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Are Newfoundland Dogs Protective? Temperament & FAQs

Visnja Radosavljevic

By Visnja Radosavljevic

newfoundland dog outdoor

When looking for a new furry companion, most people tend to go for protective yet affectionate dogs who will become a part of the family and look after them. Because of that, many decide to choose large, strong breeds such as the Newfoundland as their pet and guardian dog.

But are Newfoundland dogs indeed protective?

The truth is that Newfoundland dogs are very vigilant, protective working dogs who are capable of sensing danger and protecting you and your family when needed.

In this article, we’ll talk more about Newfoundlands, their temperament, and their protective side, as well as how they act when they sense danger.

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The Temperament of Newfoundland Dogs

Despite their size, Newfoundland dogs are gentle,1 caring, and loving. When trained and socialized from a young age, these dogs can be very friendly, affectionate, protective, and loyal.

As this is a breed of gentle giants, they’re very open to engaging with other animals, great around kids, and typically open toward strangers who seem to have good intentions.

Newfies form strong bonds with their owners and the family they belong to; their protective instincts immediately turn up at the slightest sign of danger, and these dogs will be ready to do anything to keep you and your family safe.

Do Newfoundland Dogs Make Good Guardian Dogs?

Newfoundlands could be good guardian dogs due to their appearance and size. However, these canines tend not to make a fuss about the people entering your gate unless your Newfoundland sees them as very dangerous, which may often not be the case with burglars.

Their size, appearance, and barking can probably deter these types of people from approaching your home in the first place. Still, it’s a good idea to consider other breeds that are more alert when choosing a home guardian dog.

newfoundland dog in the beach
Image Credit: Olefirenko Vitaly, Shutterstock

Can Newfoundland Dogs Protect Livestock?

Newfoundland dogs are not the most suitable option for protecting livestock as these gentle giants will probably have other things on their minds. Newfies mainly love to spend time around people, especially with their owners, which is why they may be keener to wait for you to return home instead of looking after the cattle.

If you’re looking for a dog breed that can protect livestock and chase away possible predators, it’s a much better idea to consider getting a livestock guardian breed, such as Kuvasz or Great Pyrenees, instead of a Newfoundland.

Will Newfoundland Dogs Protect Their Family?

There’s a common misconception that large dog breeds are typically aggressive and unsuitable for families. However, that’s definitely not the case when we talk about Newfies.

This loving dog breed can become your family’s best friend as long as it receives proper training and socialization from an early age. These canines bond quickly with the people they love, and they’ll always try to keep you away from danger, although they may have a funny way of doing it.

Newfoundland dogs may try to place themselves between you and the possible threat, try to deter you from an insecure area/person, and try to distract you from a perceived threat.

Will Newfoundland Dogs Protect Kids?

Newfoundland dogs are especially gentle, smart, patient, and protective around kids. These dogs are kind, and they try their best to keep the whole family, including the children, safe and sound.

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

How Do Newfoundland Dogs Act When They Sense Danger?

Newfoundlands are protective, but they’re not true guard dogs, so they may not act overly aggressive or nervous when they sense danger. Instead, these dogs have their unique style of alerting you something is off, which may include:

  • Barking
  • Standing between you and the possible threat
  • Pushing you to the other side of the possible threat
  • Trying to distract you

Newfies are truly capable of protecting their families, and they’ll do anything possible to keep you safe, just not in the way you may think.

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Final Thoughts

Newfoundland dogs are indeed protective, and they will take care of their loved ones. However, as this is a mainly friendly breed who loves humans, Newfies may not be the most suitable option for guarding your home or looking after the livestock. They will still protect you and your family if they sense danger, but they simply have other things in mind instead of constantly looking out for possible trouble.

Featured Image Credit: Marsan, Shutterstock

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