Grooming

The Newfoundland is double-coated breed. The double-coated breeds have a soft insulating layer of fur close to the skin (the undercoat) and a protective outer layer of harsher hairs (the outer coat, topcoat or guard coat). Undercoat density varies according to the season - less in the summer, more in the winter.

Once a week, line-brush the coat with a slicker or pin brush. Start with the legs and work your way up, untangling one “line” of hair (about a one-inch section) at a time. Special attention is needed in the elbow, neck and hind-leg regions, where hair is often thicker.

Many owners go wrong by brushing only the outer coat and allowing the dense undercoat to felt and form mats. Gently brush down with a medium comb to ensure that all the tangles and loose hair have been removed.

To finish up your weekly brushing, use a cloth or a soft-bristled body brush to go over the coat in the direction of growth. Long, sweeping brush strokes will help spread natural protective oils over the topcoat.

Shedding hair is the main problem for woners of double-coated house dogs. Central heating ensures some year-round hair loss, but the main shedding seasons are the spring and fall. During shedding, grooming blades or rakes may be needed to dislodge the dead undercoat. A goo professional bath and blow-dry will also loosen the coat and speed up the shedding process.

Newfies don’t require frequent bathing. Surface dirt will generally fall off during brushing when the coat is dry. Infrequent bathing will preserve the natural coat oils that waterproof and protect the coat from damage. Just bathe when necessary. Use a mild dog shampoo and rinse well. Let the dog shake once or twice. Then towel dry.