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Your Purebred Puppy, Your Candid Guide to Dogs and Dog Breeds

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So You Are Interested In A Newfoundland???

The following article was put together by the Newfoundland Club of Northern California as a guide to people wanting to get a Newfoundland for the first time.  

Before purchasing a Newfoundland dog - or any other breed - prospective buyers should familiarize themselves with the characteristics of the breed.  The Newfoundland Club of America's (NCA) website has a wealth of information.  You can also contact our local club, the Newfoundland Club of Northern California (NCNC)The American Kennel Club (AKC) has an excellent website that contains advise for first time buyers and describes all the regulations concerning registering your purebred dog.  Attend dog shows, obedience trials, water tests and draft tests to meet adult Newfs before you finalize your decision.

The Newfoundland is a giant breed dog.  Originally bred for carting and hauling, the breed also has strong water rescue instincts and is still used for both purposes.  Males average 28 inches in height and weigh 120-150 pounds.   Females average 26 inches in height and weigh 100-120 pounds.  Newfs are a double-coated breed that shed profusely.  They are also "wet mouthed" particularly after eating and drinking.  If you can tolerate the hair and slobber (and we mean on the ceiling too!), they are truly gentle giants that make wonderful companions.

Prospective buyers should educate themselves on orthopedic problems of the hips, elbows and knees which are common to ALL giant breeds.  These traits are believed to be controlled by many genes and careful selection is needed to minimize their occurrence.  Many of these problems can be successfully surgically corrected but the costs, both financial and emotional, are substantial.  Newfoundlands also suffer from congenital heart problems, specifically Sub Aortic Stenosis or SAS, allergies, Cystinuria, a urinary tract disease, and various eye problems.  Responsible breeders test their breeding stock prior to breeding and consider the results in selection of appropriate mates.  In addition to a regular vet check, Newfoundland puppies should be checked by a veterinary cardiologist prior to purchase.  We are fortunate to have several qualified cardiologists in the Greater Bay Area so don't accept excuses on this vital test. 

While you should expect an AKC registration application to be supplied when you take your puppy home as well as written sales contract, it is a common misconception that AKC papers somehow guarantee a quality puppy.  AKC is a registering body and will register a Newf puppy from a registered Newf sire and a registered Newf dam regardless of quality or health.  AKC does not required health testing of breeding stock, proper socialization of puppies, ethical practices or follow up support.  AKC papers are not a substitute for getting to know your breeder, meeting the dam, seeing where and how your new puppy is being raised and having someone to call who can answer your questions.  Responsible breeders want to be sure you have all the information you need and are equipped to give your new puppy proper care and training.

Finally, if you'd consider an older dog, the Newfoundland Club of Northern California coordinates a rescue and referral service.  if an owner, for whatever reason can no longer take care of his Newf, he should contact his breeder first - a responsible breeder will take his dogs back or coordinate its re-homing (for the life of the dog).  If the breeder is unable or unwilling to re-home the dog, Newfoundland rescue steps in.


This notice has been put together by the Northern California Newfoundland Club, as we love our shedding, slobbering, gentle giants and do not want to see them in a shelter.

Permission to reproduce/use granted by NCNC.