How To Breed Newfoundland Dogs

How To Breed Newfoundland Dogs

Newfoundlands, or Newfies as they are affectionately known, are one of the great gentle giants of the dog world. In this article, we’re going to explore how to breed Newfoundland dogs, as well as everything you need to know about the breed.

Newfoundland dog breeding is fairly popular, but if you’re unfamiliar with the breed or want to know more, this guide should serve as a full breed profile & help you get started in breeding Newfies.

Background of Newfoundland Breeding

Keep reading for in-depth information for prospective breeders, including the origin of the breed, key Newfie characteristics, health concerns, and all of the relevant pregnancy & puppy info you need to know.

Origin & History of Newfoundland Dogs

Newfoundlands are known to be a direct descendent of the extinct St. John’s water dog and be part of the Mastiff family of dogs. They were originally bred to help Canadian fishermen work in the icy North Atlantic sea and would help to haul the fishing nets on board the boats.

They are natural-born swimmers and would not hesitate to dive into the waters to rescue anyone that fell overboard and are still used in water-rescue today.

The breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1886. Their closest doggie relatives today are Irish Water Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Saint Bernards, and Curly-Coated Retrievers.

Popularity

In 2020, the breed ranks 40th out of 196 in popularity in America according to the AKC. This means they are a fairly popular and common breed of dog.

That said, they have slightly decreased in popularity since 2017 when the breed ranked 35th out of 196.

Appearance

Newfoundlands are a giant dog breed, and their size is their most distinguishing feature! Moreover, the average male measuring 71 cm in height, and weighing between 65 and 80 kg, and the average female standing at 66 cm and weighing between 55 and 56 kg. The longest Newfie also measured 6 feet from nose to tail!

Their bodies are quite literally designed for swimming, with huge, strong, muscular frames and gigantic webbed feet. Furthermore, Newfies have massive heads with very broad snouts and adorable floppy ears.

Their thick, wooly double coats shed heavily at the changing of the seasons and consist of a water-resistant outer coat, and a warm, insulating undercoat. Their fur can be black, brown, grey, or a combination of black and white, and requires regular grooming to keep it from matting.

Personality

Despite their excess shedding and drooly nature, Newfoundlands are a popular breed. This is because they are among the gentlest, sweet-natured, and loving dogs there are. They are incredibly relaxed, social dogs and make perfect family pets, getting on particularly well with children and other animals. They’re also known to be quite vocal dogs, likely because of their working history.

Newfies are very intelligent dogs. But this means that they can get bored easily and are more prone to loneliness and separation anxiety than some other breeds if not living in the right environment. This means they value play and mental stimulation just as much as exercise. That said, they can be quite lazy!

If you’re going to adopt a Newfoundland, you need to make sure you can provide a fun, well-socialized environment for them. They need and thrive on love, attention, and affection. In other words, they shouldn’t be spending too much time alone!

Training

Newfoundlands are smart cookies and fast learners, so naturally, they are quite easy to train. However, they do get bored easily. So it’s best to keep training as straightforward as possible and not be too repetitive.

Switch up your training methods regularly and be kind and respectful in the discipline. Newfies are people pleasers, so positive reinforcement including lots and lots of praise is far more effective than scolding.

Lifestyle Requirements

Due to their size, Newfoundlands require 4 to 5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals during their adulthood, starting at around 18 months, and good quality meat and fruit/vegetables at 22% – 24% protein.

The American Kennel Club recommends at least one hour a day of exercise for Newfoundlands, preferably involving a swim as it’s their favorite thing to do. It’s important not to over or under exercise a Newfoundland because both over-exercising and being overweight can lead to strain on the joints.

Their thick coats need regular grooming to keep clean and tidy. Their fur requires daily, if not weekly, brushing and bathing at least every other week up, or at the most every 6 weeks.

Common Health Problems When Breeding Newfoundland Dogs

The average Newfie lives for around 8-10 years. All dog breeds are pre-dispositioned to certain conditions, these are the most common ones found in Newfoundlands.

newfoundland dogs
Newfoundland dogs live for around 8 to 10 years.

