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Newfoundland

Loyal and intelligent, the Newfoundland is a wonderful working partner and dependable, sweet-natured family pet.

Newfoundland Breed Photo

Vital Stats

Dog Breed Group
Working Dogs
Height
Weight
Life Span
8 to 10 years

Breed Characteristics

  • Details

    Adaptability

    based on 6 ratings
  • Details

    Trainability

    based on 6 ratings
  • Details

    Health & Grooming

    based on 6 ratings
  • Details

    All-around friendliness

    based on 4 ratings
  • Details

    Exercise needs

    based on 4 ratings
  • See All Characteristic Ratings


Summary

The Newfoundland is a large, strong dog breed from — wait for it — Newfoundland. He was originally used as a working dog to pull nets for fishermen and haul wood from the forest. He is a capable and hardworking dog, well suited to work on land or water. He is a strong swimmer and equally strong "pack horse." Sweet-natured and responsive, he makes a wonderful family companion as well.

Additional articles you will be interested in:

Adoption
Newfoundland Dog Names
More Dog Names
Bringing Home Your Dog
Help with Training Puppies
Housetraining Puppies
Feeding a Puppy
Dog games
Teaching your dog tricks
How to take pictures of your dog

  • Overview

    Surely you remember Nana, the fictional Newfoundland employed as a nanny by the Darling family in Peter Pan? Sweet-natured Nana was first introduced to the public by Scottish novelist and playwright J. M. Barrie in his 1904 play, Peter Pan, which later became the well-loved kids' story we know today.

    It's true that Barrie's fictional account of Nana as a round-the-clock babysitter stretches reality a bit. However, there is truth in the author's characterization of the dog.

    The Newfoundland really is a sweet dog who loves children. He's naturally gentle and friendly with them, as well as protective. Fans of this breed say the Newfoundland really is a natural-born babysitter.

    Originating in Newfoundland, Canada, located on the northeastern shore of that country, the Newfoundland, affectionately nicknamed "Newfie," shares a birthplace with the popular Labrador Retriever. The breeds are similar in character, sharing a desire to please, intelligence, a strong work ethic, friendliness, adaptability and versatility.

    The Newfoundland is a giant breed (about 100 pounds). Though relatively placid, he still needs daily exercise to keep fit.

    Neat freaks need not consider the Newfoundland because his long, heavy coat is a mud-burr-dirt magnet. He is especially skilled at tracking dirt and debris throughout the house. You'll need to keep up with quite a bit of grooming to minimize the damage. And he drools — a lot.

    But when it comes to training, you'll find the Newfoundland is an A student. He learns quickly and there is little this dog can't do. Training should begin early because the breed gets big quickly and it can be tough to haul a 100-pound pooch off the couch.

    All dogs have the potential for heroism, but it seems to be a hardwired into this naturally strong swimmer. There are many accounts of Newfoundlands rescuing people from the cold waters of the Atlantic following a shipwreck or plucking children from icy deep water — just in time.

    Regardless of the purpose of the Newfoundland in your life, be it worker or companion, he will no doubt capture your heart.

  • Highlights

    • The Newfoundland is a big dog when full grown. Though mellow, he's not your basic one-bedroom apartment dog and would probably be happier in a more spacious setting.
    • He has has a strong work ethic, needs exercise, and mental stimulation. Ongoing training and dog sports are a perfect outlet for his working abilities.
    • If you can't stand dog slobber, the Newfoundland is not for you. This breed drools. A lot.
    • To keep the Newfoundland's thick coat looking great, he needs regular grooming. You can do it yourself, which is time consuming, or you can hire a professional groomer, which can be expensive.
    • The Newfoundland thrives in cool climates, though he can adapt to living in warmer climates. To protect him from heat stroke, keep him near air conditioning or fans when it's really hot.
    • To get a healthy dog, never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Look for a shelter dog, a rescue group, or a reputable breeder who tests her breeding dogs to make sure they're free of genetic diseases that they might pass onto the puppies, and that they have sound temperaments.
  • History

    The Newfoundland comes from the Canadian province of the same name and worked alongside the fishermen of the area. Although originating in Canada, the details are sketchy.

    There are three theories of how the Newfoundland came to be, though as is the case with most breeds, it's hard to validate. The first is that the Newfoundland is a cross between the Tibetan Mastiff and the now-extinct American Black Wolf. Through the pairings of those two animals, the Newfoundland eventually evolved.

