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Buying a Newfie



Everybody wants a healthy dog, so it is wise to be aware of any future problems. It is vital that both parents of your puppy have had the relevant health checks done, as outlined below. There is no breed without problems and Newfoundlands are generally healthy. Problems that have arisen in the breed can be detected early and reputable breeders will have their breeding stock assessed before they are used for breeding purposes.


Hip Scoring
As with most Giant breeds, Newfoundlands can have problems with hips. Once the bones are mature - over 1 year of age - hips can be x- rayed to detect hip problems.
The hip x-rays are sent to the British Veterinary Association (BVA) & The Kennel Club for a panel of specialist vets to score each hip. The hip scoring range is 0 - 53 for each hip. 4-4 would mean a combined hip score of 8. The Newfoundland average is 26 at present, but the lower the score the better. Dogs & Bitches with scores higher than this should not be bred from.


Heart Testing
Newfoundlands should be screened to eradicate hereditary problems such as "sub-aortic stenosis" (SAS) and "dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). A colour-flow echo-doppler is the best form of testing and should be performed by either a vet, a cardiologist or a veterinary surgeon, provided they are accredited to perform the exam by the Veterinary Cardiovascular Society. It is strongly recommended breeding stock to have this done.


Choosing a Breeder
Do not rush into buying a dog. Do some homework, it will pay off in the end. Good strong, healthy puppies from a caring breeder have to be waited for - puppy farmers love the customer who is impatient and wants one now - don't play into their hands.


10 Questions you should be asking.

1. How much will the puppy cost? What does this include?

(Most breeders will give you a supply of the puppy's food, possibly its 1st injection and possibly 6 weeks free insurance)

2. Will registration documents be endorsed to restrict breeding?
Ans. Yes These endorsements are put on to protect the breed so health checks etc are done on a puppy when it reaches an age for these to be done and before you can breed with the puppy.

3. How old is the bitch (mother of puppies)?
It is recommended that a bitch should not be mated before the age of 2 years and not over 7.

4. How many litters has she had?
It is recommended a bitch not to have more than 1 litter in 12 months (reputuable breeders seldom breed a bitch in this space of time - 18 -24 months would be a more realistic time scale and some will only breed a bitch once.)

5 What is her hip score & the sire's (father of the puppies)?
Ask to see copy of the certificates from the BVA, and repututable breeder will be only too happy to let you see these. Heart Certificates should also be made available to you, please check this too. A 5 generation pedigree will also be given to you.

6. How often do you breed?

7. If something happens and I can no longer care for the dog what happens?
All responsible breeders will take back a puppy they have bred if circumstances change.

8. When can I get my puppy?
A puppy should not leave its mother before 7 weeks (49 days), although most breeders will keep them to 8 weeks.

9. Will the puppy be vet checked?
Again all responsible breeders will have puppies checked when they are 48 hrs old and again before the puppy leaves for a new home. (Some will supply letter from vet to say puppy has been checked and all is fine).

10. If I have problems with my puppy can I come to you for help?
Again responsible breeders will be more than happy to help in any way they can.


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