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So You Think You Want A Newfoundland. Here’s 9 Things You Should Know

The first time that I saw a Newfie in person, I was about 5 years old.

He was a big black drooly beast and I was terrified of him.

His name was Rascal and he belonged to my aunt. 

I wouldn’t go inside to my aunt’s house unless Rascal was secured in another room. 

Fast forward about 12 years and my sister got a black Newfie that looked very similar to Rascal and she named him Brutus. 

I quickly fell in love with Brutus and the breed. 

landseer newfoundland

Then one day as I was flipping through a magazine I came across a picture of a Landseer  sitting on a hill and I vowed to have “one of those” one day. 

A few years later I had my very own Landseer and the rest is history. 

For me, getting a Newfoundland was the best decision that I had made in my short years of being an adult. 

I didn’t know a lot about the breed, just what I observed with my sister’s Newfie and a few paragraphs that I read in a book. 

We didn’t have online articles to reference back then but I feel in love with the history behind the breed. 

newfoundland puppy laying on grooming table

My favorite characteristic was the breed’s size and temperament. 

The longer that I became a Newfie owner, the more I fell in love with the breed but the more I also learned why having one is way different than reading about one in a book.

I believe that if 1/2 the people who think they want a Newfie knew the truth about Newfies, they wouldn’t have one.

When you look up Newfies on the internet some of the sites can be deceiving.

Sure they list the pros and the cons but most of the time these are coming from people who have never owned a Newfoundland before.


black newfoundland dog

They write articles on every single breed whether they know it or not and it’s not based on first-hand experience.

You can tell the articles that are written by Newfie owners and the ones that aren’t.

So here’s another one to add to the bunch.

Written with love by a Newfie owner.

Newfoundlands Drool

They are supposed to drool and they’re included as one of the top 10 iconic dog breeds that drool.

It’s a breed trait.

Some drool more than others.

Some can make drool jewelry while some can barely manage to spit out a tiny string.

There is no such thing as a DRY MOUTHED Newfoundland.

Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying and if they’re a breeder, shame on them.

dog breeds that drool the most


No reputable Newfoundland breeder can guarantee that a Newf won’t drool unless they are intentionally trying to breed out that trait which is altering the breed.

Which is wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Some Newfies drool more than others. 

I try to photograph the drool as much as I can because it’s supposed to be there.

Don’t like drool?

Don’t get a Newfie.

So You Think You Want A Newfoundland. Here's 9 Things You Should Know

Gentle Giants

Newfoundlands are the most loving and devoted breed that there is.

Their heart is as big as their massive body and most would never harm a fly.  

But I think Gentle Giant is a deceiving term, at least for their first few years.

More people than not become very concerned that their 18-month Newfie is broken because teenage Newfies can be a lot to handle for first-time owners.

They can snuggle with the tiniest of creatures but give you a bloody nose in one quick second when they throw you a welcome home party every time you walk in the door.

I’ve had deviated septum, a chipped tooth, more bruises on my feet than I can remember and most recently, I bit through my bottom lip when Odin went to give me an excited kiss.

And for the love of all things Newfie, bigger is not always better. 

It’s not done on purpose, it’s done out of pure love, but there’s nothing gentle about it.  

That lamp on your end table will eventually come crashing down by a happy tail.

And your toes……kiss them puppies goodbye.

They will be stepped on by 150 pounds of love countless times.

It feels like a bag of cement being dropped on your foot.  

newfoundland puppies

Your couch…….is not going to be gently used anymore.

You better just devote one to the dog now and go buy one for yourself.

Clean carpets?

Even if you still have carpets in more than one room of your house after 3 years of having a Newfoundland, I laugh at the fact that you seek clean carpets.

Clean for a day, maybe.

Newfies Are Expensive

Got money?

You’re going to need it.

I’m not just talking about chump change.

I’m talking about college savings.

I’ve been there and failed.

I thought I was prepared.

I was not.

I had enough cash to cover the routine care and a few unexpected health problems but I did NOT have the cash for a major medical crisis.

Newfies are double, if not triple the size of the average dog, so are their medical bills.

I remember taking Sherman and our Beagle in for a dental cleaning years ago.

The Beagle’s final invoice was like the deal of the century.

It was like buy 1 get one 1/2 off.

Even though it’s too late for me, I recommend pet insurance to anyone who asks OR start that Newfie college fund now.