    Another school of thought is that Vikings left the dogs when they visited the New World in 1000 A.D. and these dogs interbred and were eventually bred with wolves native to Eastern Canada.

    The third theory is that the Newfoundland is the result of many European breeds cross bred around the 15th and 16th centuries, among them the Pyrenean Sheep Dogs, Mastiffs, and Portuguese Water Dogs.

    What is known is that sometime in the late 18th century, Sir Joseph Banks, an English botanist, acquired several Newfoundlands and in 1775 George Cartwright named them. In the late 1800s, another fan, Professor Albert Heim of Switzerland identified and described the breed.

    But the existence of the Newfie, as the breed is sometimes called, was in jeopardy until then. In the 1780s, the breed was almost wiped out because of government-imposed restrictions mandating that Canadian families had to pay taxes on the one dog they were allowed to keep.

    One person who contributed to the Newfoundland's resurgence was Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-1873), who liked to include the Newfoundland in his paintings. The white and black variety of the Newfoundland was named Landseer in his honor.

    But the future of the breed was truly solidified when the Honorable Harold MacPherson (1884-1963), governor of Newfoundland, made the dog his breed of choice.

    In 1860, the first Newfoundland was shown in England. The breed was first registered with the American Kennel Club in 1879 and the first American Newfoundland champion was titled in 1883.

  • Size

    Males stand 28 inches tall and weigh 130 to 150 pounds. Females stand 26 inches tall and weigh 100 to 120 pounds.

  • Personality

    The Newfoundland is known for his sweet disposition. He's like a big, loveable Teddy Bear. He loves children, is intelligent, and aims to please. He's happiest when he is with his family, and should not be left alone for long periods of time or be banished to the backyard or a kennel.

    Like every dog, the Newfoundland needs early socialization — exposure to many different people, sights, sounds, and experiences when young. Socialization helps ensure that your Newfoundland puppy grows up to be a well-rounded dog.

    Enrolling him in a puppy kindergarten class is a great start. Inviting visitors over regularly, and taking him to busy parks, stores that allow dogs, and on leisurely strolls to meet neighbors will also help him polish his social skills.

  • Health

    Newfoundlands are prone to certain health conditions. Not all Newfoundlands will get any or all of these diseases, but it's important to be aware of them if you're considering this breed.

    If you're buying a puppy, find a good breeder who will show you health clearances for both your puppy's parents. Health clearances prove that a dog has been tested for and cleared of a particular condition.

    In Newfoundlands, you should expect to see health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia (with a score of fair or better), elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and von Willebrand's disease; from Auburn University for thrombopathia; and from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) certifying that eyes are normal. You can confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org).

