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Newfoundland - Appearance & Grooming

Source: PetWave, Updated on July 16, 2015


The massive, fluffy Newfoundland is a strong and stately dog with a very broad and heavy head. The muzzle is square and short, the ears are triangular and pendant, and the eyes dark brown. The expression of the dog is soft and dignified, with an air of intelligence. The nose is typically black, but some brown toned dogs may have brown noses. The dogs are heavy-boned and strongly muscled, which give him his mass and power. In a relaxed state of mind, the Newfoundland's tail hangs straight or with a slight curve at the end. When the dog is in motion or excited, the tail is carried out, but it does not curl over the back. Newfoundlands have webbed feet, making them excellent swimmers. The black, brown, gray, or Landseer coat is long, thick, fluffy and water-repellent.

Size and Weight

Adult male Newfoundlands should ideally stand 28 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 130 to 150 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, standing ideally at 26 inches and weighing from 100 to 120 pounds. The correct proportion of a Newfoundland is to be slightly longer than tall.

Coat and Color

The Newfoundland wears a thick, fluffy, water-resistant double coat. The undercoat is dense and the outer coat is moderately long, coarse, and may be either straight or wavy. Those dogs who live in warmer climates will have a less dense undercoat that those living in cooler areas of the globe. The coat comes in black, brown, gray, and black and white. The black and white pattern is referred to as Landseer, and the patter is a white base coat with black markings. Typically, in this pattern, the head is solid black, or black with white on the muzzle. There is a black saddle and black on the rump extending onto a white tail. Solid colored Newfoundlands may have white on the chin, chest, toes, and tip of tail.

Grooming Needs

Taking care of the Newfoundland coat can be quite time consuming. The fluffy coat is a dirt and debris magnet and needs to be brushed daily in order to stay clean and prevent tangles and mats from forming in the hair. When properly brushed, baths are only required every one to two months. Newfoundlands are moderate shedders, though they shed heavily twice a year, in Spring and Fall.

The ears should be checked on a regular basis for signs of wax buildup, irritation or infection. Clean them with a cotton ball and a veterinarian-approved cleanser; never use a cotton swab in a dog's ear canal. Teeth should be brushed on a weekly basis to prevent tartar buildup, promote gum health and keep bad breath at bay. Trim nails monthly if the Newfoundland does not wear the toenails down naturally outdoors.

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