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16 Flawed Narratives About Newfoundlands

When you research getting a purebred dog, you start by learning about breed traits and characteristics.

Most of the time that search will lead you to the American Kennel Club or the breed parent club.

There you will find all the fantastic traits of the breed you are interested in.

You’ll get sort of like a highlight and towards the bottom, you might see a little blurb about a few challenging traits and characteristics. 

What most people don’t realize is that in most cases, these breed traits and characteristics listed are showing you the best of the best that this particular breed has to offer. 

It’s showing you what makes that breed unique and it’s putting all of that together giving you the perfect dog, as it should. 

We are drawn to that breed because of the narrative that is told to us. 

landseer newfoundland and brown newfoundland dog standing next to each other

For instance, I am drawn to Newfoundlands because of their size, temperament and devotion. 

I’m drawn to their sweet temperament which is what they are most known for but I’m also drawn to their goofy temperament and strong will. 

You won’t read about that in most narratives because it’s something you learn once you’re owned by one. 

In fact, I’m pretty sure that most people that share their life with Newfies are drawn to them because of traits and characteristics that you don’t read about. 

This is why many new owners of Newfies are so caught off guard in the first few years.

Let’s take a look at some of the most flawed narratives about Newfies provided by people that actually have Newfies. 

(This list is continued from the previous article, 6 False Statements About Newfoundlands.)

black Newfoundland puppy dog

1. A Newfoundland Dog is a Moderate-Maintenance Breed.

FALSE.

A Newfoundland is high maintenance and requires daily, if not weekly, grooming.  

“Its grooming needs are not demanding and it fits well for owners who are not willing to spend time and money on upkeep.”

 WHAT??????

Even if you decide to handle your Newfoundland’s grooming needs at home, you’re still going to need a lot of money for grooming tools.

You’re going to need a lot of time too.

 

brown newfie puppy with drool

2. A Newfoundland Dog is Easy to Train.

FALSE.  

While a Newfoundland is very smart, sometimes too smart for their own good, they need to be trained well and early on in their puppy years.

Their training also needs to extend into their adult years.  

A bored Newfoundland can be a destructive Newfoundland and since a Newfoundland is a working dog, many will need to be given a job to keep them out of trouble.

Raising a Newfie is a full-time job with no days off.newfie puppy carrying pumpkin bucket

3. A Newfoundland Doesn’t Need Exercise

FALSE.

While a Newfoundland isn’t a dog that’s going to be running marathons, they still need daily exercise to stay in shape.

Many Newfoundlands could nap the day away on the couch if they were allowed but a non-active Newfoundland will become an overweight Newfoundland which will lead to many health problems and joint issues down the road.

They are also a massive working breed that needs to keep their muscle mass intact to keep moving into their senior years.

A Newfoundland is anything but lazy and they follow their owner’s lead.

landseer newfoundland on a walk

4. A Newfoundland Likes To Be Left Alone A Lot. 

FALSE.

 A Newfoundland is a family dog.

They are most happy with their family, not locked in the house all day by themselves or kept out in the yard.

Many Newfoundlands will become depressed or destructive if they are left alone too much and often many will have separation anxiety to some extent.

black newfoundland dog laying on floor

5. A Newfoundland Dog Is Good For First-Time Dog Owners

FALSE.

Not only do you have to know about dogs when you have a Newfoundland, but you should also have some knowledge of giant breed dogs.

A Newfoundland is not just a dog, it’s a lifestyle.

Your house and your life will never be the same.

Newfies are often recommended as a good breed for first-time dog owners because of their sweet temperament and laid-back lifestyle.

They mature into that ideal dog after a few years, they aren’t born that way. 

From someone who did it, raising a Newfie along with small children is tough. 

18-month old brown newfoundland dog

6. Not All Newfoundlands Drool.

FALSE.

While some may drool less than others, they all drool at some point.

Taking a drink of water, panting or begging, a drop of spit is sure to fall at some point during the day, month or year.

Dry Mouth Newfoundlands are a breed made up by someone who has altered the breed for their or YOUR satisfaction.

If a breeder is offering Newfies that don’t drool, they have altered the lip formation and hence altered the breed for their own or your personal gain. 

brown newfie puppy with drool

7. Newfies Are Gentle Giants

Adult Newfies can be gentle giants but adolescent Newfies are a handful!

The adolescent stage is the most trying stage of a Newfie and it can last a few years. 

Adolescent Newfies have a lot of energy and are constantly looking for ways to unload that energy. 

They jump, they’re mouthy and they have no sense of coordination. 

