My newfoundland is starting to mat up and I need the best tools and procedure to groom.
A Newfoundland has two unique issues- double coat- which makes his hair thick and prone to matt in inner areas, and profuse coat. Also since a Newfoundland is dark in color, sunlight can bleach/fade his intense coloring.
Bathing and Shampooing:
The number one thing that Newfie owners get wrong- the dog is SO darn thick furred that there is almost some shampoo residue left on the coat.This invariably causes the hair to matt more easily.
The best way I found to deal with this- was the Coat Handler shampoo because it does not lather up "too" much. That way I can rinse out my dog thoroughly. Also do not scrub the shampoo into his hair. Just squeeze it in the direction of the hair (don’t massage it in) and work into coat.
Also, because their fur is thick, conditioning will help keep them matt free for longer.Always have a leave on conditioner with you.
Drying: A hairdryer will cut down drying time, but make sure you dry in the direction of hair growth or you might unintentionally tangle your dog.
Burshing and Grooming:
The first and most important thing- never brush a completely dry newfie- it causes breakage and static creates a funky looking, estra snarly coated dog. A grooming spray will help- try Ice on Ice by Chris Christansen, Biogroom Mink oil etc.
You need atleast 2 combs, but maybe three depending on the type of coat- one a comb type comb to break up individual mats, and the other a pin type brush to distribute oils evenly. If your dog is shedding, you will THANK me for recommending the Furminater. It removes the dense undergrowth, and you will not find bundles of Newfie foilage under your sofa.
To start with, the technique is more important. Start with sections of the coat. Hold the fur to the top away from the area you are brushing and brush from the base/root of the hair outwards. If you hit a tangle, spray some detangling spray and work out with your fingers. The reason your dog is matting up is NOT because you are an irresponsible groomer, it is because the double coat prevents most common brushes from penetrating the entire thickness of hair (or maybe your technique is to give a brushing without sectioning his thick fur- which prevents you from getting the snarls before they become matts). A good pin brush and comb from A#1 systems, Vellus or (best) Chris Christansen is worth its weight in gold, if you decide to invest that much in your dog. Carefully scissor all knots if you can’t get them. You have a Newfie, it will grow faster than you can say "Lake"
It took me about 45 minutes to groom my Newfie and I used to groom 2ce a week. I found that with a leave in conditioner, spraying a grooming spray when I did groom and using a good quality conditioner on his fur when I bathed him, I could go upto a week without grooming him and he would still look stunning.
I have found that a lot of people contribute to their dog’s tangles by fluff drying their dog etc. How can you get your newfie to look fluffy and plush without inadvertantly causing tangles? There are a whole HOG of volumizing products out there. There is one by Plushpuppy (google them) that one tablespoon was ALL I needed for my entire Newfie, and he looked like a bear. Chris Christansen sells a volumizing foam conditioner that is pretty good too. However, a well washed newfie will always look plush for most of the year- this is just a hint for shedding season.
Oh and I swear by Black on Black shampoo. It brought back the intense black shine that my newfie had as a pup. Sunlight made him fade a bit, and acquire those brassy tones. A treatment every 3 months with black on black and my buddy remained JET black until he went grey, but that is another story.
And the best trick I can offer a fellow newfie owner…EFA supplementation. By keeping the skin healthy, and the coat shiny and soft, my dog stopped being prone to dryness and ended up with a much more manageable coat.