Male vs. Female Newfoundland: Which Is Better?

Male and female Newfoundland lying on the ground

Being large and huge in size isn’t all about being vicious and aggressive, and the Newfoundland proves that clearly. Having a Newfoundland is just as amazing as you can imagine, as you will be getting yourself the combination of a fearless and friendly companion.

But you must know that just like every other breed out there, there are some notable differences between the males and females, and you just have to know them before getting your Newfoundland.

Should I go with a male or a female Newfoundland? There’s no changing the fact that Newfoundlands are generally amazing companions to have around, but if you’re looking for more playfulness, sociability, and activeness, you should go with a male. If you want easier trainability and more calmness around the house, go with a female.

Today, I’ll be giving a detailed breakdown of every important difference and characteristics between the males and the females in order to help you with getting your Newfoundland to perfectly fit your lifestyle and environment.

Would you want to get yourself a male Newfoundland or a female Newfoundland? Well, I’m sure your mind will be made up after reading through. 

Male Newfoundlands


Overview


Height: 27 – 29 inches (69 – 74 cm)

Weight: 130 – 150 lbs (60 – 70 kg)

Puppy Price: $800 – $1,500

Lifespan: 8 – 10 Years

Build: Larger built with more muscle mass.


Temperament


  • Sweet, patient, and devoted.
  • Loves to please his owner.
  • Slightly more food motivated.
  • Likes being babied.
  • More playful and energetic throughout life.
  • Reaches physical maturity quicker.
  • Reaches mental maturity slower
  • Tends to protect a territory or whole family.
  • More attention seeking.
  • Clingy most of the time.
  • Easily get distracted and harder to train.
  • Harder to train him to walk off leash and stay close to you.
  • Gets along well with female dogs.
  • Less likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
  • Less suspicious of strangers.
  • More likely to bond with all family members.
  • Tends to be a bit messier.
  • Clumsy around kids.
  • More aggressive.
  • Easier to socialize with people.
  • More maintenance required.

Female Newfoundlands


Overview


Height: 25 – 27 inches (63 – 69 cm)

Weight: 99 – 120 lbs (45 – 55 kg)

Puppy Price: $800 – $1,500

Lifespan: 8 – 10 Years

Build: Smaller built with less muscle mass.


Temperament


  • Sweet, patient, and devoted.
  • Slightly less desire to please her owner.
  • Slightly less food motivated (except when pregnant).
  • More independent.
  • Tends to be less playful all the time.
  • Reaches physical maturity slower.
  • Reaches mental maturity quicker.
  • Tends to protect an individual (her owner).
  • Less attention seeking.
  • Respects your time alone.
  • More focused and easier to train.
  • Easier to train her to walk off leash and stay close to you.
  • Gets along well with male dogs.
  • More likely to get along with other dogs or animals.
  • More suspicious of strangers.
  • Tends to bond with one person in the family.
  • Tends to be cleaner.
  • More cautious around kids.
  • Less aggressive.
  • A bit harder to socialize with people.
  • Less maintenance required.

Physical Differences

Males

  • Taller with a height of 27 to 29 inches.
  • Have more weight with a weight range of 130 – 150 pounds.
  • More sturdy and buff in appearance.

Male Newfoundlands stand at an average height of 28 inches, which is about 2 inches more than the females and can weigh 130 to 150 pounds which is about 30 pounds heavier than females. This makes them significantly larger than the females generally.

It is expected that male Newfoundlands also have a generally muscular and sturdier appearance compared to the females, considering the possession of testosterone.

Females

  • Slightly shorter than males with a height of 25 to 27 inches.
  • Less heavy than males with a weight range of 99 – 120 pounds.
  • Simpler and slimmer in appearance. 

The female Newfoundlands are behind the males in height by 2 inches and in weight by about 30 pounds, so they should have a smaller or shorter appearance than the males. This smaller size isn’t very obvious, so they should look just about the same with the males until you take a side-by-side comparison. 

Female dogs are generally known to have a simpler and less muscular appearance than males, so the same goes for the female Newfoundlands compared to the males. You can also say that they would be more elegant-looking. 

Health Differences

Males

Newfoundlands are generally prone to diseases like epilepsy, sub-aortic stenosis (SAS), bloat, osteochondritis dissecans, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia.

