The arrival of a new puppy is an exciting event, and the inevitable change in household routine will go much smoother if you’re well-prepared for the arrival of your Newfoundland newcomer. The following items and discussions should help you to get ready – or, if your puppy is already at home, to make sure you’ve covered all the bases. (If you’re not new to dog ownership, some of what’s discussed below will be familiar, but please read through the list anyway, as many of its suggestions are Newf specific. Newfoundlands’ size and breed characteristics mea n that what works for a Lab or a boxer won’t necessarily fill the bill now, or at least not when your new member of the family is full-grown.)
TOYS, CHEWING, and PUPPY-PROOFING
Another simple fact: Newfs are dogs and dogs will chew. Most puppies will REALLY chew. Newfs, speaking generally of the breed, may not be the most notorious chewers, but chew they will, and don’t forget that the larger the dog, the more damage they can do when chewing. Be prepared with suitable toys, and be prepared as well to gently teach your puppy the difference between those things they can chew on and those which are off-limits. Talk to your vet, trainer, or other large-breed dog owners if you’re uncertain about the safety of certain types of chew toys or treats, and which toys and treats should only be given under supervision. Just because you see it for sale at the store doesn’t mean it’s safe to give to your Newf. Some toys can disintegrate quickly in the powerful jaws of a Newfoundland, and certain types of treats, such as rawhide, may present risks of choking or injury. Be sure also to have a few water toys on hand for your new “water dog,” for when the weather gets warm and it’s time to get wet, the right toys can add an extra level of enjoyment, activity, and even training.
While training a puppy about chewing is essential, don’t rely on those lessons, at first, to keep your dog or your possessions safe. Give your house a careful going-over to make sure any dangerous or breakable items have been moved up and out of harm’s way – and treasured items will have to stay up and out of harm’s way permanently, for an adult Newf’s happily sweeping tail can clear a coffee table or low bookshelf in nothing flat. Electrical cords and cables should be moved or hidden to whatever extent possible; inexpensive plastic cord protectors are available to help protect both your dog and your electronics.