Newfoundlands are smart and friendly, and they are big. The average Newfie weighs 100 to 150 pounds. A Newfoundland puppy is a wide-eyed bundle of fur, but he's going to grow up fast. Proper care and training in a Newfoundland puppy's formative months is crucial.
When you bring home your puppy, feed him the same food he’s been eating at the breeder’s to minimize digestive upsets. Ideally you should continue with this food until your pup reaches adulthood, since most breeders put a lot of thought into the type of food they recommend for puppies. The rapid growth rate of Newfies requires a food with up to 24 percent protein and 15 percent fat to support their growth. Feed Newfoundlands, both puppies and adults, at least twice per day.
One of the first things you’ll want to do is to housebreak your Newfoundland puppy, since even one accident by a 25-pound puppy can leave a big mess. Get a wire crate that will be large enough for your pup when he’s an adult, and block off part of it so that he is confined to a space just large enough for his comfort. It’s natural for him to want to keep his crate clean; so he'll try to hold his bowels. Let him out often, and always after he eats.
Socialize your puppy by taking him everywhere with you. Newfies are naturally sweet dogs, but unusual situations or strange animals and people can frighten or upset them. A scared or aggressive Newfoundland is a handful -- so get him used to the world outside the back yard as early as possible. If your dog is well socialized he’s unlikely to resist when it’s time to take a trip to the vet, to interact with other animals or to meet strangers. By going out and experiencing many different people and situations, your Newfoundland puppy will learn to accept and tolerate a variety of animals, people and situations.
Start training your Newfoundland puppy as early as possible so you don’t end up with a 125-pound dog that you can’t control. Do wait until your vet gives the okay for your pup to socialize so he’s not at risk for diseases. Newfies are generally intelligent, happy and willing workers, and you can expect that your puppy will enjoy his training sessions with you. Enroll him in a kindergarten puppy class to provide both socialization and a structured framework for teaching him good manners. Your puppy will learn essential obedience commands, such as “come,” “sit” and “stay.”
- loving newfoundland image by Scott Slattery from Fotolia.com
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