About Newf Friends

Newf Friends Newfoundland Dog Rescue is a volunteer run, foster home based rescue group for Newfoundland Dogs in need in Ontario, Canada.
We place Newfs into carefully screened homes in Ontario and surrounding provinces and states.
Established in 2008.

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Visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for general information about our program and our adoption policies and procedures.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015



Adopted July 31, 2016

Quick Adoption Overview
3 years old
Suitable match for a well mannered canine playmate 
No cats
Fenced Yard Required
Located in Stayner, ON - We will consider homes for Dana up to 15 hours or so from her foster location -- this includes NB, NS and the eastern States.

All About Dana
This gorgeous 3 year old gal is friendly and affectionate and loves to get loads of attention.

Dana is very eager to please and knows her basic commands.  She has great focus when working (even in distracting environments), has super recall, heels nicely and loves to follow direction in exchange for lots of praise, or cookies (her fave!)  With a skilled handler at her side, Dana will be a great candidate for obedience work, carting and other working activities.  

Dana is excellent at her obedience class

Dana loves to work!

Nothing pleases Dana more than to be the center of attention - she thrives on positive interactions. She's pretty sure that she's the greatest thing since sliced bread and she makes sure that everyone knows it.  Yep, she's an attention hog!  An owner who can give her lots of love, but balance that with structure and the need for her to earn her attention will be the best match for her.  She loves to work and please her handler, and lots of love and affection is the perfect reward for her great behaviour.

She loves to greet new people and happily accompanies her foster mom everywhere she goes.  From classes to church and choir practice, Dana loves to join in on activities, socialize with people and of course, get loads of attention! (Photos used with permission, thanks to all of Dana's supporters and her awesome foster mom!)

Making new friends at church -- Dana loves to meet new people
Dana loves meeting new people
Making new friends at Sunday school
Dana delights everyone at the Anglican Church of the Resurrection in Ottawa. Here she is with some of her new friends.  This girl loves to meet and greet!

New friends!
Tea with the ladies!

Watch her video below!

Dana gets along with other well mannered dogs and could join a family with another properly socialized 4 footed pal.  She likes to play with well socialized dogs and enjoys the company of mellow, easy going dogs.  She has a special fondness for a little Beagle mix she met at her foster home -- she thinks he's pretty special!

Dana is not interested in spending time with young hooligans or overly excitable dogs who are boisterous or loud, or with dogs who have poor doggie social skills.  She's what we call the "fun police" -- if other dogs are playing too roughly she feels the need to intervene.  For this reason, she is not a good choice for families who like to go to the dog park where there are a lot of excited dogs romping and playing.  

She likes to chase cats so is not suited to a home with feline friends or very small dogs.

Dana is a chow hound and looooves to eat.  She is learning about patience and waiting nicely for her meals and is making great progress with this.  A little more work will be needed to help her build her patience.  She can be pushy and demanding of treats and will try to push other dogs out of the way to get her treat first, so she needs an owner who will continue to work to help her learn to wait nicely.  A family with young children will not be a good fit for her, she would likely help herself to their food!  She is not aggressive around food at all, just pushy and demanding and in need of some manners.

Dana is a very sweet girl who wants to please and do well, and with a little structure and guidance from an experienced owner she will thrive.  She is best suited to someone who has experience with giant working breeds to help her harness her working instincts and focus on working for her rewards.  She bonds quickly to her owner and would be happiest in a home where she will have someone around her much of the time. 

Dana is UTD on vaccines and has been spayed. She is an active, happy girl.

She is being fostered in Stayner, ON.  Her approved adopters will be required to pick her up in person.   An adoption donation of $500 applies.

We will consider adoptive families who live within a 15 hour drive of her foster location.  This includes part of ON, QC, NB, NS, NY, NJ, CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, etc.  US adopters will need a valid passport to come into Canada.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Grooming Safety Tips

Handsome boy Screech is lucky to be alive after suffering from heat stroke while at the groomer. How did that happen on a cold winter day in northern Ontario?  He was put under a cage dryer by his groomer, and it nearly cost him his life.   Screech ended up being hospitalized and has severe muscle damage following the incident.

