YOu Don't Want A Newfie 

Gentle Giants?


Okay, you've probably heard this a thousand times already: Newfies are great big sweethearts. They're loving, even-tempered, and patient. They're wonderful companions for kids.

Everyone knows they're "gentle giants."

And it's true: they are.

Except when they're not.


The vast majority of Newfoundland dogs have wonderful, sweet dispositions. As the American Kennel Club breed standard stresses,

Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland; this is the most important single characteristic of the breed.

But nonetheless, there are exceptions. A dog from a poor line, or a dog who has not been properly socialized, may present a very different picture. Consider this online plea from a distressed owner:

I have an eight-month old, unneutered 97 pound male. He does not care for my nine-year-old son, and has been growling at him whenever my son touches him or tries to take him by the collar.

Yikes! This lady has a problem, doesn't she? And just think, the dog's only partway-grown. This could get ugly.


Let's keep this "gentle giant" business in proportion, too. Yes, their disposition is gentle, but physically, Newfies can be awfully clumsy. A 140-pound dog can do a lot of damage to a small child- or a frail senior citizen- without meaning harm. A playful leap, a dash to the door to greet the mailman... and over goes Junior, down goes Grandma.

And what happens when your neighbors' toddler walks three times around the room with a cookie in her hand? The poor Newfie is sitting there the whole time, puzzling it over... "Maybe she's saying that's for me, but I'm not quite sure.... hmm, I guess she might be offering it to me... good enough!"

Gulp! Kid cries, Mom screams, much distress all around.

Newfies are typically great with kids, but even so, you can't take things for granted. One long-time breeder summed things up well:

No dog should be left unsupervised with very young children, especially a dog that is three times larger than the child. Newfies love to play and romp, and they can inadvertently knock toddlers to the ground. A Newfoundland is not likely to turn and attack a screaming child, but it could happen. We must emphasize that Newfies' basic good temperaments must be coupled with basic good training: an untrained Newf is a menace. Common sense, not sentimentality, should dictate how we deal with dogs.

We don't have to stop telling the public that Newfoundlands are good with children, for they are good with children if they are properly trained and socialized.

Got that?

Continue: Health Issues










Do You Really Want A Newfie?

They're Huge

They Drool

They're Messy

They're Expensive

A Lot Of Work!

Gentle Giants?

Health Concerns