Newfoundlands are intelligent, hard working, calm, and usually friendly dogs. These traits in addition to their water repellent coat and webbed feet allowed the Newfoundland to be originally used as a water dog assisting fishermen and aiding in water rescue. Currently Newfoundlands like to participate in dog sports such as water trials, packing, draft work pulling carts, weight pulling, musical freestyle, agility, tracking, and obedience as sport that can give them physical and mental challenges while helping them bond with their families. Newfoundlands also bond with people by being service or animal-assisted therapy dogs. Their reputation as a good family dog means they can be around children; however, as with all dogs, extremely close supervision is needed to prevent accidental injury to the child or dog and avoid the dog's subsequently developing fear-based defensive aggression. Newfoundlands are also described as sensitive dogs, so a reward-based approach to training is important, with any treats given being broken into small pieces to prevent weight gain.


The Newfoundland breed originated on the East Coast of Canada and are affectionately referred to as "Newfies" or "Newfs." The breed's ancestors were likely brought to Newfoundland during the 1400's by European sailors, although the exact lineage of the breed is highly debated. Many theorize that the European dogs were crossed with local dogs to establish the modern Newfoundland. Due to their exceptional swimming and water crossing skills, they have been called the "St. Bernard of the water" and were often used to pull fishnets and heavy equipment. Because of these skills, the breed was taken to Europe and put to use by fishermen. By the 18th century, the Newfoundland had established a reputation for itself as an accomplished all purpose water dog, lifeguard and draft animal. The Newfoundland Club was established in England over one hundred years ago and is one of the oldest breed clubs in that country. Most of the Newfoundlands in the United States and Canada are descendants of the dogs that were bred in England. The Newfoundland was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886.

Average Height

26-28 in.

Observed Weight

86-163 lbs.

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