Useful information on how to maintain your dogs coat
Newfoundland's have a double coat, this means that they have a short thick under coat and a long silky top coat. The coat is not hard to care for if you groom it regularly. A full groom through every week or less should help maintain a healthy coat and skin, as it is important to let the skin breathe. The trouble spots on a Newfy are their underarms, back legs and around their private parts; these areas are the one most likely to matt from friction.
The other trouble area is the chest, this is due to Newfies slobbering! In most cases Newfies only slobber right after drinking, however if this builds up the skin will be come irritated. Many Newfy owners find that Bibs work well in the house. This area needs to be regularly brushed and if it gets wet often make sure the area is washed and dried through properly. Poor grooming will cause the coat to become dirty and matted which can cause skin problems, especially if they swim! Matting increases the weight of hair pulling on the skin and stops it being able to breathe, which increases the chances of hot spots* (*nasty sore infected patches of skin).
Bathing of your dog needs to be done at least every 6 months but more regularly if the dogs are swum. We bath our dogs approximately every 8 to 10 weeks. You will find that your puppy will need doing weekly whilst still young and house training is still being worked on. Girls tend to widdle down their back legs and boys tend to walk off whilst still peeing! Bathing is helpful as well as you can see the dogs weight more easily without the added fluffy coat. You can also find any hot spots, sores and cuts etc' which are harder to see with a full coat. We always wash our Landseer dogs with a shampoo aimed at white dogs. A regular shampoo will be stretched to get any discoloration out of the white hair. The white hairs on Landseers tend to turn a yellow or greenish tint when not washed regularly. We used a de-tangle or high shine shampoo on our dogs and a good quality conditioner (especially on the fore mentioned problem area's.) We also use a puppy fresh spray on puppies and/or a dry shampoo on the puppies in between bathing them. Our puppies are blow dried from about 4 weeks old and when they are about 10 weeks old we add the blaster to their grooming routine.
Not matched to photo, though these are most of the tools that we use on our Newfies.
Trimming: Newfoundlands are trimmed for neatness. All trimming can be done with straight scissors. Hold scissors facing down to cut, never sideways as this leaves marks in the coat. Thinning scissors are used for blending the hair and to avoid cut marks, especially around the ears where too much hair can cause ear infections from the heat/weight of hair on the ears. I use thinning scissors under the ears and around the neck to thin the hair there also.
Clipping: If you clip your newfies coat more than 2 or 3 times in its life time you will destroy their ability to moult. It also kill off the silky top coat and will allow the shorter thicker under coat to grow through instead. This coat is too thick in these cases and the dog will find that it over heats much more quickly. I suggest you just brush and trim with scissors regularly to keep the coat under control. If you find that this more than you can handle, book the dog in with a groomer and explain what you want them too do. make sure you instruct them not too clip the dog out.
The only clipping we do is for the dogs relief. In the case of the dogs that are not showing we may clip their bellies during the summer. This allows the dogs to lie down on a cold surface and cool themselves down, (be warned that they tend to lie down in puddles or at least on damp ground.) We also clip the bellies of bitches in pup for their 28 day pregnancy scans and then a few days before whelping we take the hair around their girly bits away to make it easier for us to see the birth of the puppies and to ensure that the puppies don't get tangled up in too long hair. It also means it is easier to keep clean post whelp. This hair however is all on the underside of the dog, and as there is little top coat in this area, it is not too dangerous to clip with any regularity.