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Discussion Starter #1
I was reading up on Newfoundlands, having some and falling in love with the breed. Most sites assert that Newfies are the most gentle dogs around, but a few indicate that male Newfies can be aggressive to other male dogs. The Newfies I've met did not exhibit this behavior, so I'm wondering if anyone can add to this. Specifically, I'm wondering if this is referring to intact dogs. For instance, if the dogs are all fixed, or if the other dogs are fixed but the Newfie isn't (have to wait for over a year to fix giant breeds I've read), might this still be a problem?

Personally, I'm having a difficult time believing that male dog aggression is an expected problem with Newfies. I understand that any dog may exhibit aggression if not loved and raised correctly, but aside from that consideration, I met an intact Newfie and other fixed males in the same area at a breeder's, and they were very friendly to each other. These dogs were extremely affectionate, but mellow as well. This was a very good thing, because at their size and power, they could knock a person flat with an over-exuberant greeting. The most aggressive thing I've ever seen a Newfie do was 'save' a young boy he thought was drowning in one of those 'funniest pet' videos. The boy looked like he didn't know what was going on as the dog swam him to shore and pulled him out of the water by his life vest. I laughed so hard I cried.
 

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Male-male aggression is not something to take lightly.

To my understanding the aggression can happen instantly with no prior indication and once it happens it doesn't stop. I don't know about Newfies specifically (though it's probably the same issue) but the problem also runs in Dobermans. In dobies it's a genetic thing that can't really be trained out of them and after it happens you either have to rehome one of the dogs or crate-and-rotate the dogs for the rest of their lives. Also, the state of either dogs being intact or fixed doesn't make a difference. My boy's breeder has a few males and they are NEVER out together at the time even though she's never had a problem because it's simply not worth the risk. It also needs to be said that no reputable doberman breeder will place a male dog in a home that already has a male dog in it. I've worked in dog boarding and daycare for over 6 years now and in all my time working there I have NEVER seen a male doberman attack another dog (male or female), plus my male doberman has never met an enemy (regardless of gender), but it's still not something I would risk. If you are considering adding a newfie to your home and you already have a male dog I would suggest getting a female. Why risk harming your pets for something as simple as gender?
 

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This..^............^.................^ (above) is why, even though my female is a Dobie/Rott mix (both breeds known for same sex aggression) is my choice......I had two other male dogs already at home. I would not risk having two dogs of the same gender knowing there is even a slight possibility of aggression in the breed IMO. This could be a recipe for disaster.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I appreciate the replies, but comparing dogs traditionally used for guard duty against Newfoundlands isn't terribly useful. Their general temperaments are so different. I've actually met a few Dobermans, and found them to be very friendly, but I wouldn't call them overly trusting or tolerant. And they shouldn't be, given their original purpose. Newfies are so mellow and tolerant they've been rated as the #1 dog for small children, despite their size (I read that on several different sites).

I found the claim of same-sex aggression in some males hard to credit as a breed trait, given my knowledge and experience with them, but was hoping some Newfie owners might contribute their experiences.
 

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While I think that same sex aggression is same sex aggression regardless of the breed perhaps you could ask at a breed specific forum (newfieworld or newfiesrus) since you want to be that specific. I've been here a while and haven't seen a ton of, if any, Newfie owners.
 

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I have yet to see same sex aggression in a newfie. Obviously that doesn't mean it can't happen.

I will say that I've had one newfie fight. A male newf went head to head with a male golden. I've had my fair share of fights to break up so I'm pretty good at it(or at least I like to think so). But wow...my co-workers had to help to end this one.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have yet to see same sex aggression in a newfie. Obviously that doesn't mean it can't happen.

I will say that I've had one newfie fight. A male newf went head to head with a male golden. I've had my fair share of fights to break up so I'm pretty good at it(or at least I like to think so). But wow...my co-workers had to help to end this one.
I can imagine. They're called 'gentle giants', but there were still bred for water rescue and hauling, and are not light weights. One Newfie I met was over 200 lbs, and not a bit of it was fat. His paws were larger that my outstretched hand! His head looked 2-3 times larger than mine. He very fiercely rolled onto his back for a tummy rub upon meeting me.
 

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Newfies are so mellow and tolerant they've been rated as the #1 dog for small children, despite their size (I read that on several different sites).
Keep in mind, though, that human aggression and dog aggression are two very different things. Some dogs that would rip another dog's throat out are very sweet with children.

Like Patchwork said, I'd just talk to some Newfie breeders and owners and see what they have to say. They'd know better than anyone. :)
 
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