The North Central Newfoundland Club

So You Want a Newfoundland?

What is a Newfoundland?
A very large dog, and when full grown generally stands about 24" (female) or 28" (male) at the shoulders. They usually weigh between 110 to 150 pounds, and the males are generally larger than the females. Most Newfs are Black, but other colors are White and Black (Landseer), Brown, or Gray. They normally have double coats; a wooly undercoat, and long guard fur.

Drawbacks about owning a Newfoundland
Newfs drool; some a lot, some once in a while. When you own a Newf, your home will be decorated with slobber. Slobber will be everywhere, just like the balls of fur.

They have a lot of fur, and are considered a "high maintenance" breed, since they need constant grooming. Grooming must be on a routine basis, otherwise, if neglected it might take you all day just to untangle the fur. Newfs shed a lot.

Newfs are very BIG DOGS. Their tails are at the perfect height to wipe out the contents of your coffee tables, and their noses are dining room table height or higher. If untrained, they will knock down children, and senior citizens, by bumping or jumping onto the person.

Due to their large size, and rapid growth the first year, they will eat a lot. Depending on the Newf's age, size, and activity level, a Newf may eat between 4 to 8 cups of high quality food daily.

Some regular expenses include veterinarian care, professional grooming, boarding, etc. Since a Newf is large, expenses are higher than a toy poodle.

Owning a dog requires confining your dog within your property. You will need a fenced-in yard, or kennel run. Newfs require a fence to be at least six feet high. A Newf should never be tied up, or put on a trolley. Shelter must be provided to protect your dog from extreme weather conditions. Most Newfs want to spend time with their owner, and will not be happy if left alone outside for long periods of time.

Newfs will need regular exercise, especially an adult. Most adult Newfs are inactive if left alone. To keep them happy and healthy, you need to take them out for long walks, play games, and take them swimming (if possible).

Will you have time to take your Newf to obedience classes? Puppies will need early obedience training since a Newf puppy may weigh 90 to 100 pounds at 8 or 9 months old. Will you have time to spend 10 to 15 minutes daily, training your Newf between your weekly classes?

The breed is prone to the following health problems (but not limited to): Hip Dysplasia, Heart Problems, Skin Ailments, and Arthritis. To help you in trying to find a healthy puppy, check with the Breeder to insure that the parents of the puppy have been OFA certified for their hips, and have had heart clearances.

Unfortunately, like most giant breeds, their life expectancy is very short, usually about 8 to 10 years.

Good reasons to own a Newfoundland
The Newfoundland is known as the "Gentle Giant", loyal and kind companions to humans. Temperament is the hallmark of the breed, and most Newfs are great with children.

They are intelligent, versatile working dogs, love the water and possesses strong water rescue instinct. Most Newfs enjoy pulling carts for children, hauling wood or the family's Christmas tree. They do well in obedience and tracking.

Due to their calm disposition, most Newfs are regular volunteers visiting nursing homes, schools, and various health facilities.

The Newfoundland is truly a magnificent animal, and beautiful to behold. They have a proud head carriage, and you can see their intelligence and serenity when you look into their eyes.

If this is the breed for you, the following guidelines will help you purchase a Newfoundland puppy.
Write, call or visit at least two or three breeders. Be sure to see an adult Newf so you will understand the size of this dog. Try to attend local dog shows, and visit with Newf owners. Look at the Standard for the Newfoundland which are the guidelines that describe the ideal Newf.

Plan to wait 4 to 6 months or longer for a puppy; a healthy puppy is worth waiting for.

Buy a puppy from a reputable breeder.  A reputable breeder usually is an active member of the local Newfoundland Club, and the Newfoundland Club of America.  The breeder is usually a participant at dog shows, whether obedience or other working dog events. The Newfoundland Club of America, Inc. publishes a Breeders List.  It is included in the General Education packet which also contains a booklist, subscription information to the quarterly magazine Newf Tide, membership information, regional club and rescue information and the booklet The Newf And You.  The packet can be ordered by sending $ 5.00 to the Newfoundland Club of America at P. O. Box 2614, Cheyenne, WY 82003.

Most reputable breeders will not release their puppies until 8 weeks of age.  It has been noted that it is critical that the puppy be with the mother and littermates for proper socialization.

When visiting the breeder, observe their facility.  It should be clean, lots of drinking water available, adequate shelter and space provided for the dogs. All the Newfs should be good-natured and approachable.

There is another option to getting a Newf, and that is to look into Newfoundland Rescue.

