The Newfoundland dog is best described as being a gentle giant. They are large and heavy in both bone and coat. As puppies they look like a cuddly teddy bear but this stage does not last long as they grow very quickly. They can be black, brown or white and black (Landseer) in colour. The average adult male is 71cm in height and 64-69kg in weight; adult females are 66cm and 50-54.5kg.

Yes. I'm a confident owner with lots of experience
I'm happy with breeds that may need some training
I'd like to go on active walks with my dog
For an hour a day
I'd love a giant breed of dog.
I can fit in daily grooming sessions
I prefer quiet dogs that only bark from time to time
Yes - Physically protective


It's almost certain that the Newfoundland dog breed (or 'Newfie') did not originally inhabit Newfoundland. However, the island was inhabited by native people and their wolf-type dogs during the 15th century. These dogs were used for hunting, fetching and carrying. When European settlers started to occupy the island, only the most useful and obedient dogs were kept. The surviving dogs bred with others that were introduced to the island by traders and the resulting offspring were left to fend for themselves. Over the years, a dog resembling the Newfoundland dog of today started to emerge. By the early 18th century word of these extraordinary dogs that could haul heavy loads and help fishermen had reached Europe, and breeding began in earnest.


Newfoundland dogs are docile, gentle and make great family pets, getting on well with both people and other animals. They have a natural life-saving instinct, which can be a nuisance when they continually try to drag you out of the water! They are outgoing dogs, full of energy and said to be one of the friendliest breeds.


As with many dogs, the Newfoundland breed can suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia (joint conditions that can be painful and lead to mobility problems). They are also prone to a particular bladder condition and heart disease.


Newfoundland puppies should have all their exercise monitored while growing to ensure that no damage occurs to the bones and joints. They love water, swimming being one of their favourite forms of exercise. A fit, healthy adult needs at least an hour's daily exercise and will happily take more.


Giant-breed dogs, as well as having giant appetites, benefit from a different balance of minerals and vitamins, supporting different joint and cartilage needs. The Newfoundland dog is prone to bloating and stomach problems; try feeding smaller, more frequent meals to help minimise the risk.


The double coat is dense, oily and water-resistant and the needs a fair amount of grooming attention. Newfoundland dogs should be brushed daily, with particular attention being paid to the feathering on the legs, which can become entangled.

Best Dog Breeds for Children

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children , all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with and respect each other, and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

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Large and docile, Newfoundland dogs are good family pets thanks to their friendliness and natural life-saving instinct. Read more about them here.

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.


What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information