How to Calm a Newfoundland Before Grooming

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Medium
10 - 60 Minutes
1 Week

Introduction

As you probably already know, the Newfoundland or "Newfie" is a very large dog. In fact, the puppies are bigger than many smaller breed dogs are when full grown. They also have very heavy coats, with a soft, dense undercoat and a long coarse outer coat. A coat like this take lots of regular grooming to keep it in good shape and your pup looking his best. But, as gentle a dog as the Newfie is, you will still need to teach him to be calm and relaxed before and during grooming.

Dog's Perspective

Most Newfies are far more interested in playing around with their family and having a good time than they are being groomed. On top of this, even a big dog can be scared of the tools needed to groom him. The good news is that the more you work with your pooch, the less stressed he will be when it's time for his weekly grooming. 

The Long and Winding Road Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Pin Brush
Dematter
Step
1
Walk the stress off
Nothing is likely to be harder to handle than a Newfoundland who is nervous about being groomed. Keep in mind that when full-grown your pup can weigh up to 150 pounds and stand up to 28 inches tall. The best way to get started calming him down, is to take him for a nice long walk (remember you are the one walking him, despite what he thinks).
Step
2
Play a little ball
Even though the walk should have tired him out, your pup has a pretty good supply of reserve energy. Once you come back from your walk, take a little extra time out to play with him and finish the job.
Step
3
Touch the spot
The average Newfie doesn't mind being touched, except in certain areas such as his feet, genitals, anus, head, and tail. Spend as much time as you can rubbing and touching your pup, especially in these areas. Start off with gentle touches to get him use to being handled.
Step
4
Get a little deeper
Time to rub a little harder, in fact, why not give your pup a wonderful all over body massage. He will thoroughly enjoy the attention, it’s a great bonding experience for both of you, and of course it will help calm him down even further.
Step
5
See the tools
Lay out the tools you plan to use such as pin brushes, de-matting rakes, combs, shears, clippers, nail clippers, and anything else you need on the floor. Then step back and let your pup explore them at his own pace. Give him plenty of time to get used to them, all of this will help make your grooming sessions go a lot more smoothly.
Recommend grooming method?

The Take it Easy Method

Effective
0 Votes
Scissors
Pin Brush
Dematter
Step
1
One worn out pup
The best time to groom your Newfie is when he is nice and tired. With this in mind, take him for a nice long walk, let him pee or poop, and get his wiggles out. You should also spend a little time playing with him to finish the job.
Step
2
Short sessions
Introduce your pup to the brush by letting him sniff it. Then start working it through his coat in short strokes of no more than 6 inches in length. Take your time and go slow, you need your pup to get used to the brush and having it used on him. Start with 5 to 10-minute sessions to give him time to get used to being brushed.
Step
3
Add duration
Slowly build up the time until you can brush your pup from tip to tail.
Step
4
Keep petting
If you keep petting your pup during the time you are working over his coat with the brush, this will help to reassure him and keep him calm.
Step
5
A good word never goes awry
Finally, remember to use lots of praise and warm, comforting tones to talk to your pooch during the grooming session. This will help calm him down and is a great way for the two of you to bond.
Recommend grooming method?

Caution & Considerations

  • If your Newfie is still a puppy, you can substitute the walk for extended play time until he is old enough to go for walks on a leash.
  • There is nothing wrong with using a few treats as rewards during training.
  • As you brush your pup, if you come across any mats in his fur, use the de-matting tool or a pair of sharp shears to remove them. Trying to brush or comb them out can prove to be very painful for your pooch.
  • If you use shears, be sure they are sharp and that they have rounded safety tips to help reduce the risk of injuring your pup.
  • Keeping to a regular grooming schedule, including day and time, will help calm your pup down by getting him used to knowing when and where the grooming is going to happen.
  • Be sure to go slow, going fast can result in unnecessary pain if you rip out his hair.
  • The more you work with your pooch, the less stressed he will be when grooming time comes around. 

Conclusion

Grooming very large dog presents challenges all on its own, but when your dog is scared or nervous about being groomed, you need to invest some time in teaching him to be calm before starting. Keep in mind, the calmer you are, the calmer your Newfie will be when grooming time comes around. 

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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