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How To Groom A Newfoundland [Step by Step Owners Guide]

If you are the owner of a Newfoundland, you already know that you are going to be looking after a massive dog. They are formidable, even when they are not fully grown! Everything about them is big, from their appetite to the crazy amount of fur that they have. It comes as no surprise that the thought of grooming can be quite an overwhelming one!

So, how do you groom a Newfoundland? To groom a Newfoundland you will need to bathe, dry, brush (and reduce) the coat, clean the ears, and trim the nails. Due to their thick double coat, it’s important that you brush them at least 3x per week. However, more thorough grooming, including any trimming, can be done every 1-2 months.

This is not a breed that can go without being groomed, or that you can even expect them to self-groom.

It makes perfect sense that you are going to want to know how to go about grooming these beautiful dogs.

Keeping your dog clean, comfortable and in top condition is one of your primary responsibilities as an owner.

While it may seem a bit overwhelming when you consider the time of this breed, thankfully it is not too difficult when you know-how.

Grooming your dog does take time, but it does save a lot of money as hiring professional groomer does not come cheap!

So, in this guide today, we will be providing you with a step by step overview of the process, some advice, suggestions, recommendations and best practices.

By reading all of the information set out below, you’ll know exactly how to properly take care of your Newfie’s coat and enable you to groom them from the comfort of your own home!

The Newfoundland Coat

Newfoundland’s have a thick double coat that is water resistant and there is a lot of it!

Originally bred to be working dogs, Newfies originate from one of Canada’s coldest provinces – Newfoundland and Labrador. This helps to explain why these dogs have such a long, thick, and dense coats.

Often working with fisherman and spending plenty of time in and around the water, their outer coat is water resistant to help keep them warm in the frigid waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

The undercoat is oily, which repels water and helps to keep both the heat and the vicious cold away from your puppy’s skin. 

The undercoat of a Newfoundland is typically incredibly soft and dense. The outer layer of their double coat is very long and very coarse.

With so much hair, your Newfoundland is constantly going to have mats, tangles, and various dirt and debris embedded in the coat.

So, you will need to keep on top of regular brushing! It is generally recommended to brush them 2-3z per week.

Bathing however does not need to be as frequent. As needed (when they get dirty), or once every 1-2 months should suffice.

Thankfully, Newfoundlands are not heavy shedders. So, you do not need to worry about a lot of hair collecting around your home.

Although, you can expect an increase in shedding twice per year in what is otherwise known as shedding season.

This occurs primarily in the spring and fall, as these dogs prepare their coats for the change in weather and climate.

Can You Cut A Newfoundlands Hair?

Cutting the hair on a Newfoundland is not recommended.

Their coat is their skin’s protector and it is put together a certain way. When you cut random pieces of fur out in chunks, you upset the dynamic that makes their coat work so well.

The obvious exception to this is if your dog lands in a sticky mass, or matter that you are unable to either wash or brush out.

If this happens, you should only cut the hair down only as far as needed to get rid of the debris.

Better yet if this were to happen, it may be best to consult a professional groomer who may be able to support you further without the need to cut.

How Often Do You Have To Groom A Newfoundland?

How often you will need to groom a Newfoundland depends on the individual dog and the activities they engage in.

Among the hustle and bustle of daily life, finding the time to give your dog a good brushing can sometimes be a challenge. But it is essential that you find some time at least three times per week to do so.

The more often that you brush your dog, the less the chance that serious mats and tangles will occur. This is not only more hygienic for them, but it is also more comfortable too.

Brushing your dog is also a wonderful way for the two of you to spend some time connecting at the end of a hectic day.

It helps to satisfy your pup’s need for attention and has the added benefit of distributing natural body oils throughout the coat to keep it in the best possible shape.

Depending on the hair your particular dog has, whether it is long or short, you may be able to get away with grooming less frequently.

Shorter hair tends to tangle less so it is much easier to quickly run a brush through it.

Newfoundland’s are moderate shedders, but they do shed heavily in the spring and fall. If your dog’s coat is looking dishevelled and dull, it is probably time to give them a good and thorough grooming.

How Much Does It Cost To Groom A Newfoundland?

Due to their enormous size, the cost to groom a Newfoundland is often prohibitive for most owners.

Groomers base their fees on how much work there is to do on each individual dog, so this includes the size of the breed and the shape the coat is in.

It would cost much less to groom a 5-month-old Newfoundland puppy than it would to groom a fully grown adult.

An experienced groomer should be able to give you a fairly accurate price quote by looking at your pet and running their hands over the coat.

While you can certainly expect to pay more in larger cities, the average cost to groom your Newfie should be in between $100 to $300.

That also depends on how experienced your groomer is.

Someone who does grooming from their home or in a mobile capacity may charge far less than large grooming salons.

Depending on how often this needs to be done, you can easily see why it may be an expense that some owners would rather do without.

You should also find out from the groomer if they do ear cleaning, nail trimming, and anal gland expression (if needed) and if they are included in the price or if it is extra.

Never be afraid to ask your groomer questions. This is your dog after all!

There are several things that you should ask if you are going to a groomer for the first time. Ask if they have ever groomed a Newfoundland before.

This is important because their hair must be cut a certain way. Ask to see pictures of any that they have groomed before. A groomer proud of their work will be happy to show off a photo or two.

Another important question to ask is how they dry their hair. A Newfoundland should never be put under a hot air dryer, instead they should only go under a high-velocity dryer that does not put out heat.

How Do You Groom A Newfoundland At Home?

It will take some time and practice to learn how to properly groom your Newfoundland at home but following the directions below will give you a great head start.

One of the biggest parts of owning a Newfoundland is grooming and it is quite an adventure when you are first getting started.