    • Addison's Disease: Also known as hypoadrenocorticism, this extremely serious condition is caused by an insufficient production of adrenal hormones by the adrenal gland. Most dogs with Addison's disease vomit, have a poor appetite, and lethargy. Because these signs are vague and can be mistaken for other conditions, it's easy to miss this disease as a diagnosis until it reaches more advanced stages. More severe signs occur when a dog is stressed or when potassium levels get high enough to interfere with heart function, causing severe shock and death. If Addison's is suspected, your vet may perform a series of tests to confirm the diagnosis.
    • Cataracts: As in humans, canine cataracts are characterized by cloudy spots on the eye lens that can grow over time. They may develop at any age, and often don't impair vision, although some cases cause severe vision loss. Breeding dogs should be examined by a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist to be certified as free of hereditary eye disease before they're bred. Cataracts can usually be surgically removed with good results.
    • Cherry eye: Cherry eye occurs when the gland known as the third eyelid swells. It looks like a red mass — a cherry — at the inner corner of the dog's eye. The treatment for cherry eye is usually surgery, either attaching the gland in place with stitches or removing the tissue, which results in a tightening that pushes the gland back in place once it has healed.
    • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis: This heart problem is caused by a narrow connection between the left ventricle (out-flow) and the aorta. It can cause fainting and even sudden death. Your vet can detect it and prescribe the proper treatment.
    • Epilepsy: Epilepsy is often inherited and can cause mild or severe seizures. Seizures may be exhibited by unusual behavior, such as running frantically as if being chased, staggering, or hiding. Seizures are frightening to watch, but the long-term prognosis for dogs with idiopathic epilepsy is generally very good. It's important to remember that seizures can be caused by many other things than idiopathic epilepsy, such as metabolic disorders, infectious diseases that affect the brain, tumors, exposure to poisons, severe head injuries, and more.
    • Hip Dysplasia: Hip dysplasia is a heritable condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint. Some dogs show pain and lameness on one or both rear legs, but you may not notice any signs of discomfort in a dog with hip dysplasia. As the dog ages, arthritis can develop. X-ray screening for hip dysplasia is done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals or the University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program. Dogs with hip dysplasia should not be bred. If you're buying a puppy, ask the breeder for proof that the parents have been tested for hip dysplasia and are free of problems.
    • Elbow Dysplasia: This is a heritable condition common to large-breed dogs. It's thought to be caused by different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog's elbow, causing joint laxity. This can lead to painful lameness. Your vet may recommend surgery to correct the problem or medication to control the pain.
    • Hypothyroidism: This is a disorder of the thyroid gland that's thought to cause conditions such as epilepsy, hair loss, obesity, lethargy, dark patches on the skin, and other skin conditions. It's treated with medication and diet.
    • Cystinuria: Cystinuria is an inherited disorder caused by an inability to reabsorb cystine, which is an amino acid, in the kidneys. This results in kidney or bladder stones that cause blockage and urinary tract inflammation. If left untreated, it can lead to death. Treatment includes medication that prevents the formation of stones. Genetic testing is available.
    • Cancer: Symptoms that may indicate canine cancer include abnormal swelling of a sore or bump, sores that do not heal, bleeding from any body opening, and difficulty with breathing or elimination. Treatments for cancer include chemotherapy, surgery, and medications.
    • Gastric Torsion: Commonly called bloat, this is a life-threatening condition that affects large, deep-chested dogs like Newfoundlands, especially if they're fed one large meal a day, eat rapidly, or drink large amounts of water or exercise vigorously after eating. Bloat occurs when the stomach is distended with gas or air and then twists. The dog is unable to belch or vomit to rid himself of the excess air in his stomach, and blood flow to the heart is impeded. Blood pressure drops and the dog goes into shock. Without immediate medical attention, the dog can die. Suspect bloat if your dog has a distended abdomen, is drooling excessively, and retching without throwing up. He also may be restless, depressed, lethargic, and weak with a rapid heart rate. If you notice these symptoms, get your dog to the vet as soon as possible.
    • Ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament: This is a common knee injury and tends to occur in young, large dogs during play or older overweight dogs; the anterior cruciate ligament tears or ruptures resulting in a sudden lameness. Treatment varies according to severity, but includes rest, limited activity, medication, and surgery.
  • Care

    Though relatively mellow, this dog needs regular activity. He's no long-distance runner, but he's a great swimmer.

    You'll need to take special care if you're raising a Newfoundland puppy. Like other giant breeds, the Newfoundland grows very rapidly between the age of four and seven months, making him susceptible to bone disorders. As a big dog, he ages more quickly than small dogs too.

    Don't let your Newfoundland puppy run and play on very hard surfaces such as pavement or pull a cart until he's at least two years old and his joints are fully formed. Normal play on grass is fine, as is puppy agility, with its one-inch jumps. Swimming is an ideal form of exercise for a Newfoundland puppy because he works his muscles without the danger of injuring his joints.

    Training should begin the day you bring your Newfoundland puppy home. He is generally eager to please so training is fairly easy. Leash training is a must with the Newfoundland, especially because he's going to weigh more than 100 pounds when he's full grown. Puppy kindergarten and obedience classes are recommended.

  • Feeding

    Recommended daily amount: 4 to 5 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.

    Newfoundland puppies need slow, steady growth. Feed a good-quality diet with 22 to 24 percent protein, and 12 to 15 percent fat. Keep your Newfoundland in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time.

    Note: How much your adult dog eats depends on his size, age, build, metabolism, and activity level. Dogs are individuals, just like people, and they don't all need the same amount of food. It almost goes without saying that a highly active dog will need more than a couch potato dog. The quality of dog food you buy also makes a difference — the better the dog food, the further it will go toward nourishing your dog and the less you'll need to shake into your dog's bowl.

    Keep your Newfoundland in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. If you're unsure whether he's overweight, give him the eye test and the hands-on test.

    First, look down at him. You should be able to see a waist. Then place your hands on his back, thumbs along the spine, with the fingers spread downward. You should be able to feel but not see his ribs without having to press hard. If you can't, he needs less food and more exercise.

