There’s little about the Landseer temperament that would cause a dog owner to think it isn’t the ideal companion. He has a sweet, gentle personality that even finds itself amenable for children. He also has a patient disposition, which would make him ideally suited for a first-time owner.
The Landseer needs a lot of attention, otherwise, he can use his intelligence to cause chaos.
With this in mind, if you’re planning on leaving him alone for long periods, he’s not the dog for you.
It also essential you understand the financial impact of owning a dog this large. You’re going to spend a lot of money on food and other essentials. But if these two issues aren’t concerning the Landseer is one of the best pets you’re going to find.
The Landseer Temperament & Personality
The following discussion of the Landseer temperament will demonstrate why he’s such an excellent family pet. It’ll also elaborate on some aspects of his personality that might be a challenge for a prospective owner.
The best way to describe the Landseer temperament is gentle. In fact, many dog owners insist that this breed best fits the moniker of “gentle giant.” After all, he’s even most known for his ability to get along swimmingly with children.
But since the Landseer size is rather massive, it’s best to watch interactions between him and kids. They might become overly playful and accidentally knock over a small child; however, there will likely never be any intended aggressive actions coming toward your kids from this breed.
It also helps that he’s always searching for ways to gain your attention, which results in gentle actions: cuddling, playful mannerisms, and an overall sunny disposition. This gentle nature will often extend towards other animals as well.
There’s been a slight issue with male Landseers having problems with other male dogs, but this behavior is trainable. This quality makes them a good candidate for a multiple dog household.
Intelligent Landseer Temperament
The Landseer temperament features a high IQ, which makes them highly trainable. This high IQ does make them somewhat capable of thinking on their own and able to make independent decisions. This Landseer trait can be a blessing and a curse.
His ability to make independent decisions makes him capable of finding his own entertainment. This quality could be quite problematic in the event you don’t give him the attention he wants. In these situations, he tends to find himself getting into trouble.
For instance, getting into garbage is a classic thing he loves to do. He’ll also have no issue tearing apart your shoes or causing other chaos when being ignored. As a result, it’s a must you provide him with some mental stimulation every day.
On the other hand, this high IQ makes him able to learn pretty much any command you might want. It also lets him easily discern what resembles a threat, which makes his barking frequency much lower than other breeds.
Brave and Loyal Landseer Temperament
If a Landseer does encounter a threat, they’ll have no issue engaging them. But since he lacks an aggressive nature, he’ll most likely put himself between you and the danger; de-escalating the situation rather than jumping straight into action like a more aggressive breed.
He’ll only attack when it’s necessary or commanded by his owner. This behavior makes them incredibly well suited for guard dog duties. He’s able to assess a situation and react while demonstrating high levels of bravery when needed.
If a life-threatening situation arises, he’ll have no issues risking his life for yours. After all, the breed was known for saving people from drowning back in their early days. This sense of bravery comes from their undying loyalty to their families, which will be unwavering.
He loves his family and will give anything to ensure they’re happy. It’s not a stretch to say that the Landseer temperament makes them the ideal companion.
The Landseer temperament also has the enduring trait of being incredibly patient. There’s very little that will make him upset or intolerant. This Landseer behavior makes them excellent companions for public outings, as they’ll be the stars of whatever place you enter.
And he will love every moment as he’s always craving human attention. But you must make sure you socialize him early, or this side of him might not emerge. If you don’t, he might become independent and skittish.
This patient attitude’s also helpful with his training, which makes him a suitable breed for a first-time owner. He’ll always be attentive and engaged during sessions as you go through the growing pains of having your first dog.
The Landseer History
At the beginning of the 19th century, Newfoundland fishermen brought into England the ancestor of the Landseer. From the moment he got there, a love fest between him and the country became to cultivate.
His fun-loving personality and kind nature made him a popular fixture among the locals. He even became a fixture in many of the stories and art pieces of this era. It was also around this time that a well-known painter, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, started using him in his paintings.
As a result, it’s no surprise that the breed would begin to share his name. The Landseer’s rising popularity made it a common practice to cross breed them with many other European dogs. And in the late 1800s, he no longer resembled the dogs who were featured in the Landseer paintings.
In the early 1900s, breeders tried to rectify this; but were often involved in the issues of the era like the First World War. After the war ended, their efforts were fruitful, and a breeding program was restarted for the breed.
This breeding program proved to be successful, and the breed then joined the Newfoundland Clubs in 1945. Their relationship with the Newfoundland Clubs continued until the Federation Cynologique Internationale recognized as their own breed in 1960.
But even to this day, the Landseer still hasn’t gained “own breed” status with several high-ranking kennel clubs: the United Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club, and the Canadian Kennel Club.
All of these organizations consider him a variation of the Newfoundland breed.
As one of the more intelligent breeds, the Landseer is usually a delight to train. It also helps that he has a sweet and gentle personality rather than one based on protective instincts.
But there is one thing that could make teaching him a little challenging: his extended puppy stage. The Landseer’s puppy stage lasts a lot longer than most breeds, as he tends to mature slower.
In some cases, it can last up to 18 months. Due to this, socialization is vital, or harmful behaviors might become ingrained in him while he’s still a puppy. The ideal training approach to take with a Landseer would be using positive reinforcement techniques.
These methods fit his personality to a tee and will make sure a bond develops between him and his owner. But overall, all you need to do is ensure you're consistent and firm with the training approach.
If you are, there shouldn’t be any issues training your Landseer. You might even find yourself enjoying the process.
