Both Golden Retrievers and Newfoundlands are known for their sweet disposition and affinity for all types of people. A mix of these two breeds is no exception. This breed is a working dog meant to pull heavy weight or swim through water.
Given the intelligence and obedience of both parent breeds, the Golden Retriever-Newfoundland Mix takes to training quickly. This gentle giant responds well to positive reinforcement and proper socialization. This crossbreed is an active dog that needs daily exercise. Consider hikes, long walks, swimming, or weight pulling. Although this breed loves spending time indoors, outdoor activities make it a happy, healthy dog.
Considering both parent breeds are large dogs, inexperienced handlers can run into problems with the Newfoundland weighing as much as 150 pounds. No matter how strong you are, a Golden Retriever-Newfoundland that wants to drag you absolutely can. An experienced handler who begins leash and obedience training from a very young age is a must.
Overall, if you know what you’re doing, this dog is a fabulous mix of two breeds and makes a great family companion.
- 1 Breed History
- 2 Temperament
- 3 Size & Appearance
- 4 Coat & Colors
- 5 Exercise Needs & Living Requirements
- 6 Training
- 7 Health
- 8 Nutrition
- 9 Grooming
- 10 Breeders & Puppy Costs
- 11 Rescues & Shelters
- 12 As Family Pets
- 13 Final Thoughts
Any hybrid breed is nearly impossible to trace. The best way to understand the Newfie-Golden’s history is to look at the origins of the parent breeds.
The Golden Retriever’s history begins with Scotland’s Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks in the 1800s. So much is known about this breed today because of how meticulous Marjoribanks was about documenting his breeding dogs.
Having grown up in the upper class, Marjoribanks always had a passion for dog breeding, once considered a pastime of the elite and wealthy.
In 1865, Marjoribanks was taking a walk with his son when he saw a dog named Nous on the street. Nous was gold-colored, which was unusual for the time, as black dogs were considered superior, and the rest were typically disposed of.
After acquiring Nous for himself, Marjoribanks bred him to the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel three years later. Nous and his mate, Belle, produced a water-loving retriever dog capable of hunting on land and water. This first litter, born in 1868, was the first Golden Retrievers to exist.
Marjoribanks kept breeding Goldens until he died, and the last litter was in 1890. However, his legacy continued well after his death, with Golden Retrievers being one of the most popular dog breeds to exist.
This dog was bred to be the perfect working dog, assisting fishers, rescuing drowning victims, or hauling heavy loads.
Although their exact lineage is uncertain, the dominant theory suggests that they evolved from the Great Pyrenees and black retrievers.
An English botanist named Sir Joseph Banks adopted many Newfies in the 1700s. There was even a Newfie named Seaman on the Lewis and Clark expedition. By the 1800s, Newfoundlands had become very popular in England and eventually made their way to the United States. In 1879, the American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized the breed.
Although the exact disposition of your mixed breed varies, there are some parts of their personality you can count on. First, this breed is loyal. Newfoundlands bear the affectionate nickname of Nanny Dog, and Goldens are also known for being fantastic around children. This crossbreed is patient and tolerant of children, but it is still critical to teach them how to interact with your dog correctly.
This breed is a people pleaser who is protective of its family. These dogs may emit a low growl to warn you of a stranger’s presence. However, with proper socialization, this dog knows when it’s time to play and is welcoming of strangers.
This mix isn’t aggressive, but its size can get the better of you if you aren’t careful. Newfies were bred to haul large loads, so this mix won’t be afraid to throw its weight around. Begin setting boundaries and establishing proper leash etiquette early, so you don’t get hurt by this dog’s size.
These are intelligent dogs who respond well to positive reinforcement, but of course, you’ll need to be patient. As with any dog, training must start right away. Basic commands such as sit, stay, down, come, leave it, or walk on a leash can be learned as early as eight weeks. Obedience training is an excellent mental workout for your dog and should not be neglected.
Both parent breeds were bred for water, so your Golden Newfie is likely to take naturally to swimming. You should introduce your dog slowly to water before four months of age. Associate swimming with good things, and soon your dog will be doing laps in the pool. This is a great, low-impact way to exercise your Golden Newfie.
Overall, this sweet, gentle, and trustworthy mix makes an excellent family companion.
Size & Appearance
One thing’s for sure: this dog is large. Newfoundlands can get up to 150 pounds, and Golden Retrievers can weigh in at 80 pounds, so prepare for a heavy dog. Their heads are large and broad, with a black nose and brown eyes. These eyes are slightly droopy and very expressive. Their ears are floppy, and their tail is long and feathery. The Golden Newfie’s body is solid and muscular, with solid forequarters and webbed paws.
