That Gentle Giant, the Newfoundland Dog Breed

Behind the imposing frame of the Newfoundland dog breed, or Newfie, lies a gentle, kind-hearted giant. Originating from a Canadian province, Dominion of Newfoundland, this lovable bear of a dog is devoted, patient, and loves the water. While you’re assured plenty of kisses from a Newfie, they’ll likely be pretty wet, as these guys are known to be champion droolers.

Do Newfoundlands Bark a Lot?

Although Newfoundlands are not known for excessive barking, they do bark. All dogs bark for one reason or another; it’s their way of communicating to us humans and fellow canines. It’s important to remember that even if a breed has a reputation as an infrequent barker, each Newfie’s temperament and behavior are unique and shaped by how you raise and train them. Newfies have a deep, loud bark that can be startling, which can get real old, real fast. Before you lose your mind and cool with your dog, we’ve got some tips for dealing with excessive barking. The first step to addressing your dog’s barking is to figure out why he’s barking. Newfies tend to bark for various reasons, including:

  • Alert their owners
  • Out of boredom
  • They want attention
  • Anxiety

How to make Newfoundlands stop excessive barking?

Once you figure out why your Newfie’s barking, it will be easier to correct. Your first impulse might be to yell back. Don’t. You dog will think you are joining in and encourage it to bark more. With that said, here are a few ways to help stop your Newfie’s excessive barking. Although they aren’t traditionally seen as guard dogs, Newfoundlands might alert you when they sense danger afoot. If your dog can see out a window, it can react to the comings and goings of your neighborhood. If this is a trigger for your dog, try “cloaking” these visual triggers. Close your curtains, blinds, or doors. If your Newfie continues to bark after cloaking windows, use an ultrasonic training tool and a verbal command like “quiet” to get its attention and calm him down.

The Newfoundland breed has a high need to be with their humans — they’re on our list of “Velcro” dog breeds. Anytime your Newfie barks to get your attention, the best thing to do, providing you know he’s not injured or in danger, is to ignore his barking. You should also avoid looking at, petting, or talking to your dog until he quiets down. Once he stops, praise your Newfie and offer him a treat.  Newfies don’t do well if they are left alone for extended periods. Newfies can be quite destructive and chewers in addition to barking like fools. To help your pet, exercise him regularly, especially before you leave him alone. Plenty of physical exercise and mental stimulation will tire out your Newfoundland and help calm him while you’re away. If your Newfie is triggered by unusual sounds, play music to mask sounds.

Facts About Newfoundlands 

AKC’s breed standard for Newfies says it best: “The most important single characteristic of the breed is its sweet temperament.” This sweet disposition is evidenced in their love for children, making Newfoundlands excellent pets for families. Their large size doesn’t exactly make them good pets for small homes or apartments. However, they’re great pets if you’ve got a large yard where they can run and play. While this breed does well indoors, it’s happy outdoors, including enjoying a Newfie’s favorite sport, swimming. Newfoundlands need about 30 minutes of daily exercise.

  • Size: Newfoundlands range from 26 to 28 inches in height and 100 to 150 pounds in weight.
  • Life expectancy: Newfoundlands tend to live 9 to 10 years.
  • Coat: Newfoundlands have a thick water-resistant double coat. The straight or wavy outer coat is flat and coarse, while the undercoat is dense and soft. They come in an array of colors, including black and white.
  • AKC group: Newfoundlands belong to the AKC working group.

Are Newfoundlands Easy to Train?

The outgoing and intelligent Newfoundland dog breed is eager to please, making Newfies easy to train (usually). Reward-based positive reinforcement training is a must as this affectionate and trusting breed doesn’t respond well to harsh training methods or corrections. If giving treats as rewards, make sure they are healthy as obesity can become an issue for Newfies. Early puppy training classes and socialization help ensure your Newfie becomes a well-adjusted, well-mannered adult. Although Newfoundlands are exceptional water dogs, it’s important to carefully introduce the Newfie to water (preferably before the age of 4 months).

Does the Newfoundland Dog Breed Need Grooming?

Newfoundlands have a heavy coat that requires thorough brushing with a slicker brush and a long-toothed comb a minimum of once a week. This routine brushing will remove dead hair, prevent matting, and spread the skin’s natural oils throughout, keeping your Newfoundland’s coat looking its best. Newfies shed year-round, so brushing several times should keep hair from covering your clothes and your home. Bathe when needed, every month or two. Regularly trim nails to prevent overgrowth, which can cause pain and discomfort. Due to the weight of Newfoundlands, keeping nails short will prevent their feet from splaying. This condition means the toes are spread too far apart to support the dog’s weight.

What If My Breed Is a Newfie Mix?

Although you never know what you’re going to get when it comes to a mix, researching the parent’s breeds can give you an idea of what traits you might see in their offspring. Newfies have a few health issues such as elbow and hip dysplasia, cardiac disease, and cystinuria, a genetic condition that causes stones to form in the kidney, bladder, and/or urinary tract. A mix may reduce the chances of the pup having these issues. The Newfoundland temperament will ensure your mix is a loving and loyal companion.  Here are some popular Newfie breed mixes:

Resource Links for More Newfoundland Info

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