They are not low mainenance. I won’t try and tell you any different, and I doubt many Newfoundland owners would disagree. The thing is, if conditioned early, the numerous “jobs” that you will do to maintain your Newfie can be just more bonding between owner and your furry family member. The generic books out there might give you a list of items you need, but what they won’t tell you about a Newfoundland is that you will become VERY familiar with those odd grooming tools.
On the average, I give a thorough brushing to my Newfs at least four times a week. Those sessions are not usually under thirty minutes and can last an hour is I am being meticulous. And no, that does not include trimming of ears or around the feet. It does not include nails. Add those tasks in and with my two, it can be well over an hour. For one, I have a brush that has a push-button to get rid of the fur it gathers. I usually have to clean my brush twice per dog if I maintain my grooming.
I will get more in depth on grooming later, but just know that is going to have to be something you do on the regular. If you can’t commit to just that a few times a week, maybe this isn’t the breed for you. I say that because I haven’t even mentioned bathing and the fact that this is an evolution that will be possibly up to three hours after you wash and then dry and blow dry the thick double coat of your Newf. This is super important once your dog discovers water (and they will!). After a day in the river, it is vital to bathe your Newf. This is not about environmental issues, but let’s be real: rivers can be full of ALL kinds of chemicals. You certainly wouldn’t leave that on your skin. Your Newf deserves the same consideration.
Then there is simple and basic training. Your Newf is going to weigh over a hundred pounds. (My two girls are in the 120 and 150 pound range.) This is not a dog you want to let get out of hand. You want a good citizen of the community. That means working with your dog to teach it what you expect from it in the ways of behavior. Again, this does not have to be wrok. Training makes for some fun games. Treats and clickers are VERY useful. Use them. Teach your dog the basics, and when you see how fast he or she learns and how much they desire to please you, again, your bond will grow that much deeper.
The last thing I will touch on today is food. The simplest way to put it is that they are big dogs and they eat A LOT. I do not buy grocery store food. Would you own a primo car and put cheap gas and oil in it? Would you just slap on any old tires? No, you have something special, so you take care of it. Well, a Newf is a special animal. And garbage food will make your clean up around the yard very unpleasant. To be blunt, quality food makes for better bathroom movements that are solid and easier to clean up. You are doing yourself almost as big of a favor as you will be your Newf. I use what my breeder used. This isn’t an ad or endorsement for Zignature brand dog food, but I will say that I’ve tried others, and this is the only brand that did not lead to digestive or skin issues with my Newfs.