Coat & Colors
Of course, the Golden Retriever-Newfoundland mix has a large and fluffy coat that comes in a wide variety of colors, from black to grey to brown or any combination of Golden Retriever and Newfoundland colors. Beware that their feathery tail makes a great duster and can clear tables. It comes with the territory when you get a tall dog like this.
Exercise Needs & Living Requirements
These massive dogs need a larger home with a fenced-in yard for them to run around in. Golden Retrievers are extremely high energy, whereas Newfoundlands are medium energy, so your dog should be some variant of that.
Your Golden Newfie needs daily exercise to be happy and healthy, regardless of energy level. Plan for at least 30-60 minutes of walking per day. The more exercise variety you can provide your dog, the better. You can even sign your dog up for weight-pulling activities or simply have him pull your kids around in a cart.
As with most dogs, insufficient amounts of exercise lead to destructive behaviors around the house. If you notice your dog is acting out, give him more activity. If you feel like you’re physically exerting him enough, but he’s still riled up, it may be time to turn to mental stimulation.
Working a dog’s mind is often more exhausting than working his body. Some great options for mental exercise include structured obedience sessions, puzzle feeders, puzzle toys, or a game of hide and seek. Especially when dogs are young, mental workouts help their cognitive development. When they’re older, this kind of play keeps them sharp.
Start training your dog the instant he arrives home. With a new dog of any age, forming a routine is crucial. Once he understands the regime, your dog comes to learn the rules and when certain activities occur.
Establish potty, walk, and feeding routines from day one. Keeping these activities at approximately the same time each day helps your new dog adjust. For puppies, this is especially important when they’re learning potty training and other rules of the house.
This mix is eager to please, so use plenty of positive reinforcement. Depending on the dog, this can come in the form of treats, toys, play, or simply vocalization. Regardless of which reward you choose, praise your dog the instant he does what you want. Start slowly and build from there.
Dogs want to do what you ask, but if you move too quickly, they’ll get confused and mess up. Break every task down into straightforward steps. For leash training, this looks like letting them sniff the leash, clipping the leash on, having them walk around with it attached, slowly picking it up, applying some pressure, and praising them, then walking. If your dog doesn’t understand your cue, it’s time to break it down into even simpler steps.
Additionally, keep training sessions short. Especially with puppies, your sessions should be no longer than five minutes. Short attention spans can make for a frustrated dog and owner if you push your dog’s limits. Short and sweet means you’ll both be left wanting more, and the next training session are even more fun and productive.
Begin socializing your Golden Newfie right away. Socialization includes taking your dog to different environments, both loud and quiet, and meeting many new people, dogs, and animals. Exposure to all sorts of situations ensures your Golden Newfie is a well-balanced dog who isn’t afraid of the world.
The best time to address bad behavior is before it occurs. Do your best to actively prevent phobias, accidents in the house, letting your dog chew any items you don’t want to be chewed, and so on. Be proactive.
This skeletal condition is prevalent in large and giant breed dogs, which your Golden Newfie is a combo of. The ball and socket of your dog’s hip don’t form properly if he has hip dysplasia, meaning they grind together instead of working smoothly. This is excruciatingly painful for a dog.
Hip dysplasia is predominantly congenital. Doing your research before getting a Golden Newfie reduces the chances of this problem. Additionally, joint problems like hip dysplasia are exacerbated by obesity, which Goldens are prone to. Be sparing with treats and keep your dog on an appropriate, balanced diet.
Signs of this ailment include lameness and difficulty walking. Diagnosing hip dysplasia requires x-rays, and treatment usually involves costly surgery. Do everything you can to prevent this painful disease.
This is a congenital heart defect commonly found in both Golden Retrievers and Newfoundlands. It is caused by abnormal tissue below the aortic valve obstructing the heart. This results in the heart needing to work harder than normal, and the heart begins to thicken.
Signs of subaortic stenosis include lethargy, fainting, or weakness after exercise. Unfortunately, dogs with mild cases may not show any clinical symptoms. An echocardiogram is needed for diagnosis.
Depending on the severity, medication, limited exercise, and/or surgery can be used to treat subaortic stenosis.
Von Willebrand Disease
This is a bleeding disorder in dogs characterized by a deficiency in the proteins needed to help platelets, which clot blood, stick together. Most dogs with Von Willebrand Disease (VWD) never show outward signs, but some symptoms may include spontaneous bleeding in the nose, vagina, or urinary bladder. Another symptom is the inability to stop bleeding after invasive surgery.
Your vet can run a test on your dog to determine if he has VWD.
The eyelids of dogs suffering from entropion fold inwards. This is very uncomfortable for a dog because the hair on the eyelid scratches the cornea. This can lead to many problems, from eye infections to corneal ulcers.
