Newfoundland Dog Personality & Temperament

Newfoundland dog personality

If you’re currently researching large dog breeds and considering bringing one into your family home, you’ll be hard-pushed to find one much larger than the big friendly giant that is the Newfoundland dog. But what about the Newfoundland dog personality?

I have been a dog owner all my life (we go into how many years that is), and I have owned a number of breeds and cared for various dog breeds in other aspects of my life, such as work. So thankfully, now, due to many encounters, my knowledge of the Newfoundland dog is quite acute. 

A local dog walker of mine owns three of these stunning hounds, and it makes my day each time I bump into them. I can’t wait to hear about the mischief the youngest has been up to and admire the gentle bear-like breed close up; they just love a fuss.

Despite their sweet temperament and loving nature, however, let’s not forget this is an extremely large and powerful breed. 

So the question is, is a Newfie right for you?

Newfoundland Dog Personality & Temperament Overview

Of course, the most recognizable feature of the Newfoundland dog is its monumental size. There are other dogs that compare in size, such as the St. Bernard, mastiff, and Bernese Mountain dog, but nothing quite compares in appearance, mainly down to the Newfoundland’s magnificent coat that makes it resemble a big cuddly bear. 

Newfoundland’s are undoubtedly a “people-dog.” They crave affection from their owners and anyone they meet, and given their excellent reputation in this area, it’s not surprising that they’re a popular choice of breed for families. 

The Newfoundland dog’s personality is commonly known as sweet, patient, gentle, protective and watchful. Although they can be high maintenance (it’s a lot of grooming), they make wonderful companions for many owners across the globe. 

These are extremely intelligent breeds, and during the first two years of their life, they will require stern training and mental stimulation. 

So, before making the jump into bringing a Newfoundland into your home, consider this. Have you got the time and energy to train this breed of dog?

Gentle Giants

One thing you’ve probably heard associated a lot with the Newfoundland breed is the term “gentle giant,” and it’s easy to explain why; I mean, the phrase speaks for itself, really, doesn’t it?

Despite the immense size of this dog, which can sometimes reach up to 70 kilos, they also have a tremendously large heart. 

The Newfoundland is loving and highly passionate towards their owners and anyone else they meet. They’re also extremely good with children, so if the size of this breed was giving you doubts due to having little ones around the house, don’t let that be of concern. 

These gentle giants have the patience of a saint. However, it’s important to note that no dog of any strength, temperament, or size should ever be left unattended with children. But you knew that, right? So let’s move on.

They’re Affectionate and Loyal Companions

Newfoundlands make the best, most loyal companions. They have so much character and show a ton of affection for their humans. 

In some cases, you might find that they actually aren’t too interested in others around you and want attention solely from you. Don’t take this as a bad thing; as long as they’re well-socialised, it only means that their loyalty to you is strong. 

As I have already touched upon, the Newfoundland will make an excellent family pet, whether you have other cats and dogs in the house, young children running around, or grumpy teenagers lolloping around the house. Newfoundland’s just love their people.

Newfoundland’s are Intelligent and Easy to Train

Because of the intelligence these dogs possess, it means they’re a pretty easy dog to train when done correctly. They quickly pick up and follow instructions and respond well to positive reinforcement during training. However this requires a lot of consistency.

These spectacular dogs were initially bred to assist Fishermen with heavy hauls and retrieving items from the water. Hence their now famous agility in the water. These days, the Newfie is used across Canada as a water rescue dog. 

Although this isn’t 100% certified, it’s thought that Newfoundland’s were bred from retrievers and mountain dogs, which I think would make sense given their appearance and capabilities. 

Protective Instincts

You might have heard of a few dogs being referred to as “Nanny Dogs”; in fact, I own one of these breeds myself, and the Newfoundland is also one of them. 

The reason they’re known as this protective nanny dog is because of their tendency to watch over their family and owners.

As far as protecting you from danger and being a potential guard dog for your house, they might be a little too soft in this sense. However, what they will do is bark at potential intruders. 

So let’s put it this way, would you try to enter a house with a 70kg black dog barking at you? I didn’t think so. 

Socialising and Training Your Newfoundland

I mentioned earlier that Newfies are a highly intelligent breed, and when this is the case, it means they need a strong trainer to guide them through their early years. 

Remember what I said about the puppy causing mischief. Well, he doesn’t seem to have had the same training as the other two, and watching the dog walker try to control him now he’s full-size is a sight to behold. But he’s still adorable. 

My point is if these impressive dogs aren’t trained from a very early stage, they will pick up bad habits, which can be incredibly challenging later down the size when you find yourself with an extremely naughty bear-like hound in your home. 

Training these dogs is essential, and if you think you’ve got the stamina to do it yourself, by all means, do, but in most cases, a qualified dog trainer is often the best bet to ensure you’re training your dog to its best potential.

The other plus side to taking your dog to professional training classes is that they can actively socialise with other dogs in a secure and safe environment. This gives them a great head start in life for getting to know other pups while out and about. 

The Ideal Home Environment for a Newfoundland

Why is home environment important for your Newfoundland dog’s personality? Well, because we want the dog to be at one with its natural doggy-ness, and for the Newfie, this means a lot of space to roam and play, preferably with a big garden. 

It goes without saying that the ideal environment for a Newfie, first and foremost, is quite a large one. I mean, would you like to share a one-bedroom apartment with something the size of a small horse? Probably not, and it’s not going to be comfortable for you or your doggo. 

So, once you’ve established you’ve got enough room to accommodate such a colossal hound, what else should you have in place?

Although Newfoundlands don’t require a mammoth amount of exercise, they still need adequate time to burn off energy. A half an hour’s walk per day, paired with a few runs around the garden, would suffice; therefore, having a big enough garden space for them to stretch their legs would be beneficial. 

Another thing to consider is dog drool, and with a big dog such as a Newfoundland, you should expect a lot of it. Therefore, say goodbye to white couches, cream carpets, and any other materialistic items you might be fond of, as this big clumsy, slobbering bundle of love isn’t going to have the same care for it as you do.

A Final Look at the Newfoundland Dogs Personality

So, is a Newfoundland dog the breed for you?

Now that you’ve heard all about their quirky tendencies and the likelihood of ruining your new fur rug, is it something you think you can handle?

Despite their size making them something of a potential damage risk, these dogs, indeed, are one of the most loving and kind-hearted breeds you’ll ever come across, and no other breed quite compares to their unique temperament and personality. 

Whether you’re looking for a family dog or a loyal companion, this dog is one that will remain by your side for years to come, putting a smile on your face each day with its cheeky personality and love for humans. 

If you’re still wavering on the idea of bringing a Newfie into your home, why not consider a Newfoundland mix?

Frequently Asked Questions About the Newfoundland dogs personality

Are Newfoundland dogs good family dogs?

Yes, the Newfoundland dog is a great family dog and all-round brilliant companion. The Newfie is a sweet hearted gentle giant. It’s ever watchful around those that it loves and has earned the nickname “nanny dog” due to its tendency to watch over kids. 

Are Newfoundland dogs high maintenance? 

Yes, the Newfoundland dog is high maintenance. It requires consistent training, attention (in the form of cuddles) and grooming almost daily. All of these activities are fantastic for building an everlasting bond between you and the Newfie. 

What is special about Newfoundland dogs? 

The Newfoundland dog is a well rounded large dog that has a gentle, patient and sweet disposition. However, it’s also commonly used as a water rescue dog, putting its life on the line to help save humans. 

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