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Old 09-12-2013, 12:28 PM
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Default Newfoundlands?

I haven't been around in a while, but have been lurking a bit now that our "puppy" is about 5 1/2. Megan was only 5 or 6 months when we took the pics in the signature. Time sure does fly! We are looking at getting a second dog, and my husband brought up the idea of a Newfoundland. My husband and boys (15, 13 and 10) are fairly active hikers, campers, swimmers...etc) and ran into a couple and their Newfoundland on the lake the other day and fell in love.

Now, I'm aware of the fact that they are roughly the size of a horse, but the more I read about them, the more interested I am. It seems like the breed is generally great with kids, and that is important to us. I haven't been able to find much info on this board, so I was wondering if anyone has any experience with them? We do have a female Papillon as mentioned above, so I wonder if the size issue would be a problem? She's about 7 lbs. We do have a house and a large fenced in yard, so we have the room, but the thought of picking up huge poops have me a bit nervous since I'm used to Megan's "tootsie rolls" lol. Any thoughts or experiences??
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:08 PM
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Well, I haven't owned a Newf before but I have cared for many and groom TONS of them! But I do know big dogs and what life is like living with giants. Saints and Newfs are similar in temperament, although Saints can be a little more stern in temperament. First and foremost, ask yourself if you can live with the drool. I know first time giant breed owners who had no idea that drool meant on the walls, on the ceilings, on your work clothes...I think you get the point! And the fur...they require daily grooming and I certainly recommend 2 professional grooms a year when they are blowing their coats. Getting a Newf groomed is expensive and so is their vet care...medication is given by the size!

Do you have a vehicle that can handle a 150lb dog? When we added our first Saint we had a 4 door car...that was not going to work!!! They do not eat as much as you would expect but compared to a Papillion they eat tons! An active family might be a little too fast paced for a giant. Activity will be limited in the summer time to avoid over heating. They have short lifespans, just like Saints. My old boy passed away the day after he turned 8.

Walking can be a little difficult though, everyone wants to stop and meet the big dog and ask you if you have a saddle for it...this one gets old real fast!. The novelty of living with a dog over 100lbs quickly disappears. When they are underfoot you don't hurt them you hurt yourself. When they stand they block the television. When you clean the house they shake once and the fur and drool quickly replace themselves.

Ask yourself if the appealing qualities outweigh the bad ones. I will never be without a big hairy dog but most people I know think I am crazy for it!
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:15 PM
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Do you like cleaning? Lol they are nice dogs and I used to have them on my "someday" list, but the hair and the drool I can't handle. Whenever we have a newfie come to the clinic, we have to sweep and mop every room it was in.

Likewise take into account things like vet care for such a large dog. The cost of medication and whatnot just because of the large quantity they need to get the right dosage. Also one thing that always strikes me with giant dogs, is what would I do if my dog were sick or injured and couldn't walk or couldn't get themselves up in the car or something to get to a vet. Can't easily just pick them up, even a 50ish+ pound dog is manageable for one person if needed IMO.

But like I said, they are nice dogs. I've never met one I didn't like, I just don't want one in my house lol.
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:21 AM
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Quote:
Also one thing that always strikes me with giant dogs, is what would I do if my dog were sick or injured and couldn't walk or couldn't get themselves up in the car or something to get to a vet. Can't easily just pick them up, even a 50ish+ pound dog is manageable for one person if needed IMO.
I hear this alot and it always surprises me that people think of this as one of the first reasons as to not get a giant. I guess I grew up with horses and other livestock so even the biggest of dogs was smaller than my horse. Vets travel if need be, I know my vet would make a house call in a heart beat if I need her to (they have a traveling station specifically for this). It took two of us to carry my old Saint to the truck to bring him to the vet one day. If my husband hadn't of been home I would called another person or used a sling to pull him to my vehicle. My husband weighs more than my current Saint, he's a wee boy at 160lbs. If my husband hurt himself out hiking I could not physically pick him up either but that doesn't stop me from keeping him!!! You call for emergency help, and I would do the exact same for my dog.

Instead of me holding up my dog he can hold me up! When I tore my ACL he could support me if I stumbled. I'd have squashed my 60lb dog!

