Male vs. Female Newfoundland: Which Is Better?

Male and female Newfoundland resting on the grass

While both male and female Newfoundland dogs make wonderful family companions, deciding whether to get a male or a female Newfoundland highly depends on your lifestyle and home situation.

Male Newfoundlands are known to be goofballs that constantly demand attention. They are highly sociable, playful, and very active. Female Newfoundlands, on the other hand, are very calm and independent. They thrive on their own and do not seek attention all the time. 

That is why it is important to know the differences between the two genders so you can weigh the pros and cons of owning male and female Newfoundlands. 

In this guide, I will give a detailed breakdown of every important difference between male and female Newfoundlands to ensure that you will get your perfect match. 

Physical Differences

Male and female Newfoundland resting near the lake

Male Newfoundlands

Genetically speaking, male dogs, regardless of their breed, are larger than females. Male Newfoundlands reach an average height of 27 to 28 inches and weigh a massive 130 to 150 pounds. 

Due to their height and weight difference, it should also be expected that male Newfoundlands will have a more muscular and sturdier appearance as opposed to the females. 

Other than that, there aren’t any noteworthy differences between the two, as both genders have medium-length double coats that can be black, brown, or gray and noteworthy blue or black tongues.

Without looking at Newfoundland’s sexual organs, it can be quite hard to tell them apart since the two have very similar physical features, such as their massive head, dark brown eyes, and triangular ears with rounded tips. 

Female Newfoundlands

Female Newfoundlands are smaller as compared to male Newfoundlands. However, expect that their size is still massive. When fully grown, they can weigh about 100 to 120 pounds and may reach a height of 25 to 26 inches. 

Additionally, female Newfoundlands also have a slightly smaller body build that is less muscular compared to males. 

However, aside from that, the two genders feature the same exact physical characteristics. They both have the same massive head and triangular ears and can also have common coat colors, including black, brown, or grey. 

Temperamental Differences

Male Newfoundlands

Male Newfoundlands carry a very outgoing and playful disposition. They get along with children well. However, they tend to get clumsy, so it’s still best not to leave them with children unattended, as their size might cause injuries. 

No matter how sweet Newfoundlands are, the male Newfoundland has a protective and territorial streak like any other male dog. They may have a harder time getting along with dogs of the same sex than female Newfies.

Despite their territorial tendencies, male Newfoundlands get along with strangers faster than females. 

If you are looking for a Newfoundland that you can baby, then the male Newfoundland is definitely for you. Male Newfies are more clingy to their owners than their female counterparts. 

That said, you also need to make sure that you are not out of the house for long periods because male Newfies have a higher tendency to develop separation anxiety.

Female Newfoundlands

If you are after a more mature, more focused, and less goofy house companion, better get a female Newfoundland. Female Newfies are still very friendly but will not exhibit the same amount of energy as males.

Unlike male Newfoundlands, which are very clumsy, females are cautious when dealing with and playing with children. Although it is safer to leave kids with females than males, it is still not recommended as injuries may happen. 

Female Newfies also tend to get along with other dogs of the same sex as opposed to the territorial male Newfies. On the contrary, females are more cautious around strangers, making them better watchdogs. 

Another major difference between the two genders is that female Newfoundlands are more independent and are not as attention-seeking as their male counterparts. 

That being said, they may not be as prone to separation anxiety compared to male Newfies. However, it is still best not to leave your Newfoundlands for long periods, regardless of their gender. 

Behavior and Training

Male Newfoundland during training

Male Newfoundlands

Newfoundlands are generally fast learners. However, there are several factors that hinder the training of male Newfies. 

While it is unquestionable that male Newfies are intelligent, take note that they are also goofy and stubborn. These traits, along with their slow maturation rate and short attention spans, will make training harder. 

However, with enough praise, treats, and a lot of pats on the head, you should be able to make them obey basic commands. 

Additionally, you may also notice territory marking behavior in your dog, which is apparent regardless of their breed. When dogs mark their territory, it makes other dogs aware of their presence.

Since it involves urination around things, it can be unsanitary for your home. That is why owners try their best to prevent or correct this behavior.

Though urine marking is much more common in unneutered male Newfies, many neutered males also mark their territory, so you better be prepared if you decide to get a male Newfie.

Likewise, you can follow AKC’s tips on how to curb dog marking

Female Newfoundlands

Female Newfies are equally intelligent as male Newfoundlands, but their faster maturation rate and serious disposition make them easier to train than males. 

If you do not have a lot of patience when training, it’s better to get a female Newfoundland instead of a male since training them can be significantly less stressful as they are more focused and alert.

As always, regardless of gender, using positive reinforcement and giving them a lot of praise and treats will make training remarkably easygoing and stress-free.

Moreover, female Newfoundlands also exhibit territory marking. When this happens, dogs leave a scent mark with urine in a specific location to claim its presence. 

While this problem is commonly seen in male Newfies, female Newfoundlands also have a tendency to show this behavior which can indicate underlying behavioral problems or health conditions.

