- Brush and comb your Newf at least once a week.
Newfs shed year round, but they “blow” their undercoat in the spring and again in the fall.
- Don’t just brush the outer layer of the coat; the dead loose undercoat will cause mats. Use one hand to lift up the hair and with the other hand comb in the direction that the coat grows. You should be able to see the skin where you are combing.
- Mats can cause pain if not removed by either
gently combing them out, or by cutting them out. Be careful not to cut
your dogs skin when using scissors or mat rakes to slice through a mat.
Mats pull at the skin of your dog and can cause bruising and discomfort.
If mats get wet, they dry slowly and can allow yeast and bacteria to
- There are three areas were mats like to “hide”.
In between the back legs, under the front legs (“armpits”), and behind
ears. Other areas will mat, but these problem areas seem to develop mats
- Always groom your Newf before you give him a bath. If you don’t, the loose hair will
turn into mats. Hint: To keep a fresh clean smell, dry your Newf as quickly as
possible after a bath – rub vigorously with towels, throw a ball to help him shake
the water off – or the best is to dry with a high velocity cool air blow dryer.
Also – the blow dryer has a side benefit – it also removes loose dead coat.
- Trim nails at least once a month.
- Nails that are too long can cause your Newf
pain and discomfort. If you hear your Newfs nails “clicking” on the
ground – the nails are too long. Long nails that touch the floor push
your dog’s toes apart and cause feet to “splay”.
- Have an experienced dog person or your vet show
you how to trim nails properly – or you can take your dog to a groomer
or your vet for nail trims. Most groomers or vets charge a nominal fee
for this service.
- Always have styptic powder available in case you cut the “quick”.
Trimming and Thinning
- Clean ears at least once a month. Before
cleaning smell ears to make sure they smell “normal”. Fill ear
canal with ear cleaner – massage ear for 10 seconds or more – use cotton
balls to remove excess cleaner and debris.
- Ears that smell “bad”, contain yeast
(brown/black discharge) or bacteria (white/yellow/greed discharge) – can
cause the dog pain. See your vet if your dog ears are painful when being
cleaned – or if there is discharge that does not clear up after a couple
days of cleaning.
- Never put anything smaller than your finger into your dog’s ears.
(for health and cleanliness)
The Newfoundland Puppy: Early Care, Early Training, by Judi Adler, has excellent information
on grooming and caring for your Newf. You can find purchase info at
- Trimming and thinning is not just for Newfs
that show in conformation. It can improve the health of your dogs skin
and also can reduce the amount of dirt that your Newf brings into your
- Trimming ears and the hair around the ears can
help to reduce mats. It can also allow more air to reach the ear canal
which can help keep ears dry and healthy.
- Trimming hair on the bottom of the foot will
allow air to reach the bottom of the foot more easily. Feet are another
location where yeast and bacteria can grow on a Newfoundland. Other
benefits are to help your Newf keep it’s footing on slippery flooring,
and to reduce the amount of dirt he tracks into your house.
- Thinning out the chest of a Newf that carries a
lot of coat or has a neck that has “folds” may help keep this area from
becoming smelly and yeasty.
- As far as I can tell, trimming hocks is purely
to help keep your home cleaner.
- You can read how about how to trim a Newf – but, don’t be afraid to ask someone
with experience to show you how.
Click here for a list of grooming equipment,
supplies, and other resources.