Puppy! Looking into getting one! Newfoundland!?! Extra punctuation!!!

So, (all the great works of Literature begin with the word so, the Bible starts “So, lemme tell ya…”)

Anyways, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted: So, I’m looking into getting a puppy. My girlfriend and I are going to be moving in together, and she’s got pets. In specific, she has one male cat who is mostly norwegian forest cat, and is about eight years old. She also has a young male ferret. The cat, named Bonzai, grew up around dogs so he should be cool with them, but he’s also gotten a bit possesive of his space as he’s gotten older and more ornery. He’s also declawed though.

I’ve been doing a bit of reading and looking at dog breeds, and I stumbled across the Newfoundland. From everything I’ve read, Newfies are very playful as puppies, and very good family dogs as they get older. (This is important because we’d probably like to have kids one of these days.) They also are big dogs, and I have to admit that as long as I’m getting a dog I’d like to get a big ol’ breed.

Now… we don’t really have the cash to throw around on dogs from any breeder, and we probably wouldn’t even if we did. I’ve been looking online and have found a few Newfies in local shelters who need good homes. However, the youngest will be about six months old by the time we’d be ready to adopt, and that’s at the earliest. Some of the literature I’ve read on Newfies says that they must be trained between four to six months or many tasks/behaviors become something that they can’t be taught. Is this what some of you Dopers have found? Should we wait till there’s a younger puppy at a local pound, or should a six to eight month old puppy be a good addition to our home?

Also, both my girlfriend and I will be working. Most likely during the day (I’m still looking for a job and haven’t finalized anything.). We’d certainly be able to give the puppy enough exercise before and after work, and there’s a large wooded area behind her apartment where the puppy could play fetch, and such. Now, I’ve read that Newfies are fine being lazy ol’ doggies when they’re older, but I know that puppies have blood made up entirely of MDMA and pleutonium. Would a puppy be miserable living in an apartment?

Would having a cat and ferret around give a puppy someone to play with or just cause problems? I’d also like to get a kitten at some point, maybe a large cat breed as well. Should a, say, Maine Coon Cat get along well with a spunky Newfie puppy? Maybe they could keep each other company and play while we were out of the house? Would it perhaps make sense to adopt them both at the same time, or should we count on Bonzai being a playmate for a pup?

Dopers, any ideas?

You might want to check out Gentle Giants Rescue if for no other reason than the pictures are amazing

Newfies are HUGE. Not large, HUGE. Be aware of that for crate training and transportation purposes. Huge, face-lickin’, tail-waggin’ babies.

… and, get a mop. Brace for drool.

Brace for lots of Newfie fur, too. All over the place.

One thing with giant dogs: you pay extra for a lot of stuff such as meds and kennel boarding. You have to buy the largest crate. If you don’t have the cash to go to a good, researched breeder, consider whether you have the cash for these extras. Also, the breed has become quite popular and there can be problems as a result of this. The Newf down the street from us, a rescue, was born deaf and has hip trouble.

OTOH, everyone thinks giant dogs need tons of food and exercise and this is not necessarily the case with a grownup Newf, Mastiff etc. After puppyhood, they mostly lay around the house and they don’t eat much more than a healthy Lab.

I really think it’s best if new pups can have a noon-time visit rather than human contact only before and after work, but that’s just my opinion.

…and some great big booming sonorous WOOFS!

[Randy]Man, those dogs can blow.[/RJ]

If you’re worried about the puppy being alone in the apartment during the day, why not look into Puppy Day Care? Most cities have one or two places which offer it these days.

The center to which I take my puppy has games and activities for the dogs. They romp and play together all day long, and the workers also help reinforce training.

It’s good for the dogs because it helps socialize them. Also, when you come home in the evening, you’ll have a tired, happy puppy. As everyone knows, a tired dog is a good dog. You don’t have to worry about them being bored, lonely or frustrated during the day, soiling the floor or tearing up the place.

It’s made a world of difference in my puppy.

Happy July 4th Everybody!!!

Newfies have a habit of drooling all over the place?

Lissa: Thanks, I’ll definitely look into something like that.

Yeah, money won’t be flowing well enough to spend a thousand dollars cash in one sitting on a dog, but we should have a few hundred dollars of disposable income a month. And, of course, if a dog needs life saving medical treatment, there’s always plastic… (the kind you don’t leave home without, that is)

Might be impossible… one of the reasons she’s got a wooded area in her backyard is that she lives about fourty minutes away from the city center where the population isn’t as dense. In order to get home for lunch one of us would need to take an hour and a half off from work just to say hi to the pup and then turn around and leave. Maybe Lissa’s idea would work out better.

