If possible, visit the breeder personally, even if this means a long drive. A visit will enable you to meet the breeder, the dam, the litter. You will also see the conditions in which the puppies are being raised. Although elaborate equipment is not a necessity, the facilities can and should be clean. A good breeder will also question you during the visit about your plans and your own facilities for a Newfoundland. A good breeder also may be right- fully concerned if you do not have a fenced yard, because no breeder wants to hear that your Newf has run away or was hit by a car.
Many Newf owners, however, are delighted with dogs they bought sight unseen from breeders they have never met face-to-face. Indeed, some of the best-known kennels have shipped puppies all over North America and even to remote corners of the world. If a visit to a breeder of interest to you is not practicable, plan to spend some time on the phone or emailing. Good breeders are proud of their reputations and will be happy to refer you to satisfied puppy buyers and introduce you to long-standing Newf fanciers.
If you and the breeder decide that you will be taking a puppy from a litter, the breeder will help decide which puppy should become a part of your family. Breeders know the personalities of their puppies and this is essential to taking home a puppy that will fit your life style and expectations. Beware of the breeder who wants to sell you a very young puppy or wants to sell you two puppies from the same litter. Reputable breeders will typically keep the puppies until they will have been examined by a board-certified cardiologist for inherited heart problems, given at least one series of vaccinations, and declared free of all parasites.
Good breeders are most likely to be members of the NCA. You are far less likely to obtain satisfaction in dealing with an Internet breeder, commercial outlet, or a pet store. Good breeders will never sell to pet shops or puppy mills. While these establishments frequently obtain stock that cannot be sold on a breeder’s reputation, they typically charge more for a mediocre or poor specimen than a good breeder will ask for one of his outstanding prospects. A reputable breeder will follow the development of his stock, while a dealer probably will have no interest after the completion of the sale. The Newfoundland Club of America prohibits its members from selling to pet shops.