The exact origin of the Newfoundland is unclear, but the breed is widely believed to have developed on the coast of Newfoundland. Thanks to webbed feet, powerful muscles, and a thick coat, the dogs excelled in the island’s cold waters and were used to drag heavy fishing nets. On land the dogs are superb draft and pack dogs. Beloved for its easygoing, sweet temperament and working ability, it has fans in the U.S. and Canada as well as throughout Europe.

Giant; females 26 inches, 100 to 120 pounds; males 28 inches, 130 to 150 pounds.


Black, brown, gray, and white and black.


Sweet, calm, gentle, intelligent, and patient. Ideal for training. Friendly to all, but will protect family if threatened.

Energy level:

Medium to low at maturity.

Best owner:

Active family with fenced yard in suburbs or countryside.


Brushing (lots of it), daily exercise (walking, swimming, pulling, playing), room to stretch out, indoor companionship, drool duty, obedience training.

Life expectancy:

8 to 10 years.