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Newfoundland Dogs: Gentle Giants

Susan cares for two Newfoundland dogs and works as a freelance writer.

Bruce is a true gentle and loving Newfoundland dog.

Bruce is a true gentle and loving Newfoundland dog.


There is some controversy over exactly where the Newfoundland dog actually originated.

Is this dog from Asia by way of the black wolf crossed with an Asiatic Mastiff that entered into North America? Or is it the breed that was a cross between native wolves and Indian dogs that the Vikings brought to Newfoundland sometime around 1000 AD?

Some theories are that this giant breed came from interbreeding sheepdogs with waterdogs in the 15th century, and then were brought over to Newfoundland, Canada by European explorers.

And there are some who think the dog originated in Newfoundland.

No matter where this magnificent breed came from, everyone who has ever known one can appreciate the fact that this breed has a gentle nature, loves children, they're intelligent, easy to train, very hard workers, and want to please those that they are close to.

Gander the Hero

There are many wonderful stories written about Newfoundlanders. A true story that comes to mind is about a courageous dog by the name of Gander, a mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada who saved the lives of many soldiers when he retrieved a grenade that was thrown at them. Sadly while he was carrying it away from the men, the grenade went off, killing him.

Wonderful With Children

These dogs are great protectors. If you have children and they are outside playing, there is no need to worry with your Newf around. My mother-in-law would put her daughter outside in a stroller, and their Newfoundlander would guard that baby with its life.

The Working Dog

Fishing boats often have Newfoundlanders aboard to haul the nets out to sea, and then once the nets are full, the dogs drag them back to the boats. It is always good to have one of these wonderful swimmers aboard - if someone happens to fall into the water, this dog will save you. Another job that these dogs have had is pulling carts, such as milk or mail.

Rescue Dogs

These dogs have webbed feet and very large rudder-like tails. Their coat is water resistant, and they love being in the water to swim or work. There are some places that use these dogs as lifeguards. When it comes to saving people, it is just a natural instinct with these gentle giants. Because of their powerful sense of smell, you can also find these dogs searching and finding people that are drowning or have drowned.

Health Issues

Hip dysphasia, inherited heart problems and cystinuria are the top three serious problems in this breed. If you are planning on bringing a Newfoundlander into your family, be sure to find a breeder that screens against these health problems. Another concern is the thyroid when these dogs get older. This can be treated with medication.

How Big Are Newfoundland Dogs?

Average size for a female is 26” and weight is 100-120 pounds.

Average size for a male is 28” and weight is 130-150 pounds.

Grooming Your Newfoundlander

Grooming a Newfoundland dog needs to be done at a minimum of once a week to keep your dog looking and feeling good. Most of them like to be groomed, and love the one-on-one attention. If not groomed on a regular basis they will develop huge mats and knots in their fur. The fur between the pads on the bottom of their paws needs to be trimmed and kept short. This is especially important if you live in a snow region. By keeping the fur trimmed the dog will have better traction on floors and they will be less likely to slip. Their ears should be cleaned once a month with ear cleaner that you can purchase from your vet.

My Female Newfoundland dog named Magz

My Female Newfoundland dog named Magz

My male Newfoundland dog named Bruce basking in the sun.

My male Newfoundland dog named Bruce basking in the sun.

Price of a Newfoundland Dog

If you plan on getting one of these beautiful dogs, be sure to research the breeders that you are buying them from. There are many excellent ones and most can be found on the Internet. Prices will vary from breeder to breeder, and depending on if you want pet stock or are thinking of showing this dog, it can cost anywhere from $600.00 to over $2,500.00.

Always make sure you visit the kennel where the dogs are kept and meet the parents of the puppy that you choose in order to see what the parent’s temperaments are like. Ask the breeder if they do health screening and what type they do.

I could really go on and on forever about these fantastic, lovable dogs. I have a male and a female and I truly adore them. It really is true; the Newfoundland dog is a gentle giant. If anyone has any questions about these dogs please feel free to contact me or leave a comment.

Adopting a Newfoundland Dog

If you would like to adopt a Newfoundland dog, please check with your local animal shelter or websites that list Newfoundland Dog Rescue organizations. If you live in Canada, this website is a great place to start.

Breeders in North America

My Newfs Just Love To Play

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

© 2010 Susan Zutautas


Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 15, 2016:

Dianna, Yes they sure do eat a lot and love to eat :)

Dianna Mendez on August 26, 2016:

They are having such fun in the video. I would love watching them at play. My, 150 pounds for one male dog is amazing! I imagine they must eat quite a lot of dog food each day. I'm certain you would say it was well worth the cost.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 01, 2014:

So gentle for sure. Thanks for reading and for your comments too.

