Newfoundland Dog: Color, Lifespan, Characteristics & Facts

Newfoundland dogs, also known as Nufalin dogs or Newfies, are large, loving animals that make great pets. They are loyal to their family, work hard to protect the home, and bond with children and adults alike.

Unlike many large breeds, the canines don’t mind lounging around the house. They love to relax, and spend a lot of their time laying down.

However, that does not mean they are always complacent. Newfies enjoy getting outside to walk or run, and they love to get wet. The breed is known for its water-proof coat and webbed feet, two distinct traits that help them swim with ease.

Newfoundland dogs have a sweet demeanor and need time with their owners. They are extremely social creatures that do not like being left alone for extended periods of time. If you plan on getting a Newfie dog, you must also plan to spend time with them.

It is important to train Newfies from a young age. Newfoundland puppies are quite receptive to teaching early in life, but the dogs can get stubborn or headstrong as they get older.

The breed also comes in many colors, including the Brown Newfoundland Dog and the Grey Newfoundland.

Breed Overview

Other Names: Newfie, Newf, Nufalin

Origin: Newfoundland

Height: 25 to 29 inches

Weight: 130 to 150 pounds

Life Span: 8 to 10 years

Colors: Grey, Brown, Black, Black & White

1. Personality & Temperament

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Nufalin dogs are quite large, but that doesn’t mean they act like other big breeds. The canines are sweet, docile creatures that do not mind sleeping or laying around.

They are perfectly content milling around the house. As such, you should make sure they have one of the best dog beds on the market to lie down in.

The breed is protective, but not in an aggressive way. Newfies rarely bark. Rather, they will place themselves between their owner and anyone they do not know or trust.

Though Newfoundland puppies love to cuddle, the dogs can be a bit headstrong as they age. Proper training is key with the breed. If you let them do their own thing or make them think they’re in charge, they will be very difficult to handle.

2. How to Care for a Newfoundland Dog


Despite their size, Newfies do not need a disproportionate amount of food to make it through the day. A full grown Newfoundland needs two to three cups of the best large breed dog food to stay healthy.

The canines should be weaned (or given special formula) for their first two or three months of life. From there, you want to introduce them to a rich, balanced diet full of minerals, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and protein.

You can either feed your Newfie a strictly store-bought diet or a homemade diet supplemented with fresh food. Either way, as long as you use high-end brands or affordable options, they will grow big and strong.

Just be sure to never mix fresh food with dry kibble, as that combination can harm your Newfoundland’s nervous system.


Newfoundlands are big dogs with a lot of fur. As such, you need to take some extra measures when it comes to grooming their coat.

The canines need to be brushed at least once every week during the colder months of the year. That number then goes up to once every day during the summer when the dogs shed their undercoat to prepare for warmer weather.

Always go over the fur in slow, long strokes with a firm brush to prevent mats from forming. It is also important to trim them with high-end grooming shears to cut down on the typical Newfoundland dog shedding and keep their coat vibrant.

Newfoundlands rarely need baths. They have a lot of waterproof oils on their fur that can be washed away by frequent dips in the tub. A dip every few months should be more than enough.


Newfoundlands, despite their laid-back nature, need to get outside and stretch their legs. That is especially true when they’re young.

Daily walks, roughly 30 minutes at a time, go a long way for the breed. In addition, the dogs love to swim. Their large lungs, waterproof coat, and webbed feet make them incredible swimmers. Get yours into the water when possible.

The dogs also love to play games like chase, tug-of-war, or fetch. Such options should not always substitute a walk or a swim, but they’re great for hot days that might overheat your pup.


Newfoundland dogs are gentle and kind, but they can also be quite stubborn. To overcome that, you want to give them short-but-consistent training sessions to help keep them in line.

The dogs love to learn. However, they can also become bored quite easily. Do not repeat the same training over and over. Rather, mix up your methods. That will keep them engaged and excited to learn.

You can train your Newfie at home, but classes work as well. The dogs respond well to crate training with the right equipment, and they can be obedience trained as well.

Just be sure to start training early in your dog’s life and always give them positive reinforcement.

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3. Common Health Issues of the Newfoundland Dog

The Newfoundland life expectancy lasts between eight to ten years. That is because the dogs are prone to a few troubling ailments and conditions throughout their lifetime.

Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Though all large breeds are susceptible to bone problems, Newfies are extremely prone to both elbow and hip dysplasia.

In both of those conditions, the joint sockets become loose. That then causes excess friction that can lead to arthritis. Always be aware of how easily your pup moves and check to see if they experience any pain while running or walking around.

If your dogs have hip and elbow dysplasia, you should check out this article on the best orthopedic dog bed to give them the right treatment.

Ear Infections

Newfoundland Dogs have gigantic ears with narrow canals. That combination makes them quite prone to infections, especially if they’re active in the water or tend to develop certain allergies.

Though some infections cannot be prevented, proper maintenance and trimming of the fur around the ear canal can cut down on such problems.

If your pup does develop an ear problem, the vet can prescribe certain medicines to keep it down.

Sub-Valvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS)

SAS is a genetic heart condition marked by extra tissue within the muscle. That makes it so the heart has to work much harder than usual to get blood to the rest of the body.

This issue is the main reason for the short Newfoundland lifespan because, unlike some of the other more common health problems, it can lead to sudden and unexpected death.

Though nothing can be done for SAS, monitoring for it through regular checkups is a helpful way to keep updated and in tune with your pet’s health.

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4. Children & Other Pets

Newfoundland dogs are known for their love of children. Loyal and protective, they often hang out with smaller kids and will do their best to keep them safe from harm.

The dogs are great with young kids as long as they are properly raised and socialized while puppies. Older dogs that did not get such exposure early in life may be a bit too standoffish for children.

It is also important to never leave your Newfie alone with a child. While they may not want to cause harm, their large size can lead to accidents.

If properly trained, the dogs are also great with other pets. Newfoundlands are social, which makes them a perfect companion to dogs, cats, and even small mammals.

5. The History of the Newfoundland Dog

Newfies first began as working dogs. The canines were used on ships to carry ropes and retrieve fishing gear, but they also saw a lot of work on the mainland as well.

Though nobody is quite sure where the breed first started, historians do know they are closely related to retrievers. In fact, the Newfoundland Retriever connection is a big reason for their popularity.

The modern version of the breed came to England sometime during the early 1800’s. It was at that time the dogs gained popularity due to their friendly and loyal nature.

From there, both the White Newfoundland Dog and the Black Newfoundland dog spread out across the country.

Though the world wars greatly hurt the population, the canines managed to survive into the mid twentieth century. They have only increased in popularity since that time

6. The Regular Expenses of Owning a Newfoundland Dog

Newfoundland Dogs typically go for between $800 and $2000. However, some breeders may go below that range.

7. Newfoundland Dog Rescue Groups

Newfoundland Dogs are loving animals that make great pets. As such, there are a few organizations who actively work to bring the canines into permanent homes.

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