    For more on feeding your Newfoundland, see our guidelines for buying the right food, feeding your puppy, and feeding your adult dog.

  • Coat, Color and Grooming

    The Newfoundland has a flat, water-resistant double coat. The outer coat is coarse and long, and the undercoat is soft and dense. Shedding is moderate, and the bulk of it occurs primarily in the spring and fall.

    The Newfoundland coat comes in several colors, including solid black, brown, gray, or Landseer, a white coat with black markings.

    His thick, handsome coat requires brushing two to three times a week. Bathe as needed, every one to two months.

    Many owners opt to hire a professional groomer to groom their Newfoundland because it's a daunting task. Regardless, you still need to brush regularly. Like all dogs with a fluffy coat, the Newfoundland gets dirty easily. Expect muddy paws, leaves or burrs stuck in the coat, and feces on the hindquarters.

    Brush your Newfoundland's teeth at least two or three times a week to remove tartar buildup and the bacteria that lurk inside it. Daily brushing is even better if you want to prevent gum disease and bad breath.

    Trim his nails once every month or so if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally to prevent painful tears and other problems. If you can hear them clicking on the floor, they're too long. Dog toenails have blood vessels in them, and if you cut too far you can cause bleeding. If you're not uncomfortable doing it yourself, ask a vet or groomer to do it for you.

    His ears should be checked weekly for redness or a bad odor, which can indicate an infection. When you check your dog's ears, wipe them out with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. Don't insert anything into the ear canal; just clean the outer ear.

    Begin accustoming your Newfoundland to being brushed and examined when he's a puppy. Handle his paws frequently — dogs are touchy about their feet — and look inside his mouth. Make grooming a positive experience filled with praise and rewards, and you'll lay the groundwork for easy veterinary exams and other handling when he's an adult.

    As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

  • Children and other pets

    This cuddly giant is highly tolerant of children, which is important because he's a kid magnet thanks to his size and wealth of soft fur. But he can also accidentally knock over a toddler or small child, and can appear intimidating to children who don't know him.

    As with every breed, you should always teach children how to approach and touch dogs, and always supervise any interactions between dogs and young children to prevent any biting or ear or tail pulling on the part of either party. Teach your child never to approach any dog while he's eating or sleeping or to try to take the dog's food away. No dog, no matter how friendly, should ever be left unsupervised with a child.

    The Newfoundland is also easygoing and friendly with other pets, including cats and small mammals, as long as he is properly socialized and trained.

  • Rescue Groups

    Newfoundlands are often acquired without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one. There are many Newfoundlands in need of adoption and or fostering. If you don't see a rescue listed for your area, contact the national breed club or a local breed club and they can point you toward a Newfoundland rescue.

  • Breed Organizations

  • All Breed Characteristics

  • Adaptability

    Measures how well this breed potentially adapts to different environments

  • Trainability

    Measures the amount and difficulty of training potentially required for this breed

  • Health & Grooming

    Measures how much effort this breed potentially needs to keep a tidy hound and home

  • All-around friendliness

    Measures this breed's potential to get along with other dogs and humans

  • Exercise needs

    Measures this breed's potential to require lots of physical activity

  • Usually

    Adapt well to apartment living

    Contrary to popular belief, small size doesn't necessarily an apartment dog make -- plenty of small dogs are too high-energy and yappy for life in a high-rise. Being quiet, low energy, fairly calm indoors, and polite with the other residents, are all good qualities in an apartment dog.

  • Very

    Affectionate with family

    Some breeds are independent and aloof, even if they've been raised by the same person since puppyhood; others bond closely to one person and are indifferent to everyone else; and some shower the whole family with affection. Breed isn't the only factor that goes into affection levels; dogs who were raised inside a home with people around feel more comfortable with humans and bond more easily.

  • A lot!

    Amount of shedding

    If you're going to share your home with a dog, you'll need to deal with some level of dog hair on your clothes and in your house. However, shedding does vary greatly among the breeds: Some dogs shed year-round, some "blow" seasonally -- produce a snowstorm of loose hair -- some do both, and some shed hardly at all. If you're a neatnik you'll need to either pick a low-shedding breed, or relax your standards.

  • Sometimes

    Dog friendly

    Friendliness toward dogs and friendliness toward humans are two completely different things. Some dogs may attack or try to dominate other dogs even if they're love-bugs with people; others would rather play than fight; and some will turn tail and run. Breed isn't the only factor; dogs who lived with their littermates and mother until at least 6 to 8 weeks of age, and who spent lots of time playing with other dogs during puppyhood, are more likely to have good canine social skills.

