13 Interesting Facts About Newfoundland Dogs

facts about newfoundland dogs

The Newfoundland dog is a sight to see for all dog lovers. This fluffy bear is the ultimate companion, super hero dog! A favourite of the Paw Planning team for sure. 

These jowly, slobbery cuddle monsters are full of love for their owners, ranking high for loyalty. They are also full of expression which makes them all the more endearing. 

Perhaps you’re on the lookout for your very own Newfie, perhaps you’re just here for a bit of light entertainment or perhaps you’re in the middle of writing a pub quiz that’s themed around dogs. Regardless, you’ve come to the right place. 

Here we will share our favourite facts about the Newfoundland dog for those of you that just can’t get enough of this gorgeous pooch. 

13 Fun & Interesting Facts About Newfoundland Dogs


Water Rescue Dogs

Newfoundland dogs are known for their incredible swimming skills. Although their origins aren’t crystal clear, we do know that they were initially bred to assist fishermen by pulling nets and carrying boat lines to shore. 

As time went on, the Newfie started to become involved in water rescue. To this day they are still a privileged member of many Canadian water rescue teams. Their physical strength, swimming ability and natural rescue instincts make them perfectly suited to this job. 

Newfoundland dog water rescue


They Have Webbed Feet

Newfies famously have webbed feet which makes them part of a special club of water dogs, no wonder they’re so good at water rescue. Their webbed pads act like flippers, helping them navigate through the water with great ease when compared to many other breeds. 

Interestingly, the Newfoundland has a fascinating swimming style, which is more similar to a breast stroke than your everyday doggy paddle. This gives them excellent propulsion in the water. What’s more, they can also swim underwater for small periods!


Exceptional Size

Newfoundland dogs are one of the larger breeds, typically weighing between 100-150 pounds (45-68 kg). Some Newfies can grow to unbelievable sizes, bigger than some humans. 

If you’re keen to welcome a Newfoundland pup to your home, be sure to consider how their size may compare to others in your family such as young kids. Although they’re an unbelievably gentle breed, accidents can still happen.


Dense Double Coat

They have a dense double coat that is water-resistant, allowing them to handle cold water temperatures. Their undercoat is soft and dense, while the outer coat is coarse and long. 

This beautiful coat comes in many colours, however you MUST be prepared to do the necessary grooming. This means weekly brushing.


Great with Children

Often referred to as the “nanny dog,” Newfoundland dogs are incredibly patient, protective, and gentle with children. Their kindness and gentle nature make them excellent family pets. 

The Newfie has a wonderful temperament that is the awe of many dog lovers. Their Mastiff based tendencies to want to please their owners goes a long way. However, they do typically hold a bit  of stubbornness in the early days.


A Little Drooly

Newfoundland dogs tend to drool a lot! Some find this amusing (I certainly do). This is especially true after they drink water, food is present or they are anxious. If you’re considering getting a Newfoundland, be ready to clobber that slobber, it gets everywhere. 


A Famous Newfoundland Explorer

A Newfoundland named Seaman accompanied explorers Lewis and Clark on their expedition across the United States in the early 19th century. However, it was not until the full journals were published in 1905 that we learned the extent of the four legged companions’ involvement in the expedition. Seaman was touted as a helpful hunter, watchdog and devoted companion amongst the crew. 

credit – https://www.nps.gov/


Life Expectancy

The average lifespan of a Newfoundland is around 8-10 years. While this might seem relatively short, it’s standard for large dog breeds, especially those with ties to the Mastiff family. It never gets any easier writing about this.


Exercise Needs

While Newfoundland dogs don’t require as much exercise as some breeds, they do need regular, moderate exercise to stay healthy and happy. This fluff monster also really enjoys getting messy (enjoy that). Whether it’s jumping in puddles, water or rolling in mud, the Newfie loves being at one with the great outdoors. 

A word of caution – It’s particularly important for young Newfoundland’s not to be over-exercised. The reasoning for this is to protect their developing joints. Additionally, as a member of the Mastiff family, they also have a tendency to overheat when summer rolls around. An issue made worse by the huge, thick fur.


Intelligence and Trainability

Newfoundland dogs are known for their intelligence and can be trained to perform various tasks, this should be obvious by now. Although they’re big, they are also very sensitive, so positive reinforcement training methods work best with this breed.


Strong Worker Dogs

As a member of the worker dog family, Newfoundland’s are notoriously strong. Their weight and body composition creates a lot of power that helps with worker dog tasks such as hauling items around the farm, pulling carts or helping fisherman, the Newfie is a great extra pair of paws!


They saved Napoleon

They did what? Although hard to believe at first, an unnamed Newfie was the difference between life and death for one Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. During his escape from exile on the island of Elba, Napoleon was knocked overboard by rough seas. A fisherman’s dog jumped in and kept Napoleon afloat until he could reach safety.


They love to eat

Bon Appetit! The Newfie loves to eat a lot, especially when a puppy. Unsurprisingly, they have a lot of weight and muscle to pack on. This requires fuel. If you’re in the middle of researching this wonderful breed, then be aware that the food bill will make up a major part of your monthly budget.

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