Snakescatlady: Yeah, I’ve seen pictures. They look gigantic. I think that’s really freakin’ cool :smiley:

Rick Thanks, I’ll check that one out. I’ve been using http://www.petfinder.org/

Oh, and, anybody have any ideas on what the oldest you can adopt a Newfie puppy and still have them some maleable is?

Another consideration: Giant breeds of dogs tend to have shorter lives than smaller breeds. Here’s a lengthy discussion by a vet on medical considerations. It’s about mastiffs, but the prinicples would apply to a Newfoundland.

Indeed, at another site I found this:

I’m not saying don’t do it, just be aware of the negatives as well as the positives.

Also, keep in mind that the big dogs don’t live as long as smaller dogs. And even the smaller dogs don’t live nearly long enough. :frowning:

If the drool issue gives you the woogies, I suggest a great dane. Once they are out of their puppy phase they are very laid back but still playful. Fur also isn’t too big of an issue, as they have small coats.

Scooby is a ray of sunshine in my life :wink: (For the record, that window is about 4 feet high).

And I also suggest going to a rescue group. Many people get these dogs as puppies and don’t realize how big they will be. Also check the local SPCA, as ours always has quite a few danes and other large dogs.Scooby goes through quite a bit of food, in fact we get ours delivered (two other dogs as well)- so be ready for that. It’s worth it though!

And as far as the age thing: Scooby is going on 11 and our vet told us about a patient he has (also a dane) that is going on 15. If you treat them right and take care of them- as I’m sure you will, they can have very long lives.

I know you’re going into this with your eyes open as many people don’t, but it’s possibly pretty telling that you often see Newfs in the classified section “free to good home”.

Hmmm. That gentle giants website has some sort of special dog food that they claim extends the lives of big dogs. Maybe that’d be worth checking out? Also, lifting a 150 pound dog wouldn’t be a problem for me… but still some sobering considerations to pay attention to, thanks ETF and Archergal.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading online and some places won’t adopt puppies out until they’re 28 weeks old. Surely, then, a seven to eight month newfiew puppie wouldn’t be all that tough to handle?

Not so much with the woogies. Just curious how drooley Newfies can be. Also whether or not that holds true for Newfie mixed breeds. And, at the end of the day (and the beginning too) we wouldn’t have any furniture that’d be too dear to get a bit of dog slobber on it.

Our family has always had persian cats as pets, so I guess I’ve got a soft spot for big furry animals. But, I’ll look into great danes too. However, everything I’ve read says that Newfies have a really great disposition, friendly and laid back. Are Danes the same? (I’ve not yet done the research.)

Oh, and Scooby looks like a happy playful doggy. Probably a good thing you didn’t have a pie cooling in that window :eek: :smiley:

Well, my girlfriend and I are thinking of having kids, and one of the reasons we want a puppy is because it’s almost as much work as a human infant. Good practice, and all that. (We’d also like a dog, but raising a puppy sounds like a good task) She’s had a lot of dogs and worked in a vet clinic before, and I understand that it takes a lot of work and attention to have a puppy in the family. I think we’d be able to give a pup a good home.

While not a NEWFIE expert I certainly qualify as a drooly dog expert :smiley: . I have had Gordon Setters since 1982 and you couldn’t tell it by just looking at them , but they drool .

A lot .

I’m talking to the point if they think there might be an exceptionally tasty morsel coing their way , my older bitch Fancy will literally have drool running like a dripping faucet from the corners of her mouth , forming a puddle between her feet . She has shook her head before and slung it on the ceiling . :eek: My younger bitch , Kharma , will occasionally be in the middle of getting a drink of water , and I honestly think she forgets what she was doing , and will just raise her head with a mouthful of water and … walk off , with it running out , leaving a trail through the house . Her usual destination is to come lay her head on my lap :smack: .

Not all Gordons drool equally , and I imagine Newfies are the same . The looser the lip , the more drool you will have . Your Newfie will also have a thick ruff of fur around it’s face and neck that will collect water when it drinks , so you will most likely have the water trail problem too . And the Newf will weigh roughly twice what my Gordons weigh . You do the math .

I have a hard time believing that Newfies can’t be trained after a certain age . Sorta sounds like that ‘you can’t teack an old dog new tricks’ old wives tale . I taught obedience classes for a local club for 3 years , and while it might take an older dog a little longer to learn , they certainly can learn . You might want to contact the Newfoundland Club of America for information on the breed , you can get their contact info from www.akc.org ; they should have breed rescue info , if you want to go that route .