With the holiday season upon us many Newfs will be heading in for a day at the spa to get all spiffed up for family gatherings.  Before you drop your Newf at the groomer, take a moment to review some basic safety tips first. 
  • Newfs are far too heat sensitive to safely be left under a cage dryer - you need to ensure that the groomer knows never to use a cage dryer on your Newf.  They should only be dried with high velocity dog dryers with no heat, and they should be under constant supervision.  
  •  Also make sure that your Newf will not be left in a room where cage dryers are running -- the rooms can quickly become too hot for a Newf.
  • Experienced Newf groomer Tricia from Cloverleaf Grooming in MA tells us,  "From a groomer's perspective, you should be aware that heat AND humidity are problems in grooming environments. Be sure that your groomer is controlling humidity. High velocity drying disperses atomized air into the environment and the dryers themselves, although not having heating elements, can become quite hot just from circulating air through the motor (feel the hose sometime after it's been running.) Proper ventilation of cages (wire crates are best) and air circulation with dehumidification are essentials that groomers must provide for dogs that are at risk for overheating during grooming."
  •  Newfs should be scheduled for grooming early in the day, and they should be moved through the grooming process quickly to get them out of the hot/humid environment as quickly as possible.  
  • Newfs should have free access to drinking water while at the groomer.
  • Ensure that your dog will be in a secure area where there is no access to exterior doors they could accidentally slip out of. 
  • If your Newf is not used to be being on a grooming table, let the groomer know this ahead of time, it may be safer for your Newf to stay on the floor to be groomed. 
  • Newfs should never be allowed to jump out of tubs or off of tables without someone supporting their front end to prevent injury. 
  • If your Newf has any orthopedic issues, tell your groomer about them before hand. Some groomers may tell owners to double up on their dog's pain meds for the day of the groom -- NEVER DO THIS without consulting your vet first!
With a few basic safety precautions and some common sense your Newf can enjoy it's day at the spa without any risk.

Thanks to Screech's owner, JoAnne of  Badbear Newfoundlands in Thunderbay, ON for sharing Screech's story with us, and to his co-owners for granting permission for us to share it on our site. We're all wishing Screech a speedy recovery.

AM/CAN CH Top Shelf Screech to Badbear RN
If you have other grooming safety tips feel free to email them to us to be added to our article.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Do I need Pet Insurance?

Do I need insurance for my pet?

Before adding a four footed companion to your family it is important to consider how you will manage financially if the dog were to be injured or become ill and need specialized treatment.

One of the reasons loving owners end up surrendering their Newf to our rescue is that they can not afford the financial burden of treating serious injury or illness.  Some of the most common health issues are skin issues which can be extremely expensive to diagnose and manage, and ruptured cruciate ligaments which cost in the vicinity of $3000-5000 per knee to repair, depending where you live in the province.  As a general rule, we advise potential adopters that if you can not easily access $5000 for emergency treatment, you should consider having a plan in place for how you will cover emergency vet care.  

Some families will set up emergency accounts for their pets which they automatically deposit funds to each month, and they leave that money aside in case of emergency.  This is a great option if you know that you will be able to leave the money untouched and only use if for emergencies.  However, realistically, many families are not in a position to do this, and having an insurance plan for their pet is the best option.

There are a number of plans available and it is important to look at what is and what is not covered before you decide on a plan.  Policies vary and monthly premiums range from about $40/month for basic plans to $100/month for plans that offer unlimited coverage and include preventative care including annual vet visits, bloodwork, heartworm prevention medications, vaccines, etc.

The companies some of our supporters have found to be easy to work with are Trupanion and Desjardins Insurance as their claims process and policy coverage are quite good. Check out their websites for pricing/limits/deductibles/copay amounts so that you can get an idea of what it will cost based on the age of your dog.  Also research other companies to see which group offers the right policy for you - your vet can offer you some suggestions.

