Finding a Newfoundland Puppy

    Buying a Newfoundland puppy is not like buying a TV set.  Newfoundlands have a high incidence of joint and bone problems, which can require thousands of dollars of veterinary care in your dog's lifetime.  They have a high rate of cancer, and many live only 3 or 4 years.  Many have heart problems, which can cost thousands of dollars to treat.

    How do you make sure you're getting a dog that's likely to live a long and healthy life -- and won't cost a fortune in vet bills? There is NO guarantee.  The best advice is to GET YOUR DOG FROM A RESPONSIBLE BREEDER.  At a minimum, your breeder should be checking for hip and joint problems (which means the parents will have an OFA number - see below), and for heart disease, as well as screening for temperament in their breeding program. You can do a good deal of research about breeders and their success at producing dogs that clear health screenings and earn various titles by following the instructions you can find here.  Experience teaches that most people who buy a Newfoundland without careful pursuit of a responsible breeder and a sound dog end up with a dog that has substantial and expensive health problems.

    Breeders who sell to pet stores or sell with no questions asked to anyone who answers a newspaper ad are also likely to produce unsound dogs. Although Newfoundlands have been spared the surges of popular demand that have spawned so many puppy mills and done so much damage to the health and temperament of so many breeds, you simply cannot assume that every breeder you find is reputable, let alone skilled and successful at producing sound dogs of good temperament.  To be a responsible Newfoundland buyer, and to avoid encouraging the cruelty fed by irresponsible breeding, you need to learn about the breed, its health and soundness issues, and how to research a breeder.  Buying a Newfoundland without being careful has subjected many families to the heartache of becoming attached to a dog who soon developed hip, elbow, heart, skin or other ailments -- and some to a dog that became dangerous.  Saddest of all is the dog who ends up in a shelter or simply abandoned because the owner cannot or will not take responsibility for the consequences of irresponsible breeding -- which would not exist without irresponsible puppy buying.  (If you're interested in adopting a rescued Newfoundland, click here: )

    Much has been written elsewhere, and our only purpose here is to alert you to the issues and to give you some good leads to get started.

    CRNC does not maintain its own list of breeders.  The NCA (Newfoundland Club of America) has a "Breeder and Stud Dog List" which is on the NCA's web site, which you can reach from here: Newfoundland Club of America.   That a breeder is listed does not spare you the responsibility or the necessity to learn what to ask and what to look for. Let me say that another way:  Being on the list is not a guarantee of resonsible breeding.  The same is true of breeders listed on other sites.  A great resource for researching breeders is at

     The NCA site has some tips on getting started, a good article on selecting a Newf puppy, and current information on Newfoundland health and longevity issues.

       For a convenient on-line source of many more breeders, click here:

     If you're interested in Canadian breeders, you may wish to contact any of the folks listed for regional clubs or as breeders in the Canadian Newf Club's page at
Newfoundland Dog Club of Canada.

    You can find a great deal of useful information at these sites:
Newfoundland Information by Sharon Hope
Newfoundland FAQs by Sharon Hope
The Newf-L FAQs by Gary A. Donahue
The Responsible Breeder and Making a Difference  by Diane Blackman{also some great information on finding a responsible breeder)
How to be a Responsible Breeder By Lyn Johnson DVM By Kim Townsend

    Finally, you should know that there is a registry of hip and elbow certifications for all Newfoundlands based on x-rays and a nationally maintained protocol.  The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) number is evidence that a dog has been x-rayed at early maturity (two years, usually) and has satisfied criteria for this aspect of soundness.  Responsible breeders can and will talk to you about the importance of OFA certification to their breeding program. For information on how to use the OFA and Sweetbay sites to learn about the genetics of your dog, its parents, their siblings and ancestors, and how to learn how dogs related to your dog have fared in the breed ring or in obedience or working events, click here.  You can get an on-line pedigree of every registered Newfoundland and their siblings by visiting the The Newfoundland Dog Database.