Newfoundlands are large dogs with males standing at around thirty inches at the shoulder and their female counterparts being a couple of inches shorter. The breed is well known for its thick and extremely water resistant coat which along with their webbed feet, helps them swim and survive in cold water. A Newfoundland's double coat is also quite oily which helps these proud looking dogs survive in harsher environments.
Newfoundlands have striking black and tan, brown, grey or solid black coats as well as a rather unusual colour called "landseer", which sees dogs with lovely white coats that boast black markings. Their thick double, water-resistant coats consist of a coarser and longer outer coat with the undercoat being dense yet soft. Shedding is moderate which typically happens in the spring and then again in the autumn.
Keeping a Newfoundland's coat looking good does require quite a bit of work because ideally they need to be brushed at least twice or three times a week. However, it's a good idea to have their coats professionally groomed at least three times a year, once in the spring, again in the summer and then finally in the autumn.
It's really important to start a grooming routine when Newfoundlands are still a puppies and to make sure the experience is a positive one so they find it relaxing. If the experience is a positive one, puppies will actually look forward to being brushed rather than resent it. It's also really important to handle their paws as much as you can so that when they're older, they are quite used to you doing this which makes trimming nails so much easier.
Grooming and handling puppies that grow into large dogs is crucial making things easier for anyone who has to handle them and this includes vets and professional groomers. It cannot be stressed enough the importance of laying the groundwork when puppies are young when it come to grooming and handling.
A lot of people who own Newfoundlands choose to take their dogs to parlours so they can be expertly groomed on a regular basis because it can seem like a daunting task to do oneself. However, just because a dog is professionally groomed does not mean that daily brushing is not necessary. As with the majority of our canine friends with softer, fluffier coats, they do tend to get dirty quite easily and if not brushed, they leave hair all over the house.
There are certain things to watch out for and this includes a dirty rear end which is why daily brushing is so important. In the summertime, it's burrs and twigs that tend to get stuck in their coats and which need to be removed to prevent matting and tangling. The other reason why grooming is so important is that it allows you to check for any sores or injuries which may otherwise go unnoticed. The earlier an wound or injury is treated, the easier it will be to treat it and quicker it will heal.
When it comes to bathing a Newfoundland, this too can seem like a daunting task because they are such large dogs. However, one thing the breed likes is water which makes bath times much easier all round. A lot of owners leave this task up to a professional groomer and take their pets to a parlour every two months or so.
The earlier a Newfoundland pup is taught to have their teeth brushed, the easier it will be to keep dental problems at bay. However, if you've adopted an older dog and they are not used to having their teeth brushed, it is far better to leave this up to a vet by taking them for routine dental check-ups. Offering your pet dental sticks is also a very good idea and these will help prevent a build up of tartar on their teeth which should help prevent gum disease too.
You should also keep an eye your on dog's nails to make sure they are wearing down evenly. If you find they are too long, using good quality nail clippers, you would need to trim them down being careful not to cut too far down which may result in the nail bleeding. If you don't feel comfortable trimming your pet's nails, you should leave this up to the experts whether it's the vet or a dog groomer.
Ears need to be checked on a weekly basis to make sure there's no build up of wax on the outer ear. If you notice a bad smell coming from the ear, this could be a sign of an infection. You should take your pet to the vet to have their ears examined and then treated as early as possible. If there is a build up of wax, you can wipe this off using a dampened cotton ball, remembering to do only the wax that's visible and to never go too deep into your pet's ear which could cause irreparable damage to your pet's hearing.