By putting an emergency plan in place before you add your new family member you can rest easy knowing that should your four footed friend need care, you will be able to give them the treatment they need to help them recover.

Thursday, November 19, 2015



Nov 29/15: I was adopted!

New arrivals Noodles is making herself at home in foster care.  She is a total love-bug who enjoys spending time with people, getting lots of belly rubs, hugs and attention.

Noodles thrives on attention and loves to be groomed, handled and to stick close to people.  She is gentle and friendly and would be very happy to have a family where someone is around a lot of the time and where she will have many opportunities to hang out with people.  She adores children and would be a great match for a family with well mannered kids.

She is uninterested in other dogs, not really keen on playing with them.  She pays little attention to dogs she meets at the park or while out and about.    If a dog gets in her face wanting to play she will give an appropriate signal to let them know she is not interested in their shenanigans, then will move along.  She would love a family where she could be the  only dog and get all of the love to herself! Or she could join a family with a mellow dog who is equally uninterested in horsing around.


She pays little attention to small animals (cats, squirrels, etc) so could potentially join a family with a dog savvy cat.

Born on September 28, 2008 she just turned 7 years old and appears to be in good health.  A retired dam she has now been spayed and will be brought UTD on vaccines before adoption.

Noodles is being fostered in Toronto.  Her approved adopters will be required to pick her up in person.  An adoption donation of $500 applies.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015



I was adopted December 1, 2015.

Sweet as can be, this adorable 5 year old Newf is the perfect match for someone looking for a friendly, affectionate, gentle companion.

Annabelle, or Bella for short, knows her basic commands, has excellent house manners, is easy going and an absolute pleasure.  She is quiet in the house, has excellent recall and is a real gem!
Well mannered around children, she could join a family with dog savvy kids.She is friendly with everyone, gentle and sweet as can be.

Annabelle gets along well with other dogs, is fine with cats, and is a wonderful girl! She could join a family with another well mannered four footed playmate.

Annabelle LOVES to play with toys!
LOL!  Silly girl!

Typical of the Newf breed, she wants to have people around her most of the time and would prefer a home where she will not be left alone for long hours.  She finds being alone to be stressful.  She would be an excellent therapy dog as she loves people and adores getting lots of attention.

Born on January 21, 2010 she has been spayed and is current on vaccines.  Annabelleis quite overweight at the moment, but good diet and lots of opportunities to exercise should help those pounds melt off.  She underwent bilateral cruciate repairs when she was younger and has excellent mobility with no issues. 

Yep, she's a Newf!  Check out that drool!

Annabelle is being fostered in the Ottawa, ON area and her approved adopters will be required to pick her up in person. We will consider applicants who live within a 1 day drive of her foster, including applicants from the US.  An adoption donation of $500 applies.

Monday, November 9, 2015



Feb 26 - Wilson has been adopted!

Quick Adoption Overview
Available for adoption
2 years old
Likes well mannered dogs
Will chase cats, but making progress
Special health considerations -- had bilateral TPLO surgery and continues to rebuild muscle mass.  Will require specific exercise regimen for a few more months
Fenced Yard Required
Located in Bancroft, ON

All About Wilson

Affectionate, full of love and a total ham, Wilson is a wonderful boy who will make one lucky family very happy.

Born December 6, 2013 this sweet boy is 2 years old.   He has nice house manners, knows basic commands and has excellent off-lead recall.  His leash manners are a work in progress but coming along nicely.

Wilson is neutered, UTD on vaccines and weighs 50 kgs.   Xrays show that his hips are ok, showing mild dysplasia on his left side but nothing too problematic.  He was surrendered to us due to bilateral cruciate ruptures.  An orthopedic specialist performed surgery on both knees on November 9/15.  His recovery is coming along well and once healed he should have no further issues with his knees.  On Dec 21st he had follow-up xrays and everything looks good.

