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.

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

Wednesday, October 28, 2015



ADOPTED April 17, 2016
Quick Adoption Overview
Special Health Needs - requires daily ear medication ($40/month)
6 years old
Good with kids
Good with other large dogs
No cats or very small dogs 
Fenced Yard Required
Located in Oakville, ON
Loves belly rubs

Hey you, get pettin'
All About Verona
Affectionate and playful, Verona arrived in our care several months ago and is doing very well in her foster home.  This lovely landseer is friendly and thrives on attention.  She has nice house manners, is quiet and easy going and will make a fabulous companion for the right family.

Verona is a pleasure to spend time with.  She knows her basic commands, follows direction well, loves to be handled and petted and is a typical "velcro-newf" who wants to be at her foster mom's side all the time.  She is gentle and well mannered with children and could join a family with dog savvy children over the age of 5.

Verona plays nicely with other well socialized dogs and could happily join a family with another nicely mannered large dog to romp and play with.  She would also be very happy to be the only dog in the household and hog all of the attention to herself!

She has very high prey drive and is not suitable for a home with cats or other small animals.  Families who have small animals need not apply for Verona. Due to her high prey drive, she is not a match for families who want to take their dog to the dog park.

Verona is 6 years old and upon arrival she was in horrible condition.  She had been living her life as a brood bitch for a well know large scale puppy producer just west of Toronto.  On intake she was emaciated and suffering from chronic antibiotic resistant skin, ear and eye infections that had been left untreated for quite some time, she was very ill.  It's been a long road, but Verona is doing much better now aside from her ears.  Her ears are damaged permanently due to the negligence of the puppy producer who failed to properly treat her infections and instead used bleach to clean her ears.  She will need ear meds for the rest of her life to keep her ears in good condition.

She was spayed on February 17 and at that time a large mass was found and also removed.  The pathology report shows that the mass is not a kind that will recur and that removal is curative -- very good news!  She is now healed from surgery and ready to find a wonderful adoptive family.

Verona is being fostered in the Toronto, ON area, and her approved adopters will be required to pick her up in person.  Given her ongoing issues with her ears necessitating medication, a reduced adoption donation of $350 will apply.

To be considered for adopting Verona, or any other dog through Newf Friends please complete our adoption application found here and email it back to us to begin the screening process.  

Sunday, October 25, 2015



Quick Adoption Overview

1 year old
Good with dogs -- looking for a home with another canine pal
Good with cats
Special Health Needs: requires daily monitoring, special diet, should not be left alone long hours
Fenced Yard Required
Located in Bancroft, ON

All About Buster
Smart, spunky, eager to please and full of puppy energy, this little stinker is looking for a special family to call his own.

Buster is a fast learner who is very motivated to please.  He knows his basic commands and has a strong desire to be with people.  He will be a great candidate for obedience work and once he is a bit older, water rescue and possibly draft work too.

A friendly and outgoing boy, Buster loves meeting new people and does well in a variety of social situations. Whether visiting friends, attending a parade, or working at his foster family's shop, he is game for pretty much whatever is asked of him. He also enjoys cuddles, belly rubs, ear scratches and lots of loving.

Buster is living with several other dogs and is constantly meeting new dogs of different breeds.  He is very well socialized and has excellent social skills meeting and playing with new dogs.  He LOVES to have playmates to wrestle with.  A home where he will have another large/giant breed dog(s) to romp and play with will be ideal for Buster.  A home where he will be the only dog is not a good fit for him.  Check out this video of Buster playing; he does this for hours every day! (Buster is the one with the slight curl to his tail, he is usually standing or play bowing.)

A typical young male Newf, Buster is active, playful and has a special way of finding every burr, stick and bit of dirt in the yard.  He loves to play in puddles and splash about in the water.  He bobs his head in the water bowl and drips water all over the house, and yes, he does drool.  Warning, he's not a match for the very house proud! LOL!

An extremely active boy, Buster loves to go for long walks in the woods and requires regular exercise appropriate for his age on soft surfaces.  When his exercise needs are not met he will run laps around the living room, so it's pretty important that he have opportunities for appropriate exercise!  

