A large working dog. It is used for working in police service, military forces, assisting blind and saving drowning people.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 45—55 kg
male: 60—70 kg
female: 63—69 cm
male: 69—74 cm
require average time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
6—8 puppies
in 16 century
Life span
Life span:
10—12 years


Newfoundlands were developed for helping people. These pets have been living with people for centuries, helping them in daily life. That is why dogs of this breed do not get easily through loneliness. Their main aim is to help people. Despite being of a large size, these dogs are friendly. While developing the breed, dog handlers did not use aggressive animals. That was happening until they got the result — affectionate and sensitive dogs. That is why Newfoundlands like taking care of people and showing affection. They like all family members, and even strangers. Because of it, Newfoundlands cannot be used for guarding purposes. However, if the pet feels that something threatens its owners — it will attack. Newfoundlands will not bite their opponents. They make them lay on the ground and bark at strangers until the owner comes. 

Newfoundlands can feel people. When the owner feels sad, the pet will come and try to make him happy. When the owner is busy — the dog will not be intrusive. Meanwhile, Newfoundlands get offended if they get shouted at: they get close-minded and avoid communication. For that reason, aggression is the last thing you can use for bringing up your dog. These dogs are also harmless towards children and other animals, even to cockroaches. Newfoundlands will get on well with any other living creature. They like taking care of those who are weaker than them. The pet will tolerate any type of child`s behavior, even if he touches dog`s tongue. However, their games should be controlled. Because of being of a large size, a Newfoundland might accidentally hurt the child. An English painter of the Romantic era, named Edwin Henry Landseer, loved painting Newfoundlands. One of his paintings, called The Distinguished Member of the Human Society depicts a Newfoundland that saved 23 lives.

Newfoundlands are faithful only to one family. They do not get easily through a change of owners. The pet will be kind in the new family. However, it will not hide that it misses the previous owner. These facts should be taken into consideration before purchasing the dog. Be responsible when you buy a dog of this breed.

You can travel with Newfoundlands. They are not afraid of vehicles and noises, unlike many other dog breeds. These dogs like investigating the world around. This breed is perfect for people who like travelling.


Newfoundlands are smart dogs that have a well-developed memory. They like pleasing people. That is why it is easy to train these dogs. The most important thing is not to make them do anything. Patience and respect are key instruments for bringing up the dog. When a pet feels love — it will do anything it is asked to do.

Right after the purchase, you need to explain house rules to the dog. It has to know what is allowed to be done, and what is not. Then, get it used to the leash and its name. That is very important. An adult Newfoundland weights up to 70 kg. During street walks, it needs to be obedient. Start working on your dog`s socialization after it turns 3 months old. Take it outside, get it used to other animals and people. You can train the pet at the same time.

Newfoundlands inherit understanding and performing commands. The only thing you need to do is to remind your dog about it. Teaching the dog basic commands like «sit», «stay», «go to your place», «lay», «no» will not cause any problems. It is better to train the dog in a playful way. However, tell it commands in a strict way. Do not repeat commands more than 5 times. Spend 15 minutes a day on the training process. That is how the dog will not lose any interest. Newfoundlands can also give a paw, bow down, move back, move like a snake. For performing such commands, it is crucial to give pets a treat.

Apart from training the dog on your own, you can take it to a general course of training. Mixing individual and group trainings also gives results.


Newfoundlands are large dogs. Their body is muscular and athletic, covered with thick hair. Despite being of large size, these pets are agile.
Long and thick, has a double layer, water-repellent, a soft undercoat is present. 
Black, black-and-white and brown, of different shades. White markings on chest, tip of the tail and feet are allowed.
Big and massive. The snout is square in shape. The skull is wide, with a bump on the back of the head. Head of females is smaller than the one of males.
Small, deeply and widely set, their color depends on the one of the coat. Black and white-and-black Newfoundlands have eyes of the dark-brown color. Dogs with the brown coat color have light-brown eyes.
Small and floppy. They are triangular, with rounded tips.
Long and muscular.
Straight and parallel. Hind legs are stronger and more muscular than front ones.
Long. It is wide at the base, gets thinner down to the tip. It is covered with thick hair. It is carried down when the dog walks. When the pet swims — its tail works as a steering wheel.

Basic Care

Newfoundlands require much time to be groomed. Their thick and long hair gets matted. That is why it needs to be brushed 3 times a week. During the molting period — in spring and fall — every day, using a comb and a slicker. Apart from being brushed, Newfoundlands also need to get haircuts. Especially in the summer, so that it is easier for them to live in hot weather conditions. You can either do it yourself, or find a professional groomer. Socks can be made out of dog`s warm and soft hair.

Newfoundlands like water and are often used for rescue operations. However, pets should not be given a bath very often. Their hair is covered with a natural layer that protects it from water and dust. Shampoos and conditioners wash this layer off. That is why it is recommended to give Newfoundlands a bath no more than once a month. Check their eyes and ears every day and clean them when needed, using cotton pads, soaked in a chamomile solution. Clean their teeth once in 2 weeks, using a zoo-paste and a special brush. Trim their claws once a month.

Newfoundlands can be fed with either high-quality dry or natural food. It is crucial that dog`s diet is well-balanced, because Newfoundlands are prone to obesity. Dry food of premium quality contains vitamins and minerals needed for dog`s health. Such natural products can be given to the pet: not greasy meat — beef, mutton and rabbit meat; grains — rice and buckwheat; fat free cottage cheese; vegetables — carrot, beet and cabbage. Once a week, sea or river fish fillet can be given to the dog. Sea fish can be either boiled or fresh. River fish — only boiled. Meat needs to take up 50% of the diet. Dry and natural food can change one another. However, not in one portion. A puppy under the age of 6 months needs to eat 5 times a day, under 8 months — 3 times a day, then — twice a day (in the morning and in the afternoon).

