How To Buy A Newfoundland




By Jeanne M Fashempour


Extract: Dog World February 1983.



How to buy a Newfoundland dog? It’s not like going out and picking up a pet at the APL. It’s an investment, and in order to make a sound investment you should know what to look for when buying. Visit the local library and get books on the breed. Talk to many breeders, and people who have purchased a dog from them. Go to dog shows. Learning about the breed can be as much fun as owning a Newfoundland. Most important of all don’t rush into buying a Newfoundland. They don’t suit everyone’s lifestyle! They are beautiful, kind and more loving than many other breeds, but sometimes they stink and sometimes they slobber and if you can’t stand messiness this is not your breed!

Let’s consider why you want a Newfoundland and what you can expect.


The family pet: You have heard about their super personality and you want a big dog for the kids to play with. A dog you can trust, who won’t eat your neighbours’ kid, but will also be a great guard dog.

Most Newfoundlands have absolutely super personalities and would not hurt a flea; more often you will have to protect the dog form the kids! What you need is a sound, healthy dog with an excellent temperament! And you have a right to expect this at a pet price, approx $4000.00. You have a right to a written replacement guarantee if the dog develops a crippling hip dysplasia before it’s first birthday and you have followed all the breeders rearing guidelines and information. Remember I said crippling; that means showing obvious signs of pain and lameness. Many Newfoundlands have some degree of Hip Dysplasia and live out normal active lives without lameness or discomfort. However the dog that is lame from Hip Dysplasia before it is a year old will probably get worse, and pain can affect even the Newfoundlands personality. Most breeders who will guarantee are trying to breed sound dogs; if they weren’t they would go broke fast replacing puppies! You have the right to have your own veterinarian examine the dog, either at the time of purchase or within a 5 – 7 days period, and to receive a full refund if the dog is seriously ill. You should supply the breeder with a letter from your vet stating the problems. A puppy should not be sold at less than 8 weeks of age; it should have been wormed, had at least 1 vaccination, microchipped and be clean. You should make an appointment to pick up the dog at a later date so that the breeder can properly bath and groom the dog. You should get Canine Council papers at the time you pay for the dog. You don’t have a right to expect a perfect Newfoundland. The pet will not look like the show dog! That’s why it costs less. It may have some defects that would eliminate it from being shown, such as kinked tail, extremely curly coat, very light eyes or an unlevel bite. You also don’t have a right to expect a guard dog! You are buying the dog because he is friendly, love people and kids! He is not selective – and he loves everyone, even the potential burglar. The size of him and his deep guttural bark may deter an intruder, but his wagging tail won’t. He is more likely to knock down an intruder and sent him fleeing in disgust covered in slobber, than attack him! In some cases I have heard of a Newfoundland pupping himself between his family and a suspicious stranger, and usually that is all that is needed.


The show dog: Again you can’t expect a perfect Newfoundland. You can expect soundness, a written Hip Dysplasia guarantee, and the dog should be free of defects at the time of sale, which would disqualify it from the show ring, according to the breed standard. The dog should typey, have dark eyes, a good bite, good coat and confirmation, and nice movement. It takes a keen eye to pick up all this out in an 8 – week - old - puppy. So look closely at the bone structure; this is usually a good indicator, though not always. The parents are a good indication of what the puppy will look like. If the parents are good specimens of the breed and are show quality, and come from show quality backgrounds, then there is a good chance there offsprings will follow to family tradition. The show puppies are $3000.00. A famous many cost from $2,000.00 - $20,000.00. Remember this show puppy is a show prospect; there is no guarantee it will grow up to be a Champion. A lot will depend on the care and handling it receives for you during its development.


Breeding quality: Breeding quality? You ask, if I have a show dog why can’t I breed it? You can, provided it is genetically sound. Some dogs are beautiful but have a genetic defect that would be passed if they were used for breeding. Breeding quality dogs should not only be show quality but should be free of hereditary defects such as heart problems and Hip Dysplasia. They should be of an overall quality that needs to be perpetuated. Buying breeding quality dogs is not for the beginner. The pedigree is of extreme importance and it takes a lot of investigating to know what faults are in the backlines of a breeding prospect. Here again, breeding prospect puppies cost from $1500.00 upwards. They are usually the pick of the litter. They should be oat least of show quality, and have a crippling Hip Dysplasia replacement guarantee. There is no way a breeder can guarantee what the puppy will eventually grow up like: he can only make an educated judgement. Adults are easier to judge, and are more expensive and proven producing dogs cost even more. Do not invest in an adult dog unless it has been X-rayed clear of Hip Dysplasia and if possible OFA certified. It’s not worth the problems you will have when you start producing puppies! One thing you must remember if you get into breeding is that you have responsibility to the breed and your customers! If you produce poor quality or crippled dogs you will give the breed a bad name, and think of the grief the family suffers when their loved pet must be put to sleep because it is severely crippled. Think of the show kennel just starting, which has spent thousands of dollars campaigning a dog only to have it become crippled before it can be finished. These bad experiences may be forgiven but they will never be forgotten.

Integrity is important not only in the breeder but also in the buyer. The responsible breeder has offered the buyer certain guarantees to protect his investment: he in turn wants and expects the buyer to guarantee that the dog that has been bred and raised so carefully will be cared for just as well by the new owners. It is the buyer’s responsibility not to buy the dog if he can not adequately take care of it, if there is never anyone at home to play with it, if he can’t stand shedding, or other problems. These dogs can be a lot of work, but they can also be a great joy and companion to their masters!

Contact Details

Sue-Ann Spence
St Andrews, NSW, Australia
Phone : (02) 96033792    Mobile : 0424756977
Email : [email protected]