Updated March 2015
Over the years I have written some notes for my
customers and friends taking their new puppy
home. I realize that a lot of it you may already
know but just in case there might be something
helpful to you please take few minutes to read
crate is an excellent investment in which you
will find a lot of benefits, such as :
makes housebreaking easier
allows to avoid destruction of your property
ensures your puppy is secure while unsupervised
Contrary to what one would think upfront, the
puppy gets used to its crate and it becomes his
He is very happy to find his own quiet
quarters when he wants to rest.
To facilitate housebreaking, it is
preferable not to put anything, paper, blanket,
cushion, etc at the bottom otherwise these will
absorb or hide the pee and poo and the puppy
wont be annoyed and will continue to relieve
himself in it.
Never leave your puppy unsupervised.
Treat him like you would a toddler.
Puppies seems to be really gifted to find
the electric wires, things under the sofa he can
swallow and make him sick or block inside.
Some of them have been known to even open
cabinets so make sure poisons are out of reach.
When he grows up, you will need to watch
the chicken or the roast you left out to thaw…
Eventually he will be more reasonable, but then
again, everyone has his own little flaws…lol
crate is also an excellent place to eat raw
meaty bones or to enjoy siesta while you are
busy with human things…
NEVER use the crate to punish the puppy…
This is a happy place, remember!
The outside kennel providing good shelter and protection from weather and
heat or cold is not a permanent residence that I
approve of as a choice of living quarters.
However when used as a secure area when
outside it is better than letting the dog loose
to wander around.
Be careful though as the dog who is
kennelled does not learn proper housebreaking
Moreover, the kennel must offer protection against the sun and heat at all
times for the black robe of the newf absorbs the
heat and death can result of overheating in very
Respecting your Newf’s resting need is very
important. A puppy sleeps in average 18 hours a
day. Over-tiring a puppy can lead to serious
consequences. The new owner must learn to
recognize signs of fatigue and facilitate the
puppy’s rest. This is of particular importance
if you have other dogs and children around.
your puppy has soft stools and a stool test
reveals no problem, it could very well be a
matter of food quantity.
Reducing his portion by 10% might just
settle the matter. Adversely, if your puppy is
constipated, he might not be eating enough
(increase by 10%) or else the ratio bones vs
meat might be too abundant.
Keep an eye on his next stools.
Vaccination is great but can also be dangerous
and harmful. It is YOUR responsibility to
protect your puppy now and always by being very
vigilant about what and how you administer
vaccines. Get yourself educated and challenge
everything that will be given to your dog. Make
a knowledgeable decision and don’t take this
lightly. You should read the AAHA Vaccination
report which I have made available on my web
site. Also, there are some books on vaccination,
some of them listed on this web site as well.
Please advise me if you cannot access those
documents. Here at Pattes Douces, we have chosen
to vaccinate only those puppies whose new owners
Otherwise, we recommend they be protected
by natural products such as those referred to in
the Health Guide available on our web site.
Please make an informed decision for your dog.
If you choose to vaccinate, never give DHPP and
Rabies vaccines on the same day... weeks apart
is less dangerous. Also please watch your dog
very carefully after the vaccination as there
are more undesirable effects than we expect that
can endanger your dog's life and well being.
There are also some other types of protection
like homeopathic that you may want to get
interested in to protect your dog.
INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL PARASITES
I do not give deworming products to my puppies
as a routine. Instead I do a stool test every
week or if I am concerned.
Shall there be any problem I would address it. If not, why poison our dogs
should do the same... make sure there is a
problem before giving some chemical to your dog.
A stool test cost next to nothing and will give
you something to base your decision on.
Another type of worms you are probably aware of
are Heart worms. They are generally brought by
mosquitoes, look like spaghetti and live within
the heart. Be sure to talk to your vet about the
EXTENT of the risk in your OWN area before
starting your pup on a Heart worm prevention .
You want to know how many dogs were affected and
died last year in your geographical area and
evaluate that based on the number of dogs.....
If nobody can tell you, then why give this
chemical product blind? The same goes for
everything non natural including external
parasite protection that is proposed to be given
to your beloved companion. Challenge, analyze,
consult and DECIDE for your loved one. He or she
is counting on you!
Loving our puppy often translates into giving
It is great to use treats to help puppy
learn the obedience commands however if this
food addition is not taken care of in his total
daily food allowance, it could get him
overweight while you are trying to control his
As well, remember nothing is free in
Teach your puppy he needs to do something
you ask for to be rewarded.
is of utmost importance to avoid excitement
periods right before andright after meals.
