Breed Questions

DO NOT PLAY ROUGHHOUSE with your pup. It is so tempting, they look so much like little teddy bears & they can ‘take it’ and really enjoy it. The BIG PROBLEM is that your Newfie has no concept of his size or of growing larger. While it is really cute to have your puppy wrestle with you, dash around & throw body blocks at 25-30 pounds, it is no fun for the next 10 years at 150 pounds! Treat a Newfie puppy like it is a rare piece of porcelain or crystal, they really are a much more precious treasure.

Yes, be sure to sign up for and participate in obedience classes. Your Newf would benefit from puppy kindergarten, too. Don’t expect him (her?) to have an attention span for the adult classes much before 6 months old. Definitely train him, however, well before a year. You need to know how to communicate your wishes to him and he is a WORKING DOG & will come alive when he is in a position to please you by behaving.

It can be tough to get the highest marks in obedience trials, should you choose to go for the CD, CDX, etc., because the Newfies are not as ‘snappy’ on recall as the smaller dogs, but they do well and do really enjoy it.

Be sure to dabble in the other pursuits that Newfies are especially suited to & enjoy: Rig up a cart for him to pull the kids around in (be sure to have some rigid harnessing so that the cart can’t run up on his heels)– BIG hit with the kids. Have them rig up an Indian-style travois & ‘rescue’ their friends. Make him a back pack & include him on all your hikes (just don’t let him carry your sleeping bags, if you are hiking near water they WILL get wet.).

Water trials are great fun & show your Newf’s inherited lifeguard talents.

The Solid Black is dominant, or BB. The Landseer is recessive to the solid black, or bb, and is the result of the piebald gene, which places the self-color on a white background. Solid Bronze is recessive to black, and the Solid Gray is a dilute of black. Care must be taken when matching dogs with recessive genes, as the piebald gene will result in a solid color and white dog. Where the solid color is black, the Landseer results, which is a color allowed by the standard. However, if dogs with Brown or Gray backgrounds are bred with a Landseer, the possible results are a Bronze and White or a Gray and White dog, both of which are explicitly disqualified in the standard. (Note that ‘solid’ color is considered by the standard to include some white.)

Newfies are a short-lived breed, with 8-10 year survival about average.

Yes, on occasion. Most Newfies drool less than a St. Bernard, for example, but when excited, hot or when food is present they will drool. When resting and cool they will drool less. It is likely, however, that when a Newfie puts its head into your lap, you may be left with a damp lap.

Yes. The undercoat is shed at least once per year, known as “blowing coat.” Grooming is extremely important at this time, as the dead coat must be brushed out or mats will form. It is possible to brush out a pile of hair which seems to be equal to the size of the dog being groomed, but this is not an ongoing condition. About ten minutes per day of brushing (a little more during the few weeks of shedding per year) will keep the coat glossy & healthy. Nails should be kept to a short length to protect the feet from splaying. This is particularly important in a giant breed, as the feet support a significant load.

Most Newfoundlands shed a LOT in the Spring, and then again in the Fall. The Fall shed is usually less severe then the Spring one.

During their first year, Newfoundlands grow from about a pound to over a hundred pounds. They require plenty of food to support such rapid growth. Once they reach adulthood, however, they have a very low metabolism, and Newfie owners find that their dog food bills are lower than those of friends with Labs or Shepherds. Overfeeding a Newf puppy, in the hopes of growing a bigger dog, can cause serious orthopedic problems. Remember, a lean Newfoundland is a healthy Newfoundland.

The grown Newfoundland does not require a great deal of exercise. They can become couch potatoes quite easily, but are willing and able to accompany you in more strenuous pursuits. A Newf should never allowed to become fat, as this will significantly shorten an already too short life span. Regular exercise (brisk daily walks on lead) is a must for adults.

The Newf is renowned for his gentleness, protectiveness and love for children. He is tolerant of behavior by children far beyond that which would make other breeds snap or walk away. Because of this he is ideally suited to being a child’s companion, but the adult must accept the duty to protect the Newfie from abuse by the child. It is no accident that the Nana in the original Peter Pan was a Newfoundland.

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Before taking your puppy home

Food and water bowls, crate, soft dog bed, collar and leash, lots of chew toys and basic grooming tools. (begin with a comb, slicker brush and nail clippers) Doesn’t hurt to have a big stack of old towels for clean up.  Nature’s Miracle for potty accidents.

Tip: get down on hands and knees (puppy level) and look around for anything that a puppy could get to. Same as if you were baby proofing!

Without it you will NOT be able to register your puppy in the US.

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