Colonial Newfoundland Club
A sanctioned regional club of the Newfoundland Club of America, serving the Commonwealth of Virginia, the State of Maryland, the District of Columbia and that part of West Virginia south of the Marshall-Wetzel County line.
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Grooming Tips
Supplies and Equipment List
2005 Trim Fest Pictures

Coat Care

  • 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.
Nail Care

  • 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".
Ear Care

  • 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.
Trimming and Thinning
(for health and cleanliness)

  • 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 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.
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

Click here for a list of grooming equipment, supplies, and other resources.