Helpful Dog Training Resource:
For help with training your Landseer dog take a look at The Online Dog Trainer by Doggy Dan. Doggy Dan is an expert Dog Trainer based in New Zealand. His online resource contains Hundreds of Excellent Dog Training Videos that will take you step-by-step through the process of developing a healthy, happy well-behaved dog.
The Landseer Grooming Requirements
The Landseer’s double coat requires a high level of commitment from his owner to keep them in top-notch condition. He needs a brushing every other day to ensure his fur doesn’t get mats or tangles.
It’s essential you bathe them every month or two to ensure these mats/tangles don’t form as well. He’s also known to be a pretty heavy shedder, and this only picks up when the seasons start changing.
Given this information, you should invest in a lint roller or your clothes will soon be covered in Landseer fur. And other than these small things, there isn’t much else to know about the Landseer’s unique grooming requirements.
Just stay on top of the brushing and bathing along with the following standard grooming requirements:
- Trim his nails monthly
- Check ears for tar and wax build ups regularly
- Brush his teeth twice a week
If you do these things, your Landseer should thrive in your care.
Important Landseer Health Issues To Watch For
The Landseer lifespan is much shorter than you often see with other breeds: 8 to 10 years. This sad truth is the result of their massive size and their proclivity to the following medical issues.
Keeping these conditions in check means taking your Landseer to the vet regularly. Regular check-ups are the first step in ensuring your dog makes it past the average lifespan of their breed.
You should also ensure the puppy that you get has parents with OFA certified hips. In other words, talk with the breeder or rescue before getting your Landseer. Dogs with these certifications have significantly less risk of getting hip dysplasia later on in life.
Another thing you can do is spread out their eating sessions into multiple meals throughout the day. One big meal could make him too excited, which could cause him to inhale his food — this rapid eating can cause him to be more susceptible to contracting bloat.
We should also note that you should get your Landseer checked for SAS (subaortic stenosis) around 8 to 12 weeks. It’ll let you know right away whether or not you have something to worry about regarding this hereditary issue.
Note: Don't let the many issues above scare you. The best way to approach health problems is to prevent them in the first place. The Ultimate Guide to Dog Health is a great place to start. Get a copy to keep at home. It will help you prevent the painful health issues that can plague your lovely Canaan pet from expressing his winning personality and maximizing his life expentancy.
Finding Your Landseer
If you’ve decided the Landseer temperament is for you, there’s one last decision to make: do you want to adopt or buy? You’ll have plenty of opinions regardless of the route you take. We’ll break down how to approach each process in the two sections below.
Landseer For Sale
Since the US and UK don’t recognize the Landseer as its own breed, finding one’s going to require extra work. The key is to understand that these countries categorize the Landseer as a color variant (white & black) of the Newfoundland breed.
If you want to buy a Landseer in the US or UK, you’ll need to search under the Newfoundland breed. And then, add in the parameters of the Newfoundland being white & black. The first place you should start exploring is the American Kennel Club database.
This database should give you enough reputable breeders. Of course, this route isn’t the only option you can take; you could also use sites like Puppyfinder.com, which will point you towards numerous Landseer breeders as a prospective buyer.
But once you do find a breeder, it’s a must you set up a meeting with them before purchasing. You want to make sure everything is legitimate. If the breeder has numerous Landseer puppy litters for sale or lacks sufficient paperwork, you should move onto another breeder.
You should also never pay for a dog online with a credit card. If this payment method is even available, it's a glaring warning sign that something isn’t right. The main point here is to trust your instincts about these sorts of things.
When a breeder does pass the test of being reputable, a Landseer puppy price ranges from $2000 to $2500. This high price comes from the costs of breeding a dog this large and their overwhelming popularity.
Landseer For Adoption
If you’re apart of the “adopt, don’t shop” crowd, don’t worry; you’ll also have a ton of options available for you to adopt a Landseer. The first one you should pursue is going down to your local shelter and asking about the breed.
There’s a small likelihood that any Landseer puppies or even adults will be there; however, it’s always worth a look. If the shelter route fails, you could also look into adopting through a rescue. But like with breeders, you won’t find a pure Landseer rescue within the US or UK.
You’ll have to search through Newfoundland rescues and find a dog that fits the Landseer white & black description. An excellent example of a Newfoundland rescue you should look through is the Newfoundland Rescue Network.
This network will point you towards adoptable Landseers as well as other Newfoundland dogs that need a new home.
Once you do find a suitable Landseer, you should ask as many questions about their background as you can: what’s their medical history, do they have biting issues, how are they with other dogs, etc.
Ask all the questions you need to ensure you feel comfortable about bringing the Landseer into your home. After all, the more information you get, the easier the transition will be for both of you.
And after you feel comfortable with the answers, you should expect to spend somewhere between $50 and $300. It'll all depend on the organization you’re buying from and other factors such as medical expenses.
Conclusion: Is the Landseer is the Right Dog For You?
The Landseer temperament is adaptable to many different environments; suburban, rural, country or city life all fits his outgoing personality. But he isn’t the right fit for someone who’s always working.
He needs a constant source of human attention, or he’s going to act out mischievously. Aside from this one little requirement and his size, there isn’t anything about him that should concern a prospective owner.
Calvin is the co-founder and one of the main contributors to dogtemperament.com. He has been an avid dog lover all his life. He enjoys researching and sharing great ideas on how you can avoid common pitfalls of dog ownership and build the most loving and enjoyable relationship with your dog.