For example, if your dog finished playing
ball, let him rest for 15-20 minutes before
feeding him. In all cases, never feed your dog
when his tongue is out for exercising or stress
or whatever, let him cool off first.
When you dog has eaten, sure you can let
him out few minutes to relieve himself but then
let him have a siesta before major excitement.
These precautions are meant to help
prevent bloat, much too often leading to death.
Usually, puppy urinates when he awakes, after
drinking, after play.
In general, the need to poop comes
roughly 30 minutes after his meal.
Yet, this is a generality.
All you have to do is observe your own
puppy to figure out his own personal
schedule..mostly his pattern will be same, time
It is recommended that you take your
puppy to the area on your property where you
want him to relieve himself.
Do that with him every time until he
knows and masters the routine.
He will then go by himself always at the
It might be useful for you to leave some
stools out in that area for him to recognize the
Soon he will recognize this place is
called the ‘toilet’.
happens that puppies eat the stools, his own or
the ones of other dogs, mostly in winter for
Very few tricks have solved this issue
that I know of.
I recommend that you use the most
reliable method which is to pick up the stools
before he does, and do that without his
FROM SMALL TO BIG
Keep in mind that little puppy will become a big
What you allow him to do as a puppy, for
example, get up on your couch or your bed, stand
up and put his paws on your shoulders, he will
continue to do as a giant perhaps with a child…
and he will not understand why you are so upset
Teach him good manners starting day one.
NEVER allow him to do what you wont want
him to do as a grown up.
When it is raining outside and he comes
full of mud, you wont enjoy his climbing on your
brand new couch…
Basic canine sounds are extremely useful in
educating your puppy.
When you visit, remind me to teach you
(growling = no, high pitch scream = hurt,
panting = comforting, girl calling= play time)
It is recommended to clean the ears or dogs with
long ears at least once a week at least until
you figure out what is the personalized need of
your own dog..
I recommend a mixture of ½ white vinegar
and ½ water.
Use an eye make up pad but never a Qtip.
Experience reveals that a newfoundland dog react
much better to positive stimulation than to
force or brutality.
Choose adequately the school you will
take him to… make sure they use positive
reinforcement rather than any kind harsh
You adopt a gentle dog, you want him to
remain gentle, then teach him gently.
Newfs are very willing to please and learn
quickly. Begin immediately to instruct your
puppy on what you expect. Be consistent and firm
but never harsh. Firmly gripping your Newf by
the loose skin under the cheek, making eye
contact and stating your case or simply growling
at their inappropriate behavior is usually
effective. Your Newf must understand ‘you’ are
the new ‘pack leader’ and he must learn to
respect your authority. A dog should be taught
that he is part of the family but he happens to
be at the bottom of the organization chart. All
others come ahead of him. DO NOT WAIT, start
educating your newf on day 1. No form of
violence works with a newf...Coherence, firmness
and leadership produce much better results. If
you have a problem you cannot easily solve,
don’t wait until it has degenerated into a
monster problem before we talk about it.... who
knows may be we can help or someone else
I dedicate a whole paragraph to this because
weight is so important. A ‘chubby’ puppy is not
a healthy puppy. Your pup should gain weight at
an approximate rate of 10 lbs per month. If your
pup is gaining more that 10 lbs per month,
he/she should look slightly skinny to you (if he
were bald or soaking wet). You should be able to
feel every rib with very little meat coverage.
They should feel slightly skinny especially
between 4 months and 1 year of age; this is
their crucial growing period. Don’t expect them
to look mature while they are still growing.
Weight control should be important throughout
your Newf’s entire life. A thin pup is healthy,
happy, more active, and will grow into a sound,
adult Newf. A recent study reveals that we can
add up to 2 years to the life of our dog by
keeping him slim. It is worthed, isn’t?
Newfs are often called the ‘couch potato’ of the
dog world. Indeed, they are pretty mellow,
almost lazy at times. If they spend plenty of
time outdoors and have a playmate, whether it be
another dog or you, that usually is exercise
enough. If your Newf spends most of its time
inside just lazing around, it’s up to you to
make him/her exercise. I don’t mean running a
marathon. Exercise can simply be a game of
fetch, walking around the block, a playful run
in the park or around the backyard. Swimming is
excellent exercise and Newfs love water. Do not
encourage your pup to jump up, on or off, high
places. Going up and down the stairs can also
cause trauma to their growing joints so you want
to control this type of exercise yet making sure
you teach him or her to use the stairs otherwise
later it will be more difficult to teach him to
do it. Also, slick surfaces should be avoided;
they get awfully clumsy in adolescence. Do not
let your puppy play too rough with adult dogs.