Buster enjoys the country life and would be happiest in a rural environment -- city life is not for this boy!

Buster loves to run around like a lunatic!
Buster is 12 months old and after a rough start to his life he is looking for stability and lots of love and care.  His ideal adopters will have the time and financial resources to give Buster some extra support throughout his life.

Thanks to a great team of veterinarians and loads of care he is happy, healthy and doing great now.   A special prescription diet and supplements, paired with strict adherence to dietary restrictions around treats should prevent any further issues. It is important for Buster to have someone home with him most of the time, so families where he will be left alone at home for several hours a day are not a suitable match for him and need not apply.

His health history will be discussed in great detail with potential adopters during our interview process.  A brief overview is that he will require regular monitoring (using a very simple and quick, inexpensive,  at home test a couple times a week) to ensure all is well with him. Buster will require regular early detection health tests (ie. regular blood work) to ensure that he remains healthy.  It is essential that his prescription diet be followed closely--due to his dietary restrictions he is best in a home without young children who may be tempted to feed him snacks.

Given the extensive diagnostics and treatments that we have provided Buster, it is our hope that he will lead a long, happy, healthy, issue-free life.  We are optimistic that with preventative steps followed closely he will not have any serious issues.

Mobility wise Buster is an active boy who gets around well.  He is slow to rise on some surfaces, and given that his special diet has not been ideal for a growing giant breed pup, we are taking some extra steps to help with his development. Buster has specific exercises that he does to help build his hip and leg muscles and promote a healthy back end and he takes special supplements to help with his joint health.

Run, run, run...Buster loves to run around!
Buster is being fostered in the Bancroft, ON area.  His approved adopters will be required to pick him up in person.  We will consider homes within a one day drive of his foster location, ideally under 5 hours, as he becomes stressed on long drives.  An adoption donation will apply.

 To be considered for adopting Buster, or another dog through Newf Friends, please complete our adoption application found here and email it back to us to begin the screening process.

Friday, October 23, 2015



November 21/15: I was adopted!

Maggie is a happy-go-lucky girl that loves nothing more than cuddles and belly rubs. She was born February 25, 2013 and arrived in our foster program on October 22nd, 2015.  She's on the petite side at 110 lbs, and can stand to drop a few pounds.  This pretty girl has a bounce in her step, and smile on her face!   What a cutie.

Sweet Maggie is looking for an adult only home as she can be a bit insecure in busy environments.  She prefers a calm environment, and can be startled by the quick unpredictable movements of kids.   Homes where children live or visit often will not be considered.  However, meeting respectful kids at the park and on walks will not be an issue -- Maggie greets everyone with a smile and a tail wag.
Maggie is sharing her foster home with another dog, and they get along great.  She likes to play and has a lovely, gentle play style.  She would also be perfectly happy as an only dog. 

She lived with a cat as a puppy, and appears to have no real prey drive (squirrel approved :-)), so she should do well with cats or small animals in her forever home.  

Miss Maggie is very loyal and bonds closely with her family.  She is a bit of a shadow dog at home (not to mention, a fantastic foot warmer!), but she is also excellent when left home alone (she does not bark, chew, have accidents, etc).   Maggie is reliably housetrained.  What a good girl!
She has demonstrated very nice off leash skills with a reliable recall (in safe areas), and loves her trips to the park, or hiking trail!   She's also very good in the car.  She likes dipping her feet in the water, but is not a big swimmer (or perhaps she just hasn't yet had the opportunity to learn!).

Her foster family is working on her basic obedience and manners, which are coming long very nicely.  She does jump up occasionally when excited, and pulls on leash, so family members should be sturdy on their feet and willing to continue her obedience training. She'd love to do obedience classes (or other activities), and they would be great for building up her confidence.

Her surrendering family reported some mild resource guarding, particularly in the context of stealing food and playing keep away.   With a little bit of dog-proofing and re-training, this has not been an issue in her foster home and we have not been able to reproduce any resource guarding.  She should be set up for success in her forever home, and if so, we don't believe there will be any ongoing issues.

