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Living With the Newfoundland Dog


The Newfoundland is a large, strong, heavy-coated, active dog, equally at home in the water and on land. While at first the Newf may appear somewhat placid, he is actually a fairly active dog that enjoys and needs daily exercise. Despite their size, Newfoundland dogs can be found living comfortably in a small home or apartment, provided they are given ample opportunities for exercise. Newfoundlands are renowned for their unique gentleness, even temperament, loving nature, and devotion.

Historically, they have displayed a keen sense of responsibility and life-saving instincts, and their acts of heroism, both on land and at sea, are recorded in history, myths, and legends. These attributes make a Newfoundland a good choice as a companion for children and adults alike.

living with newfoundland dog
Living with a Newfoundland dog


Personality and Temperament of Newfoundland Dogs

While Newfoundlands are well-known for their gentle disposition, personality and temperament can vary throughout this breed—just as with humans. While the Newfoundland has strong guardian instincts, he is not a watchdog, and harsh treatment and inattention will produce resentment and poor behavior in any dog. In addition, one should see that a Newf (or any dog) is not abused or harassed by children or adults. A growing puppy may be more subject to injury than his size would lead you to believe. Never allow a child to climb on a growing puppy or ride on an adult Newf.


Adaptable to All Types of Weathers

The oily nature of the Newfoundland’s double coat effectively keeps him from getting wet to the skin and, combined with his webbed feet, deep, broad chest, and well-sprung ribs, contributes to his swimming ability. Despite this heavy coat, he adapts to warm as well as cool climates. In warm climates, the long outer coat remains but the undercoat thins out to some degree. The warmer theweather, the more careful you must be to avoid overheating. Also, provide a Newf with plenty of shade and fresh water, and do not leave him in the sun or unattended.

living with newfoundland dog


Breed Health

Newfoundlands, like all purebred dogs, are vulnerable to some extent to particular health problems, most of which also occur in other large and giant breed dogs. Since these major health problems are not always outwardly evident in young dogs and have a genetic component, responsible breeders test breeding stock prior to breeding.

living with newfoundland dog


Nutrition & Training

It is quite common to hear those who do not know the breed say, “My, but he must eat a lot.” Probably because he is so placid, the full grown Newfoundland is a comparatively small eater. However, when he is growing most rapidly, between the ages of three and 18 months, the Newf is a heavy eater. Be aware, however, that the amount of food suggested on dog food labels is generally excessive for large breeds.

Overfeeding will not make your puppy larger than his genetic makeup intended him to be. At any age, you should be able to feel a Newfoundland’s ribs without exerting undue pressure. Excess weight reduces the lifespan and may provide fertile ground for other problems.

An untrained dog, no matter its size, is a liability in modern society. For their own safety, all dogs require some form of obedience training. Being intelligent canines, most Newfoundlands are readily trained.

Most Newfoundlands enjoy swimming. It is excellent exercise that strengthens muscles without putting weight on the joints.

Love does seem to be a warm puppy, but slow down and see if an adult Newfoundland dog is what you want to live with for the next 10 years or so. In addition to their size, Newfoundlands also come with drool and lots of shedding.



Are you looking for a Newfoundland puppy?

The best way to ensure a long and happy relationship with a purebred dog is to purchase one from a responsible breeder. Not sure where to begin finding a breeder? Contact the National Parent Club’s Breeder Referral person, which you can find on the AKC Breeder Referral Contacts page.


Want to help rescue and re-home a Newfoundland dog?

Did you know nearly every recognized AKC purebred has a dedicated rescue group? Find your new best friend on the AKC Rescue Network Listing.


Newfoundland Dog Breed Magazine

Showsight Magazine is the only publication to offer dedicated Digital Breed Magazines for ALL recognized AKC Breeds.

Read and learn more about the gentle Newfoundland dog breed with articles and information in our Newfoundland Dog Breed Magazine.


Newfoundland Breed Magazine - Showsight