The Newfoundland is a very large dog breed; in fact, they are one of the largest in the world. So naturally, you are going to want to know if they bark often and what this could mean for you as an owner. This is important to know because a dog of this size can not only be intimidating, but they will also be loud. As such, I did some research on this breed and would like to share my findings on their tendencies around barking here today.
So, do Newfoundlands bark a lot? The average Newfoundland will only bark when there is a good reason to do so. Barking is most likely to occur if they have been left alone for too long, out of boredom, or if they feel the need to protect their owners. Regular attention, sufficient activity, and socialization can help reduce this breed’s tendency to bark.
When a dog barks, we like to think it’s for a good reason; barking can be loud and piercing and a nuisance to deal with when you have a dog who barks at random.
With this breed, it is usually the case.
Some breeds are synonymous with barking excessively, while others are reticent. It all relies on the dog’s breed and personality.
Newfoundlands are a dog breed that is quite communicative, and if they do have something to say, they’ll let you know about it.
While many Newfoundland’s bark, to varying degrees, others don’t.
It depends on each dog and their personality.
It’s hard to tell the nature of your Newfie as a puppy, but, as they mature, you will see whether yours is a howler or not.
Some tips to reduce barking include training from an early age using lots of positive reinforcement.
These dogs benefit significantly from early socialization; they need to become accustomed to being around other pets, people, sights, and sounds.
Without adequate training and socialization, Newfoundlands can become too fearful, and that will lead to a lot of barking.
These dogs are enormous, and they have a bark to match their intimidating size – so unless you manage to train it out of them, it is not going to be ideal if you have neighbors close by.
Let us now take a closer look at the barking tendencies in this breed along with some effective tips to reduce it if your dog does turn out to be on the more vocal side!
Are Newfoundland Dogs Barkers?
Most Newfoundland dogs are barkers; for it is the primary method of communication from a dog. For this reason, they are known to be quite vocal.
However, some owners report of having quiet Newfoundlands; it does depend on each dog, their personality, temperament, age and how they have been raised.
If you’ve ever heard a Newfoundland bark, it’s loud and scary, even without the intention to be. Despite their loud bark, Newfoundlands are very gentle-natured, while at the same time, trustworthy and watchful.
Newfoundlands are famously protective of their owners, and will often put themselves in between their family and a stranger.
Even a non-barking Newfoundlands will make sure they alert their family of danger, such as a fire in the home. Newfoundlands are adept at water rescue and lifesaving and will rescue people from drowning.
If you want a protective dog, barking is not always of the utmost importance, and it’s not still required. So even if your Newfie is not a barker; they will still act and intervene if the situation arises where they feel they need to.
Newfoundlands are an excellent companion, great with children, and very gentle, and this is a dog that will go the extra mile to keep you and your family safe.
Common Reasons Newfoundlands Bark
Newfoundlands usually bark for a good reason, and it’s important to know what those reasons are before taking steps to prevent excessive noise from them.
Let’s look at the main reasons Newfoundland’s bark:
Whether it’s a visitor, somebody working in your home, or somebody nearby approaching, an unfamiliar individual can make your Newfoundland bark. This is because they perceive potential danger and they want to ensure you are aware of said individual.
Newfoundlands are friendly dogs, and that does extend to strangers. However, this is only if they have been adequately socialized from an early age, and trained. Otherwise this can result in loud and unnecessary barking.
Newfoundlands are normally calm around other dogs. They usually like everybody, but again, it’s a matter of socializing your Newfie to get used to the sight and of other dogs.
Dog parks and doggy daycares are an excellent way of getting your Newfie used to being around other dogs. And its best to do this while they are puppies.
Being Left Alone For Too Long
Newfoundlands get very attached and bonded to their owners. When an owner has to leave the house, for any reason, it can instill separation anxiety.
These dogs will bark, in the hope that their owner returns immediately.
Leaving your Newfoundland alone for a small while is usually okay, but if it’s for too long- this can make them very unhappy, and they will howl.
Newfoundlands were bred as working dogs. They love to exercise, especially swimming, but also pulling carts and sleds. They love vigorous activity.
If your Newfie isn’t given anything to do, this will lead to destructive behavior and usually results in excessive barking.
You must make sure that these dogs have a good exercise regime each day, and make sure that that are both sufficiently stimulated, both physically and mentally.
