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 the following:




The crate is an excellent investment in which you will find a lot of benefits, such as :

-      it makes housebreaking easier

-      it allows to avoid destruction of your property

-      it 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 shelter.  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


The 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 habits.  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 short time.



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.



If 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 requests vaccination.  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.


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 uselessly? You 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 treats.  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 growth.  Be careful.  As well, remember nothing is free in life.  Teach your puppy he needs to do something you ask for to be rewarded.




It 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 after 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 same place.  It might be useful for you to leave some stools out in that area for him to recognize the odor.  Soon he will recognize this place is called the ‘toilet’.


It happens that puppies eat the stools, his own or the ones of other dogs, mostly in winter for some reason.  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 observing you.




Keep in mind that little puppy will become a big dog.  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 about it.  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 practices.  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 can....try us!


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 coming!

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 coach!


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
INTERNET: France@pattesdouces.ca

France Landry
Master Professional Breeder
Michel Lavoie, Ph.D.
Elevage Pattes Douces

(418) 243-3550