Wilson is ready to join an adoptive home.  He will need to continue on with his exercises and slowly build up to full activity--his adoptive family will need to have the time to take him for several walks daily and continue working with him to help him reach his full potential.  The focus of his rehab now is to rebuild muscle mass, increase his strength and help his bones heal.    He does daily range of motion exercises at his foster home and goes for supervised walks to build up his muscle mass in his back end.  Full recovery is expected by the Spring of 2016.

Coming from a loving home, Wilson is used to getting lots of hugs, belly rubs and cuddles.  He adores people and wants nothing more than to get lots, and lots of attention!  He loves attention so much that he will frequently plant a big, sticky kiss right on your face!   Pucker up!  He likes children very much but can be a bit in their face so is not suited to a home where there are very young kids.

He is an active,  playful boy who is looking forward to his knees healing so he can resume his favourite activities again.  He loves to go for long romps in the woods, and is an avid swimmer.  A home where he will have access to a pool, pond, lake or river would make Wilson so very happy!  He will play in the water and swim around for hours - a great candidate for water rescue work perhaps?

Wilson is playful and enjoys the company of other dogs.  He shares toys well and loves to play tug and wrestle.  He shares his foster home with 4 other dogs and gets along well with everyone.   Sometimes he becomes overstimulated when there is a lot of excitement--in those moments he does respond to redirection by a calm handler who can identify when he is becoming too aroused and intervene before he escalates.  He is doing really well learning to control his arousal when situations are very exciting.  He could happily join a family with another well socialized dog who likes to play and assuming the dog is a relaxed, gentle dog, there will be no issues at all.   A home with an equally excitable dog is probably not the best placement as he will feed off the arousal of the other dog.   Calm and relaxed companions are best for Wilson!

Wilson finds kitties irresistible (they are just so darn fun to chase!).  He's made a lot of progress with this during his rehabilitation, but a cat free home would be best, or a home with a very dog savvy cat.

Wilson is being fostered in the Bancroft, ON area.  His approved adopters will be required to pick him up in person. An adoption donation will apply.

Saturday, November 7, 2015



I was adopted

Kira is living with her adoptive family in a foster-to-adopt placement pending her spay surgery in February.  Her adoption will be finalized once her surgery is completed
She's not a Newf, but this sweet Saint Bernard needed our help, so here she is......Gorgeous gal Kira arrived in our care on November 6th after being pulled from a high-kill shelter.  She is approximately 4 years old, and is as sweet as she is pretty.

Very nervous in the shelter environment, she immediately cheered up and relaxed at her foster home.  She is a love-bug who enjoys lots of attention and belly rubs!

She knows a few commands, en fran├žais, and we'll be working to teach them in english.  She has good house manners and is an absolute doll.  Her leash manners need a bit of work, but she is quick to learn and eager to please, so this should not be a problem.

She gets along well with other dogs, appears to be ok with cats when tested but is not living with a cat in foster care.

Kira came into heat shorty after arriving so has not yet been spayed.   She will be ready to be spayed by late January -- we wait several weeks after their heat ends before spaying, this is safest for the dog.

She is being fostered in the Mississauga, ON area. Once she is spayed we will consider homes within a 1 day drive of her foster location.  However, we will consider a foster-to-adopt placement for Kira now.  In this type of placement Kira could join her adoptive family prior to the spay, and then once it is safe to spay her we will proceed with surgery at one of our rescue-friendly vet clinics, at our expense. Once her spay is completed her adoption would then be finalized.  To be considered for a foster-to-adopt placement, the adoptive family would have to live near one of our rescue friendly clinics which are located in Apsley, Mississaugua, Guelph, Brantford and Unionville.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Chronic Skin Issues

****  Below are the steps we take to treat dogs who have skin issues and enter our foster program.  You should always contact your veterinarian before beginning any treatment protocol -- hopefully this list of treatment options will help you and your vet come up with an effective treatment plan to help with your Newf's skin issues.****

Skin issues are becoming a common ailment in Newfs and are a condition that we frequently deal with in rescue.  There are a number of things that can contribute to skin and ear issues,  including allergies, genetic predisposition, thyroid dysfunction, and improper grooming and parasite prevention. 

