Logo of the Better Breeders Scheme

Aim and Objectives

The overall aim of the Better Breeders Scheme (BBS) is to promote the best possible standards of breeding with the objective of producing physically and mentally healthy puppies and to assist puppy buyers in finding a breeder with suitable puppies.


Members of the Southern Newfoundland Club (SNC) can apply to join the scheme by completing an application form available on our "Joining" page and certifying that they agree to abide by the criteria laid out in the BBS which are detailed below. There is no cost for joining for SNC Members. Members of other UK Newfoundland Breed Clubs that have UK Kennel Club recognition may also apply to join the scheme in the same way - for non SNC members there is a one-off membership fee of £10.

In order to be considered for membership of the BBS applicants must have held continuous membership for a minimum of the last two complete years with one or more of the UK Kennel Club recognised Breed Clubs. This condition applies to ALL parties to the Affix (spouse, partner or joint affix holder).

The Southern Newfoundland Club in considering applicants for membership will take in to consideration their breeding history (or other practice where appropriate) for the past three years. Applicants are required to declare all litters they have bred either solely or in partnership with other parties and details of Stud Dog services provide for this period on their application form for membership.

Membership is open to current breeders of Newfoundlands, to those who intend to breed in the future and to the owners of Newfoundland Stud Dogs.


Members of the Better Breeders Scheme will be required to comply with all of the criteria in the following sections on a continuous basis.

Please note there is an expectation that the criteria apply equally to dogs in sole ownership and to dogs in joint or multiple ownership, irrespective of whether the co-owner/s are scheme members or not.

Health Testing

Members must ensure that Sire and Dam of any puppies they breed have the following:

  • Undertaken Hip Scoring with the Kennel Club recognised scheme (BVA) or an equivalent recognised scheme where the dog or bitch has been hip scored overseas.
  • Breeders should endeavour to only breed dogs with a hip score of no higher than the breed average/EBV score or below the breed average being preferable.
  • Undertaken Elbow Scoring with the Kennel Club recognised scheme (BVA) or an equivalent recognised scheme where the dog or bitch has been elbow scored overseas.
  • Mating of dogs with Elbow scores of 0-1 (or 1-0) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, but only to dogs with Elbow scores of 0-0 and where both sets of parents are Elbow scored 0-0.
  • That all breeding stock should be DNA tested to ascertain Cystinuria status (and not be reliant on the status of parents), and only Cystinuria Free or Carrier dogs are bred from.
  • Undertaken heart testing by Colour Flow Echo Doppler - the test to have been performed by a qualified Veterinary Cardiologist who is recommended and listed on the Cardiovascular Society's web site for Doppler Echocardiography examinations. In the case of heart testing carried out overseas then it must be undertaken by an equivalent practitioner with the approriate qualifications.
  • DNA testing for Thrombopathia is recommended for both the sire and the dam. This is an inherited blood clotting disorder affecting the Newfoundland breed. It is characterised by blood clotting malfunction and causes increased bleeding.
  • Members are strongly advised to obtain a DNA Profile for all breeding stock.
  • Breeders should only use frozen semen from deceased dogs if they have had all the relevant breed health checks available during the dog's lifetime which have been carried out to satisfy the criteria of the BBS scheme.

For every litter produced by an established BBS member, all supporting documents for health check results should be sent to the BBS Administrator. In the case of an overseas dog being used, then all test results from their country’s testing body should be supplied. If the test results of the dogs are already included on the Joint Newfoundland Clubs Health Database, then this will not be necessary.

All puppies sold must have been subject to a veterinary check prior to sale and evidence of the check provided if required either by the puppy purchaser or the SNC.

Health and Welfare of Breeding Bitches

BBS members must ensure that any bitch mated must be in good health prior to being mated.

No bitch may be mated either naturally or by Artificial Insemination (AI) prior to her 2nd (second) birthday.

Health Awareness

BBS members have a duty to make themselves aware of any current or emerging health issues in the breed and to ensure they take action, where necessary, to prevent the issue becoming a significant health problem in the breed.

Specifically they should be aware that Newfoundlands are currently classified as a Category 2 Breed on the Kennel Club’s Fit For Function Breed Watch initiative for the following reason:

  • Conformational defects of the upper and lower eyelids (loose eye lids)

Coat Colours

BBS members are expected to exercise responsibility with regards to coat colour.

