Newfoundland Breed Standard
Working Group

General Appearance
The Newfoundland is a sweet-dispositioned dog that acts neither dull nor
ill-tempered. He is a devoted companion. A multipurpose dog, at home on land
and in water, the Newfoundland is capable of draft work and possesses natural
lifesaving abilities.

The Newfoundland is a large, heavily coated, well balanced dog that is
deep-bodied, heavily boned, muscular, and strong. A good specimen of the
breed has dignity and proud head carriage.

The following description is that of the ideal Newfoundland. Any deviation
from this ideal is to be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural and
movement faults common to all working dogs are as undesirable in the
Newfoundland as in any other breed, even though they are not specifically
mentioned herein.

Size, Proportion, Substance
Average height for adult dogs is 28 inches, for adult bitches, 26 inches.
Approximate weight of adult dogs ranges from 130 to 150 pounds, adult
bitches from 100 to 120 pounds. The dog's appearance is more massive
throughout than the bitch's. Large size is desirable, but never at the expense of
balance, structure, and correct gait. The Newfoundland is slightly longer than
tall when measured from the point of shoulder to point of buttocks and from
withers to ground. He is a dog of considerable substance which is determined
by spring of rib, strong muscle, and heavy bone.

The head is massive, with a broad skull, slightly arched crown, and strongly
developed occipital bone. Cheeks are well developed. Eyes are dark brown.
(Browns and Grays may have lighter eyes and should be penalized only to the
extent that color affects expression.) They are relatively small, deep-set, and
spaced wide apart. Eyelids fit closely with no inversion. Ears are relatively
small and triangular with rounded tips. They are set on the skull level with, or
slightly above, the brow and lie close to the head. When the ear is brought
forward, it reaches to the inner corner of the eye on the same side. Expression
is soft and reflects the characteristics of the breed: benevolence, intelligence,
and dignity.

Forehead and face are smooth and free of wrinkles. Slope of the stop is
moderate but, because of the well developed brow, it may appear abrupt in
profile. The muzzle is clean-cut, broad throughout its length, and deep. Depth
and length are approximately equal, the length from tip of nose to stop being
less than that from stop to occiput. The top of the muzzle is rounded, and the
bridge, in profile, is straight or only slightly arched. Teeth meet in a scissors or
level bite. Dropped lower incisors, in an otherwise normal bite, are not
indicative of a skeletal malocclusion and should be considered only a minor

Neck, Topline, Body
The neck is strong and well set on the shoulders and is long enough for proud
head carriage. The back is strong, broad, and muscular and is level from just
behind the withers to the croup. The chest is full and deep with the brisket
reaching at least down to the elbows. Ribs are well sprung, with the anterior
third of the rib cage tapered to allow elbow clearance. The flank is deep. The
croup is broad and slopes slightly. Tail--Tail set follows the natural line of the
croup. The tail is broad at the base and strong. It has no kinks, and the distal
bone reaches to the hock. When the dog is standing relaxed, its 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.

Shoulders are muscular and well laid back. Elbows lie directly below the
highest point of the withers. Forelegs are muscular, heavily boned, straight,
and parallel to each other, and the elbows point directly to the rear. The
distance from elbow to ground equals about half the dog's height. Pasterns are
strong and slightly sloping. Feet are proportionate to the body in size, webbed,
and cat foot in type. Dewclaws may be removed.

The rear assembly is powerful, muscular, and heavily boned. Viewed from the
rear, the legs are straight and parallel. Viewed from the side, the thighs are
broad and fairly long. Stifles and hocks are well bent and the line from hock to
ground is perpendicular. Hocks are well let down. Hind feet are similar to the
front feet. Dewclaws should be removed.

The adult Newfoundland has a flat, water-resistant, double coat that tends to
fall back into place when rubbed against the nap. The outer coat is coarse,
moderately long, and full, either straight or with a wave. The undercoat is soft
and dense, although it is often less dense during the summer months or in
warmer climates. Hair on the face and muzzle is short and fine. The backs of
the legs are feathered all the way down. The tail is covered with long dense
hair. Excess hair may be trimmed for neatness. Whiskers need not be trimmed.

Color is secondary to type, structure, and soundness. Recognized
Newfoundland colors are black, brown, gray, and white and black.

Solid Colors--Blacks, Browns, and Grays may appear as solid colors or solid
colors with white at any, some, or all, of the following locations: chin, chest,
toes, and tip of tail. Any amount of white found at these locations is typical
and is not penalized. Also typical are a tinge of bronze on a black or gray coat
and lighter furnishings on a brown or gray coat.

Landseer--White base coat with black markings. Typically, the head is solid
black, or black with white on the muzzle, with or without a blaze. There is a
separate black saddle and black on the rump extending onto a white tail.

Markings, on either Solid Colors or Landseers, might deviate considerably
from those described and should be penalized only to the extent of the
deviation. Clear white or white with minimal ticking is preferred.
Beauty of markings should be considered only when comparing dogs of
otherwise comparable quality and never at the expense of type, structure and

Disqualifications-- Any colors or combinations of colors not specifically
described are disqualified.

The Newfoundland in motion has good reach, strong drive, and gives the
impression of effortless power. His gait is smooth and rhythmic, covering the
maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps. Forelegs and
hind legs travel straight forward. As the dog's speed increases, the legs tend
toward single tracking. When moving, a slight roll of the skin is characteristic
of the breed. Essential to good movement is the balance of correct front and
rear assemblies.

Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland; this is the
most important single characteristic of the breed.

Any colors or combinations of colors not specifically described are

Approved May 8, 1990
Effective June 28, 1990
AKC Breed Standard