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Contact John Lundrigan Email: lundriganjohn@hotmail.com
Contact John Lundrigan Email: lundriganjohn@hotmail.com

So you want a Newfoundland dog?

I believe that if half the people who think they wanted a Newfoundland dog knew what they were like wouldn’t have one or want one.

When you look up Newfie dogs on the internet some of the sites can be deceiving. Sure they list the pros and the cons but most of the time these are coming from people who have never owned a Newfoundland before. They write articles on every single breed whether they know it or not and it’s not based on firsthand experience.

You can tell the articles that are written by Newfie dog owners and the ones that aren’t. So here’s another one to add to the bunch. Written with love by a Newfie owner.

Newfoundland Dog’s drool

They are supposed to drool. It’s a breed trait. Some drool more than others. Some can make drool jewelry while some can barely manage to spit out a tiny string. There is no such thing as a DRY MOUTHED Newfoundland. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying and if they’re a breeder, shame on them. No reputable breeder can guarantee that a Newf won’t drool unless they are intentionally trying to breed out that trait which is altering the breed. Which is wrong. Very wrong. Some dogs drool more than others. Some have looser jowls. It’s just the way they are. And keep in mind when they shake their heads, drool can fly up to 16 feet.

Don’t like drool? Don’t get a Newfoundland.

Gentle Giants.

Newfoundland’s are the most loving and devoted breed there is. Their heart is as big as their massive body and most would never harm a fly.  But I think Gentle Giant is a deceiving term. They can snuggle with the tiniest of creatures but give you a bloody nose in one quick second when they throw you a welcome home party every time you walk in the door. It’s not done on purpose, it’s done out of pure love, but there’s nothing gentle about it.  That lamp on your end table, will eventually come crashing down by a happy tail. And your toes……kiss them puppy’s goodbye. They will be stepped on by 150 pounds of love countless times. It feels like a bag of cement being dropped on your foot.  Your couch…….is not going to be gently used anymore. You better just devote one to the dog now and go buy one for yourself. Clean carpets? Even if you still have carpets in more than one room of your house after 3 years of having a Newfoundland, I laugh at the fact that you seek clean carpets. Clean for a day, maybe.

Got money?

You’re going to need it. I’m not just talking chump change. I’m talking college savings. I’ve been there and failed. I thought I was prepared. I was not. I had enough cash to cover the routine care and a few unexpected health issues but I did NOT have the cash for a major medical crisis. Newfies are double if not triple the size of the average dog, so are their medical bills.                    I remember a friend of mine taking his Jack Russel in for a dental cleaning years ago. The dog’s final invoice was like the deal of the century. It was like buy 1 get one 1/2 off.

Even though it’s too late for me, I recommend pet insurance to anyone who asks. And if you care to go it alone, start that Newfie college fund now.

Neat freaks beware.

Do you like a clean house? Forget about it. You will eventually have a 150 pound shedding and drooling machine taking over your home. You will go out of your mind trying to pick up every hair that falls and every slobber string that gets flung. Did you ever see a Newfie not leave a trail of water from the water bowl through the house? They create their own river every single time they take a drink. I’m not saying you’re house shouldn’t be semi-clean, I’m just saying that you should be more worried about spending time with your family than with cleaning up after your Newfie every second of the day.

Smarty pants.

Newfs are intelligent dogs. Actually, some refer to them as one of the most intelligent dog breed there is. Some Newfies may give the impression that they are not, but most are. I struggled for years trying to figure out if Friend was missing part of her brain. It was hard to tell. I finally figured out that she was a very smart dog. Almost too smart for her own good and mine because she tricked me into thinking she was not.  For this reason, training is a must. I don’t know why some people get the impression that Newfs magically train themselves. They don’t. Most train easily but they still need to be taught basic commands and manners.

You can’t have just one.

What’s better than one Newfie? Two of course! Sure you can have just one for a little bit but eventually you’ll get the Newfie fever. Double the fun. Double the money. Double the work. Double the love. You’ve been Newfed and there’s no going back now.

Exercise.

The Newfoundland is a working dog. They are not couch potatoes but they can easily turn into couch potatoes if you let them. Newfs need daily exercise. Walks, hikes, swimming, carting…etc. They will snore all day if you let them. Don’t.  And don’t forget about exercising their brain. Remember they are an intelligent breed and their minds should be challenged. You let their minds wander and they’ll be learning how to open your refrigerator in no time or figuring out how to get the secret stash on top of it.

They aren’t garbage disposals.

Just because a dog is big doesn’t mean they have to eat HUGE amounts of food. Sure giant breeds eat more than a Miniature Poodle but not much more than a Lab. If you’re feeding a high quality diet, quantity isn’t always better.  Some people are shocked that my dog eats between 4-5 cups of food a day. 2 cups twice a day. In my opinion, 10 cups of food is an outrageous amount of food for a Newfoundland to eat and can lead to unnecessary weight gain which can lead to serious health issues. If you’re feeding that low quality of a kibble that it calls for your dog to eat 10 cups of food a day it might be time to switch. And your hands aren’t a good measuring tool. Use a REAL measuring cup. Sorry. That’s a rant for another day.

Think into the future.

That little fluff ball puppy will eventually turn into a senior Newfie. You’ve made it through all the above and now you’re here. These will be the toughest, most expensive, dirtiest, but most rewarding parts of their life and yours. They will need you more than ever in their golden years. You’ll need to modify your house for them. Your heart will hurt at times. You’ll cry, you’ll laugh. You and they will struggle, no doubt.  You need to know this. You need to think into the future and prepare yourself.  The gray muzzle that suddenly appears one day will break your heart but soon you’ll look at it as sweet sugar lips.  An experienced Newf.  And it will melt your heart even more and you will embrace the gray.

So if Newfies are so much trouble than why do people have them? Because their love is like no other and if you’re still interested in having one you’ll learn that on your own. Interested in the Newfoundland breed? Check out the the Newfoundland Club of Canada or the Canadian Kennel Club or contact one of the many Newfoundland Rescue Groups for a list of reputable breeders.

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