We are often contacted by desperate owners looking for help to resolve their Newf's skin issues.  Depending on the severity of the issue there are a number of things that we do to help heal the dog's skin.  It is important to determine what is causing the skin issue and take steps to prevent future flare-ups, not to just treat the symptoms. 

Below we have listed the steps we take when a Newf who has severe skin issues arrives in our care.  The first two are done immediately, then based on the condition of the dog we move onto the next steps.  If you are battling chronic skin issues the first 4 items should be done right away.

1. Treat for fleas/lice/parasites - flea bite dermatitis is a common cause of itchy, inflamed skin which then becomes infected because the dog scratches and chews.  Ensure that your Newf and your home is free of fleas.

Your vet should also do a skin scraping to test for mange if that is the suspected underlying cause.

Hair loss and sores from flea bite dermatitis, Mackenzie began to heal immediately once her flea infestation was treated

2.  Diet -- when dogs arrive in our care we switch them over to a grain-free fish based food immediately.  Typically we use Acana Pacifica or Orijen 6 Fish and in a very short time we often see great improvement to skin issues with this one simple change.

Hair loss due to diet.  Harold began to improve immediately and began to heal when switched to Acana Pacifica.

3. Ear and skin cultures - by doing a culture this will let you know if any yeast or bacteria are growing on the skin or in the ears. Unfortunately some vets will prescribe antibiotics without doing a culture and sensitivity test which could lead to the wrong antibiotic being used. It is important to know if it is yeast vs bacteria as the conventional and holistic treatments will be different.
 A great product for cleaning ears is Burow's Solution which you should be able to purchase through your vet clinic. It is not a drug so doesn't interact with other meds. We use it twice daily on dogs that have severe ear issues - 1 squeeze of the bottle in the ear, rub for a minute and then wipe away any excess from the outside of the ear. Once the ears start to clear then we will go to once a day and then slowly back off to the point that we are only applying it weekly for maintenance. It can also be used as a topical ointment for really bad skin issues. We also clean the inside of the ears twice a day at the beginning as well using the Burow's on a cotton pad and slowly decrease as the ears clear up.

Chronic, severe antibiotic resistant ear infections.  A culture of the ear showed which antibiotics this infection was resistant to and helped us select the most appropriate treatment option

4. Thyroid panel - many dogs who have skin problems are also hypothyroid which is one of the underlying causes for the skin not being healthy. A thyroid panel will tell you if the thyroid is working correctly and if it isn't then your dog needs to be placed on thyroid meds which will continue for the rest of your dog's life. The meds are inexpensive and make a huge difference in the condition of their skin, energy levels and weight control. One thing to keep in mind though is that even if the results are within the "normal" ranges for the lab that does the testing a low-normal result should be treated as a hypothyroid case. Example - Lab T4 normal range is 10-60 and the test result is 17 - this is low-normal. The dog should be in the mid-range, around 35-40. You have the option of having your vet draw blood and sending a vial of serum into Hemopet in the US. Dr. Dodds provides specific results based on age, sex and breed and will advise you of the dosage that should be used if the your dog is outside of the appropriate range.

Skin issues caused by poor grooming, thyroid dysfunction and allergies
5. Allergy/Sensitivity testing - Blood testing is used by most allergy vets to determine what proteins or environmental allergens are causing an issue for the dog. The challenge with the blood test is that the dog must be off steroids for 6 weeks. The other option for testing which is one we have used is Nutriscan which is a saliva based test kit that you can do at home and then mail off to Hemopet for analysis. It isn't cheap to purchase BUT it is cheaper than the blood tests! Environmental allergens are tough to deal with so even if you know what your dog is allergic to you would have a hard time controlling it. This is the reason why we don't feel the need to do the blood testing. With Nutriscan you will find out what proteins/grains/starches are an issue for your dog and allows you to tailor their diet. It may lead to you needing to move to a different kibble or it may mean changing to a RAW diet so that you can 100% control the ingredients of your dog's diet.

