Do Newfoundlands bark a lot?
The Newfoundland is a big dog with a deep, loud bark.
Just like with any dog, barking is one of the ways that dogs communicate with their humans.
How often a dog barks and why they bark is really based on the individual dog and such is the case with the Newfoundland breed.
Some Newfies are known to bark a lot while others will hardly ever let out a woof.
Newfies are a smart breed and they know how to communicate with their owners.
Some may communicate through barking, some may communicate by constantly tapping you with their paw, nudging you with their head, licking you, and others will use their eyes to communicate.
I’ve had one Newfoundland that I would consider a barker.
Leroy would bark at a lot of things and nothing at all.
He would bark for hours just to hear himself if I let him and he would give us an earful if he wanted something.
Sherman barked when he wanted something, when things were chaotic, and when his water bowl had slobber in it.
I can’t remember if Thunder was a barker which may mean that he didn’t do it often.
Odin barks when he wants something and when he’s excited.
He will also bark to alert us and I have heard him howl before.
I still think that Leroy wins for the most barking as far as Newfoundlands in my life.
Now if we’re comparing Newfoundlands to other dog breeds, let’s just say the Cardigan Welsh Corgi, the Corgi (in my short experience) wins hands down for barking.
I’ve had a Beagle and now a Corgi and they have definitely barked more than any Newfoundland I’ve had.
Do Newfoundlands Bark A Lot?
Compared to other breeds I don’t think that Newfies are big barkers however, barking is going to be based on the individual dog.
Newfoundlands are going to bark but how much they will bark I don’t think anyone can tell you with certainty.
A lot will depend on their personality and how they were raised.
Newfoundlands are known for being protective of their families so they might only bark to alert their owners that danger is near.
Now, what that danger is can also vary.
It could be a stranger approaching the house or it could be an object that you put on the table that wasn’t there before.
Most Newfies will have a deep, loud bark that will often startle their families if they’re not expecting it and strangers.
Most Common Reasons That Newfies Bark
Again, this will vary based on the individual Newfoundland but some common reasons that a Newfie will bark are:
They Want Something
They are trying to get your attention because they want a cookie, petted, to go outside, to let you know it’s almost time to feed them, or because you’re sitting in their spot.
Danger Is Near
While Newfoundlands are not known to be “guard dogs” they do have a good sense when danger is near and they may bark to let you know.
The type of danger could be a stranger near the house, someone getting too close to you, or a stick in the yard.
Other ways Newfies may warn you of danger is to put themselves in between you and the perceived danger.
You Are Having Too Much Fun
Newfies don’t like chaos so people being loud, running, splashing or yelling may lead them to bark.
If you’ve ever had small children playing in a pool and a Newfie, most likely you’ve heard them barking.
This is their water rescue instinct.
Sherman used to do this all the time.
He would sit right outside the pool and if the kids started getting loud or splashing a lot he would bark at them.
Sherman would also bark a lot if we were playing loudly in the house and if we were wrestling he would put himself between us, especially with the kids.
This was his nanny instinct.
Odin does this too.
Leroy would join in on the fun and start wrestling and he would completely ignore the kids in the pool.
A bored Newfie can be a loud destructive Newfie.
They might be barking because they have nothing to do or because you’re ignoring them.
It could also be because they have separation anxiety.
Newfies are always happiest when they are with their families.
If they are left alone for long periods of time regularly they may take their frustrations out by barking or by chewing things.
How To Stop Unwanted Barking With Newfoundlands
I’m not a dog trainer but in my experience, unwanted barking is not an easy behavior to stop.
First, you’ll need to figure out what type of barking you’re ok with and then reward that barking.
Do you want your Newfie to bark at strangers?
Are you able to correct that behavior if you don’t?
The only type of barking that I tried to discourage with Leroy was excessive barking outside.
It never seemed like he was trying to alert us of anything, it seemed like he liked to hear himself bark.
He never barked at other animals like deer he would just sit or stand there and bark.
We were advised to redirect this behavior and we did that by putting him in the house and then letting him back out after a certain timeframe.
It took a while for this work but it did eventually.
It was also recommended to us by a dog trainer not to yell at Leroy for barking but to use a calm, assertive voice.
Sometimes when you yell or raise your voice a dog will think that you’re joining in with them.
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I like that my Newfoundlands communicate with me through barking so I don’t try to discourage most of it but they also don’t bark nonstop.
If you are having issues with a dog barking out the window you can try closing the blinds/drapes or purchasing privacy film to put over the windows.
I’ve also seen it suggested to teach your dog to “speak” on command and then to teach “no speak.”
Another training tool is the Pet Corrector which produces a loud burst of air. I use this product a lot for unwanted behaviors with Finn but I have not tried it for barking.
If you’re Newfoundland is barking excessively and you want it to stop I always advise speaking to a professional dog trainer for more options.
*This post addresses barking with adult Newfies and not puppies.
Does Your Newfoundland bark? When do they bark the most?
Sunday 15th of August 2021
Follow up on Jeb. He barks in the house. My husband thinks the answer is to get a Golden so he has a playmate. Has anyone tried this? Two pups exercise and play to prevent boredom? We have lots of room and have had three dogs before but what if Jeb teaches the Golden to bark? He also will bark when family visits and you are trying to have a conversation. This may be the chaos factor you mention, because lots of kids running around.
Wednesday 18th of August 2021
Finn's a barker and getting Lou has not decreased his barking at all. If anything, Lou has learned to bark at some of the things Finn barks at all.
Sunday 15th of August 2021
I have Jeb in obedience training. He started with puppy training for socialization at 8 weeks. He is now in intermediate training. Our trainer is certified in many dog activities including service dog, fit paws, dock diving and other activities. I worry that I should have a trainer specifically for Newfoundlands. Jeb barks. A lot. He barks because Marshall out Bernese is older and doesn’t want to play. He barks maybe because he is bored. I plan to increase swim time and see if that helps. I bought interactive toys. I also have put him in time out. This and grabbing every toy in sight to chew it (including my Himalayan) are his main issues. Am I on the right track or do I need a Newfie specialist? One person says she has talked to hundreds of trainers and owners and offers a book and help with Newfoundland’s. It is $27.
Friday 18th of December 2020
Our boy is SUCH a barker, he was from day one. It has gotten worse with adolescence, so now he has limited outdoor time. He either goes out with us or for a short duration alone. As soon as the barking starts up, we get him in again. It's too bad because he loves being out, but it's one of those behaviors that they practice and it becomes a habit!
Friday 6th of November 2020
Just posting to thank you for this blog. My newf (black male, 22 months old) has been an awesome experience so far, and this blog has been a great resource.
Also, I laughed at the description of "danger". My guy normally only barks when playing with other dogs, but he was growling,barking and backing away (he is more cautious than brave) from "danger" in the hallway last night--my husband's laundry.
On the other hand, the utter strangers doing construction in our home? Perfectly acceptable.
Monday 26th of October 2020
I just ordered the Pet Corrector, but for jumping not barking ? So far my 6 month old isn’t a huge barker.
Tuesday 27th of October 2020
I am in love with the Pet Corrector. I have the small one so I can carry it in my pocket and on walks. It's basically always close by!