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Average Lifespan Of A Healthy Newfoundland Dog

The Newfoundland is a strong, strikingly beautiful dog that is from the working class.

They are often referred to as a “giant giant” due to their massive size and calm demeanor. 

They are popular as both loving family companions and hard-working dogs.

But how long do Newfoundlands REALLY live?

I’m glad you asked because there’s a lot of misleading articles out there about this subject and I want to set the record straight on the average lifespan of a HEALTHY Newfoundland.

Most articles that you come across are going to tell you that the average lifespan of a Newfie is 8-10 years. 

That lifespan used to be the norm about 20 years ago but now it’s more like 10-12+ years. 

It’s true that the giant breed dogs such as Newfies have a shorter lifespan than most of their smaller dog friends BUT a healthy Newfie can live way beyond 8 years.

Since Newfoundlands are a breed that is prone to several health problems, the keyword here is HEALTHY. 

Let’s dive a little deeper into what can actually affect a Newfie’s lifespan. 

newfoundland dogs live to be at least 10-12 years old on average

Newfoundland Life Expectancy

It used to be that giant dog breed lifespans typically varied between 8 to 12 years.

Since Newfies fall in the category of giant dogs, that they USED to be labeled with a life expectancy of between 8 to 10 years.

However, today, many Newfies are surpassing that range and are now considered to have a life expectancy of 10-12 years.

It’s not rare or unheard to hear of Newfies living well into their teens and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

With that being said, the Newfoundland dog lifespan, like any life expectancy, depends on several different factors, most importantly, the health of the Newfie.

Newfoundlands are prone to specific medical conditions that often will contribute to their shorter lifespan. 

The most common medical problems seen in the Newfoundland breed are:

  • Arthritis
  • Heart conditions
  • Injuries
  • Joint problems
  • Cancer

These conditions can greatly affect a Newfie’s lifespan.

how long do newfies live

 

How Can I Extend the Life of My Newfoundland?

Get Your Newfoundland From a Good Breeder

Good breeders, the ones that care about preserving the breed over making money, do genetic health testing to ensure that they are producing healthy puppies. 

When you buy your Newfie puppy from a respected breeder, you and your pup are already off to a good start.

Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder or puppy mill can be costly in the long run and you can get a Newfie riddled with major health issues like hip dysplasia which can greatly decrease their quality of life. 

Feed A Healthy Diet

Whether you feed kibble, raw or cooked food to your Newfoundland a nutritionally sound diet will improve the quality of your dog’s life. 

The diet should be tailored to the dog’s age, activity and size. 

Newfies are prone to being overweight so it’s super important to keep your Newfie lean and to monitor their weight regularly. 

newfoundland dog lifespan

Extra pounds add extra stress on the joints and heart which can shorten a Newfoundland’s lifespan.

Always make sure that you mention any concerns of weight gain to your veterinarian to rule out any medical conditions.

 

 

Exercise and Training

Regular exercise and training are important for any dog, including the Newfie. 

Don’t stop training your Newfoundland after puppyhood, keep going!

When your Newfie is older enough, you can look into draft work.

Swimming is also a favorite activity for most Newfies.

Don’t stop there, they can also be trained for dock diving, nose work and their sweet nature makes them a good candidate for therapy work.

newfoundland dog in swimming pool

Visit the Vet Regularly

Find a vet that is experienced with giant breed dogs, preferably one that is up-to-date on Newfoundlands. 

Make sure to have an orthopedic exam done on puppies and always mention any concerns to your vet. 

Adult Newfies should see their vet at least once a year while senior Newfies should see their vet at least twice a year. 

Overweight Newfoundland Live Shorter Lives

Plain and simple, a fat Newfie will live a shorter life than a healthy and lean Newfie.

An overweight Newfie is predisposed to serious diseases like joint problems, digestive and metabolic disorders, heart diseases, back pain and neck pain that can drastically shorten their life. 

The average weight for a male Newfie is 130-150 pounds.

