Virbac USA

Featured Breed - Newfoundland


Such a long name is only fitting for a large dog. Make that an extra-large dog! This month’s featured breed is the massive, lovable Newfoundland.


According to the American Kennel Club, the Newfoundland has been long relied on by Canadian fishermen as shipboard working dogs who specialize in water rescues. These born swimmers earned their keep by hauling fishing nets to shore and carrying the day’s catch to market. The breed, as we know it today, was developed largely in 19th century England and America. It is an ancestor of the Labrador and Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, which follow the Newfoundland in their natural swimming ability. 

For many years, the Newfoundland has been known for its dedication to humans. In fact, a Newfoundland named Seaman was part of Lewis and Clark’s 1802 expedition across the American continent.


This extra-large breed can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand 28 inches at the shoulder (males). Females typically weigh in between 100 and 120 pounds. Their coat is flat and coarse and comes in colors of gray, brown, black and black-and-white. When it comes to grooming, the Newfoundland needs a good amount of attention. They should be brushed thoroughly at least once a week.


Don’t let their massive size scare you. Newfoundlands are known to be gentle giants who display a sweet temperament. In fact, that is what they are most known for! That being said, while they may appear as a somewhat lazy dog, they are fairly active. Like most breeds, the Newfoundland needs and enjoys daily exercise.

Fun Facts

  • Newfoundlands, even in Newfoundland, are descended from forebears born in England.
  • The Newfoundland is large and strong enough to bring a drowning human adult to shore.
  • Their lung capacity enables long-distance swimming.
  • The breed is a true working dog and enjoys pulling carts or carrying packs.
  • President James Buchanan owned a Newfoundland named Lara.
  • The dog “Nana” in Peter Pan was a Newfoundland.