Before you choose a Newfoundland Dog

When someone decides to own a Newfoundland, that this dog, whether a puppy or an older dog, will have a permanent, loving home. We want to do all we can to make sure that prospective new owners understand the characteristics of the breed and are willing to make a commitment to provide a suitable environment and proper training which will make the Newfoundland a healthy and well-behaved member of the family. All too often people make hasty decisions and are ill-prepared to deal with the size and sometimes rambunctious and destructive behavior of an adolescent Newfoundland. Unwanted Newfoundland are then turned over to rescue organizations or animal shelters, or worse yet, are abandoned to wander the streets. The fate of most of the animals, through no fault of their own, is death. Reputable breeders take the responsibility to educate new owners so that when they send puppies to their new homes, the experience will be good for both the puppies and the new owners. However, the new owners must share in this responsibility.

As a prospective new owner, we urge you to take time to learn about the Newfoundland through books, magazines, forums and affiliated Newfoundland clubs throughout the country. These clubs are made up of members familiar with the breed, and they are excellent sources of information.

Newfoundland dogs make wonderful family pets for a household which wants a large, affectionate breed. They are a very people-oriented breed and need to be a part of the family. They need and crave human companionship.

Newfoundland are loving, easy to housebreak and very gentle with children. Although they are much larger than a small child. Because accidental injuries can occur, even with very well mannered Newfoundland; small children should never be left unattended with your puppy or dog. If there are children in the household, they must be taught the correct way to interact with a puppy and parents need to monitor correct behavior on the part of the child and the puppy.

The household considering a Newf should have a secure enclosure and preferably a large, fenced yard. Chaining, staking out, tying or allowing your Newf to roam free are dangerous and unacceptable practices.

Most Newf are not jumpers, so a six-foot fence is sufficient. Many growing puppies are highly destructive to landscaping, so if a beautifully landscaped yard is a priority for you, perhaps you should reconsider getting a Newf!

Inside the house, a crate, properly used, will help assist in housebreaking a young puppy and prevent major destruction from a chewing adolescent. To prevent problems, young Newf should not be allowed free run of the house until they have proven themselves to be trustworthy. A Newf on a chewing spree can easily ruin beds, carpeting and furniture. 

As with any breed of dog, you should try a trial relationship with a Newf or Newf breeder. Some people only react to certain breeds of dogs, and so anyone with allergies should check beforehand. But Newfs are not generally know to be good for someone allergic to dogs.

Most Newfies drool on occasion. Most of them drool less than a St-Bernard, for example, but when excited or hot 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.

The Newfoundland dogs shed heavily. 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 and healthy. Most Newfoundland shed a LOT in the Spring, and then again in the Fall. The fall shed is usually less severe then the Spring one.

Owners of Newfoundland should recognize that some people are very frightened of large dogs. Therefore, Newf owners need to always act in a responsible manner, keeping their Newf leashed and under control when in public places and confined within fenced yards when at home. 

Compared to other breeds, Newfoundland can be expensive to maintain. Providing proper food, veterinary care, supplies, training classes, and a fenced yard can quickly add up. Everything is "more" with a Newf because of its size.

The most negative aspect of the breed is a short life span, typically about 8 to 10 years. Newfoundland dogs are predisposed to certain health problems such as gastric torsion (bloat), cystinuria, hip and elbow dysplasia, and heart problems. Puppies and young adults can develop certain growing or bone problems which are sometimes associated with an improper diet, often a diet too high in protein, calcium or supplements. Older adult males can be prone to prostate infections and adult bitches to false pregnancies and uterine infections. Spaying or neutering pets is a good idea for the health of the dog.

We offer the preceding basic information as a brief introduction to help you decide if the Newfoundland is the right breed for you. Choosing to share your life with a Newfoundland dog must be a decision that is carefully considered. Although they are incredible companions, they are not suited for all people nor for all lifestyles.