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14 Newfoundland Dog Pros & Cons to Know Before You Get One

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on April 30, 2024 by Dogster Team

Newfoundland dog

14 Newfoundland Dog Pros & Cons to Know Before You Get One

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when this dog was facing extinction, given it’s one of those breeds that caters to almost every family need. The Newfoundland dog is not only big and strong but also loyal to the core.

Today’s article will focus on the upside as well as the downside of owning this dog. And to answer your questions, we’ll be discussing their grooming needs, likability among kids, relationship with other pets, feeding habits, health concerns, and more importantly, their personality traits.

If you’ve been planning to adopt a Newfoundland in the future, you might want to grab a seat. Some of the things that you’ll learn here may help you make a decision.

The 14 Pros & Cons of Owning a Newfoundland Dog

The Pros

1. Newfies Don’t Mind Spending Most of Their Time Indoors

Ordinary dogs love spending time outdoors. The urge to explore the world while roaming freely is something that’s embedded in their DNA, as it stimulates them physically and mentally. But the Newfie is no ordinary breed.

Even though they love being part of various outdoor activities, given the option, they would rather spend time with you at home. Of course, getting them outdoors for exercise is vital—and they’ll love every second of it.

2. They Don’t Howl or Bark Much

Dogs usually communicate using different sounds. If you hear them howl, they are probably bored, trying to get your attention, or just announcing their presence in the room. We’ve also heard some howl to imitate high-pitched sounds in their vicinity, such as musical instruments and sirens.

Barking is mostly associated with fear, but we’re guessing you already knew that. The point is that Newfies rarely howl or bark. You’ll never get complaints from neighbors, or not be able to sleep because they won’t keep quiet. If your Newfie is unusually vocal, there is likely an issue at hand.

a newfoundland dog standing on grass
Image Credit: Roman-Zaiets, Shutterstock

3. Newfies Don’t Require Much Exercise

Physical exercise is just as beneficial to dogs as it is to us. If you keep them disengaged from any physical activity for too long, the probability of health issues will exponentially grow. They would also experience muscle atrophy and a decrease in their bone density.

Lucky for you, you don’t have to spend more than an hour per day exercising your Newfie. They only require 30 to 40 minutes at most, to stay in shape. Some breeds demand more hours, seeing as they were initially bred to work.

4. They Are Adaptable

By definition, adaptability is the inherent ability of a species to widen its capacity, to make it easier to handle varying degrees of change. Therefore, if we were to go by that logic, we’d say an adaptable breed is a dog that’s willing to alter its behavioral traits to fit a situation, rather than try to change the situation.

This might not be something that you think about while scouting for a suitable family pet, but it’s important. And the Newfie ticks this box by being an extremely adaptable pooch.

newfoundland dog
Image Credit: YAN WEN, Shutterstock

5. Newfies Are Loyal

Most dogs are extremely loyal to their family. However, what makes the Newfie different in this aspect is the degree of loyalty that it has. They are so loyal that they are willing to risk their own lives, just to save yours.

There are stories of them jumping into rough sea waters—putting their own lives in jeopardy—just to save their drowning companions.

6. They Are Protective

Once that bond has been forged, there’s little that can break it. This dog is a fearless protector that comes with incredible stamina and a massive bone structure. These dogs are certainly not aggressive, but they’ll do all they can to protect their family.

Newfoundland dog breed outdoors
Image Credit: Liliya Kulianionak, Shutterstock

7. They Are Easy to Train

The Newfie ranks on the higher percentile of an intelligence scale and is easy to train. That being said, seeing as we’re talking about a gigantic breed, you have to sign them up for an obedience class while they’re still young. Moreover, for the training to be effective, you have to incorporate positive reinforcement techniques.

8. Newfies Love Kids

Despite its massive size, this dog is tender-hearted. It’s also very patient and tolerant. These traits are the reason why they are popular among kids, especially those who are still too young to know better.

But you still have to teach your kids to respect their personal spaces and how to treat them right. Leaving them alone for extended periods of time is also discouraged, as this is a giant dog.

little boy petting a black newfoundland dog outdoors
Image Credit: rzoze19, Shutterstock

9. They Are Affectionate

People often assume these dogs are aggressive and ill-tempered, given their strong build. Only to learn after spending time with them that they are actually gentle, bubbly, and one of the most affectionate dogs around. If you’re in the market searching for a large cuddly bear, you’ve certainly found your perfect match.

The Cons of Owning a Newfoundland

10. They Have a Short Lifespan

Newfies don’t really have a long lifespan—up to 10 years in most cases. But this doesn’t come as a surprise, given most large breeds don’t live as long as the tiny pooches. We feel like this is a prime disadvantage, as nobody would wish to adopt a Newfie that’s already grown, having this information. If you’d like to prolong your companion’s life, get them the best food, always take them to the vet for regular checkups, and improve their living conditions.

two newfoundland dogs sitting on snow
Image Credit: Utekhina Anna, Shutterstock

11. Newfies Are Sometimes Destructive and Stubborn

This sort of behavior is preventable. If your training regimen was effective, and they were introduced to it from an early age, you have nothing to worry about. Their destructive nature typically hinges on their upbringing.

You must make sure that they are always getting their daily doses of physical and mental stimulation—boredom and separation anxiety are both considered primary triggers of destructive behavior.

12. Newfies Have a Huge Appetite

You need to stock up your pantry as though you’re prepping for a cataclysmic event if you own a Newfie. Or else, you’ll be forced to make endless trips to the store! This breed is not as athletic as a hound, but due to its massive size, it burns through calories fast. Just don’t overfeed them, as that could lead to obesity.

a newfoundland dog eating dried treat outside on the grass
Image Credit: Marsan, Shutterstock

13. These Dogs Are Large!

While you may know this already, Newfies are large! Let’s put it this way; a Newfie is not the kind of breed that you’ll feel comfortable with around a toddler unsupervised. Believe it or not, they weigh more than an average adult and take up lots of space. Before bringing one of these giants home, it’s important to know what you’re getting into.

14. They Drool Excessively

In comparison to other breeds, the Newfie breed probably has the worst drooling habit. At first, it’s cute and all. But with time, they’ll drool all over your carpets, couch, bed, chairs, etc.  Most of them start drooling after 12 months, so just be glad you won’t have to deal with drool pools before then.

a newfoundland dog slobbering and drooling
Image Credit: JRJfin, Shutterstock


These dogs are always calm, tender-hearted, intelligent, protective, loyal, and adaptable. But they can also be stubborn and hostile at times, especially if they aren’t socialized. Drooling is also a major concern among potential parents, as they are normally born with loose lips that can’t hold saliva.

Newfies do love spending time with kids, but their massive size makes them a potential hazard.

Featured Image Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock

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