The average weight for a female Newfie is 110-120 pounds. 

how long do newfoundland dogs live

Bigger is not always better, in fact, bigger will often mean bigger problems throughout the Newfie’s life. 

Feed appropriately and don’t let your Newfie turn into a couch potato. 

Does Neutering & Spaying Affect Their Lifespan?

In regards to spaying and neutering your Newfoundland, you should speak to your breeder or veterinarian and follow their recommendations.

Most breeders and vets advise altering giant breed dogs after their growth plates close which is around 18-24 months.

You should spay or neuter your Newfie if you signed a contract with your breeder stating that you would. 

Newfoundland Common Health Issues That Can Affect Their Lifespan

The following are the most common health disorders that can affect the lifespan of Newfoundlands. 

Arthritis

Mild arthritis is easily treated. 

Talk to your vet about dietary supplements such as glucosamine and chondroitin that may help keep the joints lubricated.

Keeping your newf at a healthy weight and exercising is important, walking can loosen up stiff joints and it keeps muscles in shape

A more severe form of arthritis is osteoarthritis.

It is a degenerative joint disease in which the cartilage in joints is gradually lost.

Bloat

Dog bloat is the combination of 2 conditions-gastric dilatation where the stomach fills with gas and fluid, and volvus, which is where the gas-filled stomach twists (GDV).

Once the stomach twists, the blood supply to the stomach is cut off and the stomach begins to die which can lead to shock and death of the dog.

Black purebred Newfoundland dogs

Cancer

Lymphoma and Osteosarcoma are common cancers seen in large breed dogs like the Newfoundlands

Cystinuria

Cystinuria is a genetic kidney defect.

Newfoundlands appear to be affected by a more severe form of the disease than other breeds.

Normally, cystine that is filtered in the kidney is reabsorbed within the tubules, resulting in little cystine in the urine.

Degenerative myelopathy

DM is a slow-moving disease that causes progressive loss of coordination and weakness of the hind legs that eventually results in paralysis. 

A dog will often start to exhibit paw knuckling due to loss of feeling in that leg and then gradually lose mobility altogether. 

Heart disease

Several heart issues affect the Newfoundland including SAS (sub-valvular aortic stenosis) and dilated cardiomyopathy.

Intestinal disorders

Megaesophagus and IBD are common intestinal disorders that can be seen in the Newfoundland

Laryngeal paralysis

Laryngeal Paralysis in dogs is the degeneration of nerves that control the muscles that move the laryngeal cartilages, located in the throat.

In laryngeal paralysis, respiratory obstruction occurs because the cartilages remain in a central position causing airway resistance, instead of opening up the airway during inspiration.

Thyroid disease

Hypothyroidism is when a dog’s body is deficient in thyroid hormone. 

This deficiency is produced by immune-mediated destruction of the thyroid gland, by natural atrophy of the gland, by dietary iodine deficiency, or as a congenital problem.

Too little hormone and the dog becomes listless, overweight, and even bald in spots.

For a complete list of the most common health condition seen in Newfies visit this post-> Common Health Problems Seen In The Newfoundland Dog

What Is The Oldest Living Newfoundland?

The oldest living Newfoundland dog, unofficially, is 16 years old. (If anyone has an official age, please let me know)

Did you know that the Newfoundland Club of America has an award ceremony every year for senior Newfoundlands?

They do and it’s called Living Legends.

Any Newfie that is 10 years or older and is a member of the NCA receives special recognition in a dedicated ceremony at the breed’s national show.

There are normally about 60+ Newfies recognized each year, including some in their teens!

Keep in mind that this isn’t ALL the Newfies over 10 but the ones that are NCA members.

senior newfoundland dog

Real Talk

No one can tell you how long your Newfie is going to live but I can tell you that many Newfies now enjoy happy and healthy lives well into the double digits. 

Getting your Newfoundland from a good breeder, keeping them at a healthy weight and maintaining regular visits to the vet are all good ways to extend their life. 

Life is going to happen and at some point, your Newfie will slow down and probably have some health problems, be prepared. 

 

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