Let’s see…..Lou is currently 18 months old and has had 2 trips to the emergency clinic plus his routine exams and vaccines this year. 

His last visit was due to an abscess on his paw and the antibiotics to treat it were over $120.00.

adopted newfoundland vs well bred newfoundland


Make sure to set some funds aside for grooming too.

Whether you decide to groom yourself or pay someone to do it, you’ll still have to invest in some grooming tools.

So You Think You Want A Newfoundland. Here's 9 Things You Should Know

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Neat Freaks Beware

Do you like a clean house?

Forget about it.

You will eventually have a 150-pound shedding and drooling machine taking over your house.

You will go out of your mind trying to pick up every hair that falls and every slobber string that gets flung.

Did you ever see a Newfie not leave a trail of water from the water bowl through the house?


brown and black newfoundland puppies

They create their own river every single time they take a drink.

And they shed every single day

I’m not saying you’re house shouldn’t be semi-clean, I’m just saying that you should be more worried about spending time with your family than with cleaning up after your Newfie every second of the day.

Here’s a little tip, stock up on Magic Erasers now.

And the mud, ohhhhhhhh the mud.

Newfie holiday hoodie now available on Amazon

Smarty Pants

Newfs are intelligent dogs.

Actually, some refer to them as one of the most intelligent dog breeds that there is.

Some Newfies may give the impression that they are not, but most are.

I struggled for years trying to figure out if Leroy was missing part of his brain.

It was hard to tell.

I finally figured out that he’s a very smart dog.

Almost too smart for his own good and mine because he tricked me into thinking he was not.  

For this reason, training your Newfoundland is a must.

I don’t know why some people get the impression that Newfs magically train themselves.

They don’t.

Most train easily but they still need to be taught basic commands and manners.

Check out 10 Common Behavior Issues Seen In The Newfoundland Dog. 

So You Think You Want A Newfoundland. Here's 9 Things You Should Know

You Can’t Have Just One

What’s better than one Newfie?


Sure you can have just one for a little bit but eventually, you’ll get the Newfie fever.

In my first round, I had one.

Second round two.

lou and odin


Double the fun.

Double the money.

Double the work.

Double the love.

You’ve been Newfed and there’s no going back now.


The Newfoundland is a working dog.

They are not couch potatoes but they can easily turn into couch potatoes if you let them. Newfs need daily exercise.

Walks, hikes, saving lives, swimming, carting…etc.

black newfoundland dog sitting

They will sleep all day if you let them.


And don’t forget about exercising their brain.

Remember they are an intelligent breed and their minds should be challenged.

You let their minds wander and they’ll be learning how to open your refrigerator in no time or figuring out how to get the secret stash on top of it.

Related Article: Exercises For Newfoundland Dogs

So You Think You Want A Newfoundland. Here's 9 Things You Should Know

They Are Not Garbage Disposals

Look, Newfies like to eat but they don’t require 10 cups of food a day.

Sure giant breeds eat more than a Miniature Poodle but not much more than a Lab.

If you’re feeding a high-quality diet, quantity isn’t always better.

Newfies should be kept at an ideal weight.

newfoundland dog wearing walking harness

Some people are shocked that my dogs eat only 3-4 cups of food a day.

In my opinion, 10 cups of food is an outrageous amount of food for an adult Newfoundland to eat and can lead to unnecessary weight gain which can lead to serious health issues, such as bloat.

If you’re feeding that low quality of a kibble that it calls for your dog to eat 10 cups of food a day it might be time to switch.

And your hands aren’t a good measuring tool.

Use a REAL measuring cup. 


So You Think You Want A Newfoundland. Here's 9 Things You Should Know

Think Into The Future

There are two phases of raising a Newfie that are equal parts awesome and trying, the adolescent stage and the senior stage.

That little fluff ball puppy will eventually turn into a senior Newfie and no one can prepare for the senior years.

You’ve made it through all the above and now you’re here.

These will be the toughest, most expensive, dirtiest, but most rewarding parts of their life and yours.

They will need you more than ever in their golden years.

You’ll need to modify your house for them and invest in things like dog ramps to make their life easier.

so you think you want a newfoundland

Your heart will hurt at times.

You’ll cry, you’ll laugh.

You and them will struggle, no doubt.  

You need to know this.

You need to think about the future and prepare yourself.  

The gray muzzle that suddenly appears one day will break your heart but soon you’ll look at it as sweet sugar lips.  

