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All about your Newfoundland

Gallant and caring, with a gentle disposition.

Newfoundlands are a sweet and loving breed that work hard and play hard. Find out more about this large, mellow dog, from his temperament and how he should be groomed, to his health and exercise needs.

A Black Newfoundland Jogs On A Lawn

Breed information & advice

The Newfoundland dog is known for his hard-working nature – that’s why you’ll find him in the working breed group. With his huge size and friendly personality, he’s commonly referred to as the ‘gentle giant’ of dogs.

  • As such a large dog when fully grown, the Newfoundland will need a spacious home.
  • His thick and lustrous coat will require brushing two or three times a week, especially during spring and autumn when shedding is at its peak.
  • Typically he will weigh between 45kg and 68kg, when fully grown.
  • A healthy Newfoundland will usually live for 8 to 10 years.

Typical size of a Newfoundland

Large: 63cm-74cm

Due to his size and adventurous nature, your Newfoundland requires a good walk every day to burn off some of his excitable energy. As a puppy he’ll grow at a fast rate and you need to look after his joints, which means more time on the grass than on the pavement.

Two meals a day will be enough for your dog, but try to include a good mix of protein and fat for your Newfoundland puppy as he’ll need it to grow strong. Quantities will vary depending on the size, age and exercise levels of your dog, and always read the packet.

Up to one hour of exercise per day

Newfoundlands love to swim, so it might be a good idea to try to incorporate a dip into your dog’s regular exercise routine.

Black And White Newfoundland Dog Runs Through Grass
Fluffy White And Black Newfoundland Dog Looking At You

Common health problems & illnesses

Your Newfoundland will need all of the usual vaccinations and check-ups to help protect him against common ailments. There are some conditions which this breed is more prone to though, and you may want to familiarise yourself with the symptoms, so you know what to look out for.

1. Cruciate ligament injury

Newfoundland dogs may be more susceptible to weakened ligaments, which could result in a rupture or tear of the cruciate ligament. If your dog is displaying signs of lameness or is struggling to get up, check with your vet to find out the extent and the cause of the injury. Treatment options vary from physiotherapy and lifestyle changes, to surgery and medication.

Cruciate ligament injury was responsible for around 10% of Tesco Pet Insurance claims for this breed in 2015.

2. Joint and bone problems

Given the Newfoundland’s sheer size, this may bring with it some issues in the back and joints. Spondylosis is a condition where bony projections can affect flexibility and mobility, while arthritis can settle in during later years – both are common conditions in older dogs and can be treated with regular doses of medication.

3. Pyoderma

Pyoderma is a bacterial infection that can result in lesions and pustules on a dog’s skin. It can occur if your dog gets a cut and the wound is not properly treated and cleaned. Look out for red, inflamed patches or scabs during your regular grooming inspections, and see if your Newfoundland has an itch he just keeps on scratching. Treatment may include dietary changes, creams or medication.

4. Dermatitis

Another skin condition that can affect this breed is atopic dermatitis, which is most commonly associated with allergies. It may not be noticeable at first, but as time goes on it will become more apparent if he gets itchy or licks himself more than usual. Dust mites, mould spores and even wool or fabrics can be the cause. Treatment might include reducing the effects of the allergens, antihistamines and medicated shampoo.

5. Growths and tumours

Tumours and growths affect many breeds of dog and have various causes and symptoms depending on the underlying condition – some are benign, while others could be more serious. If you find an abnormal growth while grooming your dog, then speak to your vet who can do a full examination to identify the cause and offer the best course of treatment.

Dog name popularity

If you’re struggling to think of a name for your Newfoundland, take a look at the most popular ones at Tesco Pet Insurance for inspiration.

Dog name popularity

Average treatment costs

Wondering whether pet insurance for your Newfoundland is worth it? We’ve put together the top five conditions claimed for by Tesco Pet Insurance customers in 2015, and the average cost of treatment.

ConditionAverage treatment cost
Cruciate rupture£931.15
Arthritis and degenerative joint disease£291.91
Back and spinal conditions£663.86

Tesco Pet Insurance claims data from paid treatments including excesses from 01/01/15 to 31/12/15.

Considering Newfoundland insurance?

We know your dog is an important member of the family, so give them the protection they deserve with Tesco Pet Insurance.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc.

Grooming advice

Try to aim for three brushes a week of your Newfoundland’s coat, especially during the spring and autumn when he will shed the most. A thorough combing removes the loose hairs and fur, and helps to keep your pet neat and tidy.

He’ll only need bathing every three months too – any more and you risk losing some of the lustre of his coat. He’ll also get a regular rinse from all the swimming he loves to do. This is especially handy because, with his fluffy coat, your Newfoundland is likely to get into all kinds of muddy trouble. If the challenge of maintaining his coat proves too much, you can always consult with a dog groomer to get some useful tips.

Brush his teeth three times a week – dogs are still at risk of cavities and a proper cleaning at the vets can be stressful.

Fun & interesting facts

  • Ancestors of Newfoundland dogs were first thought to have originated from Europe, but they’re named after the Canadian region that they helped to settle.
  • A Newfoundland will drool a lot.
  • He is among the most obedient breeds, and will love being trained from an early age.
  • When JM Barrie originally devised the story of Peter Pan, he was inspired by his own Newfoundland, Luath, to cast the Darling family nurse Nana as the very same breed.
  • The breed’s famous rescue instinct kicked in during the sinking of the Titanic, when a Newfoundland named Rigel swam the waters searching for his master.

Important information


The content on this page aims to offer an informative introduction to pet breeds, but does not constitute expert veterinary advice. If your dog or cat falls ill or has an injury, contact your vet immediately. Tesco Bank Pet Insurance has a partnership with vetfone™ which means that as a customer, you can benefit from their advice as part of your policy.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

All facts and figures were correct at date of publication and were compiled using a range of sources.


Vetfone™ is a 24/7 helpline that provides expert advice from nurses qualified with the RCVS (Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons). If your pet has a medical emergency, or you need reassurance on grooming, feeding or general advice, vetfone™ is there to help.

As a Tesco Pet Insurance customer, you can access expert veterinary advice provided by RCVS registered vet nurses as a standard benefit with your policy, and the service is provided at no additional cost. A quick call could answer any questions you have about your pet, give you peace of mind and could even save you an expensive trip to the vet.

Tesco Bank Pet Insurance is arranged, administered and underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. The vetfone™ service is provided by Vetsdirect Ltd.

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