Unfortunately Newfoundlands can have a tendency to have the ‘Itch’.
Bad grooming, parasites, allergies etc. etc.,may be the cause. White skinned (haired) dogs tend to suffer more. (The old adage that ‘if you want a good working horse, buy one with black feet’ had maybe a lot of truth in it!)
Please use the links below for help and advice and do visit a skin specialist. There are plenty about.
As with all topics, hints, tips and cures greatfully received to pass on to others.
The Importance Of Grooming
In any climate, grooming your Newf not only makes him look nicer by controlling mats and shedding, but also cleans his coat and skin, and reduces odor.
Use a long-toothed steel comb and a wire slicker brush with bristles bent at the end. Work against the grain back to front, then reverse. Be sure the hair is brushed down to the skin, being careful not to scratch the skin.
Mats of dead hair accumulate behind the ears and inside the hind legs. After the permanent coat develops, shedding occurs but twice a year - spring and autumn.
Newfs need extra care and observation to combat parasites and skin problems. Grooming is essential. Brushing often means less bathing.
When you do give your dog a bath, be sure to remove ALL the soap to avoid skin irritation. Rinse and rinse again. If toenails are not kept at a moderate length through exercise, they should be clipped, but learn how to do it properly before you try it.
Consult a local groomer, or your veterinarian for assistance.
It should be remembered that a dog with clean healthy skin & hair will obviously suffer a lot less skin problems.
Regular grooming is an essential to this – regular bathing is unnecessary (unless you are exhibiting your dog), but regular grooming is part of owning a Newfoundland.
The following tips should be helpful;
Always start from the bottom and work upwards – holding the coat away from you and combing down inch by inch. This is essential when a dog is moulting and a comb is really the only way to get rid of the dead hair. ( Remember Newfoundlands don’t shed dead hair easily – it remains in the coat and if not removed, causes tangles and ‘tats’.)
Tangles can be removed by using a comb like a pen, holding the base of the tangle so that it doesn’t pull, and teasing it out.
The more you groom a Newfoundland the easier it is & the more the dog loves it.
Ears & feet should be kept trimmed, so that air circulates freely around the ear and neat feet will avoid picking up debris that can get stuck between the pads.