Hip and elbow dysplasia which are both bone and joint diseases are the ones that could be said to have more impact on the males compared to the females. Why?

Well because overall, males are the bigger ones with more weight and will have more strain on their whole body, and this is pretty much one of the major factors that even makes Newfoundlands generally prone to them in the first place.

In essence, it also affects other dogs but Newfoundlands are one of the bigger dogs who have a higher chance of getting it — in this case, the males specifically.

Hip and elbow dysplasia are inherited and are as a result of the ball and socket joints not connecting properly, and the strain just tends to make it worse as they grow. It might not have effects on them at all, it might have minor effects and result in limping, or it might be worse and lead to complete disability.

There are some common male reproductive issues that affect male Newfoundlands and set a difference between them and the females. It could be reproductive issues like paraphimosis, phimosis, cryptorchidism, and priapism.

Females

Just as stated earlier, female Newfoundlands are also prone to diseases like epilepsy, sub-aortic stenosis (SAS), bloat, osteochondritis dissecans, hip dysplasia, and elbow dysplasia, just like the males.

But regarding hip and elbow dysplasia, they will have a slightly better chance of not getting it compared to the males who have an overall larger size.

As female dogs, they will be prone to common reproductive health issues like dystocia (difficult birth) and pseudopregnancy (false pregnancy).

Temperamental Differences

Males

  • More outgoing and playful in nature.
  • Has a significantly higher energy and strength level.
  • Will tend to be clumsier around children.
  • Messier in nature.
  • More territorial and will have a harder time warming up to dogs of the same sex.
  • Will exhibit more stubbornness compared to the females.
  • More open with strangers compared to the females.
  • Will get more attached and prone to separation anxiety.
  • Less emotionally connected to the owner.
  • Wouldn’t mature as fast as the females.
  • Will be harder to train.
  • Will lose concentration easily and get more easily distracted compared to females.

Reaction to Children

Being more playful and active with the children is expected to be seen in male Newfoundlands. It’s actually really great. Generally, Newfoundlands are very big and all, but they are very calm and have a very soft spot for children.

Their size might be a little problem when playing with the kids as they could easily make them fall or knock them over, and this is something that would be seen more with the male Newfoundlands because of how clumsy they can be.

This will call for close supervision, but other than that, there isn’t pretty much anything to worry about with this doggy around the kids.

Reaction to Other Dogs

Male Newfoundlands are very social and great with mingling with other dogs around. In fact, for the males specifically, you might notice a bit of territoriality and a repulsive attitude towards dogs of the same sex.

FightsOpens in a new tab. are very likely to break out frequently if they live under the same roof. This is why it’s best you either have your male Newfoundland alone, have him live with a female, or have him and his other male companion both neutered.

Reaction to Strangers

Generally, the gentle giants will warm up to strangers quickly and are known to be great around them, but the more social and outgoing nature of male Newfoundlands will just deem them a bit better at tolerating and warming up to strangers.

Reaction to Training

Newfoundlands are generally very intelligent and quick learning dogs too, but for the males specifically, although they are the more active and eager-to-please ones, their goofy, stubborn, and less-attentive nature coupled with their slower maturation rate will make it all significantly harder to train them when they’re young and will just need some more effort.

Females

  • Has a more serious and less-goofy nature.
  • Wouldn’t exhibit the same amount of energy and activeness as the males.
  • Will be more careful when dealing and playing with children.
  • Less messy compared to the males.
  • Has a higher tendency of getting along with dogs of the same sex.
  • Calmer and not as stubborn as the males.
  • Will be more cautious around strangers.
  • More independent and not as attention-seeking as the males.
  • Will be more emotionally connected to her owner.
  • Has a faster maturation rate.
  • Will be significantly less stressful to train.
  • Will generally be more focused and alert.

Reaction to Children

Female Newfoundlands are just as sweet with children as the males but their careful nature will make them significantly better at being left to play with them.

They are just as huge as the males so there will still be cases where they happen to mistakenly knock the kids over, but they are surpassed by the males when it comes to being active and being ready to engage with the kids frequently. 

Reaction to Other Dogs

Female Newfoundlands will tend not to be like the males when it comes to being social, but a better side to it is that they aren’t territorial and will be able to warm up more easily to other dogs of the same sex.

