Health and Care
The Newfoundland should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval. Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior). Some dogs are prone to getting overweight, so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet.
The Newfoundland’s heavy coat requires thorough brushing at least once a week. A thorough going-over with a slicker brush and a long-toothed comb will remove dead hair and prevent mats from forming. These will become daily sessions during shedding season, which generally occurs twice a year; however, spayed and neutered Newfs shed year-round and will probably need to be brushed out several times a week. As with all breeds, the nails should be trimmed regularly, as overly long nails can cause discomfort and structural problems.
The Newfoundland is a multipurpose dog, at home on land and in water. As well as being a devoted companion, he is adept at draft work and has natural lifesaving abilities. Newfoundlands need at least a half-hour of moderate exercise daily to stay healthy and happy. While they are definitely meant to live indoors with their human family, Newfs enjoy outdoor activities, especially swimming, and make great companions on long walks or hikes. Newfs enjoy pulling a cart, and some even participate in carting and drafting competitions.
The Newfoundland puppy is outgoing, intelligent, and curious—never timid, skittish, or aggressive. Daily human contact is absolutely essential for any Newfie. Early socialization and puppy training classes are recommended and help to ensure that the Newfoundland grows into a well-adjusted, well-mannered companion. A puppy who is going to be trained for water work should be carefully introduced to water by the age of 4 months. Newfs are eager to please and generally easy to train. They are also affectionate and trusting; they respond well to gentle guidance but don’t respond well to harsh corrections or training methods.