6. Bathing - We have played around with a ton of different shampoos and the one that we are really happy with is Eqyss Micro-Tek. You can use it at full strength or cut it down with some water to make the bottle last longer. Our preference is full strength while the dog is having major issues and then as the skin is healing you can put the shampoo in a groomers bottle so that you can add water to it. A little goes a long way even at full strength. Dogs with severe issues should be bathed 2-3 times a week to start with and then slowly reducing the number of baths as the skin improves.

Another shampoo that works well is ProHex.  We have used this with great success with several fosters who have serious skin issues, including Kera featured below.

Bathing and topical treatment made a huge difference for Kera

7. Drying - It is really important that after bathing your dog gets dried really well. If you do not have a dog blower already we highly recommend you look at buying one. Keeping your dog dry after bathing and swimming will be key to long term skin health. There are many blowers on the market to choose from but keep in mind the more powerful the blower the shorter the drying time - unfortunately the more powerful also means more $$$. The good news is that if you buy a high quality blower it should last you a lifetime.

Hair loss due to lack of grooming and living in unsanitary conditions
8. In between baths - Green tea works great for cleansing and cooling really bad areas of the skin in between baths. Take 5 tea bags, place them in a 4 cup bowl and add boiling water. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes and then place it in the fridge to keep it cool.  Use a clean cloth to dip into the bowl and then wipe down the bad areas of skin multiple times a day. The other option which can be alternated with the green tea is Povodine Iodine Solution which is available over the counter at your local drug store. Squirt some into a bowl and add water until it is the colour if ice tea. Wipe the skin with a clean cloth - no need to rinse off.

Fiona required antibiotics, daily bathing and topical treatment between baths to clear her skin issues

 9. Supplements - Skin health starts from within the body so adding supplements into your Newf's diet may help. Supplements can be purchased either online or through your local organic health food store or health pharmacy.   Below is a list of things we use for dogs that do not respond to diet changes and bathing:

Supplements given away from food

Dr. Ohhira's Probiotic (or another high quality one) – 1 capsule twice daily on an empty stomach (preferably at least 30 minutes before food and a minimum of 30 minutes after thyroid pills for best results).

Supplements given with food

Digestive Enzymes – 1 capsule twice daily – open and sprinkle on food or given by mouth just before feeding

Synergy – 2 capsules twice daily – open and sprinkle on food

Golden Paste  - start with ¼ tsp twice daily and work up to 1 tsp twice daily on food

Oil of Oregano – start with ¼ dropper twice daily and work up to 1 dropper full twice daily on food – Either mix with the golden paste above or put the oil directly into your Newf's mouth right before it eats.

Kelp & Alfalfa mixed 50/50 – start with sprinkle and work up to 1 tsp per day – sprinkled on food

Spirulina – start with a sprinkle and work up to ½ tsp per day – sprinkled on food along with the Kelp mixture above

Allimax – 1 capsule once per day – open and sprinkle on food or given by mouth after feeding

My Community Comprehensive Immune Support – 2 capsules once per day – open and sprinkle on food or given by mouth after feeding

Omega Fatty Acids – minimum 2500mg combined of DHA/EPA once per day - start at a 1/4 dose and work up over a couple of weeks to prevent loose stool. This needs to be a fish or krill oil based and not synthetic.  NutraSea Concentrated gel caps are a good brand.  Gel caps are better than the liquid if your can get your dog to take them because they are less likely to go rancid. 

Hopefully the information above will help get your Newf on the road to good skin health.

Luna was suffering from flea bite dermatitis and food allergies, a very simple fix