Newfoundlands are not born nanny dogs. ( I don’t like that phrase being used for any dog)

brown newfoundland and black and white newfie

8. Newfoundlands Can Only Have Black Fur

False

Black is the most common color.

In the United States, the acceptable colors of Newfoundlands are black, white & black (Landseer), brown and grey. 

You can also see brown & white Newfies, which aren’t a recognized color by the NCA but they are still Newfies.

In Canada, acceptable colors are black and white & black (Landseer). 

9. Newfies Gain 10 Pounds of Fur After They Are a Year Old

False

Lou is 18 months old and I can guarantee you that he does not have 10 pounds of hair. 

Most Newfies don’t have their full adult coat until they are around 3-4 years of age and even then, an extra 10 pounds of hair is really pushing it. 

10. Newfies Eat A Lot

False

Newfies CAN eat a lot but they shouldn’t. 

Most adult Newfies average about 3-4 cups of food per day but that greatly depends on the type of food that they’re eating and the number of calories they consume a day versus how many calories they burn. 

Newfies definitely beg a lot and they are not ones to turn down a stick of butter that is left within their reach. 

black newfoundland dog in snow

12. Newfoundland Dogs Can Only Live In Cold Climates

False

Newfies are a cold-weather dog breed but most of them can acclimate to the climate they live in. 

Many Newfies live happy lives living in Florida, Texas, California and other warm states. 

Newfies that live in warmer climates should definitely be provided with easy ways for them to stay cool.

In my personal experience, I’ve had Newfies that do better than others in the warmer months that we have here in Ohio. 

Sherman definitely didn’t tolerate the heat well but Leroy did. 

Odin does well in both warm and cold climates but he’s also from Oklahoma. 

Lou definitely runs on the warm side and prefers the cold.

Senior Newfies, puppies and Newfoundlands with health issues will respond differently to heat and cold. 

Newfoundland dog swims in the pool. Close-up of a dog's head in water.

13. All Newfies Like To Swim

False

While Newfoundlands are widely known for their strong love of the water, there are also a lot of Newfies that prefer to stay on dry land. 

I’ve had 2 Newfies that have loved water and 3 that haven’t. 

Some Newfies just aren’t going to like the water and that’s fine, they’re still a Newfie. 

And while some Newfies might take to the water right away, others need a slow introduction and water training.

14. Newfoundlands Are Good Farm Dogs

I’ve had this “conversation” a few times with people who were very adamant that since Newfies are working dogs they make good farm dogs. 

I know several Newfies that live in a home that is on a farm but they are not “farm dogs”. 

They live in the house with their family.

They might stroll out to the barn here and there but they aren’t out there herding sheep and guarding the perimeter. 

Newfies leave the farm work to herding dogs and LGDs.

15. Newfies Aren’t Prey Driven

False

Newfies are dogs and some of them are prey driven. 

Some of them will eat bunnies, harass chickens and chase squirrels. 

Some of them won’t. 

Sherman used to swallow baby bunnies whole and he despised rodents of any kind. 

He caught a groundhog one day and he almost ate a possum. 

training your newfoundland dog

16. Newfies Are Stubborn

False

We all joke that Newfies can be stubborn and I feel like some of them really are however, stubborn shouldn’t be an excuse. 

Newfies are wicked smart and they catch on quickly so a lot of people miss their cues. 

If they do what you want perfectly the first time, they’re probably not going to do it again. 

Newfoundlands need to be challenged and rewarded.

They need to know that something is in it for them.

If you’re struggling in an area, like me, try to take a step back and evaluate your technique. 

I’m having a hell of a time getting Lou to stay for more than 5 seconds.

I am obviously doing something wrong so I need to adjust the communication I’m using for this task. 

It’s a work in progress but I can assure you that Lou is not slow or dumb. 

I’m a firm believer that the ones packed with sass and attitude are the ones that teach us the most.

When I see articles that give false information about the Newfoundland breed as I stated above, it’s no wonder that so many Newfoundlands find their way into rescue.

How can you help?

Get involved!  

If you’re a Newfoundland owner you can start by educating people who you come in contact with that ask about the breed.

Bust the myths and present the facts about Newfies.

They are beautiful, loving dogs but not everyone should own one.

And remember, being honest about the challenging traits of the breed you love doesn’t negate your love for the breed, it proves it and it helps others. 

 

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Branden

Monday 28th of November 2022

If I didn’t say that I am struggling with mine I would be lying. She is a challenge that makes me change strategies on the fly daily.

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