The Newfoundland (‘Newfie’) is a very large and heavy Mastiff type dog whose ancestors probably come from the polar regions. His sheer size means that he needs to live in a large house with a large garden and requires plenty of exercise. Many Newfies love water and are good swimmers. His coat is very thick and will need grooming daily. He is not usually aggressive but will warn if strangers approach the house. He has a shortened average lifespan of under 10 years.
Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)
The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.1% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'
Effective Population Size - EPS276.27
EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.
Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)
- The overall shape of a Newfie is free from exaggerations but his sheer size and weightiness results in a much lower than average lifespan.
- Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) (bloat/torsion) Common in deep chested breeds.
- Medial canthal pocket syndrome. Due to breed head shape.
- Hip dysplasia: breed mean score 15.9 (parents should be lower)
- Elbow dysplasia:score should be as low as possible (ideally 0:0)
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) : EBVs for Hip and Elbow Dysplasia are available for this breed
DNA Tests Available
DogWellNet and IPFD Harmonisation of Genetic Testing for Dogs (HGTD)
- Cystinuria Type 1-A
- Cystinuria Type 11-A
- Cystinuria Type 11-B
- Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
- Colour coat dilution Alopecia
Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test. Good breeders will have followed the recommendations of the appropriate breed clubs, Kennel Club and/or other qualified experts.
Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes
- Breed club Heart testing
- Bitches not to produce a litter under two years of age.
- Bitches over 7 years not to be bred
Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.
Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)
- Ectopic ureter
- Acquired myasthenia gravis
- Acquired megaoesophagus
- Heart disease: Aortic stenosis
- Heart disease: Dilated cardiomyopathy
- Heart disease: Patent ductus arteriosis
- Pemphigus foliaceus
- Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI)
- Osteochondrosis – shoulder
- Cancer: osteosarcoma
- Eye problems: Entropion, Ectropion, , ‘Diamond eye’, ‘Cherry eye’
- Cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCL)
Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.
Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.
You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP): www.puppycontract.org.uk
You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding: