Newfoundland Puppies: Everything a New Owner Should Know


If we had to sum up a Newfoundland puppy in one word, we’d go with “sweet.” And no one exemplifies this gentle giant’s patient devotion better than “Nana”—the canine caretaker in Peter Pan. She’s a fictional character, of course, but she displays the breed’s affection towards children perfectly. 

This sweet-tempered “nanny dog” also has a protective side. Their life-saving drive combined with the breed’s muscular build, water-resistant coat, and webbed feet (yes, they have webbed-feet!) made them a prized asset aboard Canadian fishing boats. 

If you’re charmed by this calm and friendly dog, there are a few things you should know before bringing home one of your own. We’ve got you covered with all the facts you need. Read on to see what life might look like with a Newfoundland puppy.

Newfoundland puppy facts 

Known for their giant size and intelligence, Newfoundlands are also tremendously calm and loyal dogs. The sweet-tempered Newfie has a soulful expression that’s hard to resist. Check out the rest of our breed guide to see if this puppy could be right for you!

Size Giant. Newfoundland males will reach a height of 28 inches, while females will usually be 26 inches tall. Typically, males weigh between 130-150 pounds, and females weigh between 100-120 pounds. 
Breed Characteristics Newfoundlands are large, muscular dogs with tremendous strength. Their water-resistant double coat and webbed feet make them expert swimmers. A Newfie’s thick coat can come in black, brown, gray, or white-and-black. 
Temperament Newfoundland puppies are social butterflies who have a silly habit of forgetting how enormous they actually are. You might have to remind a Newfie he’s not a lap dog, from time to time. As puppies, they’re curious and intelligent—two traits that will continue into adulthood. Got kids? No problem: adult Newfs are incredibly sweet-tempered, gentle, and calm. 
Grooming and Health Needs Keeping a Newfoundland’s thick coat in tip-top shape is no easy task, as he’ll require a thorough weekly brushing. Be aware: Newfs are heavy shedders, especially during the shedding season when he’ll need daily brushing sessions.

Unfortunately, this breed’s giant size puts him at risk for several health issues as he ages, including orthopedic problems and a shorter life expectancy. Newfoundlands are also prone to hip dysplasia and subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS). Similar to a heart attack, SAS can come on suddenly and end in death. Newfoundland owners will need to keep a close eye on a Newf’s ears as well since these dogs can develop infections. 

Training When it comes to training a Newfoundland puppy, gentle correction is the way to go. Newfs are famously eager to please, but they respond best to more delicate training methods. These dogs are both intelligent and trusting, so training should be smooth sailing, as long as you’re dedicated and consistent.
Energy Level Newfoundlands have moderate exercise needs—around a half-hour per day will keep one of these pups healthy and content. A Newfie makes an ideal match for anyone who enjoys outdoor activities as much as they do. These canines are always up for a vigorous hike or a dip in the lake. They also excel at a number of canine sports, and they’ll happily participate in obedience trials, flyball, agility courses, herding, and sledding. 
Life Expectancy A Newfoundland will usually live 8-10 years.

Who is the best human for a Newfoundland puppy?

These majestic giants can make wonderful family pets, but they’re definitely not for everyone. For one thing, a Newf’s large size puts him at risk for a number of health problems. Unfortunately, they have a shorter life expectancy than the average dog as well. 

All puppies are enthusiastic chewers, but a Newfoundland’s large size (and subsequently larger jaw) can mean more damage than usual. You’ll need to keep your Newf occupied with training, play, and socialization to minimize the destruction that a bored puppy can accomplish. 

Newfoundland puppies are gentle and affectionate, especially around children. This is not a breed that can be left alone for long periods of time, though. You’ll need to provide them with loads of human contact. 

One important thing to understand: until he’s two years of age, a Newfie’s growth plates are still forming. This means vigorous exercise is out of the question until he’s fully grown. He can still participate in most activities like swimming and walking. Just take it easy for the first two years, and don’t start any strenuous activities like jogging before then.

 A final consideration—Newfoundlands are major droolers, especially in the heat. If slobbery kisses don’t bother you, then this could be a match made in heaven. 

Getting a Newfoundland puppy

The decision to adopt or to work with a breeder for your new Newfoundland puppy is a personal choice that requires research. Thankfully, there are many resources out there to help you find a rescue or a breeder who offers healthy, ethically-sourced Newfoundland puppies. 

Adopting a Newfoundland puppy

It may come as a surprise, but adopting a Newfoundland puppy is possible. According to the AKC, most shelters report that the majority of their rescue dogs come from individual owner surrender due to a lifestyle change or an incompatibility with the dog. What this means for you: there may be many adoptable dogs and puppies out there who are looking for a new forever home.

The main difference between a breeder and a rescue is that a rescue may not always have young puppies to choose from. The benefit, however, is that most are mandated to only adopt out dogs that have been microchipped and spayed/neutered. This means you may end up with a dog who’s already been housebroken and doesn’t need these common medical procedures. You may also find a Newfoundland mix that has all the traits you want from the breed, but with a little extra thrown in.

Finding a Newfoundland rescue can be as simple as searching the internet. You can check out the Newfoundland Club of America to find local rescues. 

Finding a Newfoundland breeder

The first step is to do your research. Sadly, there are many puppy mills posing as reputable breeders along with many online scams. Be aware, and reach out to different online forums for conversations about getting your future furry family member.

Be sure to ask questions, and make arrangements to meet the parent dogs or mother. In the end, you must follow your gut. If something seems wrong at a breeder you visit, or the Newfoundland puppy seems too good to be true, there’s probably something fishy going on. The AKC also offers resources for finding a breeder, with fairly strict guidelines on who they let participate.

Knowing what you’re in for when you get a Newfoundland puppy is an important step in being a responsible pet owner. Whether you find an ethical breeder or are planning to adopt, prepare yourself for an affectionate and friendly addition to your household.

Newfoundland puppy resources

After you find the right Newfoundland puppy, it’s time to prepare your home! Here are a few resources to get you started.

Featured image via Flickr//Jill Meinert

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