10 Tips When Searching For a Newfoundland Dog Breeder
You’ve spent months researching the Newfoundland breed.
You’ve learned all there is to know about it from common health issues to grooming needs.
Now it’s time to take the BIG step and find a responsible Newfoundland dog breeder.
Before you begin your journey here are 10 important things to keep in mind when looking for a responsible Newfoundland dog breeder.
You’re not looking for a puppy, you’re looking for a responsible Newfoundland dog breeder.
Unfortunately, you can find a puppy anywhere.
You need to find a responsible breeder to give you that puppy!
A breeder who will give you a puppy that is healthy and sound.
Someone who knows the breed you’re looking at up and down.
Someone who is NOT just looking to make a quick buck.
Your puppy should come from someone who cares about their welfare, their breed, and their future.
You know what you want now find someone that has that to offer.
Do Your Research
First, I beg of you, please do your research on Newfoundland.
Read all about them in dedicated Newfie books.
Familiarize yourself with the different life stages of a Newfie.
Get involved in the Newfie community whether that be in educational groups online, attending dog shows, attending local meetups…..etc.
Newfies are great but they are not for everyone.
Are you good with dog slobber?
How about shedding?
Do you have time for regular grooming?
Please make sure they are the right breed for you before moving forward.
Many reputable Newfoundland dog breeders have waiting lists.
Sometimes you only have to wait a few months and sometimes you may have to wait a few years.
Some of this may be due to your preferences.
I didn’t decide I wanted a Newfie puppy in May and got him in July.
The litter Sherman was from was only planned when I first made contact with the breeder.
If you aren’t looking for specific qualities in a pup your wait time may be less.
How To Find An Ethical Newfoundland Dog Breeder
Once you’ve done the research and if you’re ready to move forward, now it’s time to start the daunting task of finding an ethical breeder.
First, let’s forget about the Google search.
These days we use Google to search for everything and a puppy is no exception.
Every once in a while I do a search for Newfoundland dog breeders on Google.
The results are not good and red flags are all over the place from the first page on.
Here’s the thing, ethical dog breeders don’t have to market to you.
They don’t waste their money on paying an SEO expert to get their website to the first page of Google.
They don’t pay for marketing.
They don’t pay someone to create a beautiful website design, in fact, they don’t put much effort into maintaining their websites at all.
They don’t have to because they rely on people within their community and the quality of their dogs to do the work for them.
While not every responsible Newfoundland breeder is listed there, it gives you a good place to start, it gives you contact information and there’s even a phone number listed at the top and bottom of the page where you can call and talk to someone.
Recently, the NCA has also established an Ambassador program.
This program allows someone to input their zip code and then an Ambassador will reach out to you with a list of Newfie breeders within a 500-mile radius.
Make a List and Check It Twice
You don’t have to pick just one Newfoundland dog breeder so make a list when you find breeders that are of interest to you.
Keep your options open.
Maybe keep your top 2 or 3.
I had a list of 3 brown Newfoundland breeders that met my preferences and I narrowed it down to 2.
I knew I wanted to be able to drive to pick Sherman up and my top 2 picks were only a few hours away while the other one would have taken us several days to drive to so that knocked one of the breeders out.
I can guarantee you that if you have a list of potential breeders you will be able to narrow it down to one over a period of time because you will be going over it with a fine-tooth comb. At least you should be able to.
Be Prepared to Ask Questions and to Get Asked Questions.
Have a list ready of questions for the breeder.
How long have they been breeding?
Spaying and neutering recommendations?
You might not want a show dog but you want a breeder that is actively showing or doing performance work with their dog.
By performance work I mean do they do draft work, water rescue, therapy training, obedience training?
Will they be available for questions throughout the dog’s life?
How old is the puppy when it can come home?
Keep in mind Championship Bloodline doesn’t mean much.
BYB’s can have Championship Bloodlines.
How far back was that?
How long since the “bloodline” produced a sound champion is a question to ask if you come across that.
Also, some dog breeders don’t show dogs and that doesn’t mean they are not of good quality.
