You might be looking into a Newfoundland puppy for any number of reasons. You might be thinking about getting into the show scene (more on that later). You might be considering the idea of becoming active in the companion community with visits to senior centers and schools. You might be thinking about using one around your property as a draft dog (pulling a cart), or even the possibility of water rescue work. You might just want a Newfoundland because they are so big and cuddly and that is simply the dog you have chosen to add to your family.
If shows or some of their utility-type uses are what you have in mind, then you will hopefully take the time to get out and meet members of your local Newfoundland club. That will be your best opportunity to see a variety of Newfs as well as meet (hopefully) some of the more responsible breeders. If they are part of the local Newfoundland club, then it is likely that they adhere to the standards of breeding that give you the best chance at obtaining the dog you are seeking. Granted, at the puppy stage, it is still very difficult to tell how your particular Newf will fare in the various activities. Having a good pedigree is not a 100% guarantee that your dog will be a champion or earn one single title or degree.
Does it help to have a dog with an impressive pedigree? Sure. But that only goes so far. You also have to realize that any sort of title or degree takes dedicated training. That means YOU have to learn what needs to be done and then teach your Newfoundland the ropes. It is hours of work for moments of performance. In some cases, you will spend more time loading up your car for the trip than you will in a show ring during conformation events.
When we started looking for a Newfoundland puppy, we had no idea that we were just starting on a journey that would take two years to complete. And even once we knew we were about to receive one of the puppies from a litter, we were given a form that asked us to give out top three choices (none of which were a guarantee to be the one we would actually receive). We got lucky and got our first choice because of our announced desire to show our girl.
And if you can believe it…we are now making plans for adding a second girl to our home. We are very sure what we want and have a good relationship with the breeder (the same we got our Freyja from). Since we know exactly what we want, we know that we might or might not even get a puppy this litter. Our breeder has become a family friend, and they know how we have taken care of the first puppy, so that gives us perhaps an advantage, but we still need to wait for them to be born and then hope that we get a Brown girl that will be showable. And even if she is, the journey really does not get rolling until we bring her home and start seeing how she accepts and takes to her training. Some dogs love the ring. They walk in and own it. Freyja is a bit more shy and reserved than most of her competition. Draft cart work will be coming soon, and until then, we have no idea how she will take to being hitched to a cart.
We do know that she LOVES water. That will be our focus this year. Yes, we will try the cart, but we know she loves water, so we will be moving into some intense training in that field over the next several months. As we delve into that and the Draft Cart training, you can expect me to share some of the process. Until next week, if you are following these Newfie entries, I hope that they are helping.