The simple answer is a huge, cuddly dog that is incredibly affectionate. That is the best answer, in my opinion. However, if you plan on stepping into a conformation show ring, then you should be aware that there is a defined “idea” of what your Newfoundland should look like. So, according to their standards, these are the specifications. Strap yourself in, because this is CRAZY specific.:
The head is massive, with a broad arched cranial crown and very developed occipital bone. Cheeks are well developed too. Eyes – are dark brown. (Newfoundland of brown and gray color may have lighter eyes that should be considered as a defect only if it spoils the general appearance).
Eyes are relatively small, deep-set and wide apart. The lids fit closely without entropions. Ears are relatively small and triangular with rounded tips. They are located at the level of the skull or slightly above and firmly adjacent to the head. When the ear is brought forward, it reaches the inner corner of the eye, located on the same side. The expression of “face” is soft and reveals all the characteristics of the breed: benevolence, intelligence and dignity.
The forehead and front part are smooth and without wrinkles. The line from front to muzzle is moderate, due to the well developed eyebrows it may seem steep, precipitous, abrupt in profile. Muzzle – sharply lined, wide both in length and depth. The depth and width practically equal, the length from the tip of nose to “stop” is less than from “stop” to the occiput. The upper part of the muzzle – is rounded, and the “back” of the nose in profile, is straight or only slightly arch-like. The teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. Lower incisors when the rest it is normal bite, do not indicate a skeletal malocclusion of upper and lower teeth, and this should be considered only as a minor deviation.
The shoulders are muscular and well laid back. Elbows lie directly below the highest point of the withers. Forelegs are muscular, heavy boned, straight and parallel to each other, elbows are just sent back. Distance from elbow to the ground equals half the size of the dog. Pasterns – are strong and slightly steep. Feet are proportional to the body in size, web-footed, cat type. Dewclaws may be removed.
Powerful, well muscled, with heavy bones. If you look from the back, legs are straight and parallel. When viewed from the side, hip – is wide and long enough. Knees and hocks are well directed downward. Hind feet are the same as front. Dewclaws should be removed.
An adult Newfoundland has a smooth, water resistant, double coat that tends to lie back when you rub the dog the wrong way.
The outer coat – is coarse, moderately long and thick, both straight and wavy. The undercoat is soft and dense, though often becomes less dense during summer or in warm climate. The hair on the “face” and muzzle is short and soft. Rear legs are feathered. The tail is covered with long thick hair. Excess hair may be trimmed for neatness. Whiskers are not trimmed.
Color is secondary in relation to the type, structure and condition. Recognized Newfoundland colors are: black, brown, gray and black & white.
Homogeneous colors – black, brown and gray can be solid or solid white, in any of the parts of the body listed below: chin, chest, toes and tip of tail. Any amount of white color found in these places is typical and not punished. Also a slight tinge of bronze is typical on black or gray and a light tinge – on brown or gray color dog.
Landseer – is a white base with black markings. Typically, the head is completely black colored or black with white coloring on the muzzle, with or without a blaze. There is a separate black saddle and black spot on the croup that extends to the white tail.
Markings both as in homogeneous and Landseers can significantly deviate from these descriptions, and should be punished only depending on the degree of deviation. Pure white or white with minimal specks is more preferable. Beauty of markings should be considered only when the dogs of relative quality are evaluated and it should not the prejudice of type, structure and condition.
Gait / Motion
Newfoundland in motion has a good reach, strong drive, and this creates an impression of effortless power. His gait is smooth and rhythmic, overcoming long distance with a minimum number of steps. The front and rear legs are strictly move in straight-line motion. When increasing the speed dog’s the traces are arranged in one line. When moving a light roll of skin is typical for the breed. Balance of correct front and rear limbs – is the essence of good movement.
Pleasant character – is a distinctive feature of Newfoundland, it is the most important feature of the breed.
Disqualifications Any color or combination of colors that are not specified – will be disqualified.