Health Differences

Male Newfoundlands

One of the most common health problems among male Newfoundlands is osteochondritis dissecans (OCD). This condition happens when a cartilage flap forms during development which induces pain within the joint. 

Although this problem is seen in rapidly growing pups, including Newfoundlands, OCD is observed more often in male Newfoundlands than in females. 

Another health problem that is more commonly seen in male Newfoundland is epilepsy. This problem can cause mild or severe seizures and is often inherited. While there may be a lot of epilepsy causes, most have no identifiable cause.

Since male Newfoundlands grow bigger and heavier than females, it is not surprising to know that they are at higher risk for elbow and hip dysplasia. 

Elbow and hip dysplasia is a result of the ball and socket joints not aligning properly, causing a limp in dogs and, worse, complete disability. This health problem can be inherited, so make sure to have your pups checked.

Aside from these health problems, male Newfoundlands are also prone to developing gender-related health issues such as cryptorchidism, phimosis, and testicular cancer. 

To reduce the risk of your dog developing some of these gender-related problems, neutering or castration should be done. This procedure involves removing both testicles to sterilize a male dog.

Female Newfoundlands

Like their male counterpart, female Newfoundlands are also prone to different health problems, including subaortic stenosis, which is a congenital heart disease that causes a narrowing at the aortic valve of the heart.

While this problem may be seen in other dog breeds, Newfoundlands are at higher risk for this condition. Lethargy, shortness of breath, coughing, and increased effort in breathing are initial signs of this problem. 

Likewise, female Newfoundlands are also at higher risk for hypothyroidism, a condition in which there is a decrease in thyroid hormone production, which disrupts the normal balance of chemical reactions in the body. 

Medium to large-sized dogs, such as Newfoundlands, are prone to developing this health problem, but females are more frequently affected than males.

Another gender-related health issue that may affect female Newfoundlands is pyometra. This health problem is a uterine issue occurring that happens when a female dog is unspayed and never bred. 

That is why dog owners need to consider spaying their female Newfies, as this procedure has many health benefits and advantages. Most Newfoundland breeders have the option to spay your Newfies. 

With Other Dogs and Pets

Male Newfoundland playing with a Husky

Male Newfoundlands

Newfoundlands are generally very friendly and sociable dogs. More often than not, they get along with people, dogs, and other pets well. 

However, male Newfies can be potentially territorial or aggressive toward other male dogs. This aggressiveness is likely to turn into fights, and it is most likely because Newfoundlands are protective of their humans and property. 

Likewise, some Newfies may have a high prey drive, making it unsafe for small animals to be around them. While this may not manifest in all Newfies, it is best to always practice caution.

That said, it is important to have your Newfie trained and socialized from early on for you to correct their territorial streak and any aggressiveness. 

You can also consider neutering them, as this results in calmer, less aggressive dogs. 

To make you more comfortable with this, I would like to share the experience of one of my clients who has an adult male Newfoundland and wanted a smaller dog as its companion. This couple got a Cavalier King Charles from me, and they were confident that their Newfie will get along well with their new puppy.

Indeed, just after a day, their male Newfie was already very accepting and playful with the new puppy. They mentioned their confidence came from the Newfie being well-socialized as a pup and interacting regularly with other dogs in parks and during walks.

Female Newfoundlands

If you consider taking in more dogs in the future, you might consider getting a female Newfie which is friendlier, calmer, and easier to get along with. 

Though they may not get along with other dogs in an instant, female Newfoundlands do not have the male Newfie’s territorial streak, making it easier for them to warm up with other dogs.

However, as with any other dogs, expect that your female Newfie will have a harder time being comfortable around dogs of the same sex. 

So, if you have a female Newfoundland and want another dog as an addition to the family, it would be best to have them live with a male dog to prevent any possible fights. 

On the other hand, unlike male Newfies, female Newfoundland has a lower prey drive, making it safer for smaller animals to be around them. 

As always, regardless of its gender, it is still best to have your Newfies trained and socialized while they are still young, as this will help curb any territorial tendencies. 

With Children

Male Newfoundlands

Both male and female Newfies are great around kids, but the difference is seen in how they handle kids. Male Newfoundlands are more playful and active when around children than female Newfies.

However, Newfies must be socialized with kids as early as their puppy years. They should be properly trained before dog owners allow them to freely play with kids since their size and clumsiness can cause accidents.

Though they are calm and can tolerate your kid’s casual tail-pulling, it is too risky for dog owners to leave male Newfies around children as this could easily make kids fall and get injured.

That said, they are generally safe to be around children, but there should be adult supervision and training done beforehand. 

Female Newfoundlands

Like male Newfies, female Newfoundlands tend to get along really well with kids. The good thing about female Newfies is that they are more careful around children, unlike their clumsy male counterparts.

This makes female Newfoundland significantly better at being left alone with their kids when playing. 

However, this doesn’t mean that you can just leave your kids to play with Newfoundlands. It is very important for Newfies to be socialized and trained before they are allowed to play with kids. 