Orthopedic Problems

Due to their size, Newfoundlands are especially likely to get arthritis and joint problems, as their weight puts extra strain on their joints as they age. Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness, swelling,post pu and wearing down of the joints. It is common in old age. Hip and elbow dysplasia are congenital conditions that make the hip and/or elbow joints grow abnormally, causing them to become loose, wobbly, and eventually leading to arthritis. Symptoms of arthritis and dysplasia include:

  • Limping
  • Whining
  • Licking the affected joints
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Decreased desire to exercise
  • Inability to get comfortable
  • Lethargy
  • Low mood
  • Difficulty getting up, jumping, climbing, and squatting
  • Bunny hopping

Any dog showing these symptoms should be examined by a vet and prescribed the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Treatments for arthritis include supplements, pain medication, lifestyle changes, and complementary treatments such as hydrotherapy and acupuncture. Treatment for dysplasia depends on the severity of the symptoms. Mild dysplasia may require lifestyle changes, non-surgical therapies, and pain medication, whilst more severe dysplasia may require surgery.

Bloat (Gastric Torsion)

Bloat in dogs is when the stomach fills with gas; it’s common in deep-chested breeds like Newfoundlands. It is extremely dangerous because it can twist the gut in a way that cuts off its blood supply.

This stops the gas and food from being able to leave and is a life-threatening emergency. It can also make the spleen twist and lose circulation, and block vital veins in the back that carry blood to the heart. Symptoms of bloat include:

  • A hard, swollen belly
  • Retching
  • Drooling
  • Abdomen pain
  • General distress

Any dogs suspected of having bloat must be taken to the emergency vet hospital as soon as possible for life-saving treatment. They will need to have their stomach pumped, receive IV fluid treatment, antibiotics, pain killers, and surgery.

Heart Problems

Heart problems are also not uncommon to Newfoundland dogs, again, because of their size. The heart has to work extra hard to pump blood around such a large body, and this naturally puts it at a higher risk of developing problems.

The most common types of heart disease in the breed are dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS). DCM results in weakened contractions and poor pumping ability, leading to enlarged chambers, valve leakages, and heart failure. SAS creates added tissue to the aortic valve, this causes an obstruction and means that the heart has to work harder, and is therefore under strain. Symptoms of heart disease include:

  • Lethargy
  • Fainting and/or collapsing
  • Coughing, sometimes gagging
  • Shortness of breath
  • Reduced appetite and ability to exercise, subsequent weight changes
  • Stomach swelling

Breeding Newfoundland Dogs

So how do you go about breeding a Newfie? First and foremost, make sure you have the appropriate licenses if you are a first-time breeder. As with any other dog breed, choose your dogs carefully. Make sure they are both healthy and free of any genetic diseases, of good temperament, and registered with the appropriate kennel clubs. If you’re new to breeding, make sure you’re familiar with the signs of a heat cycle, pregnancy & labor.

Dogs are only pregnant for about two months, so during that time, breeders must take extra care of the mother by increasing her food intake until she is consuming between 35% and 50% more than normal.

Make sure you have all of the necessary supplies for whelping, and your vet’s phone number in case of an emergency.

Birthing Problems

Unfortunately, Newfoundlands are prone to experiencing problems during pregnancy & birth that are common in Mastiff breeds. They naturally have a small pelvis, which can make natural birth difficult. So Newfies often have to have C-sections to ensure safe delivery. Always take pregnant dogs to the vet for regular check-ups.

Litters

The average Newfoundland litter size is around 8-10 puppies but can vary between 2 and 15. They should live on their mother’s milk for the first month of their lives, and then the transition to milk replacer and high-quality kibble (four or five times a day) should be made, decreasing to only dry food once the puppies are 7-8 weeks old.

Pricing & Selling

Newfoundland puppies sell for between $500 – $3000 in the US. Exactly how much they cost usually depends on the color of the puppy. The less common the color of the dog, the more expensive they will be, and the more common, the more affordable. . The most common color of Newfie is black, and the least is black & white, otherwise known as Landseers.

To generate interest, advertise your pups online and in trusted pet stores, making sure you communicate your priority of quality & care in the advertisements. In addition, always ask prospective buyers important questions, and meet with them if you can to ensure that the pups go to good homes.

You also want to make sure that prospective buyers know about the breed and are ready for their gigantic size, lifestyle requirements, and cost. According to Pet Coach, the average cost of owning an adult Newfoundland including food, toys, etc, is around $2200 per year.