Of course their are pros and cons for the big dogs, but never once have I discussed with another giant owner what we would do if our big ones needed vet care...because it goes without saying that we would get it for them.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:48 AM
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There's quite a number at our training club and I've known a few other people who had them through the years. They're generally very good natured, agreeable, good with kids, good with other dogs, good therapy dog type dogs. They tend to move slow (to me anyway LOL) and are not easy to get real excited.

The grooming involved in them is pretty massive. They have super, super thick undercoats and take a very long time to dry. They shed heavily...very, very heavily when they shed and their coats seem much more likely to mat than my Belgians. Once they're altered, their coats get much harder to manage and a lot of people seem to clip them down once they are done showing them. They also tend to have an odor that is hard to fully get rid of, which I think largely comes from them drooling on their hairy chests all the time. Oh yeah...they drool LOL. It's polite to hand your guests a towel when they come in so they can wipe the dog's mouth off when he comes up to them

Health wise, I think they can be a bit of a "heartbreak breed". Shorter life expectancy and I think they have some pretty widespread, bad genetic health issues.

As for having a giant and a toy, I personally think it's doable but don't think it's appropriate to allow the dogs to interact much. That's just me. I have known people who had toys and giants that were fine. Some were fine until the giant accidentally stepped on the toy or ran them over. Predatory drift can also be an issue, although I'd say that's less likely with a Newf.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintgirl View Post
I hear this alot and it always surprises me that people think of this as one of the first reasons as to not get a giant.
It's probably not a reason not to get a giant dog; I was never looking at giant dogs, but when I was deciding between dogs that weighed 60lbs and dogs that weigh 40lbs, it was a factor. I hike alone with my dog quite often, and being able to get them out in an emergency is important to me, and it's enough to decide between two medium sized dogs, if that makes sense?
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Old 09-13-2013, 01:41 PM
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^^^Oh I fully understand what you are saying, my point is that I don't worry about hiking alone with my boy. If an accident happens we deal with it, we don't pick him up and carry him out, alternative arrangements are made. Bowie bloated a few months back and we did not carry him he had to walk into the emergency vet. We have to make all sorts of different arrangements when we share our lives with dogs this size. I guess the reason that I commented on this specifically is because it is something I hear ALOT from smaller dog owners. Which goes to show the OP you have to seriously think about adding such a large breed into your life.

As far as having toys and giants together, accidents can happen. I personally have never had a problem and have had giants my whole adult life. When we brought our beagle home as a pup our Saint was the most gentle creature you could imagine. I have clients that have a 175lb newf and a 4lb yorkie with no issues. I would not leave them unsupervised together especially as the potential dog would be a pup. However the only times I have ever had a problem was when my 25lb beagle decided to try and steal a treat from Bowie, he turned Bowie's big jowl into hamburger requiring antibiotics and lots of care to keep clean!
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Old 09-13-2013, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saintgirl View Post
I hear this alot and it always surprises me that people think of this as one of the first reasons as to not get a giant. I guess I grew up with horses and other livestock so even the biggest of dogs was smaller than my horse. Vets travel if need be, I know my vet would make a house call in a heart beat if I need her to (they have a traveling station specifically for this). It took two of us to carry my old Saint to the truck to bring him to the vet one day. If my husband hadn't of been home I would called another person or used a sling to pull him to my vehicle. My husband weighs more than my current Saint, he's a wee boy at 160lbs. If my husband hurt himself out hiking I could not physically pick him up either but that doesn't stop me from keeping him!!! You call for emergency help, and I would do the exact same for my dog.

Instead of me holding up my dog he can hold me up! When I tore my ACL he could support me if I stumbled. I'd have squashed my 60lb dog!

Of course their are pros and cons for the big dogs, but never once have I discussed with another giant owner what we would do if our big ones needed vet care...because it goes without saying that we would get it for them.
It's not on my list of first reasons to not get a giant but it is something to consider. Most vets are not able to drop everything and make a house call, it needs to be planned in advance. I didn't imply that this means a person doesn't provide vet care, but I think it's logical to think about it. Better to think about it beforehand than when you're faced with the situation where it's just you and a 150lb dog.
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