They may be friendly dogs, but due to their size and strength, even the slightest mistake can cause serious harm to your kids. That is why they must be under control at all times.

Pros and Cons of Male and Female Newfoundlands

Male and female Newfoundland out in the snow

Male Newfoundlands

For the most part, owning a male Newfoundland is fun, especially for families and individuals with an active lifestyle, since your dog can keep up with your energy.

Likewise, they can help you out with a lot of tasks and make use of these dogs being bred to work while enjoying the perks of having a dog that will be able to protect you. 

They are also very friendly with other people, which is a huge plus if you have a lot of people coming over to your house every now and then. That said, they also would not mind being the center of attention as they enjoy that. 

On the flip side, though they get along with kids really well, their clumsiness and high energy can get in the way. So, it’s best to rethink your choice of getting a male one, especially if you have very small kids at home. 

Male Newfies tend to be territorial, too, which means it can be harder for them to get along with other pets should you decide to take in more in the future. 

As with training, it can be hard to train male Newfies because they lose concentration way too quickly. 

Here is a summarized table of the pros and cons of owning a male Newfoundland:

More outgoing and playfulClumsy around children
Has higher energy and strength levelCan be territorial 
Very friendly with other peopleCan be harder to make friends with other dogs
Protective of their humansCan quickly lose concentration 
Likes extra attentionMore challenging to train

Female Newfoundlands

One of the biggest advantages of getting a female Newfoundland is that they are very gentle and more careful around kids. This is a huge sigh of relief for families who want to take in a Newfie but are worried because they have kids.

Aside from this, they are calmer and they mature faster compared to male Newfoundlands. So, if you do not want a rowdy household, this is the best option for you, as females are also less goofy. 

Likewise, with their very focused trait, you can easily train female Newfies. They cannot be distracted easily and will surely put their heart into what you ask them to do. 

However, female Newfies are not as active and outgoing as male Newfoundlands and can be cautious around strangers. They also dislike getting close to everyone as they have favorites in the household.

So, for individuals and families with a very active lifestyle and those who love inviting people to their place to visit, a female Newfoundland dog might have a harder time keeping up with you. 

Here is a summarized table of the pros and cons of owning a female Newfoundland:

Gentle and careful around kidsLess active and outgoing
Calmer and matures fasterCautious around strangers
More serious, less hyper, less goofyTends to get close with only one specific member of the family
More focused, easier to trainSlightly less desire to bond with everyone
Independent and less attention-seekingCan be too independent at times

Should You Get a Male or Female Newfoundland?

Whether you should get a male or a female Newfoundland highly depends on your lifestyle and current home situation. 

For families and individuals with small kids around and those that do not want a messy household, it is best to get a female Newfoundland to give you more peace of mind regarding your kid’s overall safety. 

However, for families with an active lifestyle that do not mind having a goofy dog with seemingly endless energy, you definitely should get a male Newfoundland to take home with you.

In a nutshell, you should get a male Newfie if you want a goofy house companion with a hint of protectiveness. Meanwhile, pick a female Newfie if you just want a dog to keep you company.

All things considered, as long as you have the budget and patience to train a new dog, you can’t go wrong with either the male or female Newfie.

If you have already decided which gender to take home, you should watch this video to get to know the Newfie a little bit better:

5 Things to Know Before You Get Newfie Puppies!

Frequently Asked Questions

Male and female Newfoundland in the backyard

Are Male or Female Newfoundlands Calmer?

Compared to male Newfoundlands, female Newfies have a faster maturation rate making these females generally calmer, more serious, and less goofy than males.

It is also for the same reason that female Newfoundlands make better companions for families with kids since they are less likely to injure them when playing alone. They are generally more composed and focused. 

Are Male or Female Newfoundlands More Affectionate?

While both male and female Newfoundlands are affectionate dogs, you will get more love and attention from male Newfoundlands. They are known as giant lapdogs for their clinginess and affection. 

Male Newfies tend to be affectionate with everyone in the family, unlike female Newfoundlands that pick a specific person in the household to bond with. 

Are Male or Female Newfoundlands Easier to Train?

Training-wise, both male and female Newfies will respond well since both are intelligent. However, female Newfoundlands are easier to handle because of their less goofy, more serious, and less active disposition. 

Also, since female Newfies mature faster than male Newfies, it will be quicker for them to understand and follow commands that are taught to them. They are also more attentive and focused, which results in easier training. 

Final Thoughts

Generally, Newfoundlands are gentle giants that anyone would want to take home, regardless of their gender. These fluffy companions have big hearts, which makes them wonderful family pets. 

However, as with any other dog breed, it is important to compare and weigh the pros and cons of choosing a dog’s gender to ensure that their temperament and needs match your lifestyle. 

Getting a dog that truly matches your needs will make things easier for you as a fur parent and lessen the risk of these wonderful pups ending up in rescue shelters. 

Have you decided which Newfoundland you’re taking home? Let us know your thoughts about male and female Newfoundlands in the comments!

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