The best thing though is to have them live with a male dog to prevent any possible disagreements or fights while it also serves as a means of reproduction.

Reaction to Strangers

Much difference shouldn’t be expected when it comes to female Newfoundlands around strangers because they’re generally great with them just like the males, but their less-social and more serious and observant nature will make that little difference when they’re around strangers.

Reaction to Training

Just as stated earlier, Newfoundlands are generally fast learners. They are very intelligent, but it’s obvious that female dogs generally mature faster than males and that will make female Newfoundlands easier to train and quicker to learn. And of course the less goofiness and increased level of seriousness and attentiveness will also aid easier training.

Male and Female Newfoundlands With Cats

Your Newfoundland might not be the only pet you have at home or there’s a possibility that it’ll come across other pets at some point in time. Since it is more likely that your Newfoundland will come across cats and that they are more common, the typical relationship between cats and dogs will still be seen.

Be it a male or female Newfoundland, they have a high tendency of having problems or getting into fights with cats if they aren’t trained and introduced to each other properly. If they grow up together, they could get along more easily compared to them being introduced as adults.

The only possible exemption between males and females could be the possibility that male cats and male Newfoundlands will be more aggressive and territorial because of their nature compared to females. Neutering would do the job to calm them down but that doesn’t really make a difference though.

This is all on a general scale and you should have in mind that their relationship could just vary individually. It shouldn’t pose to be much of a surprise to you if they turn out to just immediately warm up to each other even as adults.

Performance in Competitions

In general, male Newfoundlands are significantly more active, energetic, and motivated due to the possession of testosterone. They do not experience a heat period and are more efficient.

Female Newfoundlands, on the other hand, are not as active and as motivated as the males with testosterone. They will experience a heat period which will make her not open to participating at that time, thus making her less efficient than the males.

When it comes to participating in competitions, both male and female Newfoundlands are completely up to the task, but the only thing that might set them apart will be their efficiency and energy level.

In essence, it is known that female dogs generally go into heat at some point in time, and it definitely isn’t a good thing to enroll them in any type of competition around their heat period.

For males, they do not experience anything like this but they even have testosterone which makes them even more active and better at such, which means that it might just be a better choice to have a male Newfoundland if you want to frequently participate in such competitions, and not a female Newfoundland.

Which One Is Better for a Family?

That’s pretty much every important difference between male and female Newfoundlands you need to know before getting one, but before the final thoughts, let’s go over the general advantages of having each one.

Advantages of Male Newfoundlands in a Family Environment:

  • More playful, especially with the kids.
  • Significantly stronger and more active.
  • Will get along well with female dogs at home. 
  • More social and tolerant of strangers or new animals.

Advantages of Female Newfoundlands in a Family Environment:

  • More cautious when playing with the kids.
  • Matures faster and easier to train and teach tricks.
  • More concentrated and less hyper in nature.
  • Will get along well with male dogs at home.

Final Thoughts

That’s all on what to expect with either a male or a female Newfoundland.

Everything I’ve discussed so far on both the male and female Newfoundlands have actually related to the intact ones and not the spayed and neutered ones.

Although in many cases, neutered and spayed Newfoundlands don’t differ much from the intact ones, it still stands that the neutered and spayed Newfoundlands will generally have a calmer nature.

For males specifically, since the source of testosterone, which increases their activeness and energy, isn’t present, it’s noticeable that they would be calmer than intact ones.

Generally, neutered male Newfoundlands will not do things like marking their territories with urine, humping, and roaming. For the females, they wouldn’t go into heat and have the tendency of reproducing unlike intact ones. 

The differences between the unspayed and unneutered Newfoundlands I’ve discussed today aren’t actually all that obvious or distant.

It would majorly all depend on the individual Newfoundland’s environment or temperament, but remember to play your part by ensuring proper feeding and diet, training, and socialization to raise a superb gentle giant.

Good luck with your new friend!

John Carter

My name is John Carter and I absolutely love pets, especially dogs. I've got a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare and have several years’ experience working in animal shelters and rescues. My passion for animals started at a very young age as I grow up on a farm with several horses, cows, cats, chickens, and dogs on our property.

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