Calm, dignified, and generally quiet, this big breed does best in a spacious home in the suburbs or country, preferably in a non-humid climate, ideally with access to a lake or pond. Newfoundlands love love love the water!
To stay fit, a Newf needs long daily walks. He loves to romp in the snow, and pulling a cart or carrying a backpack gives him a purpose in life.
Newfoundlands are people dogs. They will never do well away from their family, outside in a kennel. They will follow you about all over the house, will be in front of the cooker when you are trying to cook, will be next to you when you are sitting at your desk. And they love to lean on people! This can be a very endearing trait, but remember how heavy they are when they decide to lean against someone who is a bit fragile.
Early socialization with lots of nice people and other dogs is critical in developing a stable temperament. Some male Newfoundlands are aggressive with other male dogs, and a very few may be dominant-aggressive toward people. Excessive shyness is also seen.
Basic training is essential, and it is important to know the breed traits of these beautiful dogs to achieve that. These dogs need very little exercise, especially when they are growing. They are not a dog who is going to go jogging with you, or run along beside a cycle. They are quite happy to sleep all day, if you let them, but that is not a good idea. They need socialisation, and early socialisation is essential.
If you want a dog who...
- Is heavily-built and powerful, with a thick furry coat
- Is usually polite with everyone
- pulling carts and sleds, romping in cold weather, and swimming
- Is responsive to training in a slow, good-natured way
If you don't want to deal with...
- A very bulky dog who takes up a lot of space in your house and car
- A heavy dog who wants to sit on your feet, lie on your lap, and lean his weight against your leg
- Rowdiness and exuberant jumping when young