I’ve gotten a few requests from some readers asking if I could post about some specific topics. I love this kind of stuff and my answer is yes. If you have something that you would like me to talk about in a post, I will do my very best to oblige.
A recent request that I received was this one:
On a somewhat unrelated note, can you post pics of the two when they were puppies? And talk about some of the challenges that comes with having a newfie puppy (for those of us contemplating getting one)?
Alright. I’m not going to lie, this is a tough one because it involves my brain going back several years and we all know that my brain works in mysterious ways, so I’ve been thinking about this one for a few weeks and trying to remember back 7 years.
I don’t know.
I think this topic can pertain to Newfie puppies and puppies in general, because I think most of us have challenges in some sort of way.
Here it goes. (I’ll probably refer back to Sherman a lot when he was a puppy because by the time Leroy came I had some of these figured out already)
My first challenge of having a Newfie puppy was finding a Newfie puppy that I wanted, and by that I mean, finding a responsible breeder that I trusted and liked. This wasn’t an easy process and it took me well over a year before I found one. I learned the hard way with my first Newfoundland that a responsible, health conscious, lifelong breeder was the only way to go. I needed a breeder who was available to talk to me if I had questions. Not only was I taking on a puppy but I was also taking on the sport of dog showing and I needed guidance and lots of it.
The next challenge would be caring properly for my Newfie. This should be a given before you get a Newfie, right? Well yeah, but once that little fluff ball is in your possession it all becomes a reality.
When I got Sherman I was a nervous wreck. I wanted to wrap him in bubble wrap and never let him go or do anything because my first Newf got ran over in my driveway when he was 4 months old and died and then my next Newf had a whole list of health issues from day one. So I was a little over protective with him and in the long run I think I may have coddled him too much and made him into the little cupcake that he is today. (Note:I call him a cupcake with total love)
I thought I had all the information that I needed to have when I got Sherman but I found myself confused a lot. I had a lot of breeder information on how to care for a Newf and I had a lot of veterinarian information on how to care for a Newf, and their information didn’t match.
So I spent a lot of time researching and figuring things out for myself.
Now, nothing against veterinarians at all, but in most cases, I found that my breeder provided me with the correct information. What I’m talking about here is what to feed, what supplements to give..etc. In most cases, a breeder knows their breed best, it’s what they devote their life too. A veterinarian knows dogs, unless of course they specialize in certain breeds or are a breeder themselves. Again, I’m not bashing vets at all, I’m just speaking from my experience. .
I joined a lot of Newfoundland forums and groups. I lurked a lot but I learned valuable information and I’ve made great friendships over the years, so never be hesitant to reach out to someone. Newfie people are the most loving and caring people and they are always there to help a fellow Newfie lover. Even to this day I have people reach out to me when they see I’m struggling with certain issues with the dogs, and let me say, it’s wonderful and has helped me through some tough times.
One of biggest challenges I had when Sherman was a puppy was grooming.
Even though I read all the books, I was still confused.
This just took time and more learning and watching.
One of the more difficult things was getting Sherman use to the grooming table and we didn’t start using one until he was about 8 months old.
He was scared of it and it took months before he would get up there on his own. We wound up using rewards for him when he would get up there willingly and he was about 4 years old when he would finally be relaxed enough to lay down.
Now with Leroy, we had him up on the grooming table the first week we got him and he’s always been absolutely great up there.
Be careful though. Sometimes a Newf that is too relaxed on a grooming table can fall off. I only say this because it has happened to me before. Turned around for one second to grab a brush and Sherman was falling off as I turned back around. Don’t worry, I broke his fall.
As far as actual grooming and trimming goes, that came from watching and learning from others. I absolutely made mistakes there and since we were showing at the time the mistakes were brought to my attention all the time. I lived and I learned with that one.
Crate training was difficult with Sherman. we did everything we were suppose to do and he never liked it. One day when he was around 4 months old he broke out of it and that was the end of the crate. Leroy loves his crate and sleeps in it almost every night by choice.
Potty training. Sherman was easy-peasy. He was a genius when it came to that. Leroy not so much and I blame pee pads for that. The pee pads ruined it for Leroy. They made him think it was ok for him to pee in the house and I used them for too long. I think Leroy was about 10 months old before he was totally potty trained. I don’t even want to talk about it anymore. It was horrible.
One of the things I most regret with both of them when they were younger was not exposing them to water and letting them swim, so if you have the chance, do this. It will make you proud.
Some other things you might find helpful:
- Check out the Newfoundland Club of America. It’s loaded with great information and resources.
- Dogs cost money. Newfs cost MONEY. They are giant breed dogs and if they get sick they will need more medication than the average size dog, like double or triple, so be prepared!
- Get the pet insurance, even if it’s just the emergency or breed specific plan. It’s a giant breed dog and eventually you will need it. I had it, dropped it and regretted it.
- If your going to go to a groomer and you want your Newf to still look like a Newf, make sure the groomer you are going to is familiar with the breed. Ask to see pictures of other Newfoundlands that they have groomed. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who were devastated after picking their Newf up from the groomer.
- Enjoy every second you have with your puppy. They grow so fast and they want to spend time with YOU.
- The ugly ducking stage goes away. Sherman never really went through this stage but Leroy did. I remember turning to my husband one day and saying, “How am I suppose to show this in the ring?” But now look at him. Gorgeous as can be.
That’s about all I have. I’m still learning as I go.
I hope this answered your question in some shape or form, if not let me know!
And if anyone has anything to add please feel free!