You may find it overwhelming when choosing a breeder, or you may think your best option is to look at the classified adds. Briefly, if you want the best possible chance of getting a healthy puppy that not only looks like the beautiful Newfoundlands you see in pictures, but has the temperament and characteristics of a Newf, it's worth taking the time to find a good breeder and the right breeder for you.
The list below will help you in narrowing your selection to make the best possible choice.
Finding a breeder
A good breeder will only use sound healthy dogs in their breeding programs. This should be your primary consideration. Getting a dog from someone who doesn't do health checks may be cheaper to purchase, but in the long run it will most likely cost much more in health bills, not to mention heartbreak. Ensure you ask to see or receive copies of the sire and dams health clearances. Some unscrupulous breeders may claim to do health clearances, but you won't know unless you see them.
A good breeder probably belongs to at least one if not many dog organizations such as their Newfoundland club or in Canada, The Canadian Kennel Club or a local dog club.
A good breeder is involved in activities such as conformation, obedience or water rescue with their Newf; perhaps all of these and more. However, conformation alone or kennel shots is not a enough; when reviewing websites, look for family pictures, dogs having fun doing dog stuff pictures, and other activities that show that they are members of the family.
A good breeder will in some way be involved in rescue. No good breeder wants to see a Newfoundland homeless with no where to go, especially their own. This is one of the reasons they will ask you to return your Newf to them in the event you cannot keep it. It is important for them to know that the puppies they are producing are taken care of.
A good breeder will want, some insist, on you visiting their kennel. It is a good idea to find a breeder close to you where you can go and visit before any puppy becomes available. Meet the person you will be dealing with and meeting the dogs including any prospective parents of new puppies (usually the female, the male will not always be on site) is the best scenario.
A good breeder will want to know that their puppies are going to a good home, but will not harass you (there is a difference between just knowing the lingo and living it). Note: You should expect questions that will help them determine how the puppy will be cared for and they will be ready and willing to answer your questions. If all they want to know is cash or charge, move on.
A good breeder will not send puppies to their new homes until they are at least 8 weeks of age. A Newfoundland breeder will do heart checks before sending the puppy home and will not part with them until at least 10 weeks. If your breeder wants to let you take your puppy home before this age this is a bad sign, go somewhere else.
A good breeder will have a good guarantee and help you with your newf throughout his entire life. You will find them friendly, patient and open; willing to answer your questions. Note: A good breeder does NOT include a clause in their guarantee that if the puppy is to be returned due to health reasons, it will/must be euthanized. This is essentially a non-guarantee as most people will not do this. A good breeder will stand by what they produce.
A good breeder follows the laws of their country and the registering club. For example in Canada you cannot represent an animal as purebred that is not. They cannot sell you a purebred dog without papers. They cannot charge you extra for those papers or in other words they cannot offer their pups 'with or without papers'. They MUST be tatooed or microchipped before leaving the breeders facility. Ensure you know which it is and check for it. If you have any questions about these rules contact The Canadian Kennel Club.
A good breeder breeds their dogs according to the standards recognized by your countries registry. If your prospective breeder advises you that they have 'special' dogs of different size, colour, temperment. This is a bad sign, go somewhere else.
It is unlikely that all good breeders will match this entire list, but they will meet a lot of these qualities especially those that involve the welfare of the dogs and follow the laws and rules of their country and it's registering body. Use your best judgment and trust your instinct. If something doesn’t quite seem right, Keep looking. Don’t sacrifice quality for lack of patience. The right dog is worth it!