10 Tips on Where To Buy a Purebred Pup

Buying a purebred pup is like marriage or any other long-term relationship -- impulse or convenience shouldn't determine where you do your match-making. The pup you buy should be a quality companion that looks and acts as a fine representative of his breed. Considering the source of the pup is the first step of the smart buyer. Rate your pup's origin with this checklist.

Pet Shop
  1. Sells pups as merchandise to anyone willing to pay. Doesn't screen buyers and will sell to inappropriate homes.
  2. Obtains stock from sources who breed for profit, often from "puppy mills" or local people who mate inferior specimens to sell at low cost. Reputable breeders never place pups in pet shops due to Point #1 (above).
  3. Pups often from breeding stock which has had poor health care and/or living conditions. Breeding stock not screened for genetic problems.
  4. Health guarantees are minimum prescribed by law. Sales personnel unwilling or unable to discuss diseases or genetic problems a breed may be prone to.
  5. Sales staff often doesn't have in-depth knowledge of breeds sold.
  6. Pet shop display limits the socialization, exercise and affection individual pups need at a critical point in development.
  7. Pet shop offers AKC registration papers as proof of "quality". Doesn't mention that AKC accepts registrations without checking if breeding stock is sound and true to type.
  8. Pet shops unwilling or unable to produce pedigree, or name, address & phone of breeder prior to sale.
  9. Price at high end of local range for what are usually just generic specimens and may be breed deviations.
  10. Pet shop owner doesn't care about welfare of pup after purchase. If, after some time, you have training or health problems with your pup, you're on your own.
Casual or "Backyard" Breeder
  1. Motive for breeding: "fun", "good for kids," or make money. Doesn't screen buyers and seldom refuses to sell, even if buyer is unsuitable.
  2. Breeds family pet to any convenient pet of same breed just to have purebred pups. Has no concern for genetics, bloodlines, or breed improvement.
  3. Though pet may be well-loved, it wasn't x-rayed for hip dysplasia nor checked for other inheritable problems.
  4. Offers no health guarantees beyond proof of shots. Unqualified to give help if problems develop.
  5. Seller has little knowledge of breed history or AKC breed standard. May claim this doesn't matter for "just pets".
  6. Pups raised in makeshift accommodations indicating lack of long-term investment in breeding.
  7. Even when selling "just pets", may produce AKC papers or "championship pedigree" as proof of quality. Yet seller doesn't increase own knowledge through participation in national or local breed club. Doesn't show own dogs to "prove" quality.
  8. May be unwilling to show buyer entire litter or to introduce dam of litter. Can't or won't compare/critique pups or pups' ancestors.
  9. Prices at low end of local range since has to move pups rapidly.
  10. No concern of individual pup's and breed's future. Doesn't use AKC's limited registration option or ask for spay/neuter contract to guard against breeding of substandard pets. If you can't keep pup, tells you to take it to dog pound or sell it.
Reputable Hobby Breeder
  1. Dedication to producing quality dogs is serious avocation. Has so much invested in dogs that struggles to break even, not make profit. However, will only sell pups to approved buyers.
  2. Can explain how planned breeding to emphasize specific qualities through linebreeding, out-crossing, or more rarely, inbreeding.
  3. Has breeding stock x-rayed to check for hip dysplasia and test for other genetic faults. Can produce certification to prove claims.
  4. Lifetime commitment to replace a dog with proven genetic faults or to help owner deal with problem.
  5. Loves breed and can talk at length about its background, uses, and ideal type.
  6. Has a serious investment in dog equipment such as puppy pens, crates, grooming tables - and knows how to use it.
  7. Is member of local or national dog club, indicating a love for sport of dogs. Exhibits own dogs as an objective test of how stock measure up.
  8. Shows off litter and dam in sanitary environment. Helps buyer evaluate and choose pup. Explains criteria for "show picks" versus "pet picks".
  9. Prices will be at high end of local range, not cut-rate. Price won't reflect all that's invested in pups.
  10. After purchase, will help with grooming or training problems. Will take back pup you can't keep rather than see it disposed of inappropriately. Sells pets with spay/neuter agreement or limited AKC registration for welfare of breed. Reputation based on your satisfaction.


Copyright  2001-2014. North Central Newfoundland Club, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Disclaimer: Acceptance and use of the information contained on this web site constitutes an acknowledgement that the user hereby releases and indemnifies the North Central Newfoundland Club (NCNC), and its officers, directors, members, and agents from any and all liability and damages sustained by the user as a result of any information obtained from this website.