Far too many owners do not realize how important it is to begin grooming sessions early so that the dog becomes used to the entire process.

Before you begin you will need some basic tools. Because they are such large dogs, Newfies are much easier to groom if you have a grooming table.

This great quality and highly functional table from Amazon is the one to get.

It will last for your dog’s lifetime and was designed to take the weight of extra large dogs. This particular table can support up to 200 lbs which many others are not capable of.

You will also need several different types of brushes and shears.

A pin brush should be used for everyday grooming. A good size is the 20mm oblong since it will allow you access to all the areas you need to reach easily.

Again, this is the best brush to buy from Amazon in this category. The pins undo any tangles while dead hair is gathered by the ends.

You will need a rake for the undercoat. They can get deep down into the fur and take out any mats or remove loose or dead coat.

A slicker brush will be what you need for removing dead hair from the undercoat and de-matting.

A mat splitter is used to cut up any mats so they can be removed easier and they come in various styles. For combs, you will want to have both a Greyhound comb and a fine-tooth one.

When it comes to shears, you should have straight shears, thinning shears, and curved shears.

A good clipper set is also worth the investment and it can be used instead of straight shears if you feel uncomfortable using these on your dog. This set is under $30 on Amazon and has everything included.

So, there are quite a few tools to get and there is investment upfront. However, when you consider that they pay back from themselves in one professional grooming visit, you soon realize its worth the initial cost!

Step By Step Grooming Process

Let us now look at how to use these on your dog

Bathing and Drying

Begin by giving your Newfie a thorough bath, dry, and comb out. When drying your dog, never rub the fur dry.

Use towels to soak up the excess water before you use a dryer with no heat. Get your dog secured up on the table and brush all of the coat.

Brushing

Use a comb to get rid of any mats. You will want to pay special attention areas such as under the armpits, between the back legs, behind and under the ears, and the butt.

Start with the back paws and lift the hair up and away from your dog’s skin.

Use a downward motion to comb the remaining hair. Work slowly and carefully – one section of fur at a time until you reach the hindquarters.

Do the other leg in the same manner and then move on to in between the back legs. Start the tail next, beginning from the tip and working your way back.

Next you are going to begin on the topline. Work your way from the muscled area on the buttocks to the neck.

Next you will repeat the process starting at the flanks and go from the belly to the topline.

The last parts to comb are under and behind the ears, the forequarters, head, and neck.

Clean Your Dogs Ears and Trim The Nails

Clean the ears gently with a damp cotton ball and be sure not to insert anything inside the ear too deeply or abruptly.

Carefully cut all of your dogs nails, being sure not to cut the quick (which is live tissue) and will bleed if you do. Using some nail trimmers designed for dogs is ideal here because they have safety mechanisms in place to stop overcutting like this.

Reducing The Coat

To reduce the hair, start with the fur that grows between the pads of the feet. Make sure all paws have hair of equal length!

Cut the hair on the paws so that it has a rounded shape. You should not be able to see the individual toes or nails when this is done properly.

Grab your thinning shears to use on the rest of your dog. Make sure that you are always cutting the hair in the direction of the growth, not against.

When working on the forequarters, you only want to trim the feathers where there are unkempt edges.

Start at the back of the leg then move to the outside. Lastly you will trim the inside areas. All of your lines should be clean and even from every angle.

Repeat the process on the hindquarters, paying attention to extra hairs on the hock or croup (the muscled area of the buttocks).

Make sure to trim the hair from the hocks downward at a 45-degree angle and keep the lowest part vertical to the ground!

The hairs that grow on the chest tend to grow too long. Trim them so that there is a soft, rounded curve to the chest when you look at your pup from the side.

From the ears to the breast, trim any excess hairs that appear too long.

To groom the underline, work from the back to the front, starting with the left flank. Hold your shears at a downward angle when grooming from the hindquarters to the armpits.

The hair length should not be any shorter than a few inches below the elbows.

Picking up the left foreleg, trim the hair under the armpit so that it connects the line of the chest with the underline.

Repeat the same process under the right foreleg. Trim behind the armpits as well. When you look at your pup from the rear, the underline should be rounded to each flank.

Trimming of the topline and the tail is not always necessary with a Newfie. The tail only requires it if it is overly bushy and looks disheveled.

When it comes to the topline, thick hairs around on the croup or the neck will need to be removed, along with any that are too high.

The head and the ears require some special care and you should always start with the ears. There should be a rounded, not pointed, tip on each ear and the hair length cannot go further than the edge of the ear.

Underneath the ears is next. Get rid of all the errant hairs that are sticking out and cut the hair behind the ears so that it blends seamlessly into the neck.

If the hair on top of the head is overly long, trim it into a rounded shape by combing it upwards, not downwards.

Finally

Grooming a Newfoundland does take time, and there are some initial expenses upfront. That being said and although this all may seem like a ton of work, you will be rewarded with a clean, hygienic and comfortable dog.

Although dogs that are used for show should generally be groomed at least once every three weeks, you can leave it a little bit longer (around the six-week mark) if your dog is kept primarily as a companion.

This will all depend on the dog of course, and on how unkempt they get in between grooming sessions.

The more practice that you have with grooming your Newfoundland, the less time that it will take you to complete the task at home! Equally, the more they will enjoy it and the better the experience will be for everybody.

While scheduled grooming that involves trimming back the coat, the nails and other tasks like cleaning out the ears, regular brushing comes strongly advised for this breed.

Keeping the coat matt-free is in the interests of all involved. And you’ll grooming much more manageable once the time finally does come back around.

Sure, you can always take your Newfoundlands to the professional groomer, but expect to pay in the hundreds each time.