One of the largest dog breeds, Newfoundlands are extremely powerful and dignified. Don’t let their size intimidate you, though; these dogs are extremely docile, well-tempered, and loyal. In fact, the famed dog Nana, from Disney’s Peter Pan, was a Newfoundland.
These dogs were used by fishermen in Canada, where they would haul nets of fish out of the sea. They would also retrieve people who fell overboard. Today, these dogs are still used as fishing companions by many fishermen. For example, they can often be seen on boats in New England. They love to swim and will go to great lengths to protect their humans.
Whether you are a fisherman who is thinking about having a Newfie as an assistant, or you just want to bring a large breed dog into your family, keep on reading to find out more information that will help you take proper care of this gentle giant.
Newfoundland Food and Health
Large breed dogs, like the Newfoundland, tend to do the best when they are fed premium-quality food that is specially formulated for large breeds. The reason? – These foods contain fewer calories, which is important, as it helps to maintain weight control. Furthermore, formulas that are made for large breed dogs contain the proper ratios of nutrients, as well as supplements that can aid with health issues that large dogs are prone to, such as hip and elbow dysplasia.
During the puppy years, it’s recommended that Newfoundlands eat food that is formulated for large breeds. These dogs grow quickly, and this type of food will ensure that they are getting the nutrition that they need. For younger pups, four small meals a day is recommended, while adult pups should eat two averaged sized meals a day. However, do keep in mind the activity level of your Newfie. For example, active fishing dogs in Maine might such as Health nutrition maxi require more calories a day than dogs who spend their days lounging poolside in California.
You can feed a Newfie either dry or canned dog food, or you can mix the two together. When selecting a food, make sure that you look for a premium-quality brand that has real meat as the first ingredient. As always, avoid meat byproducts, as they can cause health complications. The same is true for cornmeal and soy.
Like most large breed dogs, Newfies are prone to certain health conditions, including hip and elbow dysplasia and arthritis. They can also develop eye issues, as well as subaortic stenosis and gastric torsion. Von Willebrand’s Disease and epilepsy are other health issues that this breed can suffer from. With such health conditions, it’s important to consider purchasing pet insurance, as it can prevent you from having to pay for sizeable medical bills out of your own pocket. There are several well-known insurance companies that offer this type of coverage, including Nationwide, Geico, and Healthy Paw Pet Insurance.
Leashes and Collars for your Newfoundland
As you can imagine, a collar for a Newfoundland needs to be extremely strong. Not only is this breed very large, but it’s also quite powerful. You should also consider this dog’s fur when selecting a collar, as some designs and materials can get tangled. Rolled leather collars, such as these Soft Genuine Latigo Leather Made, Real Leather Padded Dog Collar, are great options, as they are very durable and they will not get stuck in the fur of your Newfie or cause mats.
You can use a harness with a Newfie, but this is only recommended for puppies, as it can be very difficult to get an adult dog into one. Additionally, you can use chock or shock collars to train your dog, but they are only recommended in cases of extreme disobedience, which generally isn’t the case with the Newfoundland.
Whichever you choose, a collar or a harness, make sure that it fits your dog properly. You should be able to fit two fingers between the color or harness and your dog.
For a leash, you should also opt for something that is functional and comfortable to use. A long lead is recommended, as it will allow your Newfie to explore on his own. And, since these dogs are quite obedient, it’s likely that your dog will return to your side when he’s finished his exploring. Also, a sturdy construction is a wise option, such as chain, paracord or leather.
There are several different types of leashes available and you can be sure to find one that will meet your needs. For example, if you have two dogs, you might want to consider a dual leash, like this Braided Leather Dog Leash to make walking easier. If you will be walking at night, a leash that features reflective material, such as Leather Braided Dog Leash is a great option to consider.
Best Crates, Beds, and Doghouses for Newfoundlands
Whether you are using a crate for training, for transporting your dog, or as a “den”-like save haven, the most important thing that you are going to want to consider before purchasing one is the size of your dog. Newfoundlands are immense, and you want to ensure that your dog has enough space to comfortably turn around and stand up. However, you don’t want the crate to be so large that it isn’t effective for training purposes or that it won’t create that enclosed environment that dogs are so found of.
To determine the proper size, measure the height of your Newfie from the top of his head to the floor, and measure his length from the tip of his nose to the tip of his tail. Add four inches to each measurement and that is the size crate you should purchase. However, do keep in mind that if you have a puppy, you will need to adjust the size of the space as he grows. With that said, a crate that features a divider is a good option, like this one Heavy Duty Double Door Pet, will help you save some money. Also, consider your needs. For example, if storage is a concern, look for a collapsible crate that can easily fold up and be tucked away, such as this Deluxe Soft Crate with Bag for Pets.
Generally speaking, Newfoundlands are not the most energetic breed; however, that doesn’t mean that they don’t like to play. In fact, the do enjoy playing and it’s a good way for them to get much-needed exercise.
Given the docile temperament of this breed, virtually any type of toy will work. Plush toys that feature squeakers inside of them are a lot of fun, as are ropes that can be used to play tug-o-war. Rubber chew toys are also great for Newfoundlands, especially for puppies.
They provide comfort for those teething mouths and help to prevent them from chewing on other things, like your furniture! Interactive toys, such as puzzle toys, obstacle courses, and dispensable treat toys, will help to keep the intelligent mind of a Newfoundland stimulated.
Since Newfoundlands love to swim, it’s also a wise idea to invest in toys that are made for the water. For example, you can toss waterproof balls or sticks into the water for them to catch, as well as Frisbees.
When it comes to play and your Newfoundland, the toy options are virtually limitless. These dogs won’t mind using old rags as tug-o-war ropes, either! However, if you want to ensure their security, pick toys that are made of high-quality materials and that are made by reputable manufacturers.
All of these toys have received excellent user reviews, for pet-friendliness, construction, and ease of use.
Grooming Insights for Newfoundland owners
Newfoundlands sport double coats, which help to protect them from the cold and heat, as well as the water (their home away from home). Both coats contain oils that prevent dirt from accumulating within them, and also help to provide moisture wicking properties.
With that said, you do need to ensure that your Newfie is properly groomed. Brushing or combing with a wire-bristled comb, like this one Pet Steel Comb once a week will help to keep shedding under control. It will also maintain the health of his coat and skin, and prevent matting.
Bathing is only recommended when deemed necessary; for example, if your dog gets into contact with a skunk while walking on a trail in Pennsylvania, or if he walks through a nest of ticks on Long Island, or any other time that he’s reasonably dirty. Bathing too often will strip the skin and fur from water-repelling oils and could dry out his skin. Generally, a bath two or three times a year will suffice. Use a high-quality, perfume-free pet shampoo and a bath mitt to work, like this Antiseborrheic Medicated Shampoo for Dogs, to work the shampoo into his fur. Rinse thoroughly and then comb through his fur once again.
Flea and tick control is also important. There are several products available, including sprays, washes, collars, and pills; however, to find out which one you should choose, speak to your vet.
Depending on your needs and the unique nature of your dog, you might find some pet accessories very helpful for your Newfoundland. For example, if your dog is showing signs of hip dysplasia, a ramp, like the one Pet Portable Pet Stairs can be a great tool that he can use to get up and down stairs or into and out of a car with ease.
Another accessory you might want to consider is a collar and leash that features reflective materials. They’ll allow you to keep sights on your dog while he’s walking in the dark, and even when he’s splashing around in the water.
Consider your needs and the needs of your dog, as well as his lifestyle and where you live, when determining what type of accessories would be the most beneficial for a Newfie.