Better exercise 10 times 5 minutes rather than 1
time 50 minutes which is much too much for a
growing puppy. Double extension running in a
safely fenced area is important every day and
becomes more important as the dog grows older
and stronger. Remember most barking, chewing and
general naughtiness can be prevented with
adequate daily exercise combined with obedience
training. Leash walking, other than few minutes
to train the dog to do it properly, is
inappropriate for a growing puppy. Lots of free
(untied in a fenced area) play, swimming and
bones eating is what your growing puppy needs.
Be CAREFUL... YOU can make the difference!
Teaching your Newf puppy NOW to enjoy his/her
weekly grooming session will be very
advantageous when he outweighs you. Most Newfs
love to be groomed. I prefer a slicker brush for
puppies who have a woolly coat. The mature Newfs
are best groomed with a rake, a comb and
slicker. Soft bristled brushes or a clean cloth
is best to use around the face. Be especially
careful to groom the ‘trouble areas’. These
include behind the ears, between the legs, and
feathering on the legs and rump. It is best to
set aside a time each week to brush him/her and
check eyes, ears, nose and nails (don’t forget
dewclaws), and brush his teeth (unless your dog
eats lots of raw meaty bones in which case he
brushes his teeth himself!).
Newf feet may easily be trimmed by cutting the
hair between the toes and from the bottom of the
pads. Be sure to check the feet for foreign
objects that sometimes get tangled between the
pads. Starting early with a grooming routine
insures that your pup will consider it a part of
his/her special time with you. Let’s face it, a
clean, well groomed Newf will be welcome in more
places than a smelly, matted, mess of fur!
Also, you should make it part of your routine to
check your newf skin with your eyes and fingers
frequently, particularly in the hot weather
conditions. This will allow you to early detect
any anomaly and take action. If you find
anything abnormal, usually frequent powdering
with Goldbond (the green bottle) or green clay
powder, will take care of it. If you find the
anomaly already infected and red, then you want
to make sure the hair is cut all around to allow
for the sore to dry. Disinfect and powder
frequently ensuring the dog is not eating at it.
If needed, use an Elizabethan collar or a full
night gown on him to prevent him from getting at
the sore. There are plenty of other
products/procedures I am sure but this one has
been working 100% for me. When wet, you newfs
must be allowed to dry otherwise... trouble is
Drying does not necessarily mean use of the
dryer… running and playing may do the job!
Never forget that your small puppy will become a
giant dog quite soon. Whatever you allow him to
do now, he will still want to do when he is big.
Today if you invite him to put his front paws on
your shoulders, tomorrow he will do it to a
young child and will certainly not understand
why everybody is upset about it.
A well behaved dog is a pleasure to live with
and to bring along to visit. A Newf who is not
obedience trained can lead to accidents for
himself and for others. It is of utmost
importance to teach your puppy good manners
before he grows to adult size. I strongly
recommend obedience classes to ensure you gain
and keep control over your dog and at the same
time it will provide him with a great social
opportunity to meet other dogs and other people.
If you neglect to properly train your dog, you
might not have a second chance to fight bad
habits easily. Experience has taught me that
Newfs react much better to positive stimulation
and reinforcement than to any kind of rough
handling. You have bought a gentle dog, you want
to keep him gentle, so you can teach him gently.
Do not let a behavioral problem go unaddressed.
There is always a solution. Not addressing a
small problem can lead to intolerable
situations. Step up to it. If you need help,
please get it, from a friend, from me, from a
canine educator or if need be from a behaviorist.
We too often unknowingly encourage problems
rather than discourage them simply because we
don’t use the proper technique. Get a good
There is a lot of work you newf can get himself
trained for. Just to name a few: therapy,
karting (pulling a kart or a snow sleigh), water
rescue. As your interest rises, there are plenty
of documentation which should help you get your
dog trained without endangering his health. If
you need our help to get info, just let us know
and we will be more than happy to share whatever
we have with you.
You know Michel and I are always as close to you
as your telephone or your internet. Never
hesitate to call. We will always do our very
best to help.... and if we cant, then may be
some of our friends, some of our customers, some
of our partners can. Try us!!!
TELEPHONE: (418) 243-3550
Master Professional Breeder
Michel Lavoie, Ph.D.
Elevage Pattes Douces