Maggie is a healthy young lady, with no known medical concerns.  She is up to date on her vaccines, heartworm tested, microchipped and spayed. 

Maggie is being fostered in the Ottawa area and her approved adopters will be required to pick her up in person.  We will consider homes within a one day drive of her foster location, including adopters from the US.  An adoption donation of $500 applies.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015



I was adopted!

Lovely gal Rosetta (Zetta for short!) is a well mannered 5 year old who is friendly with everyone she meets and is looking for a great family to call her own.

This darling girl came to us through no fault of her own when her owners found they were not able to meet her grooming and exercise needs.

Rosetta used to live on a farm and is accustomed to being around a variety of animals.  She is gentle with cats, chickens, goats and other dogs.  She could happily join a family where there are other animals for her to play with.

Due to heavy matting we were unable to save her coat and she had to be clipped short, unfortunately. 

Zetta is spayed and will be brought up to date on core vaccines.  She is in overall good health although at 152 lbs she definitely needs to drop some weight.  She suffered a minor injury to her knee a few years ago but that healed and she has no mobility issues.  On occasion her leg may tremble, we see this frequently with newfs.   She is an active girl who likes to romp around and does well when she has a chance to burn off some steam.

She knows basic commands although sometimes takes her time to respond -- she does things in her own, sweet time!  Her house manners are good and she is an easy going gal.

Her owners told us she does excitedly pull on leash when she sees other dogs in a playful way, but so far her foster family report that she has been great on leash!

She is being fostered in the Midland, ON area.  Her approved adopters will be required ot pick her up in person.  An adoption donation of $500 will apply.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015



Quick Adoption Overview
6 years old
No children under 8 yrs - he's a goofy, excitable boy!
Suitable match for a well mannered canine playmate
Fenced Yard Required
Located in Mississauga, ON

All About Kodi
Adorable fella' Kodi is a real sweetheart who will make one lucky family very happy.  Kodi thrives on attention and is a goofy boy who wants nothing more than to be loved.  He seeks out the company of people and would love a nice calm, quiet family to spend his time with.

Kodi knows basic commands and has good house manners.  He is a sensitive boy who feeds off of the energy around him and in calm, quiet settings he is mellow and relaxed.  In busy and hectic situations he does not settle as easily.  He'd be a good choice for a home where there are not a ton of people coming and going all the time. 

He is an enthusiastic boy who sometimes has moments where he can be a little excitable.  Thanks to the hard work of his foster mom he has learned all about sitting nicely when meeting new people and containing his enthusiasm when excited.

Kodi takes obedience classes and has recently earned his Canine Good Neighbour title!  What a good boy!  An owner who is looking to work a dog in activities like this will be perfect for Kodi -- he loves to work, learn and please his handler.  Have a look at this video of him showing off his Rally-O skills!

Here he is practicing his sit-stay and down-stay. Way to go Kodi!

Kodi has been introduced to well mannered dogs and has been good with them one-on-one.  He is appropriate in his greetings, likes to play and takes cues well.  He can be overly enthusiastic with his play style so is best suited to a playmate who is well socialized and plays well with other dogs.  Here he is playing with his foster sister...so cute!


When in more stimulating environments with multiple dogs he easily becomes overstimulated and forgets his manners.   Retraining is ongoing in foster care and this will be a work in progress for Kodi -- he is making great progress!  A home where he will be expected to go to dog parks is not a good match for him.


Born August 31, 2009, this 6 year old fella is neutered and utd on vaccines and appears to be in good health. He is CKC registered from well known and well respected lines.  His breeder is retired and no longer in a position to take Kodi in but is available to be part of his adoptive family's support network once he is matched to a good home.

He is being fostered in the Mississauga, ON area.  His approved adopters will be required to pick him up in person. An adoption donation of $500 will apply.

To be considered for adopting a dog through Newf Friends please complete our adoption application found here and email it back to us to begin the screening process.