Learn about the needs of Newfoundlands
Newfoundlands have a double coat and shed throughout the year. The light fluffy undercoat finds its way into food, clothing and places where you may not expect to find it. The fine hair from the undercoat can be excruciating to remove from your eye. Even with the best grooming and housekeeping practices, Newf hair will appear wherever you go.
There are many different grooming tools available to help you keep your Newf's coat in condition. Some tools work better for some dogs than others due to differences in coat characteristics. An undercoat rake and a good pin brush are basic grooming tools for an adult coat. Slickers work best for puppy coats. Coats should be brushed weekly. Scissors with rounded tips are needed for keeping the bottoms of their feet trimmed. This helps the dog maintain traction on slippery surfaces. Thinning shears are useful for trimming the fronts of their feet and behind their ears. Bathing should be done every 2-4 weeks, and toenails need to be trimmed at least every couple of weeks. Following the bath, a good conditioner is needed for their coat and skin. High-speed dryers without heat are good for removing moisture from their coats after a bath. A thorough drying will help keep skin problems from developing that occur from yeast and bacterial growth. More information about grooming: Puppies, Bathing, Trimming.
Exercise is very important for Newfoundlands to support their joints and deter arthritic change. To maintain sufficient muscle condition, a Newfoundland should be walked one or two times daily for at least 15-20 minutes at a time. It is better for them to walk up and down hilly areas. Puppies and dogs with infirmities and older dogs should be allowed to move at their own pace. Swimming is also very good exercise. Newfoundlands are often described as being laid back, but this does not mean that they are couch potatoes. They are not typically lethargic unless there is a health problem.
A safe, enclosed area for free play is important for a growing puppy. Because their joints are still developing until 2 years of age, don't overexert your developing Newfoundland. Invest in his future and present quality of life by keeping your Newf trim and in good physical condition.
From the moment that you bring home a Newfoundland, training begins. Either your dog is training you or you are training your dog. Two-way learning is a good thing, but the dog should not be the one in charge. All training begins with attention training. Dogs need to feel confident, and the motivation to earn your praise needs to be instilled with good training. Teaching your dog to be motivated to respond to you is an important step in bonding. Heavy-handedness can lead to dogs being fearful, agitated, mistrustful or aggressive. New owners are encouraged to seek assistance through regional clubs or local training clubs. More information on training: Socialization, Housebreaking, Teaching “Come”, Crate training, Introducing a puppy to an older dog, Fun and Games, Spoiled Puppy Syndrome.
Newfoundlands need protection from dirt, moisture, humidity, heat and extreme cold. Owners need to be aware of sudden changes in outdoor conditions such as heat and extreme cold. Newfoundlands tend to bond with people and prefer to be indoors. Their favorite room is universally the kitchen. They tend to seek the coolest areas in the house to lie down, particularly during summer. At these times, they may prefer to lie in the bathroom by the air conditioning vent. Whether the dogs are kept inside or outside, they will need to be on routine preventive care for internal and external parasites. Fresh water should be available at all times. More information on Housing: Housing, Fencing
Veterinary products and services tend to increase with the size of the pet. Flea treatments, wormers and heartworm preventive mediation are routine expenses. Between these items, basic veterinary service and their food, the annual cost of routine care easily adds up. This does not include procedures such as teeth cleaning that become more routine as the dog ages, or the cost to spay or neuter. Pet insurance is a good way to manage health care costs.
When medical problems arise, the additional costs can vary widely. Approximately 1 in 4 dogs did not have reported health issues. Approximately 1 in 3 had an orthopedic problem, and more than 1 in 10 had dermatological health issues. Approximately 1/2 of dogs with reported health issues had more than one issue. To see a list of issues reported in the study group, click here: Examples of Health Issues. To get an idea of health costs, talk with your veterinarian about some of these issues. Keep in mind that not all issues are immediately apparent, and there can be multiple tests run over several visits before a diagnosis is accomplished. When looking for a puppy, select a breeder that uses appropriate health testing for breeding stock. More information on Health Care.
Dogs are not backyard lawn ornaments.