Newfoundlands Breed FAQ

Are Newfoundlands a dangerous breed of dog?

While the size and bark of a Newfoundland may intimidate people who are unfamiliar with the breed, there is generally nothing to be afraid of. These dogs are the sweetest, most gentle, friendly, and trustworthy dogs on the planet.
That said, always ask the owner if it’s okay before you pet a dog that you don’t know, just in case!

Do Newfoundland dogs bark a lot?

Newfoundlands are known to be quite vocal, but this is not necessarily an indication of aggression or bad behavior. Some dogs just like to bark, the same way humans like to talk, especially if they’re a breed that comes from a working background.
It’s a way of communicating and expressing emotion and not generally anything to worry about unless it is over the top or accompanied by aggression. There are training methods you can do to stop excessive barking.

Are Newfies smart and easy to train?

Newfoundlands are smart dogs and fast learners, so they’re known to be quite easy to train. However, they do get bored easily. So it’s best to keep training as straightforward as possible and not be too repetitive.

Switch up your training methods regularly and be kind and respectful in the discipline. Newfies are people pleasers, so positive reinforcement including lots and lots of praise is far more effective than scolding.

Are Newfoundland puppies heavy chewers?

Newfoundland puppies, like all puppies, are known to be heavy chewers – but because of their large, strong snouts, Newfie pups can do a whole lot more damage. So, during puppyhood, don’t leave them alone until they are fully trained and trusted!

Are Newfoundlands good swimmers?

Newfoundland dogs are natural-born swimmers. Their muscular bodies, waterproof fur, and huge webbed feet are designed for water. They were bred to help Canadian fishermen haul their nets on board the boats, and would often jump off to help anyone who fell overboard. As a result, they’re still used in water-rescue today.

What age should I neuter my Newfoundland dog?

All dogs should be neutered when they are fully grown and post-puberty when their skeletons have fully developed. For large breeds like Newfoundlands, this is around 18-24 months of age.

Otherwise, the change in hormones could disrupt them from developing properly and lead to problems such as osteosarcoma and hip dysplasia.

Are Newfie coats high maintenance?

Newfoundland coats are super thick and fluffy, so naturally they are quite high maintenance. They require regular grooming to keep them from matting, including daily, if not weekly, brushing and bathing at least every other week up, or at the most every 6 weeks.

How much is a Newfie puppy?

Currently, in the US, Newfoundland puppies sell for between $500 – $3000. Exactly how much one will cost usually depends on the color of the dog. The less common the color of the pup, the more expensive they will be, and the more common, the more affordable. The most common color of Newfie is black, and the least is black & white.

Do Newfoundland dogs cost a lot to look after?

According to Pet Coach, the average cost of owning an adult Newfoundland including food, toys, etc, is around $2200 per year. This is higher than the average dog, mostly because of their huge size and fur. They need more food, more grooming, and go through toys a lot more easily.

This is broken down into, on average, $500 in veterinary visits & care, $500 on grooming products or professional grooming services, $400 on food and treats, and $800 on toys, collars, and other expenses.

Do Newfoundland dogs need a lot of food?

Newfoundland dogs eat more than most breeds of dog because they are so gigantic! Adult Newfies require 4 to 5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals that are 22% – 24% protein.

Why do Newfoundland dogs have problems giving birth?

Newfoundlands have small pelvises, so natural birth can be difficult. It is common for Newfie mothers to need C-sections so that puppies can be delivered safely.

Do Newfoundland dogs have a lot of health problems?

Because Newfoundlands are such a big breed of dog, they are more prone to experiencing a few health problems with their bones and heart. It’s common for Newfies to experience arthritis, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia, as well as heart disease.

If you have a Newfie dog or are thinking of adopting one, make sure you’re up to speed on the risks around their health, attend annual vet checkups, and know what to look out for.

Newfies are our favorite gentle giants. They’re big, beautiful, natural-born swimmers, and one of the sweetest dog breeds on the planet. We hope this article has informed you well on how to breed Newfoundlands. Are you thinking of becoming a Newfie breeder? Please let us know what your favorite top tip was – or if there’s anything you want to add about the breed!