A well behaved Newfie
Discipline does not have to be rough, and should always be done along with praise when the puppy is good. Also remember, that a puppy does not know what you want of him and he has to learn what you expect of him. This is done by consistent repetition.
Dominance means he is deciding what the rules of your household should be.
A Newfie who believes he is dominate will not listen to you or obey you "when he is not in the mood". A Newfie will only listen and obey if he respects you for being a good leader.
When you think about it, our Newfie can never be just our friends. They are our dependents. They depend on us for their health, their safety, their very lives. And there are times when we have to do things they don't like: give unpleasant medicines, take something out of their mouths, roll them over to remove a tick from their belly.
You must know, with absolute certainty, that you can restrain and handle your Newfie in any way you see fit, at any time you see fit. Your Newfie doesn't know what's best for him so the choice can never be his on when to acquiesce. He must always acquiesce. He must always trust that you know what is best.
In short, he must believe in your ability to decide every situation. He will never do that if you allow him to get away with disrespectful behaviors.
Teaching your Newfie to respect you means teaching him the consequences of everything he does. Teaching him not only that doing X means he gets corrected but also that doing Y means he gets praise or a treat is important.
Newfiess LOVE the security of knowing exactly what they can do to get praise and treats and they appreciate knowing exactly what they shouldn't do so they won't get corrected. They are happy with rules, its the unclarity of the rules that they are not happy with.
Newfies love blindly, unconditionally. They love you whether you deserve it or not. That's one reason we cherish them! Additionally, the teaching and learning process forges such a close bond of understanding and security between the two of you that your love and his will INCREASE beyond anything you might have thought possible. Once you have lived with a Newfie who both loves and respects you, you will never want to go back.
Unfortunately, they add respect only if you earn it or to be more accurate, often they start out giving you their respect, especially as puppies, but somewhere along the line you lose it (unintentionally, of course) by handling them and responding to them in ways that encourage them to become disrespectful. It is very easy to let this happen because they are sooooo wonderfull we let too many thing slide. (I'm guilty of this !!) .
If your Newfie loves you, but considers you her equal or subordinate, he won't listen to you. If he loves you AND respects you as someone who is worth listening to, he will listen. So if you already have your Newfie's respect, you need to be sure you're doing the right things to keep it. And if you've already lost it, you need to get it back.
Training a dog is more about training yourself to be more consistent in interacting with your Newfs. That means do not give a comand with out being ready to back it up.
To establish the perfect relationship between you and your Newfie, you must teach your Newfie:
To do what you say willingly. No sassing.
To accept visitors politely...no barking no jumping up on them.
To accept being touched or moved whenever you choose with no protesting even if she's sleeping on her favorite chair.
To leave the neighbors (and the neighbors' dogs) in peace. No barking at them in their own yards. They have a right to be there.
To stop and stand still when told. Never to run away from you.
Never to growl at you or any member of your family. For any reason. Ever.
To chew on his own toys, not your belongings.
To sit quietly while you clip his toenails.
To sit quietly while you clean his teeth.
To take treats politely. No grabbing.
To drop whatever is in his mouth when told. That includes toys and bones.
To stay alone quietly...no howling or destructiveness.
To ride politely in the car. To wait inside the car even when the doors are open.
To wait inside doors and gates even when they're open until told he can go through. Never to bolt through openings.
To walk politely on the leash. No lunging and gasping.
To stay out of the garbage.
To leave your dinner plate alone even when it's balanced on the sofa arm.
To leave people alone when they're eating. No begging or whining.
To stop whatever he is doing when he hears "No!"
To calm down when you decide playtime is over.
To look at your face and listen when you speak to him.
To come when called. Always.
Can a Newfie understand words? Yes, if you link them to the appropriate object or action. Puppies learn language just as babies do: by your saying "toy" over and over while holding up a toy.
Until you connect a word with the correct object or action, words are only meaningless sounds. Think about that.
When you listen to a conversation in a foreign language, you have no idea what the words mean. There are two reasons for this. First, because the words are all run together so you don't know where one ends and the next begins. Second, because the words are not connected to anything concrete.
For example, if a Frenchman repeats only one word clearly and distinctly while showing you an object, you get it. You don't know how to spell it but you understand that the sound refers to the object he has shown to you.
In the same way, when you're teaching your Newfie what a word means you need to say it clearly and distinctly, not blended into a sentence. And you need to connect it to the appropriate object or action. In this way it will become a WORD to your Newfie.
There are alot of good training books out there and training classes, just avoid the ones that think all "corrections" or "consequences" are evil. Positive training is excellent, but some take this practice too far and do not believe in any correction what so ever. It is my experience most dogs trained with out any correction/consequences do not obey when control is needed most ( when there is extra or unusual stimuli) and are usualy not precived as "smart"
Think of training like a rolling a ball down a path, you want the ball to get to the end of the path in the most direct route. If , on the left is the wall of "rewards" and on the right is a wall of "corrections." The ball bounces off each wall until it gets to the end.. If there is only one wall the ball can bounce clear off the path and get lost in the bushes.
Please do not confuse "correction or negative stimuli." with abuse or being "mean" Both rewards and correction are needed for to clarify. We are all ,both humans and dogs much happier in clarity than in confusion. .