RaintreeAnnie from UK on October 31, 2014:

I Love Newfies, they are just such gorgeous dogs, huge but gentle.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on August 26, 2014:

Relationshipc, I have 2 Newfoundland dogs and you are so correct. The grooming is insane and a lot to commit to.

Kari on August 26, 2014:

These are great dogs, but I just got back from Newfoundland, where my friend owns a Newfoundland dog, and let me tell you that even though I love dogs, I would never own one. They are huge and require a lot of grooming. You have to be committed to this dog if you want to feed it a nutrition diet and keep its grooming up to date. In other words, it will cost you some money to keep this dog healthy and happy. Definitely something to consider before you buy a Newfoundland dog.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 25, 2012:

Juliet, That's wonderful. Hope you enjoy the new addition to your family.

Juliet72 on November 25, 2012:

Supposed to be adopting a Newfoundland mix tommorrow really excited just hopeing everything goes according to plan

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on November 06, 2012:




Thank you all so much!

Maggie Griess from Ontario, Canada on November 05, 2012:

I have only met one Newfoundland dog and he made me a lifelong enthusiast of the breed. If I had the space...this would be my choice...such a lovable and laid back dog...of course I love a lot of other breeds...but this one is special!

Judi Brown from UK on November 05, 2012:

They are beautiful dogs. There is a Newfoundlander that works with one of the lifeguards in Cornwall and is a huge hit on the beach. Occasionally we bump into one around town and my dog never quite knows what to make of him - he's very gentle, but she can never get used to his size.

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on November 05, 2012:

Beautiful dog. Nice hub about a beautiful dog. Magz and Bruce are adorable!!!!! Voting of course and sharing too. Everyone has to see these adorable giants. Pinning! I want to have them in my virtual library!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 28, 2012:

moonlake, I've seen those two breeds mixed together and they sure make a beautiful breed. My female hardly ever drools which is nice.

Thanks so much for the vote and for your comments.

moonlake from America on July 28, 2012:

We had a dog that was half Newfoundland and half Saint Bernard she was a beautiful dog and such a nice dog. She was black and white and looked like a teddy bear when she was a baby. We were lucky with her she was dry mouthed. Interesting hub enjoyed reading your dogs are beautiful. Voted up

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 28, 2012:

Hi A.A., Yes Bruce still drools quite a bit. Magz only drools when she sees food that she wants :)

Leg and ankle are still swollen and the heat does not help at all. But I'm walking a lot better and much further than I was a month ago. Thanks for mentioning it.

Augustine A Zavala from Texas on July 28, 2012:

Does your dog still drool a lot?

Big, lovable dogs. I appreciate the story of the one saving soldiers lives in WWII. Hope your leg is better...

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on May 25, 2012:

Thomas, I'd always wanted a Newf, and at the time that I began my search which was a 2 year process for me, I was always checking at the local dog shelters but no Newfs every came in. If I was to ever get another one I would definitely go the rescue route. Thanks for visiting. Always nice to see you or Truman :)

ThoughtSandwiches from Reno, Nevada on May 24, 2012:


I wouldn't be able to go to a breeder because I am anti-breeder but if I find one of these guys in the pound or a rescue society...I'm on him! Truman is terrified of water... obviously...Newfies didn't come from Great Pyrenees!



Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 05, 2011:

Eddy and klomax, Thank you glad you both liked it.

klomax from ALABAMA on December 04, 2011:

Love the article, thanks a bunch.

Eiddwen from Wales on November 23, 2011:

Another brilliant hub on these gentle giants and you are so very lucky.

Thank you so much for sharing and here's to many more to share on here.


Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 13, 2011:

Sinea, Alicia and dahoglund, Thank you for all your comments and votes I really appreciate it.

Don A. Hoglund from Wisconsin Rapids on October 13, 2011:

You did a good job of presenting the Newfoundland dog in this hub. Very interesting breed, although not for us.Voted up,interesting and beautiful.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on October 13, 2011:

Frannie, They are very gentle. I sometimes wonder if an intruder came into the house what my 2 would actually do other than bark :). Thanks so much for your comments. I too do stained glass but have not made anything for a few years now.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on October 12, 2011:

I love reading hubs about dogs, and this one is very enjoyable. I love the photos of your Newfoundland dogs! Thanks for the information.

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on October 12, 2011:

Newfees are so beautiful. We've never owned one...we have had several English Yellow Labs...but I greatly admire these bear-like New Foundlands.

