breeder.
Beware of online scams that are offering Newfoundland puppies for low prices, don’t buy a puppy or pay a deposit without first seeing the puppy and meeting the breeder in person.
A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: https://www.thenewfoundlandclub.co.uk/ https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/newfoundland/ https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/display.aspx?id=5131