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How Much Exercise Does a Newfoundland Need? Vet-Reviewed Factors & FAQ

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By Nicole Cosgrove

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Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Paola Cuevas

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The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Newfoundland dogs have moderate energy levels, so they do not need as much exercise as many other dogs. Newfoundland dogs need at least 30 minutes of moderate daily exercise to stay happy and healthy.

While they are a multi-purpose breed that enjoys being inside with their humans, they also enjoy the outdoors, especially swimming pools and other water bodies.

While 30 minutes to 1 hour of daily activity suffices for this breed, the duration may differ for dogs of different ages. Below, we explain everything you need to know about a Newfie’s physical activity needs.

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How Much Exercise Do Newfoundland Puppies Need?

When Newfoundlands are puppies, their bodies grow quickly. The fast growth and extensive exercise can lead to stressful conditions such as hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and abnormal joint development.

Therefore, a Newfie pup does not need an hour of daily activity. Around 15 minutes of daily exercise is enough for a puppy under 6 months of age. Meanwhile, those aged 6 to 12 months should get about 30 minutes of physical activity.

The American Kennel Club recommends starting socialization training for a Newfie between 12 to 18 weeks of age. You can do this by exposing your dog to new places, sounds, and people. But while training, be mindful of how much exercise your pup is getting.

You’ll notice rapid growth when the dog is around 4 to 8 months. It’s the right time to provide foundation training to the pup. Continue to monitor your dog’s physical activity during this period too. Do not overexert them; otherwise, it could lead to joint problems later in life.

two black newfoundland puppies
Image Credit: Anna Krivitskaya, Shutterstock

Divider 2Factors Affecting Newfoundland Exercise Requirements

Many factors influence a Newfie’s exercise requirements. Here are some of them:

Eating Routine

Newfoundland dogs are prone to bloat or gastric dilation volvulus. It’s a condition in which the stomach twists, causing pain and discomfort. You can minimize the risk of bloat by not feeding your dog right after or before exercise. Instead, wait an hour before and two hours after feeding your pet.

Make sure that your dog eats slowly, as gulping their food too fast can lead to GDV. You might want to consider a slow feeder bowl.

Hot Weather

Part of the reason Newfoundlands should be indoors at times throughout the day is their double coat. The thick, heavy fur makes the dog hot in summer, making them prone to overheating.

Do not exercise your Newfie outside in hot weather. It may overheat, resulting in a heat stroke or stress. However, that does not mean you should skip exercise for the day. Take your dog to the pool or a nearby pond for the daily dose of physical activity. Newfoundlands, being water dogs, love to play in bodies of water.

Walking Needs

Like most dog breeds, Newfoundlands also have pent-up energy if they stay inside for too long. You can help your pup release this energy by taking them out on a walk. Walks also help introduce your pet to different textures, sounds, and surroundings. A healthy Newfoundland needs around 25 to 30 minutes of walking per day.

Ensure your Newfie gets proper recall training so you can use a retractable leash to give your pet more freedom.

Consult your dog’s vet or breeder to discuss if resistance training is required. If it is, you can add resistance to a Newf’s walk with a weighted vest to strengthen their muscles. Or, you can take your pup for a walk on an uphill terrain.

Image Credit: rzoze19_Shutterstock

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Top 5 Exercise Ideas for Newfoundland Dogs

Newfoundlands can play indoors, outdoors, and even in water. Here are some fun ways to keep a Newfoundland fit:

1. Swimming

As swimming is a high-intensity physical activity, just 10 to 15 minutes of being in the water should be the same as a 30-minute walk. It’s a low-impact activity, preventing joint issues.

When training a Newfie to swim, you should introduce it to shallow waters first. Walk with your dog on the shallow side of the pool and show it how to exit and enter the pool. Once they start using their front and back legs, you can increase the depth of the water.

2. Fetch

Fetch is one of the simplest ways to ensure a dog gets enough exercise daily. Besides getting your pet moving, it allows you to spend quality time with them.

Again, don’t overdo it. Stop playing if the Newf starts panting or showing signs of fatigue. Also, play on grass or another soft surface. If your dog jumps around on concrete or turns abruptly to follow a ball, it could put pressure on their joints.

3. Playtime With Dog Friends

Newfies are friendly dogs that get along with other dogs if they have been socialized well. You can arrange playdates if your pet has doggie friends. Remember to supervise the playdates, as Newfoundlands can sometimes become over-excited. Bonding with other dogs will help prevent aggression and anxiety in your pup.

4. Toys

You can also invest in toys to keep your dog busy on days when you cannot exercise with them. For example, an interactive food-dispensing toy allows your pet to work for their treats. Or you can buy a maze puzzle for your pet. It will keep your dog mentally active and help prevent boredom—a win-win situation.

5. Hiking

A Newfoundland can go with you on a 3- to 5-mile hike if the temperature is reasonable enough.

  • Heavy panting
  • Drooling

Please make sure you bring enough water for your dog to drink to every hike. 

Image Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock

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When Do Newfoundlands Need Less Exercise Than Average?

In some circumstances, a Newfoundland may not need 30 to 60 minutes of daily activity. Here are some of the reasons why:


Newfoundlands have a life expectancy of 8 to 10 years. In their old age, they will not need as much exercise as their younger counterparts. Older dogs have difficulty running or walking, especially for long periods. They should also not be jumping around because their joints are more sensitive to physical stress.

It’s best to discuss the suitable exercise duration with a vet. Or you can incorporate a 10- to 15-minute physical activity in your pet’s daily routine to keep them mobile.


If your furry friend is recovering from an injury, it’s best to put exercise on hold. Likewise, if a Newfie has a chronic illness or is sick, you should not make them do strenuous activities. A vet can help you determine the right exercise duration and intensity for your dog.

Living Arrangements

If you have a multi-dog household, your Newfoundland might get enough exercise by playing with their peers or chasing them around. In that case, daily 30-minute walks are not required.

The size of your house will also impact a Newfie’s exercise needs. If your dog has a large space to move around, they will get their daily activity from running around. But if you live in a small apartment, you might need to walk your dog daily or provide other forms of physical activity.

Moscow Vodolaz Black Newfoundland dog with a leash outdoors_maxim blinkov_shutterstock
Image Credit: Maxim Blinkov, Shutterstock

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Newfoundlands aren’t lazy dogs, but they’re not the most active breed, either. On average, they need 30 to 60 minutes of moderate exercise a day. Younger and older Newfoundlands need less activity since their joints are susceptible to stress and injury.

These dogs love swimming and playing fetch with their owners. You can take your dog on a 30-minute walk every day or indulge them in other physical activities, such as playing with toys and other dogs.

The key is to not make your Newfie over-exert themselves since they can have a negative and long-term effect on your pet’s health. Consult a vet if you’re unsure about your pup’s exercise needs.

Featured Image Credit: rzoze19, Shutterstock

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