Frannie Dee from Chicago Northwest Suburb on October 12, 2011:

Good information. I saw two Newfees in person once when I visited an artisan woman in the country to look at her stained glass windows. I was alarmed at their size at first but then soon learned they were friendly and gentle. She showed me their webbed feet too. Such an interesting breed and Hub.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on September 10, 2011:

rvingbudgeteer, Thank you for your comments. I have known of people who live in apartments and or condo's that own Newfoundland dogs, but an RV just might be a tad bit small.

rvingbudgeteer from Pensacola, Florida on September 10, 2011:

Great Article. I had a New Foundland at one time but he is gone now :-( I wish I could have one again but don't think it would be happy living in an RV. To confined I think for such as b beautiful animal!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on July 25, 2011:

Newfoundland dogs, They are a wonderful breed.

Lesley, Thanks so much.

Lesleysherwood on July 25, 2011:

They are beautiful. I love them.

Newfoundland dogs on May 14, 2011:

This is very funny video,I have 2 Newfoundland dogs and absolutely love them :)

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on April 04, 2011:

Wesman this surprises me that you have never seen a Newfoundland dog. Thanks for reading.

Storytellersrus If you really want one I know a great breeder :) Thanks for coming by to read.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on April 04, 2011:

Well Susan, you have sold me. Where do I sign up for one of these loving brutes? Great hub- makes me want to Google Gander...

Wesman Todd Shaw from Kaufman, Texas on April 03, 2011:

WOW!! I'm not sure, but I doubt that I've ever seen one of those dogs before. As distinct as they are I'm betting that I haven't. I tend to love all dogs, but some more than others, of course.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 15, 2011:

Sinea a lot of work but well worth it. Thanks so much!

Sinea Pies from Northeastern United States on March 15, 2011:

I have met a couple of Newfies. They are so sweet. Love dogs! Very nice post.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on March 05, 2011:

Thanks Vernpaulwriter glad you like it.

Vernpaulwriter from backwoods of Nevada on March 04, 2011:

great hub, I love dogs. I had a ST. Bernard and now have a lab and a weiner dog. Loved your hub for it brought back memories.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 21, 2011:

Kalux thanks so much. I see that you are in Canada if you are in Ontario let me know and I can recommend a really good breeder for you.

Kalux from Canada on February 21, 2011:

Beautiful dogs! I have my heart set on getting a Newfie when the time is right.

Your two are adorable.

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on February 04, 2011:

Danielle glad to have been able to help and enjoy your new pup they are truly wonderful dogs!

Danielle on February 04, 2011:

i own a newfoundland puppy shes 4weeks and great. i am studing working dogs at the moment in collage and have choose a newfoundland your information has came in very helpful. so thanks a lot

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on January 13, 2011:

Thanks so much akulkarni glad you like it.

akulkarni1234 on December 24, 2010:

i looked at some of your hubs..this one was my like..i love dogs ..thank you for the pictures. voted.. awesome!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 18, 2010:

Thanks crafty and GmaGoldie. I have always had big dogs, my Newfoundland dogs are the biggest yet. They are a lot of work but well worth all the love they give back!

Kelly Kline Burnett from Madison, Wisconsin on December 17, 2010:

I had two giant Golden Retrievers, only to be "outdone" by my best friends two massively giant NewFoundlands! Fun and wonderful animals. Love big dogs - all colors - all sizes.

craftybegonia from Southwestern, United States on December 16, 2010:

Giant breed dogs are usually very gentle,loving and loyal dogs. Really intelligent and very precious. Our Buddy was a Great Pyrenee/Australian Shepherd mix. He just gorgeous and would scare the daylights out of any stranger! But he was very gentle with grandma. He was about 112 pounds and strong as an ox. We miss him dearly! Thank you for this Hub. The giant breeds are very special!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 16, 2010:

Seven dogs wow I cannot imagine your dog food bill. I will go and check out your blog and thanks for stopping by to read mine!

Vangor7 from Texas on December 16, 2010:

Very nice post. I have always been interested in this breed. I especially like the video. Its neat to see dogs working... they always seem most comfortable doing what they were born to do. I'm sure you have a nice monthly dog food bill like we do. We have seven dogs of our own and they keep us pretty busy. You can follow our blog at I try to keep it updated, but sometimes we get busy. Its good to see other dog lovers who are passionate about the breeds they own. Hope to read more in the future!

Susan Zutautas (author) from Ontario, Canada on December 13, 2010:

Thanks Lilibees, they are are wonderful dogs!

lilibees on December 13, 2010:

I have a Newfoundland a landseer to be more exact, great hub!

Christy Zutautas on December 03, 2010:

Great hub, I'll add the link to my Newfoundland hub:)

Ken R. Abell on December 03, 2010:

Very informative & enjoyable read. Thank you.