Tips To Stop Or Reduce Unwanted Barking
When your dog barks, it’s necessary to evaluate the entire situation, as it can be a symptom of another issue- such as boredom, fear, and stress.
You must fix the problem rather than treat it, or it will never go away, and it can manifest in another way that might be worse.
Sometimes barking is just your Newfie’s way of communicating with you and those around them. Either way, you must listen to your dog and address the issue.
If your Newfoundland barks when a car pulls up into the driveway. Check to determine what they are barking at. Let them know you appreciate being alerted to this situation, but let them know you have the situation under control.
Decide how you would like your dog to react when he howls at strangers as they drive in.
You can allow them to bark, just to alert you, but alternatively you may want them to be silent during this context. If that is what you want, cease further barking and instill alternative behaviors.
Let us now take a closer look at some of the best tips to minimize barking in this breed:
Train Your Dog To Be Silent
If your Newfoundland’s barking excessive, and they commonly bark at pretty much anything, you can use a clicker in your training regimen. They are inexpensive on Amazon and greatly effective.
You can teach your dog specific commands which get them to stop barking, on the spot. It does require some persistence, but here is how it works:
When something triggers your Newfie to bark, click immediately, and offer your dog a treat.
You can put a leash on your Newfie if that helps, as this will stop them from being able to run around. You can even stand on the leash.
When your dog eats the treat and is unable to bark, put your hand to their face giving him a ‘stop’ signal.
This should surprise him, click and treat.
Pause, do not move, allow them to bark, click, treat, and signal stop. When they are quiet click and treat.
Say “bark!” to allow them to bark, again click and treat.
Then give the stop sign, click, and treat.
Practice this several times, when you get silence and click, they will get the idea.
This is the beginning of a bark cue, to reward a single woof. He also has a silence cue to interrupt barking indoors.
It would be helpful if you did this every time your Newfoundland barks in the house.
If your Newfoundland continues to bark after understanding the cue to do something else, or if they barks just for attention, the best way to remedy this is to remove something that they want.
It’s essential to use a combination of positive reinforcement in addition to negative punishment, but never hit, strike or shout at your dog.
Manage Your Surroundings
When you’re not training your Newfoundland, you should manage the environment to avoid triggering and reinforcing unwanted barking.
An example of managing your dog’s surroundings is that when you have to leave your dog alone and leave the home, keep them indoors.
Keep them in a comfortable room; one that is at an optimal temperature to prevent your dog from getting too hot. Ensure they have access to water, and that there is nothing that could distract them or get their attention (like another pet), a shadow etc.
If your Newfoundland tends to bark at passersby that they can see through the front window, you can draw the blinds or prevent your dog from entering the front room except when you’re there to prevent the problem.
Make sure that that you never reward your dog when they decide to bark; outside of training signals of course.
Managing Separation Anxiety
Your Newfoundland must have time to themselves from a young age, even if you don’t need to go anywhere. Remember that you do not need to be present all the time. Your dog needs to learn independence, and that time will be spent away from you.
Attempting to leave the house for a long time all of a sudden might be a lot for your Newfie to handle at once. Excessive barking in often caused by a sudden shift to being alone.
You can go for a few minutes at a time and gradually increase the time until they eventually gets used to being alone.
You might consider asking a trusted relative or friend to sit your dog while you are away; make sure that it is someone your dog likes.
Make sure that he has lots of interactive feeding toys to keep him busy, and you can leave treats all over the house for him to find.
Newfoundlands can be either very vocal, or they can be more reserved. But when they bark, it can be loud and it can be intimidating!
These dogs tend to bark for a good reason, and it’s essential to take note of when your Newfoundland barks so that you can implement the appropriate strategy.
Positive reinforcement is the key when training; you should look to be using praise and treats.
Equally, discipline is an essential part of training; if your Newfie reverts to undesirable behaviors, you must remove privileges and never reward him for bad behavior.
Sometimes, it seems more natural to give in, but it’s essential to be consistent and to stand firm when your Newfoundland barks when they shouldn’t.
Otherwise, if your Newfie is prone to barking, it can be difficult to entirely eliminate or control.
For some owners, barking is not an issue; sometimes it is even preferable if you are looking for more of a guard dog.
But for most owners, barking is not considered ideal. Thankfully with this breed; it can be managed.
At the end of the day, you need to acknowledge your own dog, their temperament and their own specific triggers. If you need a animal behavioral specialist or a dog trainer to help – that can be beneficial too.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.