Newfoundlands are true gentle giants. They combine the brawn of a Great Pyrenees with the sweet and laid-back personality of a Labrador. Patient, loving and fun, Newfoundlands blend perfectly with the household. They get along famously with the most vivacious and active children, and they are very polite around new people.
- 100 - 180 pounds
- 25 - 29 inches
Ideal Human Companions
- Hikers and joggers
Newfoundlands on Dogster
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What They Are Like to Live With
Newfoundlands have a reputation for saving lives. While they may not be the most intense guard dogs, they have been known for rescuing loved ones from fires, drowning and other dangers. They are very good at keeping people out of harm’s way.
Bred to work long days in the intense wet and cold, Newfoundlands make dependable outdoorsy companions. Whether on long hikes in the woods or long days in the field, these dogs have the work ethic and durability to handle extreme weather and dirty jobs. They also love a good, long swim—no matter what the conditions are.
Things You Should Know
These are big, big dogs. If you live in small quarters or have issues sharing space, consider another canine. If you do have a big house and yard, you’ll still want to make space arrangements to accommodate a burly Newfoundland.
Newfoundlands need regular grooming. A daily brushing outside will keep their coats looking great, but be warned that they shed several times a year. And, boy, do they shed. Also, keep some towels around for copious amounts of drool.
A healthy Newfoundland can live as long as 15 years, though the average age is around 10. Common health issues include hip dysplasia and heart disease. They are also prone to bloat. The best way to remedy this is to feed them small meals.
Newfoundands originated in the fishing villages of Newfoundland, Canada. For generations, they assisted fishermen by hauling nets, rescuing shipwrecked sailors and providing companionship during long days at sea. Eventually making their way to Europe and the U.S., they became popular working dogs, show dogs and pets. Back in Newfoundland, however, you can still find them working hard with the fishermen.
The Look of a Newfoundland
Newfoundlands are large, big-boned dogs covered in coarse, heavy coats. They have big, broad heads with smooth faces, firm cheeks, well-developed muzzles and medium-sized ears that hang close. Their somewhat small, dark brown eyes are deeply set, and their strong necks slope down to full chests and broad backs with tails that usually hang down or curve slightly. Their thick, longish coats usually come in black, but can also be found in brown, gray and black & white. Overall, Newfoundlands carry their massive frames with dignity and strength.
Talk About Newfoundlands
A gentle, loving giant
Where do I begin about our wonderful Landseer, Kuma? She was thesweetest, kindest, loving, obedient, and smartest dog in the world. We got Kuma before we had children, and my husband and I devoted a lot of time and love into training her.
She only had three accidents in our home. We crate trained her and left her crate (apartment) in our living room, and after a year she decided she didn't need it anymore.
My husband took long walks with her and also took her to swim in a lake nearby. She even tried to rescue a wader who was fishing one time but, although he was scared, my husband called her and she loyally came back. She thought he needed rescuing because he was halfway in the water.
She was GIANT -- about 156 pounds -- and I had her groomed regularly. She also had both knees fixed when she tore her anterior cruciate ligament. That was very costly, but well worth it because she lived until she was 12 and a half.
Kuma welcomed two newborns two years apart and thought of my kids as her children. She never bit them even when they would climb on her when ying down. She put up with them and loved them as much as she loved us.
The neighbor's daughter pulled Kuma's tail when she was eating her dinner. I told her she was lucky she did that to Kuma and not another dog because she would have have been bitten. Kuma didn't even flinch.
In her senior years, Kuma was hard to care for but well worth it. She didn't greet my husband when he came home from work but she did lay by him in the same room. It was hard when we had an ice storm because she had a hard time walking so I took a towel and held her up so she could walk easier. She would cry to go out but wouldn't get up so I had to wait sometimes for a long time for her to get up all the while listening to her try to bark (large breeds lose their barks) to go out. I waited patiently because she was so patient with us.
It is hard work to have a giant breed, but for all the work in maintaining her coat and training her and spending a lot of money on food, vet, and flea and tick meds, it was all worth it. She was a gentle giant, and I wouldn't have traded one day with her for anything.
~Robina G., owner of a Newfoundland