- 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 grow.
- 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 overnight.
- 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 home.
- 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
- 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
- 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.