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To briefly describe the Newfoundland, it’s important to say that despite his tousled coat, he loves the water more than anything. He needs that to be happy. Otherwise, this dog breed is one of the particularly good-natured and fond of children. Newfoundlands are therefore ideal family dogs. The Newfoundland belongs to FCI Standard No. 50. There it belongs to Group 2: Pinschers and Schnauzers – Molossoids – Swiss Mountain Dogs, Section 2: Molossoids, 2.2 Mountain Dogs without a working test.

Newfoundland Dog Breed Information

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Size: Males: 69-75 cm, females: 63-69 cm
Weight: Males: 60-72 kg, females: 45-55 kg
FCI Group: 2: Pinscher and Schnauzer – Molosser – Swiss Mountain Dogs and other breeds
Section: 2.2: Molossoids, mountain dogs
Country of origin: Canada
Colours: black, black and white, grey, brown
Life expectancy: 8-10 years
Suitable as: rescue, companion and family dog
Sports: dog dancing, dog diving
Personality: Gentle, Trainable, Sweet, Tempered
Outlet Needs: Medium
Drooling potential: high
Thickness of hair: high
Maintenance effort: rather high
Coat structure: top coat: moderately long and straight, undercoat: soft and dense
Child friendly: yes
Family dog: yes
Social: rather yes

Origin and breed history

As far as can be traced back, the breed history of the Newfoundland dog began around the year 1100. At that time, the Vikings brought the Black Bear Dog to the island of Newfoundland and crossed this dog breed with the large native dog breeds there. Later, European dog breeds and dogs of the Micmac and Beothuk Indians were also included in the breed. It is assumed that the Newfoundland already looked similar in 1610 and had similar characteristics as today. The Newfoundland was primarily a dog of fishermen on the island of Newfoundland. It was mainly used for pulling loads and as a rescue and water dog.

This dog breed was first mentioned by Captain Cartwright in the 18th century as the Newfoundland dog. In 1886, the American Kennel Club officially recognized the dog breed. In this country, these dogs are now popular family dogs with a special fondness for the water.

Nature and temperament of Newfoundland dogs

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The cuddly Newfoundland is calm and gentle by nature. Similar to the Labrador, he is extremely good-natured. He loves children more than anything. This breed of dog is therefore a great family dog, even if there is a baby in the house. The Newfoundland also gets along very well with other pets, even cats. Despite his good-natured and calm demeanor, this dog is protective of his family and can even save an adult from drowning in an emergency.

Newfoundlands love to play and always want to be there. This also applies to adult animals and not only to the puppies. Despite their curly fur, these dogs particularly like to romp around in the water. It is therefore important with this breed of dog to have water nearby and to take into account water games when keeping these dogs.

Is Newfoundland suitable as a family dog?

Given the space and time, Newfoundlands make ideal family pets. These dogs are particularly friendly and calm. They are very fond of children and even a baby in the house is not a problem for them. They also get along well with all other pets.

The appearance of the Newfoundland

Newfoundlands are one of the very large dog breeds. Their weight is 54-68 kg. Males grow up to 71 cm and females up to 66 cm. While most Newfoundlands are black in color, they can occasionally appear black and white, brown, or gray.

A Newfoundland dog’s coat is straight, long and particularly dense. These dogs therefore appear particularly fluffy. Under the long guard hair is waterproof stick hair. This is why these dogs are so well suited to the water and love to bathe.

Upbringing and keeping of the Newfoundland – this is important to consider

Enough space is important when keeping a Newfoundland dog. As particularly large dogs, they are not well suited as city and purely apartment dogs.

The love of water should always play a role in keeping it. These dogs just love swimming and everything else that has to do with water. Training to become a rescue dog for drowning people is therefore a good idea.

Even if the cozy giants seem so calm, they need a lot of exercise in the fresh air. The lively typical family dogs otherwise enjoy any kind of activity when only members of their family are around. When it’s very hot outside, these dogs need a shady spot because of their very thick coat. This breed of dog is not suitable for use as a guard dog. These dogs are too good-natured and friendly for that.

Regarding training, it can be said that this breed of dog is in principle very easy to train. These dogs are very intelligent and willing to learn. Due to their enormous size and strength, however, they also need consistent training so that later they know exactly what their masters and mistresses want from them. The upbringing should not be aggressive, but gentle and friendly. Kind words, stroking, and the occasional treat as a reward are usually enough to get these dogs to understand what they need to learn. A clear line is important in order not to confuse such a dog. Violence would be totally out of place and is not necessary.

Are Newfoundlands easy to train?

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Newfoundlands are fairly easy to train. They need friendly but consistent training with lots of praise and no punishment. The intelligent dogs learn very quickly.

Diet of the Newfoundland

It is advisable for the puppies to be fed a Newfoundland suitable puppy food to prevent them from growing too quickly, which will benefit them later when they have become adults.

Adult animals need about 70% meat in their feed. The rest should be fruit and veg. There should only be a small amount of grain in the feed. This dog breed can generally be fed with dry food and wet food, but also tolerates BARF well.

If you are unsure, you can ask your veterinarian or your puppy’s breeder for advice if you are still unsure about feeding. This gives you tips on what the optimal composition of food for your dog should look like.

Health – life expectancy & common diseases

Newfoundlands are not particularly susceptible to disease if they are kept well.

