Are Newfoundlands Good Apartment Dogs?


The Newfoundland, also known as “Newfs” or “Newfies”, is a giant and strong dog breed with a calm and docile personality.

They were originally bred as working dogs to help fishermen in Newfoundland, Canada. They are currently recognized as excellent water rescue dogs and great family dogs.

When thinking about the ideal dog to live in an apartment, the first thing you think about is the size of the dog. But considering their large size, are Newfoundlands good apartment dogs?

Because of their calm nature, gentle personality and their ability to adapt to their environment, Newfoundlands are great dogs for apartment living. As long as they have the right amount of exercise and are properly socialized and trained, Newfoundlands can be the ideal apartment roommates.

But it’s not that easy. You have to get to know the breed and its needs well since the Newfoundlands have some traits that must be considered first to be sure that it is the best dog to integrate into your life.

What You Should Know About Living with a Newfoundland

Living with a Newfoundland in an apartment

Newfoundlands are loyal dogs and loving companions. His main characteristic is said to be his sweetness.

They are dogs that love to be surrounded by people and participate in all family activities.

Although they are calm, Newfies are well suited to active people and families who like to have activities outside.

Are Newfoundlands Good Family Dogs?

The Newfoundland is a great family dog with a calm, friendly and tender temperament.

He is a very social dog that likes to be around people and likes to participate in family activities.

They are usually protective of their family, but not aggressive.

Newfoundlands are known to be good with children because they are trustworthy and tolerant with them. Although, due to his size you have to be careful with small children since they can accidentally sit on them or throw them.

Do Newfoundland Dogs Need a Lot of Exercise?

Originally bred as working dogs who enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and swimming, and can be energetic and playful.

But Newfoundlands don’t really need too much exercise. A moderate amount of exercise daily is enough to keep them healthy and happy.

Being a large breed that grows a lot in a short period of time, tends to have joint problems especially in its growing stage.

Puppies generally don’t have much endurance. They usually have short bursts of energy and then they just want to rest.

You need to avoid hard exercise that bears weight and pressure on their delicate joints during the first two years of age.

It’s recommended that they take a walk five minutes a day for each month of age. More than a constant walk, it should be an opportunity for them to explore their surroundings.

In addition to short walks, some ideas for exercising Newfoundland puppies are:

  • Free Playtime. Playtime is a fun way to exercise a puppy indoors and outdoors.
  • Training. It is important to start training a Newfie when he is still a puppy and it helps to keep them physically and mentally active.
  • Swimming. The Newfoundlands are natural water dogs and love to swim. Introducing a Newfie to the water as a puppy helps him exercise and develop his natural swimming skills.

At this stage, avoid:

  • Exercise them on hard surfaces.
  • Jumping
  • Climbing stairs

As they grow, you gradually have to increase the amount and duration of daily walks. It’s recommended they have up to an hour of exercise daily. A vet can guide you from when they can begin to have more advanced activities.

They are dogs from cold climates and don’t like heat, so you should avoid taking them out in hot climates. Preferably take them out for a walk in the mornings and the afternoons when the weather is cooler.

They are dogs that love water. If you have the opportunity to take them to swim regularly, in addition to having the opportunity to have some extra exercise, they will be the happiest dogs playing in the water.

Are Newfoundland Dogs High Maintenance?

Newfoundlands are high maintenance dogs that require a lot of grooming.

The Newfoundlands have a thick water-resistant double coat so you need to brush them a few times a week to remove dead hair, prevent mats and keep it healthy.

Newfoundlands are moderate shedders and regular brushing helps decrease the amount of hair. But during spring and fall the Newfies shed a lot and you will need to brush daily to keep the amount of hair under control.

Bathing Newfoundlands is only recommended when they get dirty but, depending on the dog, this can be quite often.

They also drool a lot so you have to get used to carrying a hand towel to clean when necessary.

Besides this, the rest is the basic care of a dog.

  • Cut their nails when necessary.
  • Brush their teeth once a week to prevent bad breath and mouth diseases.
  • Keep their ears clean to prevent infection.

Are Newfoundlands Easy to Train?

Newfoundlands are usually easy to train. They are outgoing, eager to please dogs that like to learn new things. They are smart dogs and fast learners.

Newfies respond well to gentle treatment and positive training. You should never use harsh training methods or you will lose the trust of a Newfoundland.

It is essential to start training them since puppyhood, while they are easy to handle. Due to its big size, an adult Newfie can be difficult to control.

Are Newfoundlands Hard to Potty Train?

Newfoundlands are intelligent dogs that learn in relatively short periods of time making them relatively easy to potty train.

To be successful potty training a Newfoundland you have to use positive reinforcement training methods.

The Newfoundland puppy must be trained to go to the bathroom in a designated area outside the apartment.

Puppies need to pee every hour at first. As they grow up, gradually they can hold their bladder for longer.

At first you have to take the puppy often to a place you choose as the potty area. Since they are both going to make several trips a day, it should be a place near the apartment and if possible with grass.

Every time your puppy does his things in the desired place you have to praise and reward him with treats.

When potty training a Newfie you should never scold them for going potty in the apartment.

In case you find him doing it at the moment, distract him with some sound to stop it and immediately take him out to the designated area and let him finish doing there. Congratulate him and reward him when he’s done.