  • Very high

    Drooling potential

    Drool-prone dogs may drape ropes of slobber on your arm and leave big, wet spots on your clothes when they come over to say hello. If you've got a laid-back attitude toward slobber, fine; but if you're a neatnik, you may want to choose a dog that rates low in the drool department.

  • Not at all

    Easy to groom

    Some breeds are brush-and-go dogs; others require regular bathing, clipping, and other grooming just to stay clean and healthy. Consider whether you have the time and patience for a dog that needs a lot of grooming, or the money to pay someone else to do it.

  • Somewhat

    Easy to train

    Easy to train dogs are more adept at forming an association between a prompt (such as the word "sit"), an action (sitting), and a consequence (getting a treat) very quickly. Other dogs need more time, patience, and repetition during training. Many breeds are intelligent but approach training with a "What's in it for me?" attitude, in which case you'll need to use rewards and games to teach them to want to comply with your requests.

  • Moderate

    Energy level

    High-energy dogs are always ready and waiting for action. Originally bred to perform a canine job of some sort, such as retrieving game for hunters or herding livestock, they have the stamina to put in a full workday. They need a significant amount of exercise and mental stimulation, and they're more likely to spend time jumping, playing, and investigating any new sights and smells. Low-energy dogs are the canine equivalent of a couch potato, content to doze the day away. When picking a breed, consider your own activity level and lifestyle, and think about whether you'll find a frisky, energetic dog invigorating or annoying.

  • Moderate

    Exercise needs

    Some breeds do fine with a slow evening stroll around the block. Others need daily, vigorous exercise -- especially those that were originally bred for physically demanding jobs, such as herding or hunting. Without enough exercise, these breeds may put on weight and vent their pent-up energy in ways you don't like, such as barking, chewing, and digging. Breeds that need a lot of exercise are good for outdoorsy, active people, or those interested in training their dog to compete in a high-energy dog sport, such as agility.

  • Usually

    Friendly toward strangers

    Stranger-friendly dogs will greet guests with a wagging tail and a nuzzle; others are shy, indifferent, or even aggressive. However, no matter what the breed, a dog who was exposed to lots of different types, ages, sizes, and shapes of people as a puppy will respond better to strangers as an adult.

  • Not particularly good

    General health

    Due to poor breeding practices, some breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia. This doesn't mean that every dog of that breed will develop those diseases; it just means that they're at an increased risk. If you're buying a puppy, it's a good idea to find out which genetic illnesses are common to the breed you're interested in, so you can ask the breeder about the physical health of your potential pup's parents and other relatives.

  • Usually

    Good for novice owners

    Some dogs are simply easier than others: they take to training better and are fairly easygoing. They're also resilient enough to bounce back from your mistakes or inconsistencies. Dogs who are highly sensitive, independent thinking, or assertive may be harder for a first-time owner to manage. You'll get your best match if you take your dog-owning experience into account as you choose your new pooch.

  • Medium

    Intelligence

    Dogs who were bred for jobs that require decision making, intelligence, and concentration, such as herding livestock, need to exercise their brains, just as dogs who were bred to run all day need to exercise their bodies. If they don't get the mental stimulation they need, they'll make their own work -- usually with projects you won't like, such as digging and chewing. Obedience training and interactive dog toys are good ways to give a dog a brain workout, as are dog sports and careers, such as agility and search and rescue.

  • Moderate

    Intensity

    A vigorous dog may or may not be high-energy, but everything he does, he does with vigor: he strains on the leash (until you train him not to), tries to plow through obstacles, and even eats and drinks with great big gulps. These dynamos need lots of training to learn good manners, and may not be the best fit for a home with young kids or someone who's elderly or frail. A low-vigor dog, on the other hand, has a more subdued approach to life.

  • Very

    Kid friendly

    Being gentle with children, sturdy enough to handle the heavy-handed pets and hugs they can dish out, and having a blasé attitude toward running, screaming children are all traits that make a kid-friendly dog. You may be surprised by who's on that list: Fierce-looking Boxers are considered good with children, as are American Staffordshire Terriers (aka pit bulls). Small, delicate, and potentially snappy dogs such as Chihuahuas aren't so family-friendly.

