Lifestyle Needs


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.

Genetic Diversity
(Known as Coefficient of Inbreeding: 'COI'. It should be as low as possible.)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 6.1% - See 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Gene Pool Size
(Known as Effective Population Size: 'EPS')


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.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia: breed 5 year mean score 14.8  (parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia:score should be as low as possible (ideally 0:0)
  • Eye Scheme:  Entropion; Ectropion; ‘Diamond eye’; ‘Cherry eye’; Glaucoma (annual testing)

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 CU

Availability of a DNA test does not mean that it is always necessary or even desirable for breeders to use this test.

Other Breed-Specific Health Screening Schemes

  • Heart disease Echo Doppler test by cardiologist (Sub-Aortic Stenosis; Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM; Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA)

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)

  • Cranial cruciate ligament rupture (CCL)
  • Acquired myasthenia gravis
  • Acquired megaoesophagus
  • Panosteitis
  • Cancer: osteosarcoma

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.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

The breeder should also be familiar with the CFSG/DBRG Code of Practice for Dog Breeding

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

Breed Health Information