Best of luck to you and your future puppy ! There is no feeling in the world like it to me ! (Only 26 days to go till my new puppy comes home !!! :smiley: )


The puppy we’re looking at adopting, probably in mid to late September, is a Newfie/Husky mix. She should still grow up pretty big, but also, hopefully, the mixed breeding should help aleviate some genetic problems that Newfies have. No idea on the drooling though :smiley:

I’d post a link to the puppy… but to be honest I’m feeling a bit paranoid. I really don’t want someone else seeing her and snatching her up before we’re ready to adopt.

Actually, it was from a e-panphlet on their website that I got the ‘factoid’ about difficulties in training older Newfies. But thanks very much for the info, I’ll do my best to research it a bit more.

Well, we are looking to save a pup from the pound, and we’ll probably check that route too… but it does seem like a somewhat good idea to get a mixed breed with strong Newfie qualities. Any thoughts on that? We’re not looking to breed any dog we have, and would spay/neuter the dog anyways, so breeding really shouldn’t matter all that much.

Thanks much! And good luck to you and your new pupper… those lil’ puppy needle-teeth can be a real hassle sometimes :wink:

My sister has a wonderful Great Dane named Fezzik. He’s a very large, sweet, lap dog. The sight of an extra large male Great Dane resting in someone’s lap is not be missed. He’s probably about 11 or 12 now; we found him for her when he was nine months old at the Humane Society up here. She had another Great Dane, Madison, who had to be euthanized just last year. She was wonderful too.

We have two Irish Wolfhounds, Nora and Reilly. The wolfhound is supposed to be the tallest breed of dog. Looking at Reilly, I believe it. We call them counter sweepers. Nothing left on the kitchen counters is safe from them. They’re very sweet, loyal dogs, but they’re also very stubborn. It’s important not to get into a battle of strength with them because you might well lose.

Hrm… the puppy we’re looking at is a girl. I’d think that males would be more agressive, no?

Oh, and, here’s a pic.

She was born in late march, so by the time we’ve moved to a larger apartment/house and have enough room for her, she should only be about six months old.

I own a couple of giant breeds, and my Neo drools, but you get used to it, and it’s much more pronounced when he’s excited or nervous. Nothing like the look on a visitor’s face though when he shakes his head a couple of big “slingers” go flying.

Dogs of all ages can be trained … my Neo came to me at two, pretty much completely untrained, not even house-trained, in fact I don’t think he’d ever even been in a house. A year later he lives happily inside with the other dogs and cats, he’s clean in the house, and pretty easy to live with … and they don’t come much more stubborn than Neapolitan Mastiffs.

There are optimum socialisation periods for dogs, up to about three months of age, but you can most certainly train and socialise a dog of any age. If you’re not used to dogs or haven’t had one since you were a kid, I’d recommend maybe getting a good trainer to come and give you a couple of private lessons, it can be amazingly useful. I did that when I took on the Neo, just to make sure I was on the right track … and of course formal obedience training will help make your new dog much more pleasant to live with.

If you’re not going to be able to be home during the day, it might be very hard on a puppy. I did it with a puppy, but mine was outside in a big run with a couple of doggy companions, and he managed very well. But if you’re going to crate your Newfy inside it’s a pretty long day. Remember, the big dogs only stay in crates out of courtesy, they can get out of them if they really want to. Have you considered an older dog? I’ve only had a couple of puppies in my dog-owning life, and I don’t think the older dogs were any harder to train or bond with, and they were certainly a lot easier to manage.

If you get a puppy, please read up on the nutritional requirements for giant breeds … you can do enormous harm to the big guys by over-feeding them as puppies or feeding them the wrong things and growing them too fast. Most commercial puppy foods are the wrong things. Have a look on the web for a site by “the Great Dane Lady” … she has a lot of good advice about feeding giant breed dogs.

You also don’t want to over-exercise young dogs, particularly young, giant breeds, so do some reading around that as well. The better you look after them as young ones, the sounder older dog you are likely to have.

You might also contact the Newfoundland Club and ask them for details of breed rescue rather than going through the pounds. Although using the pounds is certainly admirable, if you’re new to dogs or giant breeds, there’s something to be said for taking on a known quantity. Dealing with a very large dog with a lot of baggage can be hard work (if ulimately very rewarding work).

The breed rescue will have dogs and puppies in foster care, so will be able to give you an assessment of temperament and behaviour, which can be very useful. They will also be able to provide you with lots of good advice and backup.

Carefully introduced, most dogs and cats will manage to get along. Again, my Neo as an example, went ballistic the first time he saw one of my cats, and I thought I wasn’t going to be able to keep him. But I crate-trained him in the house, he got used to the cats and realised they were part of the household, and today will curl up and sleep with a couple of cats beside him.

But you do want to be careful and make sure you supervise the big dog with the smaller animals … an excited puppy of that size can do a lot of harm without meaning too.

Newfies are gorgeous dogs, good luck with your search. I hope there will be lots and lots of pictures.