The breeding of non-standard colours should be regarded as the exception and no mating should take place with the specific intent of breeding non-standard colours. No false claims should be made to prospective purchasers regarding non-standard colours.


BBS members must ensure that the typical temperament of the Newfoundland remains of paramount importance when considering breeding.

No mating should take place where Sire or Dam have demonstrated atypical temperament traits such as aggression or nervousness.


Puppies must be reared in a clean and safe environment that is conducive to adequate socialisation of a puppy during the first few months of the puppy’s life.

BBS members must ensure that they have adequate facilities for the whelping of a bitch and for caring for her puppies.

Prospective puppy owners must be able to view the Dam of the litter.

Permanent Identification

All puppies must be micro-chipped prior to sale and puppy owners provided with information regarding registering the microchip number with an appropriate database with the new owner’s details.

BBS members are encouraged to identify all breeding stock by means of DNA identification.

Provision of Information to Puppy Buyers

All puppies must be sold with a comprehensive information pack which as a minimum includes the following:

  • Copies of health testing certificates of Sire and Dam
  • Accurate pedigree detailing a minimum of 3 generations.
  • Information regarding exercise/grooming/training/socialising/vaccination and Insurance.
  • General information regarding the Dam including previous litters and health issues, etc..
  • Feeding guide
  • Information regarding worming administered to date and advice regarding future worming regime.
  • Membership form for at least one of the Newfoundland Clubs recognised by the UK Kennel Club as a representative breed club.
  • A minimum of 4 weeks insurance valid at the point of sale for puppies that will remain resident in the UK.
  • A copy of the Better Breeders Scheme New Puppy Owner Feedback Form and a stamped addressed envelope to return to the form to the SNC within one month of the sale. (This form will enable the new puppy owner to confirm to the SNC that the Breeder has complied with the requirements regarding provision of information to the new owner and enable the new owner to provide general feedback). Note puppy owners must be provided with the feedback form irrespective of whether or not they made contact with the breeder via the Better Breeders Scheme.

In addition:

  • Puppies must be sold with a minimum of 1 week's puppy food.
  • All breeders must make contact with the new owners after the puppy has left their premises and before a period of eight days has elapsed to ensure that the puppy is settling in to his or her new home and to answer any questions that the new owners may have.

Registration Documents

BBS member should make every effort to ensure that the Puppy’s Kennel Club registration document is available at the time of sale and for those that are to remain in the UK that is endorsed with the following Kennel Club endorsements:

  • Progeny Not Eligible for Registration.
  • Export Pedigree Not Allowed.

BBS members are expected to exercise caution when selling puppies overseas and assure themselves of the situation they are placing the puppy into.

Where due to circumstances beyond the control of the BBS member, the Registration document is NOT available at the time of sale, then this should be explained in writing to the purchaser including an explanation of when the Registration will be available and a full explanation regarding the Endorsements that will be in place when the Registration is received. BBS members must ensure in this eventuality that the new owners sign to say they are aware of the endorsements.

Ongoing Responsibilities of Breeders

BBS members are expected to take an interest in and a reasonable amount of responsibility for any dogs they have bred. It is expected that ongoing support and advice to owners will be provided and in the eventuality that the owner is no longer to keep the dog they must take responsibility for ensuring another suitable home is found.

Contract of Sale

All puppies must be sold with a comprehensive Contract of Sale which must be signed at the time of sale.

Conditions contained within the contract of sale must be made known to the puppy purchaser prior to the date of sale.

It is essential that the breeder takes the time to go through the detail of the contract thoroughly with each purchaser so that the purchaser can sign the declaration to show that they have read and understood all of the requirements contained therein.

Stud Dogs

All Stud Dogs owned by BBS members must comply with all the criteria stipulated in the section 'Health Tests'.

Stud Dogs may only be mated with bitches who also meet the criteria in the section 'Health Tests'.

BBS members offering the services of stud dogs must also be mindful of all other conditions determined in this scheme and assure themselves that the owner of the bitch is acting in a way that is not contrary to the spirit of this scheme.

In the case of a BBS member sending semen abroad, that country’s rules/guidelines should be adhered to. The BBS member cannot be held responsible for how the semen is used on any further bitches in the future nor if the contract for its use is broken.

