Choosing a Newfoundland puppy

Important advice and useful documents

If you have decided you would like to own a Newfoundland, please consider the following:

Do Your Research

Make sure you have thoroughly researched the Breed. Whilst Newfoundlands can make excellent pets, they are not the breed for everyone. They can be dirty, slobbery, often wet and shed hair everywhere. As youngsters they can be boisterous and sometimes destructive. At any age they can be smelly if not regularly bathed and groomed - Newfoundlands need time and effort to keep in good condition. They can be expensive to feed and, as with other giant breeds, vets fees can be astronomic and insurance premiums similarly expensive.

There are three Newfoundland Breed Clubs in the UK (as recognised by the Kennel Club) and two in Ireland. Their web sites provide excellent information about the Breed.

Dog shows also provide the opportunity to see the dogs and talk to owners. Please remember Newfoundlands at shows are usually well behaved and very clean as they are being presented for judging but living with one can be a very different experience! Dates of Championship shows can be found on the UK Newfoundlands Info web site and a regularly updated list of Open shows where there are classes scheduled for Newfoundlands can be found on the Southern Newfoundland Club web site.

Newfoundland Working Events and Fun Days provide an excellent opportunity to chat to other owners. Information is available about these events on the Breed Clubs' web sites.

Contact reputable breeders (members of the SNC Better Breeders Scheme have profile pages with their contact information on this web site) and talk to them to find out more about the breed.

Be Patient

Do not hurry! Take your time and, if necessary, be prepared to wait for a puppy. Try not to be tied to a very specific timescale such as holidays ... this will limit your opportunity to find a suitable puppy.

Reputable breeders do not normally have a ready supply of pups, litters are often planned months or even years in advance. Be patient, once you find a reputable breeder with puppies planned, get to know the breeder and let them get to know you - you may have found a friend for life.

Be Cautious

Please be aware that there are many commercial web sites advertising puppies for sale and even puppy breeders/dealers with attractive web sites. Whilst these may be very genuine they could also be fronts for puppy farmers or puppy dealers. A web site or advertisment may not necessarily present the genuine picture of what is going on behind the scenes where money is often the prime motive and little consideration is given to the health and welfare of the breed or indeed of the puppies being produced.

It is critical that puppy buyers understand and recognise the genuine, reputable and responsible breeders who have the interests of the breed and their puppies at heart and avoid those who do not.

Never be tempted to buy a puppy because you feel sorry for it or because you feel you would be rescuing it from unsavoury conditions - in doing that you will merely encourage the breeder to carry on and the chances are disproprtionately high that the puppy may have health or behavioural issues. Do not let your heart rule your head!

Choose A Reputable Breeder

Only buy a Newfoundland puppy from a reputable breeder such as a member of the SNC Better Breeders Scheme. The scheme has been established with aim of guiding prospective Newfoundland puppy purchasers to breeders who are trying to ensure that puppies are produced where health and welfare are of paramount importance and who provide puppy owners with the best support and information.

Please take time to review the criteria of our scheme and understand what makes a 'better breeder'.

Understand Health Testing

Health testing of the parents of any potential puppy is extremely important. Please take time to review the information about Health Tests which you can find on the Health Matters page of this web site.


A good breeder will ask lots of questions about you. The breeder may want to know whether you have children in the home, how old, whether they have been exposed to dogs before and you are likely to be asked about any other animals that you own. Breeders may also ask what kind of home you live in, whether you have a fenced garden, if the dog will be left at home on its own and, if so, for how long, what your experience with dogs has been, and even why you want a dog and why a dog of this particular breed.

Good breeders will most likely want to arrange for someone to visit your home and may ask also ask for references if you have had a pedigree dog before (for example from the breeder of other dogs you have owned or from your vet) - they are not about to let one of their pups go home with a stranger about whom they know very little.

Please do not be put off by a breeder who questions you – it usually indicates that they really care about dogs they have bred and want to ensure that they find good homes for their puppies!

Finding a Suitable Puppy/Breeder

A downloadable guide (in Adobe PDF format) with some useful questions to ask when talking to a breeder.

Checkist for Visiting a Breeder

A downloadable checklist (in Adobe PDF format) with prompts and advice on what to be looking out for when visiting a breeder.