An experienced Newf.  

And it will melt your heart even more and you will embrace the gray.

So You Think You Want A Newfoundland. Here's 9 Things You Should Know

So if Newfies are so much trouble then why do people have them?

Because their love is like no other and if you’re still interested in having one you’ll learn that on your own.


Interested in the Newfoundland breed?

Check out the Breeders List from the Newfoundland Club of America or contact one of the many Newfoundland Rescue Groups. 

Have something to add to our list?

Feel free to share below.

You also might want to check out our new post, The 4 Life Stages of the Newfoundland. 

Searching for a responsible Newfoundland breeder?

Check out our post 10 Tips When Searching For A Responsible Newfoundland Dog Breeder

Wondering what health problems you may encounter with a Newfie?

Check out Common Health Problems Seen In The Newfoundland Dog

We highly recommend that you consider getting pet insurance for your Newfoundland.

You might not need it right now but you’ll be thankful that you have it when your Newfie is a senior.


black and brown newfoundland dogs



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Tuesday 2nd of April 2024

Thank you for taking the time to write this important article. I hope you always enjoy the love of a beautiful Newfoundland. They are amazing and beautiful dogs!


Friday 21st of April 2023

We have had 5 since 1972. We love the breed. Now in our high 70’s I don’t think we could have another puppy.I have many stories I could tell. Three were with us 13 years. The last 2 only were 8 and 7. We miss them.

Kim R

Wednesday 29th of March 2023

I was on a wait list to rescue what turned out to be my Landseer Newfie. I was simply waiting for a female. She was wonderful! The 2 year old crazy years to the midlife great camp partner years. No one messes with a single female camper when they think she brought a bear. To the senior years. Dang if that dog did not live to be 13! This article nailed it. There was drool (yes, I was told she was dry), we had mud, we had snow, we had missing bacon grease and even 3 pounds of raw burger - gone. My silly mom though pushing it back on the counter was enough. The microwave became “the vault” after that. We got her a little brother, Great Pyrenees’s and they took over the house. Oddly enough, they rarely broke anything, however don’t bother with a bigger house. We were in at least 2200 sq ft the entire time and they were NEVER in another room. Right THERE! They had to be RIGHT THERE… on your feet. Under your feet. Leaning on your feet. The lean! We swore if we were at work, the dogs just fell over all day. We simply gave in to our annual vacuum purchase. No way around it. By our third house with them we had plank look tile installed before we arrived. Worth every penny! Helped when those senior years weren’t so pleasant. So yes, all of this article is truth! Buyer beware! And yes! We will do it again some day. For now our goal is to travel and not many kennels are equipped for these gentle giants. Rover and sleep over dog sitters became our solution. I always wanted to take my newfie and ride the country. Maybe write a book. “A sidecar for Bella”. Someday!


Saturday 25th of March 2023

Ours gone to the rainbow two years ago after 13 years of absolute fun. We took him skiing, camping, we even took him to Cannes (France, not some Florida dumphole). He walked the Croizett and stayed at the Magestic. We are still grieving…… I can confirm almost everything you said about the breed. Ours did not drool much. But the water trail after each sip of water spread all over the house. We knew when he was drinking from the opposite end of the ground floor. We did not need any alarm. At 0530 each morning the bed was hit by a Newfie missile - he hit the side of the bed at some speed. And of course the blanket was immediately pulled off and made into his temp mat. To say that Newfies like water is to say nothing. They L O V E it. They smell a lake, a river a pool, a sea, a pond and any other water tank from some distance and if you do not notice that in time be prepared to get wet. They will PULLLLLLL! They can be stubborn. They can stop in the middle of a pedestrian crossing and nothing would make them move. Sometimes they just do things like that for fun, sometimes to show you their displeasure that you did not exercise them enough. In short - life with a newf is fun and adventure - you rarely know what awaits you. BUT - believe me it is worth it. Despite the drool, the hair, the splash, no other breed (and we had a Rottweiler, a German shepherd and a cocker spaniel before) will give you that much love, affection and sheer fun and good vibe….

Yours Helen and Andrew


Thursday 13th of October 2022

Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. Your words are both educational and heartfelt. I have never owned a Newfie before but absolutely agree after having her for the past two years that they are full of love and like to pretend they are not as smart as they are. The drool and the mud have been issues but she is so worth all of the mess she leaves behind!

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