If you find accidents inside your apartment make sure to clean it well with an enzymatic cleaner to ensure that there is no trace of the scent so that he is not tempted to do it again in the same place.

With perseverance and patience, before long the dog will be warning you when he wants to go outside to the bathroom.

Can Newfoundlands Be Left Alone?

Newfoundlands are dogs that need company and to be close to their family.

If a Newfie is left alone often and for long periods he can develop separation anxiety and manifest destructive behaviors like chewing.

They don’t adapt well to busy homes where they often have to be left alone at home for long periods.

This doesn’t mean that a Newfie can never be left alone. With a good exercise session before staying alone, he can hang out sleeping on the sofa while you are gone.

It also helps to leave them some of his favorite toys so they don’t get bored and he stays entertained chewing anything other than your furniture. 

Doggie Daycares are also a good option where a Newfoundland can spend the day playing with other dogs instead of just being home alone.

Do Newfoundland Dogs Bark a Lot?

Newfoundlands have a deep and loud bark but are not known to bark a lot, although with a Newfie it’s not a general rule.

They usually bark occasionally, but some Newfoundlands love to bark. It varies greatly depending on the personality and upbringing of each dog.

The main reasons the Newfoundlands bark are:

A properly socialized dog tends to bark less. Socialization strengthens a dog’s self-confidence and helps prevent them from becoming fearful and suspicious.

When a Newfie barks a lot you need to calm him down to stop him from barking.

To calm him you have to approach him or call him to come to you. You have to attract his attention, ask him to sit or lay down and reward him with a treat on being quiet.

Are Newfoundland Dogs Protective?

Newfoundlands are calm, gentle and very friendly dogs but they are also very protective of their family.

But this does not mean that they are considered good watchdogs or guard dogs. If they are alone and an intruder breaks into the apartment, chances are your Newfie won’t make much of a fuss and even give the intruder a nice reception.

A Newfoundland will protect what he considers the most important, his family. When they perceive danger, especially around children, they will do their best to keep them away from the danger.

They also often put themselves between what they perceive as a threat and their family to protect them.

They are not dogs known for their guard dog skills but have a protective nature for their family.

Is a Newfoundland a Good Apartment Dog?

Newfoundland apartment

Due to its calm nature and friendly personality, a Newfoundland is an excellent dog for apartment living despite its large size. He is a good family dog, loyal and protective of his family who loves to be close to his people all the time.

Newfoundland are big apartment dogs that can thrive well in small apartments meanwhile they get plenty of exercise daily and don’t are left alone for long.

Likewise, to make it work for the good of your dog and you, it is essential to train and socialize them properly since they are puppies.

Tips for Raising a Newfoundland in an Apartment

Check Your Apartment’s Pet Restrictions

One of the first things you have to check before bringing a Newfoundland home is the apartment’s Pet Restrictions.

Each landlord can have different pet policies and one of the most common restrictions in apartments is a dog’s weight. 

Some apartment building owners do not allow dogs over 55 lbs. Owners are concerned about the damage that can be caused and the noise that a big dog can make.

Considering that Newfoundland dogs can weigh between 121 and 176 lbs, the pet weight restrictions of apartment buildings can be a problem that can prevent you from having a Newfie.

Living With a Giant Dog

Something that cannot be overlooked when living with a Newfoundland in an apartment is his size.

Although they have a calm temperament, they are not aware of their size. Some even tend to behave like little lap dogs.

When bringing a Newfoundland to live in an apartment, the flat must be adapted to avoid potential damage.

Efforts must be made to remove and relocate all things that the dog can potentially knockdown. From house decorations to televisions can be at risk if proper precautions are not taken.

You should also be careful with young children as it is easy for them to be accidentally hit.

For this you also have to take the dog’s tail seriously. A happy and wagging tail can be a danger inside an apartment.

Start Training and Socializing Your Puppy the Day You Bring Him Home

Training and socializing has many benefits for all dogs. But for the Newfoundlands it’s a must.

Due to their strength and large size, it’s essential to start training and socializing them since they are puppies. They are dogs that grow a lot and very fast and controlling them as adults can be quite difficult.

They are not aggressive dogs by nature, but they need to learn to interact and behave with new people and other dogs and animals.

Starting as soon as possible with leash training is also essential with a Newfie. Due to its strength and size, if a Newfoundland decides to start running during a walk, it will be impossible to stop him.

The good news is that the Newfoundlands are easy to train. They are intelligent dogs that learn fast, eager to please and enjoy learning new things.

With gentle treatment, patience, and positive reinforcement, training a Newfoundland can be a lot of fun and will strengthen the bond between your dog and you.

Dealing With Heavy Shedding

The Newfoundlands are considered to be one of the heaviest shedders of all dog breeds.

When living with a Newfie you have to get used to finding hair everywhere. On clothes, on rugs, under furniture and in every corner of your apartment.

You have to be ready to vacuum and sweep frequently in addition to spending some time grooming your Newfoundland quite often.

Final Thoughts

If you are a very busy person or family, the Newfoundland is not the pet for you.

But if you have the time to be in their company and are active enough to provide them with the balance and type of exercise he requires daily, the Newfoundland can be the perfect roommate for apartment living.

Adopting a dog is a long-term commitment so you must be completely sure that you can meet the dog’s emotional and physical needs so that he can have a happy and healthy life.