General Conditions

BBS members are expected to take adequate steps to ensure that any puppies they sell are placed with suitable homes where they will be properly cared for in an appropriate environment.

The SNC recommend that wherever possible a ‘home check’ is undertaken to determine the suitability of the prospective owner.

Where the prospective owner is currently an owner of a Newfoundland or has previously owned a Newfoundland, it should not be assumed that that they are able to offer a suitable home and it is recommended that the scheme member takes appropriate steps to ensure that they are in a position to offer a suitable home to a puppy.

BBS members must not breed more than a maximum of six litters of puppies in any 24 month period.

Where there is more than one breeder/affix holder in one household, then either both or neither shall be BBS scheme members. Where there are two approved members in one household the numbers of litters are restricted to the same maximum of six litters of puppies in any 24 month period for the household.

BBS members will be expected to abide by the Code of Ethics and any guidance regarding breeding specified by the Breed Club(s) of which they are members.

BBS members must comply with the Kennel Club Code of Ethics.

The criteria stipulated in the Better Breeder Scheme applies not only to dogs/bitches in their ownership but also to those owned in partnership regardless of whether the other party or parties are BBS members.

Publicising the Scheme

SNC will endeavour to publicise the scheme through its website, Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and as deemed appropriate by advertising in appropriate media.

SNC will provide a dedicated web site for the Better Breeders Scheme (this web site) which will be linked to from the SNC's main website and such other web sites as may be appropriate. The Better Breeders Scheme web site will include:

  • Details of the Better Breeders Scheme.
  • Simple explanations of Health Tests.
  • Links to other appropriate web sites.
  • Checklist for use by prospective puppy buyers.
  • An individual web page for each member of the scheme which will include the name of scheme members, their affix (if applicable) and contact details.
  • Such other educational materials as the SNC deems appropriate.

In addition, BBS members will be able to advertise current litters of puppies on separate individual web pages on the Better Breeders Scheme web site.

Advertising of Current Litters

BBS members will be entitled to advertise current litters on individual web pages on the Better Breeders Scheme web site. Advertisements will be listed initially for a period of eight weeks, after which time they will be removed unless the scheme member proactively contacts the BBS Administrator to request an extension. Further extensions will each be for a period of four weeks.

Advertisement pages must include the Date of Birth of the litter and the name of the Sire and Dam. Additionally, one photo may be included and further relevant information up to a maximum of 300 words. The price of the puppies must not be included and the SNC will not engage in any discussion of, nor make public, any details of the cost of puppies.

There will be no cost for an advertisement page for Better Breeder Scheme members who are members of the SNC. There will be a nominal fee of £5 for an advertisement page for Better Breeder Scheme members who are not members of the SNC. Each extension period beyond the initial eight weeks will attract a further £5 fee.

No advertisement page will be created or placed on the Better Breeders Scheme web site until the appropriate fee is received.


Where it becomes evident that a member of the BBS has failed to abide by the scheme's criteria or are acting in a way that is not in the spirit of the scheme, the Southern Newfoundland Club reserve the right to remove individuals from the scheme without stating the reasons for their removal.

Where a member of the scheme becomes aware that they have inadvertently breached any of the criteria laid out in the BBS, they must inform the SNC in writing within 28 days of becoming aware of the breach, stating the circumstance which resulted in the said breach and outline steps they are taking to either remedy the breach or prevent a further occurrence. The SNC will consider each case on an individual basis.

The final decision regarding membership of the scheme rests with the Southern Newfoundland Club.

In the event of a BBS member being removed from the scheme there will be no reimbursement of any monies paid by way of membership fees.


Whilst the overall aim of the Better Breeders Scheme is to try and ensure that breeders have taken every reasonable step to ensure the health of puppies they produce, the Southern Newfoundland Club make no guarantee of the quality or health of the puppies produced by BBS members and will not involve itself in any disputes between Puppy Purchasers and BBS Members.

Right to Amend the Scheme

The Southern Newfoundland Club reserves the right to amend the scheme.


The Southern Newfoundland Club undertakes to ensure the confidentiality of any issues relating to BBS members.

All information supplied to the SNC by Puppy Buyers regarding BBS members will be kept confidential and will not be shared with third parties or with the BBS member to which it refers.