    **All dogs are individuals. Our ratings are generalizations, and they're not a guarantee of how any breed or individual dog will behave. Dogs from any breed can be good with children based on their past experiences, training on how to get along with kids, and personality. No matter what the breed or breed type, all dogs have strong jaws, sharp pointy teeth, and may bite in stressful circumstances. Young children and dogs of any breed should always be supervised by an adult and never left alone together, period.

  • High

    Potential for mouthiness

    Common in most breeds during puppyhood and in retriever breeds at all ages, mouthiness means a tendency to nip, chew, and play-bite (a soft, fairly painless bite that doesn't puncture the skin). Mouthy dogs are more likely to use their mouths to hold or "herd" their human family members, and they need training to learn that it's fine to gnaw on chew toys, but not on people. Mouthy breeds tend to really enjoy a game of fetch, as well as a good chew on a chew toy that's been stuffed with kibble and treats.

  • Moderate

    Potential for playfulness

    Some dogs are perpetual puppies -- always begging for a game -- while others are more serious and sedate. Although a playful pup sounds endearing, consider how many games of fetch or tag you want to play each day, and whether you have kids or other dogs who can stand in as playmates for the dog.

  • High

    Potential for weight gain

    Some breeds have hearty appetites and tend to put on weight easily. As in humans, being overweight can cause health problems in dogs. If you pick a breed that's prone to packing on pounds, you'll need to limit treats, make sure he gets enough exercise, and measure out his daily kibble in regular meals rather than leaving food out all the time.

  • Moderate

    Prey drive

    Dogs that were bred to hunt, such as terriers, have an inborn desire to chase and sometimes kill other animals. Anything whizzing by -- cats, squirrels, perhaps even cars -- can trigger that instinct. Dogs that like to chase need to be leashed or kept in a fenced area when outdoors, and you'll need a high, secure fence in your yard. These breeds generally aren't a good fit for homes with smaller pets that can look like prey, such as cats, hamsters, or small dogs. Breeds that were originally used for bird hunting, on the other hand, generally won't chase, but you'll probably have a hard time getting their attention when there are birds flying by.

  • Moderate

    Sensitivity level

    Some dogs will let a stern reprimand roll off their backs, while others take even a dirty look to heart. Low-sensitivity dogs, also called "easygoing," "tolerant," "resilient," and even "thick-skinned," can better handle a noisy, chaotic household, a louder or more assertive owner, and an inconsistent or variable routine. Do you have young kids, throw lots of dinner parties, play in a garage band, or lead a hectic life? Go with a low-sensitivity dog.

  • Extra Large

    Size

    Dogs come in all sizes, from the world's smallest pooch, the Chihuahua, to the towering Great Dane, how much space a dog takes up is a key factor in deciding if he is compatible with you and your living space.

  • Low

    Tendency to bark or howl

    Some breeds sound off more often than others. When choosing a breed, think about how the dog vocalizes — with barks or howls — and how often. If you're considering a hound, would you find their trademark howls musical or maddening? If you're considering a watchdog, will a city full of suspicious "strangers" put him on permanent alert? Will the local wildlife literally drive your dog wild? Do you live in housing with noise restrictions? Do you have neighbors nearby?

  • Not particularly well

    Tolerates being alone

    Some breeds bond very closely with their family and are more prone to worry or even panic when left alone by their owner. An anxious dog can be very destructive, barking, whining, chewing, and otherwise causing mayhem. These breeds do best when a family member is home during the day or if you can take the dog to work.

  • Very well

    Tolerates cold weather

    Breeds with very short coats and little or no undercoat or body fat, such as Greyhounds, are vulnerable to the cold. Dogs with a low cold tolerance need to live inside in cool climates and should have a jacket or sweater for chilly walks.

  • Very poorly

    Tolerates hot weather

    Dogs with thick, double coats are more vulnerable to overheating. So are breeds with short noses, like Bulldogs or Pugs, since they can't pant as well to cool themselves off. If you want a heat-sensitive breed, the dog will need to stay indoors with you on warm or humid days, and you'll need to be extra cautious about exercising your dog in the heat.

  • Very low

    Wanderlust potential

    Some breeds are more free-spirited than others. Nordic dogs such as Siberian Huskies were bred to range long distances, and given the chance, they'll take off after anything that catches their interest. And many hounds simply must follow their noses, or that bunny that just ran across the path, even if it means leaving you behind.

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