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The Elusive Dry-Mouth Newfoundland

Every once in awhile I’ll hear the term “dry-mouth” Newfoundland pop up in conversation and I always wondered what that was.

Maybe it’s the medical part in me but whenever I hear dry mouth I think of cottonmouth. 

You know, like the dry gagging you feel when you wake up from being under anesthesia and all you want to do is drown your mouth in a nice cold glass of water. 

No one should ever have a dry mouth and if they do have one on a consistent basis it’s probably due to a medical condition. 

But I know that’s not what people are talking about when they say they have or want a dry-mouth Newfoundland. 

They want a Newfie that doesn’t drool.

newfoundland dog drooling

What is a dry-mouth Newfoundland?

It’s a mythical creature that resides with the shedless Newfoundland and the unicorn in the magical world of Narnia 

It’s a term made up by unethical breeders. 

It’s a marketing ploy.

It’s a red flag if used as a term by a Newfie breeder to get you to buy a puppy.


Because no matter how good a breeder is they can not predict if a Newfie is going to drool or not.

brown newfoundland dog with flews

Mom and dad didn’t drool much but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to produce drool-less offspring. 

Not even the below-par breeders that say they breed for tighter lips can guarantee a “dry-mouth”.  Which by the way, means that they are altering the breed over and over again to get a tighter lip. 

Things I’ve heard over and over again in regards to non-droolers vs. droolers:

“We got our Newf from a breeder who breeds dry-mouths and he’s a constant leaky faucet!”

“We got our Newf from a reputable breeder who didn’t mention anything about a dry-mouth but our Newfie doesn’t drool! We asked the breeder about this and they said to go buy a lottery ticket.”

“We have a dry-mouth Newfoundland. She only drools when she’s begging or after she dunks her head in the water.”

The bottom line is some Newfies drool and some don’t.

Some Newfies drool more than others. 

Some start off droolers as soon as they can drool and some take time to mature into full or part-time droolers. 

Leroy didn’t really start drooling until he was over 4 years old. Sherman drooled from day 1. Odin drools after he drinks, when he’s begging and when he’s hot, otherwise, his chin is dry. 

I feel like Leroy’s flews got looser as he got older but Sherman’s were always loose. 

Newfies have flews

Flews are another name for the upper lips.

Flews that turn out can produce more drool. Flews that turn in may prevent some leakage. 

All dogs have saliva in their mouths and some produce more saliva than others. 

When a dog has flews the saliva will often build up in the pockets of the lips and then eventually stream down the mouth or get flung somewhere onto your walls or ceiling. 

newfoundland dog with loose flews

So the looser the flews the more slobber the dog will produce?

I used to think that because Sherman had some really loose flews and slobbered basically all the time but some dogs with loose flews only slobber after drinking, when they’re hot or when they’re begging and not when they’re sleeping. 

So tighter flews won’t produce as most slobber?

Not necessarily.

Odin has tighter flews than any Newfie that I’ve had and he also has some pretty good slobber strings. 

So why do some Newfies drool more than others even if they have loose flews?

landseer newfoundland drooling

I don’t know. I really don’t know and after researching this topic I don’t think anyone does. 

Making it even more confusing is the fact that flews are not mentioned in the American or UK standards of the Newfoundland breed.

The Candian Kennel Club does mention that pronounced flews are not desirable. 

Many Newfoundland dogs don’t drool ALL the time but most Newfies are going to drool after they dunk their heads in a bowl of cool water and when you’re eating a 6-inch thick pastrami sandwich on rye. 

Thus making it a drool-less mouth over a dry-mouth. 

What to do if you come across a breeder advertising a dry-mouth Newfoundland

Ask if they guarantee that the dog will be a dry-mouth and if they do get it in writing. 

Request that it be in your contract right below the health guarantee. 

My guesses are that no Newfoundland dog breeder will give you such a guarantee. 

wet mouth newfoundland drooling

Is your Newfie still a Newfie if he/she doesn’t drool?

Absolutely and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

Not all Newfies are created equal. 

Some may drip, some may leak. 

And if your Newfie doesn’t drool it isn’t a rare form of the breed.

It doesn’t need a name prefacing the breed. 

I don’t have a wet-mouth Newfoundland.

I have a Newfoundland. 

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