Whether they’re a dog or puppy, the Newfoundland dog breed is massive. From a distance, these dogs can often be mistaken for black bears due to their wooly fur and tall stature.
Something about this unique appearance makes nearly all humans fall in love, which is why the breed has become more popular over the years. But as you can imagine, a dog this big is also a lot of work, so what do you need to know before bringing home a Newfoundland puppy?
What is a Newfoundland Dog?
Newfoundland Dogs are strong, brave, and powerful, but they also have hearts of gold. They can make great guard dogs, but also excellent companion dogs. As long as they have humans to love them, they’ll be happy.
These fluffy pups have a bold and heroic history. In their early years, they rode in boats alongside Canadian fishermen. If anything went wrong, the dogs excelled at water rescue and would rush to save the day. Swimming is a natural instinct for them, and they’re strong enough to even pull a grown man to shore.
Today, it’s more common to see a Newfoundland as a companion puppy rather than a working dog. However, they will always carry their brave instincts. If their humans are in trouble, they won’t hesitate to save the day. Newfoundlands are occasionally seen as working dogs around the world, but not nearly as often as other breeds like German Shepherds or Labrador Retrievers.
Most people know Newfoundland Dogs for their thick black coats of fur, but black isn’t the only color variant for this breed. These dogs can also be gray, brown, brindle, or even a mixture of black and white. Regardless of their coat color though, they’re sure to be fluffy! Their coat is long and dense, which is perfect for protecting them from cold weather. These dogs are also giant, standing 25 to 29 inches tall and weighing 100 to 150 pounds.
Like many giant breeds, Newfoundland Dogs are gentle and sweet. They will guard their humans and their home as needed, but they can’t resist a good cuddle session too. They tend to be suspicious of strangers, but they love children. Therefore, they make great “nanny dogs” by watching over human children and making sure they stay safe.
Newfoundlands are intelligent dogs and are said to have human-like emotions. They can be sensitive at times, so it’s important to never yell at them or scold them. They love to have the perfect balance between exercise and relaxing. Intense exercise, such as hiking, running, and swimming is exciting for them, but only if they are allowed to take a nice, long nap afterwards. Even though they’re smart, they can be stubborn when it comes to training. So, you’ll need to be patient, confident, and consistent when teaching them new things.
Newfoundland Dog Puppy Care Requirements
A Newfoundland Dog puppy is a lot of work, just like any puppy would be. Not only are they large and extra fluffy, but that also means they need more food and bigger supplies. So, Newfoundland puppies require even more preparation than most dogs do.
Supplies to Prepare
The larger a dog is, the more expensive it can be to care for them. So, keep that in mind when choosing the perfect pup for you. Newfoundlands are a desirable breed to many, but you need to make sure you’re prepared to fully commit to such an advanced breed before bringing them home.
Here are some supplies you should prepare for your Newfoundland puppy:
- Dog food – Every dog needs food to eat, but Newfoundlands eat a lot. So, the price for dog food can add up quickly. For most healthy dog food brands, the more you buy at once, the more affordable it will be. So, try to find a brand that sells large bags or formulas made specifically for large breeds. If possible, choose a food that’s high in protein with almost no carbs. In addition to gathering a large amount of food, you should also get a food and water dish ready as well.
- Collar, leash, and harness – Walks are also essential for Newfoundlands because they allow your dog to relieve themselves and explore. The more your dog gets to walk outside, the less bored they’ll be. When walking your Newfoundland dog or puppy, you should always attach their leash to a harness. Newfoundlands are strong dogs who love to pull, so a harness can help you control them better and prevent them from choking. A collar should still be worn to hold your dog’s identification tags, but you should avoid putting any pressure on their neck.
- Crate, beds, and blankets – New dogs love to feel comfortable in their new surroundings. So, they need plenty of places to call their own. A crate is the perfect safe space for most dogs, and you can train them to go in the crate when you leave the house or when you go to bed if you’d like. However, the crate should never be used as a punishment, because if it is, your dog will only learn to fear it. Dogs who are properly crate trained might even go in their crate during their free time if they want to be alone. In addition to the crate, make sure they have beds and blankets throughout the house so they can have multiple cozy places to rest.
- Toys and treats – Toys are treats aren’t as essential, but your dog will appreciate them if you buy them. It will take a while for you to learn your dog’s preferences, so only buy a few at first to figure out which ones your dog likes best. Then, as you get to know your furry friend better, you can spoil them with more exciting pet supplies.
