The exact origin of this breed is unknown however, the Canadian Kennel Club for the breed states that it descended from dogs indigenous to Newfoundland, an island in Canada, dogs that were introduced by the Vikings in circa 1001 A.D.

These big black bear dogs worked with fishermen and were used to pull fishing lines and carts.

They first reached the UK in the early 20thcentury and the breed has developed their ever since.

Today they are used as search and rescue dogs due to their excellent swimming ability and as companions.

They were officially recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1886.


  • Swimmer
  • Intelligent
  • Sweet Tempered
  • Stoic
  • Calm
  • Trustworthy

Newfoundland Temperament & Size

These dogs may appear intimidating because of their massive proportions however they are more like gentle giants. They are sweet, docile and extremely calm and very obedient to their master.

They have a dense double coat that can be found in a variety of colours including black, brown, grey or black and white but it is most often black.

The tend to be a messy with eating i.e. they can often be seen drooling.

They cherish company and love swimming so the best owner would be able to offer both.

Newfoundland Life Span & Health Problems

Average lifespan is 10-12 years.

Common Illnesses include;

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia – Genetic conditions that cause abnormal development of the elbow and hip joints in young dogs. This can lead to early onset degenerative joint disease.
  • Entropion & Ectropion – Excess eyelid tissue causing the eyelashes to turn inward (former) and outwards (latter) .
  • Epilepsy – Recurrent seizures.
  • Bloat (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus, GDV) – Twisting of the stomach resulting in rapid swelling of the abdomen causing pain and eventual death if not treated.
  • Hypothyroidism – Underactive thyroid gland causing obesity, lethargy, ear infections and skin problems.
  • Cystinuria – Hereditary defect where the kidneys retain a waste product cysteine which forms stones in the urinary tract.
  • Heart Disease – Aortic Stenosis (Narrowing of one of the outflow channels of the heart); cardiomyopathy (heart muscle weakness) and tricuspid valve dysplasia (valvular insufficiency).

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