According to AKC, the largest purebred dog registry in the world, Newfoundlands are among the largest dogs on the planet1. This strikingly powerful breed is surprisingly sweet-natured and is often referred to as a gentle giant. However, Newfoundland dogs are also known to be big shedders. Wondering how much? A lot!
Newfoundlands are considered a high-shedding breed because they feature two thick undercoats: a top coat with waterproof guard hairs and a denser, softer undercoat to help the dog stay comfortable and insulated. While they may regularly lose small amounts of the fur coat daily, the shedding is more pronounced as they seasonally blow their coats.
This article will discuss the factors that influence shedding in Newfoundlands, their grooming needs, and tips to keep your dog healthy and safe. Read on to learn more.
Newfoundland’s shedding is often classified at the same level as Labrador Retrievers and Pekingese, which are some of the heaviest shedders in the canine world.
While the shedding might be low and moderate throughout the year, the dog will shed more profusely, especially in the days leading up to the seasonal changes experienced in autumn and spring. During this season, Newfoundland shed their thick winter coat to prepare for the summer heat.
They will lose a significant amount of fur for about 3 to 4 weeks, during which grooming will be necessary to prevent mats from forming on the coat. This is also when you will notice more patches of fur spread all over your house.
Still, even though their shedding might be moderate for most of the year, because of their sheer massive size, the amount of fur produced will still be more than smaller dogs.
Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about cleaning your Newfoundland fur from your home until the dog is at least three years old. This is when this breed’s fur coat fully develops. So, you get to enjoy a few years of bliss with your canine companion before you begin the never-ending task of fur cleaning in your home.
Top 4 Factors Influencing Newfoundland Shedding
As much as this massive dog breed sheds moderately throughout the year, some factors can influence the shedding frequency and amount of fur lost while blowing their coats. They include:
Dog enthusiasts absolutely adore Newfoundland puppies because they feature fluffy, smooth, and soft fur coats. While in the puppy stage, Newfoundlands shed less than their adult counterparts until they are mature enough to lose their baby coat. Once the baby coat is replaced with an adult coat, it will start shedding regularly throughout the year.
Moreover, older Newfoundland dogs will shed more than adults in their prime due to the aging process. So, if your senior Newfie sheds a lot, do not be alarmed since it’s a natural process. Nevertheless, keep a closer eye on your furry companion because he might be prone to underlying health issues.
2. Exercise and Diet
Dieting and exercise are necessary to help a dog to grow a healthy coat. If your dog receives the necessary dietary requirements, its fur coat will be healthier than that of a malnourished Newfoundland. Poorly fed dogs tend to have dry and irritated coats, which may tend to shed abnormally.
The same is true for exercise requirements. Newfies that regularly exercise will have shiny and healthy-looking coats compared to overweight dogs that will shed more than normal.
Nothing is quite as irksome or uncomfortable for a dog as having pests such as ticks and fleas on its fur coat. These pests cause itching that will prompt your dog to scratch and lick the affected area to get rid of them and get relief. This will consequently cause your dog to shed more than normal.
Not only that, but pests can also create many other problems, including open wounds on your dog’s coat due to excessive licking and scratching.
4. Health Issues
Several underlying health issues can also cause your dog to shed more than normal. The most common include allergies, stress, specific infections, and hormonal imbalances.
If you notice these signs, you must take your dog to the vet for further diagnosis.
Newfoundland Dogs Grooming Needs
As you may have gathered by now, Newfoundlands feature two coats: a long and coarse outer coat and a soft, thick undercoat. Even though the coat might be beneficial to the dog, it requires a bit more time, effort, and energy for maintenance.
This rating is considerably higher when compared to that of typical dogs because the dog’s long fur coat often acts as a debris magnet. Therefore, grooming your Newfoundland will be tasking because these dogs are known to enjoy spending time outdoors playing in mud or splashing around in water.
Fortunately, you can keep your dog’s coat healthy and clean by utilizing proper grooming techniques, such as regularly brushing its coat at least once a week. But if you want to keep up with your dog’s shedding during seasonal changes, daily brushing would be ideal.
A wire slicker brush is the most suitable tool for grooming the outermost layer. This brush will do most of the cleaning, especially when de-matting and removing hair from the outer coat. Afterward, you can switch to an undercoat rake, a de-shedding tool, or a regular old good-quality comb to remove loose hair from the undercoat.
Tips to Ensure Your Dog Stays Healthy and Safe
Newfoundlands are popular because they are incredibly smart, loyal, and intelligent canines. They are also loved because of their massive size, which usually dwarfs other typical breeds. Their gentle and sweet nature makes them suitable family dogs.
Unfortunately, this breed tends to shed a lot, especially when blowing their coats in the shedding season. Therefore, they will require a lot of time, money, and effort to keep up with their grooming needs. Fortunately, you can keep your dog’s coat clean and healthy by brushing it weekly and daily during the shedding season. You can also bathe it to remove dander but don’t overdo it. Once a month should suffice.
However, keep in mind that this dog might not be suitable for homes with any members suffering from allergies. But other than that, nothing else should stop you from adding this gentle giant into your household. Provided that you maintain a grooming routine, you shouldn’t have a problem with this dog.
Featured Image Credit: Pandas, Shutterstock