- Lots of space – This isn’t necessarily a product you’ll need to buy, but it’s a requirement that your Newfoundland should have. Newfoundlands are big dogs that love to run and explore. So, they thrive best in a home with a large, fenced-in yard. If you can’t provide that for them, you should at least take them to nearby parks frequently to keep them content. These dogs won’t do well in a small apartment.
Always make sure you get all these items ready before welcoming a Newfoundland Dog puppy into your home. They’re best for experienced dog parents, so make sure you’re ready for the extra costs and commitments. If you have any doubts, then it might be best for you to wait.
As you can imagine, the thick coat of a Newfoundland sheds a lot. In fact, they’re considered one of the heaviest shedding dog breeds. It’s a good idea to brush them at least once a week, but even more than that is recommended. Frequent brushing is the best way to get the loose fur out of their coats and to get their shedding under control.
Newfoundlands have what’s called a double coat. This means they have a dense undercoat and a protective outer coat, which can protect them from rain, snow, sun, and other extreme weather conditions. This unique coat keeps them safe throughout all seasons. Therefore, you should never shave down a Newfoundland’s fur, not even in the summer. Shaving their coat could permanently damage it, causing it to not protect them as well. So, stick to brushing to better manage their shedding instead.
Newfoundlands have unique exercise needs. They need more exercise than the average dog, but they also don’t mind having plenty of time to be lazy too. It’s recommended that they get about one hour of intense exercise each day. This could include going for walks, playing in the yard, hiking, swimming, or whatever else you can think of. Newfoundlands are always up for new activities, so the more creative you get with exercise routines, the happier your dog will be.
Since Newfoundlands were working dogs in their early days, they like to be kept busy. Scheduling playtime and training sessions for them throughout the day is a great way to prevent them from getting bored. Puzzle toys are an excellent way for Newfoundlands to occupy themselves. Swimming is a favorite activity for many Newfoundlands, so if you live near a lake or if you have a small pool in your yard, that would be perfect for them.
Most Newfoundlands are happy to sleep in their downtime, but they could develop destructive behaviors if you don’t pay enough attention to them. They could also be at risk of obesity without intense exercise daily.
Most Newfoundlands live 8 to 10 years, which is fairly average for a dog their size. Yet, they can also be prone to many health problems, which is why regular vet appointments are crucial. It’s recommended that you visit your vet at least once a year for a checkup. These checkups are the perfect opportunities for you to get your dog up to date on vaccinations and ask the vet any questions you might have. As your Newfoundland reaches their senior years, starting at around 6 years old, it can be helpful to bring them in twice a year just to be safe.
Like most large breeds, Newfoundlands are prone to hip and joint problems, especially as they age. As a puppy, their hips and elbows could develop improperly too, causing discomfort and requiring surgery. So, make sure your vet takes a close look at your dog’s joints during checkups. Giving your dog glucosamine and chondroitin supplements can also help keep your dog’s joints healthy.
Since Newfoundlands have floppy ears, they’re prone to ear infections. Check your dog’s ears regularly for unusual odors or other signs of infections. Your vet can recommend products to help clean your dog’s ears. It’s also possible for Newfoundlands to be prone to heart issues and eye problems, but it’s not as common.
Where to Find a Newfoundland Dog Puppy
If you’re interested in a Newfoundland Dog puppy, they’ve become much easier to find over the years. First, check your local shelters and rescues before all else. If you’re patient, a litter of Newfoundland puppies might be looking for forever homes. However, it’s also important to never overlook the adult dogs since they might need a loving home in order to survive. So, please consider saving a dog before turning to a breeder.
But if you do choose a breeder, make sure you are responsible about it. A lot of breeders operate with puppy mills, especially if the puppies are sold at pet stores. Puppy mills are breeders that only care about money and not the wellbeing of their dogs. They treat the breeding dogs terribly and keep them in inhumane conditions. So, if you see a pet store selling puppies, walk the other direction.
A responsible breeder will usually only breed one dog breed at a time, and they will be very educated about that breed. They should be able to answer all your questions without hesitation, and they will have no problems showing you the puppy’s parents and the breeding location. Even cruel breeders can have a proper license, so be extra cautious if you get a dog from a breeder. Many people support inhumane puppy businesses without even knowing it.
A Newfoundland Dog puppy is a lot of work, so you need to be prepared for the challenge. Always make sure you’ll have enough time and money before taking in a new furry family member. These dogs can be excellent companions, but you need to be willing to put in extra work and love them unconditionally.