Due to their weight, however, they are prone to hip dysplasia and arthrosis. It is therefore important to ensure that these dogs do not have to climb stairs too often even when they are puppies. If you pay attention to this, you can prevent these problems.

The average life expectancy of a Newfoundland dog is not particularly long and is only eight to ten years.

Caring for the Newfoundland

If you bring a Newfoundland into your home, you should be aware that this dog’s coat needs a lot of care. Anyone who is afraid of dog hair in the apartment or does not want to have a lot of work grooming their four-legged friend is not well advised with such a dog. On normal days, giving this dog a thorough brushing every day is enough. If you don’t do this, you risk matting the dog. The long coat likes to get caught in burrs, leaves, twigs and dirt. Of course, all this has to be removed again and again.

This dog is particularly complex when it comes to changing its coat. During this time, your dog will lose mountains of hair that you have to brush out. That makes even more work than usual and the apartment is often full of dog hair. Otherwise, these dogs love to be brushed. They generally love attention and cuddles and therefore also grooming, which can become an intimate daily ritual.

With regard to bathing, it should also be mentioned here that these water-loving dogs absolutely need the natural protective film that is typical of their breed. They should therefore only be bathed in absolute exceptional cases and if so, then with a moisturizing dog shampoo.

What does Newfoundland look like?

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A typical Newfoundland is very large, looks very comfortable, has friendly brown eyes and a particularly fluffy coat. Most Newfoundlands are black. But there are also some with other fur colors such as those with brown, black and white or gray fur. These dogs have floppy ears.

The Newfoundland – Activities and Training

As cozy as the Newfoundland may seem, it needs a lot of exercise. You should be aware of this when you decide to get this breed of dog. In any case, the optimal basis would be a garden in which he can move freely, but where it is also possible to play with him a lot.

Because this dog breed’s love of water is inherent to these animals, it would also be important for activities with this dog to involve water in some form. Without water, such an animal would not be really happy. When these dogs are trained as rescue dogs for bathers, they can even save lives and can retrieve not only children but even large adults from the water when they are in danger.

When it comes to the type of movement, the Newfoundland is not specialized. The main thing is that he gets a lot of exercise from you or your family. It is important for this affectionate animal to always be allowed to be there. Newfoundlands are extremely capable of learning and actually go along with everything that is played with them. Apart from water and all kinds of activities, these animals also love long walks with their masters, mistresses or the whole family.

Good to know: Special features of the Newfoundland dog

As rescue dogs, Newfoundlands have saved many people from drowning. Probably the best-known rescued of this kind was Napoleon. He was saved from drowning by a Newfoundland dog named Boatswain.

The composer Richard Wagner was also a fan of this dog breed. His dog Robber inspired him to write The Flying Dutchman. His last Newfoundland dog was called Russ and was even buried with him in Bayreuth.
When Scottish writer J.M. Barrie wrote the children’s book “Peter Pan”, his Newfoundland dog appeared in the character of “Nana”.

Disadvantages of the Newfoundland

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Newfoundlands actually have more advantages than disadvantages. They are very large and unfortunately do not live to the age of most small dogs at around 10 years old. The tendency to osteoarthritis and hip dysplasia is also one of the disadvantages of this dog breed.

In general, such large dogs naturally need a lot of food and therefore cost a little more than small dogs, which you should plan for. They are also not suitable for an apartment, but simply feel more comfortable in a house with a garden or similar living conditions. In general, these large animals need a lot of space, even in the car.

Newfoundlands have a really cuddly fuzzy coat. But this coat is also a lot of work and means that they shed a lot in the apartment. The family should be fine with that.

Is the Newfoundland dog right for me?

It is always important to think carefully about whether a particular breed of dog is right for you or the whole family. So don’t make a rash and spontaneous decision, but think for a while first. A first consideration with the Newfoundland is whether there is enough space for the animal, because this is not a lap dog, but a particularly large dog.

These dogs are easy to train, even for beginners. They are very friendly and calm in nature, but they are also very strong. If such a dog hasn’t been trained consistently and well, that much strength can become a problem. This is especially the case with children or seniors in the house, who may then not be able to keep the animal on the go. On the other hand, a family is just the thing for this breed of dog. Seniors are often at home all day and can be there when the younger people have to work. This is because these dogs need a lot of company, all day long if it is feasible. Otherwise they would be unhappy. Older family members or children in particular can play very nicely with the dog in the garden and thus provide for the important occupation. It is not for nothing that Newfoundlands have now become much-loved family dogs.

How sensitive are you or are you when it comes to the fact that the whole apartment is always full of dog hair that needs to be cleared away? If you don’t mind that such a dog is very prone to shedding and also needs a lot of time for grooming, then the animal is a good fit for you or your family. It is best to think about all of this before you buy such a dog.

If you have decided on this dog breed, you can look at the animal shelters in your area. Another option is to check with appropriate animal rescue organizations to see if they have Newfoundlands available for adoption. In either case, these dogs will then not cost as much as puppies from a breeder. Another option is to possibly help a private individual who can no longer keep their Newfoundland dog themselves. In such cases, the issue of space before price is almost always at stake. As a helper in need with a nice new home for the dog, you will certainly have to pay less and still have done a good job and helped both the dog and its previous owner.

How much does a Newfoundland dog cost?

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Purebred Newfoundland puppies from a breeder currently cost between $1,200 and $1,400.