Newfs and water go together. Of that there is no doubt. This relationship is especially important in dog carting. A carting Newf should always be wetted on the inside and in hot weather, on the outside as well. Here are some tips for the three most common carting situations:
Cart Rides for the Public
If the event is large enough that people have to wait for a ride, then the usual practice is to establish a pick-up point where a line can be organized. At this pick-up point, there should be water that can be offered to the carting dogs while they are changing loads. Ideally the water bowl should be at the height that a dog can drink while standing in harness. Sometimes the handler holds the bowl but this can get awkward because the handler should also be holding the shafts as the passengers get in and out. The water bowls can also be put on top of coolers or other objects. Recently I sprung for a proper water stand. These are bowl holders that can be adjusted for height and are available in various pet stores. Mine hold five-quart bowls – minimum Newfie size.
If it is a hot day, and especially if it is sunny as well, you should have water spray bottles at the pickup point. Even better, have an insect sprayer (on that is only used for water) available to wet the dogs down form nose to tail. If you have forgotten your high school physics, touch a Landseer on both his white and black fur in the sun.
Don’t forget off duty carting dogs and the greeter dogs; they should have water available to them as well. On hot days keep them in the shade if possible; otherwise spray them as well.
ON warm days, many people bring a cooler with ice to keep their drinks cold; share this ice by putting some in your Newf’s water bowl – he’ll thank you.
Some people, like Lloyd Nelson, go even further and make an ice filled cooler the dog’s water bucket.
Before a parade, at the form up site, you should offer each Newf water, not only your own, but anyone’s Newf whose owner has forgotten this little detail. On hot days, you should have two spray bottles for each Newf and they should be checked before going on parade. Extra sprayers are a nice touch; there may be some novices who don’t have any.
During the parade, the spray bottles are not only used to cool the dogs from the outside, but can also provide drinking sips especially for Newfs who like to drink directly from hoses.
The water most neglected is at the end of the parade. The ideal parade goes in a circle and finishes where it started. Then you are back at your van with plenty of water. Unfortunately, most parades deposit you and your Newfie about two miles from your vehicle.
There are two ways to ensure water at the finish for dogs; one is to have a designated driver meet the Newfie contingent at the end of the parade route with a van full of water. This vehicle is usually the one that will take the handlers back to their trucks. Alternatively, you can have one of the carts in the parade carry a five-gallon water container. This is best done on the typical passenger cart by strapping the water container under the seat with the spigot facing to the rear. Water can be dispensed into bowls that everyone should carry with them, not only at the end of the parade, but even on parade during a long delay. This also enables fill up of spray bottles on route. Make sure that you adjust the water container’s position so that you cart remains in balance.
Carting Around Your Neighbourhood
On hot days, even for short jaunts, you should take a spray bottle with you. IT can be sued for sipping as well as general cooling. If your expedition is extended, then a bowl and water container should go with your as well.
A GOOD RULE OF THUMB: When you think of a Newf, think of water.
Peter Maniate has been writing columns for the Newf News, the magazine of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada, since 1979. In 1996 he started writing a Newfoundland dog column in the Breedlines section of Dogs in Canada magazine on behalf of the Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada. When Dogs in Canada ceased publication at the end of 2011 he continued the Breedlines column in the Newf Newfs.
Permission is granted for re-publication of the preceding article or excerpts from it as long as the author is credited and the name of the original publication and date of first publication is included.Newf News