Newfoundlands can be kept both inside and outside. The latter option if better for them. Because of being of large size, they will not feel comfortable living in a small flat. If the dog leaves inside, it needs to have a special area for sleeping: put a mattress or a bedding for it. If your pet will live in an aviary — make sure it is located in a shade. These dogs are calm. Physical exercises are not as important for them as interaction with people. Dogs of this breed like playing, but not for too long. Walk your Newfoundland for 30–40 minutes twice a day, preferably at the same time.

Health and Illnesses

Newfoundlands can live up to 12 years if treated well. Their health is strong. They do not live much because of being of a large size. Most problems are concerning joints and obesity. Some disorders are congenital, and some of them develop with age.

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disorder that destroys dog`s joints. It develops because of a disrupted formation of acetabulum. Femoral bone is located in the acetabulum. They work together when the dog is moving. However, when dysplasia makes acetabulum flat, the bone gets dislocated and starts rubbing against the joint, causing pain. The pet starts limping. It is impossible to cure dysplasia. However, its development can be slowed down if treatment is offered in time.

Panostitis is a condition of the tubular bone which leads to disruption of development of the medullary canal, as well as to fibrosis. Because of it, the periosteum — tissue located on the bone — gets destroyed. The pet starts limping. Most often, panostitis appears in large dogs when they are from 5 to 12 months old. It usually stops affecting the dog before it turns 2 years old. Therefore, only symptoms are treated: the pet can be relieved from pain with drugs.

Cystinuria is a hereditary kidney disease. It develops because of disrupted absorption of cystine by the renal canals. Cystine is an amino acid that forms bridges between proteins and peptides. They play an important role in the human body. Because of cystinuria, cystine does not dissolve in blood and passes into the urine. When it reacts with acid, it forms crystals. They accumulate and form stones that clog dog’s urinary tract. An infection might appear in the bladder. Because of neglected cystinuria, kidney failure might develop, and the ureter may burst. Therefore, if the pet has stopped going potty, it is better to take it to a vet.

Aortic stenosis is a pathology of heart that narrows the blood-excreting channels of the left ventricle in the aortic valve. It leads to disrupted blood flow. Because of it, blood gets accumulated, and pressure in the heart increases. The pet develops shortness of breath, weakness and seizures. Pathology can be treated surgically. The pet gets a new valve.

Abdominal bloating is a common condition in dogs. Most often, it affect dogs of a large size. It appears due to the accumulation of gas and food leftovers in the stomach, which starts pressing on other organs, disrupting blood circulation. The pet feels pain, stops eating, and vomits. If help is not offered in time, the dog might die. Therefore, it is important to control your pet`s diet: do not overfeed a Newfoundland, and do not walk it right after it ate. It is better to wait for 1,5–2 hours.

Cataract is a common pathology because of which lens of the eye becomes darker. The darker the lens is, the worse is dog`s eyesight. Cataract can be treated surgically.

Because of having long hair, Newfoundlands are sensitive to heat. If pets stay in the sun for too long, they might get a heatstroke. Therefore, give your pet water and not walk it during the day to help it get through hot weather conditions. It is better to take it outside in the morning and in the evening.

History of the Breed

Newfoundlands were named after an island of the same name, which is located in the north of Canada. There is no exact data about breed`s origination. However, 4 versions exist. Each group of breeders believes in their own version.

The first version suggests that Newfoundlands descended from the Berenbeitsers — Medieval dogs that were famous for their strength and size. Back then, they were used to hunt for bears. They probably came to the island with the Scandinavian sailor Leif Eriksson in the 10th century. Left in Newfoundland, dogs became wild. Attention was paid to them by European breeders in the 16th century.

According to the second version, Newfoundlands descended from the Mastiff-like dogs that appeared in Canada during the English colonization. It was an opinion of a Swiss dog handler named Albert Heim. He spent a couple of years studying history of Newfoundlands.

According to the third version, Newfoundlands descended from black-and-piebald German Shepherds. They were brought to the island by Portuguese and Spanish settlers.

Most people believe more in the fourth version. It suggests that Newfoundlands descended from aboriginal sled breeds, which were used by northern tribes in the 11th century. This belief explains the attachment of pets to humans.

Dogs are first mentioned in the 18th century. Back then there were two types of them: «A Big Dog of St. John’s» and «A Little Dog of St. John’s». St. Johnson was a name of a large settlement on the island. Today, it is the provincial city of Newfoundland. Pets were described as helpful assistants and skillful swimmers. English dog breeders took them from Canada to start the breeding work. In 1775, the first pet, which was called Newfoundland, appeared.

These large dogs became popular only in the 19th century. In 1860, they participated in an exhibition in Birmingham, causing a furor. The Prince of Wales bought a Canadian pet and won an exhibition with him in 1864. In 1878, Newfoundlands were listed in the English Kennel Club’s studbook. And, a year later, the standard of the breed was developed.

The popularity of Newfoundlands has spread across continents. In 1885, the first Club of Newfoundland Lovers was established. Genetic lines of the breed continue today. In 1945, dogs appeared in the Soviet Union. They were taken out of Germany after WWII. Dog handlers crossbred Newfoundlands with Caucasian and German Shepherds to make them more aggressive and smarter, while maintaining working skills. The experiment failed: the psyche of pets was deteriorated, and the working qualities were not preserved.