Maybe they don’t like the show ring but they are great working dogs and produce great puppies.
You HAVE to ask the question to find the answer to this.
Ask For References
You have this right and every reputable breeder should offer this.
Responsible breeders keep track of where their puppies go.
Ask for a list of people that you can contact that have had dogs from this breeder in the past.
I’ve been on the list before and I was more than happy to provide a possible future Newfie owner with anything that I had to help them make a decision.
Be Prepared to Be Rejected.
It sucks but it happens.
Some breeders are very particular about where their puppies go.
There are some breeders that will only let puppies go to homes where they will be fed a raw food diet or vice versa.
Some breeders may want a dog to go home that has no kids, a fenced yard, or a house vs. an apartment.
The list could go on forever.
Don’t take it personally.
Take your time and find a breeder that is right for you.
This is why you created a list.
I’ve been rejected before and I still ended up with a great breeder and great Newfie.
Make a Visit.
Ask to stop by and check out the kennel and any dogs that are on site.
Keep in mind that there may be a chance that both the sire and the dam might not be in one location.
When I picked up Lou, his mama was there but his dad was in California.
I didn’t go to California to see his dad but that could be an option if someone needed to.
Don’t let the fact that both parents aren’t on-site deter you, just ask about it.
If the sire isn’t on-site ask if you can contact the sire’s owner.
Also, keep in mind that some breeders may not want people coming through their kennel if they just had a litter.
This is to prevent diseases from being spread.
Hey, they don’t know where you have been.
They’re just trying to protect the puppies.
Just talk to the breeder and see when a good time to stop by would be.
Be Prepared For Setbacks.
A litter is planned and sometimes deposits are put down but that is no guarantee that you will get a puppy.
The first litter that I was on the list for only had 2 male pups and they were already taken by someone who was higher on the list.
I had to wait for the next litter that wasn’t going to take place for several months.
You have to keep in mind that if it was meant to be, it will be all in good time.
As hard as it may be, the best things come to those who wait.
Please don’t expect to get a puppy right away.
Ethical breeders rarely have puppies ready to go because they only offer 1-2 litters per year
Go With Your Gut Instinct.
If you have a bad feeling about a Newfoundland dog breeder or something is rubbing you the wrong way, go with it.
Forget about it and move on no matter how hard that may be.
If you’re not clicking with a breeder, move on.
This is someone you should be having a relationship with for the life of your dog and potentially longer, so if it doesn’t feel right, don’t do it.
I feel comfortable talking to my breeder 12 years later.
I can ask her anything and I know she’s going to give it to me straight and not just tell me what I want to hear.
The breeders are not available to talk to you?
The breeder wants to meet you in a dark alley.
Run away very fast.
Please don’t give fuel to backyard breeders and puppy mills.
These are selling tactics and are not traits of the breed.
Skip The Puppy Pictures
What Newfie puppy isn’t cute?
Don’t be drawn in by the puppy’s cuteness.
First, you should want to see the sire and the dam.
Second, you should want to see their health clearances.
Third, you should check out their pedigree.
Fourth, you should check out what their offspring looks like now.
In the last few years, especially starting in 2020, there has been a ton of scammers using puppy pictures that they’ve stolen off of social media sites.
I’ve seen Sherman listed as a stud on a scammer’s website and he’s dead.
If you’re looking at pictures of several puppies scattered on a site, be observant.
You should notice some consistency throughout the pictures.
Avoid the Pay Now Button
You’re not buying cookware, you’re buying a puppy.
If someone wants to take your money before knowing you, run.
And finally, learn how to easily spot a puppy mill from a mile away.
Not looking for a puppy but looking to adopt an adult Newfoundland dog?
Some breeders may have adult dogs up for adoption or they can help you get in contact with a rescue group that they work with that might have the perfect match for you!
Have more great tips on what future puppy owners may want to do when searching for a Newfoundland dog breeder?
Tell us about it in the comments section below!
Think you want a show dog?
You might want to read this article first!