If you observe your dog squinting or his eye is visibly disturbed, take him to the vet immediately. They’ll be able to tell whether or not he’s suffering from entropion or another eye affliction.
This is another hereditary disorder, so proper screening of your dog’s parents helps. Treatment involves corrective surgery, sometimes followed by minor secondary surgery.
The exact dietary needs of your Golden Newfie depend on which parent breed he takes after, his age, sex, and activity level. We’ll outline the nutritional needs of both Golden Retrievers and Newfoundlands – use your best judgment from there.
Golden Retriever Diet
As with any dog, Golden Retrievers need a protein-rich, high-quality diet. Be aware that this breed is prone to obesity, so stick to whole foods and lay off the fatty treats.
Here’s a basic feeding guide:
- Two Months: 1 ½ cups a day
- Three Months: 2 cups a day
- Four Months: 2 ½ cups a day
- Five To Six Months: 3 cups a day
- Six To Seven Months + (male pups only): 3 ½ to 4 cups a day (females should stay on 3 cups/day)
Feed him three times per day until your Golden is six months old.
Just like Goldens, Newfoundlands need a high-quality diet.
Here is a basic feeding guide:
- Two and a half months: ½ cup
- Three and a half months: ¾ cup
- Five months: 1 cup
- Seven months: 1 ¼ cups
- Ten months: 2 cups
- Twelve months: 2 ¼ cups
Feed him three times per day until your Newfie is over seven months old.
Some Dog Food Suggestions
As previously mentioned, make sure the food you select is protein-rich and high-quality. There shouldn’t be any artificial ingredients or fillers in your dog’s food. Here are some options to consider:
- The Farmer’s Dog fresh, human-grade recipes
- American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Recipe Grain-Free Dry
- Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dry
- Ollie Healthy Turkey Feast Fresh Dog Food
Your Golden Newfie might be at risk for bloat, which can occur when a dog eats too fast. If you notice your pup is inhaling his food, buy him a slow feeder. This is also a great way to exercise his mind – two for one.
These coats are prone to matting, so daily brushing is important. Additionally, regular nail clipping and teeth brushing are essential for any dog. Further, since Golden Newfies have floppy ears, the ears need to be checked and cleaned regularly.
Here are the tools you’ll need:
- Nail clippers
- Ear cleaner
Baths aren’t needed super frequently. Whenever your dog looks or smells visibly dirty, it’s time for a trip to the tub. It may also be useful to take your Golden Retriever-Newfoundland Mix to a professional groomer. They can give your dog a professional clip to help with the shedding and make him look great. This is particularly useful during the hot summer months when shedding is rampant.
Breeders & Puppy Costs
A quick Google search turns up no results for a Golden Newfie breeder. This is to be expected with a very specific mixed breed dog. Unfortunately, almost any intentionally bred Golden Newfie you find comes from less than ideal circumstances.
Sadly, puppy mills often churn out irresponsibly bred dogs that are treated like cattle and kept in horrific, unsanitary conditions. Any dogs from puppy mills come with serious physical and behavioral problems that follow them for the rest of their lives. Sadly, this includes pet store puppies, who are always purchased from conditions such as these.
Rescues & Shelters
Since this is a novel crossbreed, rescues dedicated solely to Golden Newfies are extremely rare. Instead, it’s best to look at rescues for the parent breeds, as these organizations commonly take in mixed breeds.
Here are some Golden Retriever rescues:
- Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue
- Golden Retriever Rescue of Atlanta
- NorCal Golden Retriever Rescue
Alternatively, here are some Newfoundland rescues:
You can also go into the shelter and look for a hybrid there. However, picking a dog at random from the shelter is risky. Although it may seem great, this dog can come with severe behavioral issues that may make him a very poor match for your family. This is because shelters are overwhelmed with dogs, and they can’t take the time to place each dog into a home environment and evaluate him.
However, a verified rescue organization emphasizes getting to know their dogs so they can appropriately place them into suitable homes. Providing the rescue with a list of preferences for your dog helps them match you with the appropriate companion.
As Family Pets
Here’s what to expect. They:
- Love children.
- Are protective of their family.
- Require exercise daily.
- Get along well with other dogs and people.
- Prefer large homes with a fenced-in yard and are not suited for apartments.
- Need an experienced owner who can properly handle their large size.
Overall, Golden Newfies are a fantastic mix of two gentle, loving dogs. They want nothing more than to please you and be your best friend. These dogs can get to be close to 150 pounds, so training them when they are small to manage their size is critical. They are not suited for novice dog owners.
These dogs need regular physical and mental exercise and daily grooming, as they are heavy shedders. Golden Newfies make friends with just about anyone, including other dogs. These exceptionally dispositioned dogs make the perfect addition to an experienced dog-owner household.