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208 Breeds, 422 Health Conditions  |  Find a Vet

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Newfoundland Facts

  • Group
  • Working
  • Affiliations
  • Height
  • 26" - 28"
  • Weight
  • 100-150 lbs.
  • Lifespan
  • 10 years | Add yours

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  • Exercise Requirement
  • Moderate - This breed enjoys typical daily activity
  • Training Requirement
  • Average Training Time
  • Grooming Requirement
  • Moderate
  • Colors
    • Black
    • Brown
    • Silver / Grey
  • Breed Characteristics
    • Good with children
    • Ok outdoors
    • Rescue heritage
    • Should sleep indoors

True Cost Of Ownership

Alternate Names

none known


The Newfoundland was developed on the island of Newfoundland on the East coast of Canada.

Date Of Origin

This breed developed in the 1700's.


There are conflicting hypothesis about the origin of the Newfoundland. There are those who claim the breed derives from Nordic dogs brought to Newfoundland in the 1600's. Others feel that the breed had British origins and date its development in the year 1700, when the island of Newfoundland became British possession. According to this theory, British brought the Tibetan mastiff to Newfoundland, and the Newfoundland dog was the result of a long period of breeding between these mastiffs and these local dogs. The third hypothesis is that the Newfoundland is a close relative of the Labrador. This theory is based on the similarities between the two breeds and the fact that the coats of Newfoundland and Labrador are very close to each other. It is possible that the Labrador, who is an excellent swimmer, was able to swim the Straight of Bell Isle or cross on foot when the water was frozen.

Although the Newfoundland?s history is cloudy, some believe the breed is descended from Great Pyrenees brought to Canada by fishermen. It was developed as a drafting and general working dog on the island of Newfoundland, off the coast of eastern Canada. The dogs were used to tow lines and nets for water rescue.


The Newfoundland is a large, powerful dog with a broad head and muzzle, pendulous lips, and dark eyes. The ears are naturally drop and the long tail hangs when relaxed. The thick double coat is black, brown, or gray, with or without white markings, Landseer-type Newfoundland are white with black markings.


The Newfoundland is a gentle dog that is excellent with children. It loves the water and is known for attempting to rescue swimmers whether or not they are in trouble.


The Newfoundland is an instinctive water rescue dog. Many owe their lives to members of this breed. In 1919, a gold medal was awarded to a Newfoundland for pulling to safety, a lifeboat filled with twenty shipwrecked people. It has been called the St. Bernard of the water. Today, safer ships and improved communications have limited the dog's professional activities, but its appeal has not diminished due to the fact that it is considered a handsome, devoted, delightful companion.

Health Concerns

Skin allergies, hip and elbow dysplasia, and hypothyroidism.

Additional Information

This dog will require brushing 2-3 times a week to keep shedding coat in check.

Show Sources & Contributors +


The Howell Book Of Dogs

Publisher: Wiley Publishing Inc, 2007

Website: http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/

Author: Liz Palika

Dog Bible

Publisher: BowTie Press, 2005

Website: http://www.bowtiepress.com/bowtie/

Authors: Kristin Meuh-Roe, Jarelle S. Stein

Simon & Schusters Guide to Dogs

Publisher: Simon & Schuster inc, 1980

Website: http://www.simonandschuster.com

Author: Elizabeth Meriwether Schuler

The New Encyclopedia of the Dog

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Publishing, 2000

Website: http://www.dk.com

Author: Bruce Fogle

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