Breed Info

Newfoundland Dog


The Newfoundland is a large, strong, heavy-coated, active dog equally at home in the water and on land. He is a multipurpose dog, capable of heavy work. In Newfoundland he was used as a working dog to pull nets for the fishermen and to haul wood from the forest. Elsewhere he patiently did heavy labor of all kinds, powering the blacksmith’s bellows and the turner’s lathe. The oily nature of his double coat (which effectively keeps him from getting wet to the skin), his webbed feet, his deep, broad chest and well-sprung ribs make him a natural swimmer. He has true lifesaving instincts and is renowned in this role. There are many conflicting stories as to the origin of the Newfoundland. The breed as we know it today was developed largely in 19th century England and America. The Newfoundland is an ancestor of the present day Labrador and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, which follow the Newfoundland in their natural swimming ability.

Care and Housing

While the Newf at first may appear somewhat placid, he is actually a fairly active dog. He enjoys and needs daily exercise. A Newf may find a small yard a good home, providing it is kept clean and he is given a good level of exercise. Do not leave a Newf in the sun, especially in a parked car, unattended. Grooming is essential. Brushing often means less bathing. Take care to see that growing puppies don’t do a lot of jumping, running, or playing on slippery surfaces, or have their limbs pulled. Their fast-growing joints and bones are still soft and may be permanently damaged.


An untrained dog, no matter what its size, is a liability in modern society. For their own safety and owner’s sanity, all dogs require some form of obedience training.

Being intelligent canines, most Newfs are readily trained. The ideal time to begin the training is when the puppy is two months of age-which means you start the day you get the puppy. One person in the family, preferably an adult, should assume the major responsibility for training, but all family members should know the commands, use them consistently, and know how to reward the puppy with praise and encouragement when it has responded to a command. In addition to early training at home, it is advisable to take your puppy to a training class.


Before considering the breeding of a Newfoundland, you should carefully review the responsibilities you would be taking upon yourself. Any breeder of AKC registered dogs has a responsibility to the AKC to keep full and accurate records of all litters. Any breeder also has a responsibility to follow the litters to see that the dogs are in good homes and to evaluate the success of his breeding program. The only valid reason for breeding is to improve the breed. A study of both dogs’ ancestries is essential as is a full evaluation of both dogs’ littermates. It is important not to breed Newfs with serious hereditary faults such as hip dysplasia, heart abnormalities, etc., or with breed standard faults. All dogs should X-ray free of hip dysplasia and be cleared of heart defects before any breeding is considered. Newfoundlands of poor temperament should definitely not be bred, regardless of other characteristics.