Finding a well bred puppy can be a daunting task if you don't know where to start. Should you need further assistance, the NKC is always ready to help a family who has questions about buying a purebred and well bred dog. Please note the NKC itself does not sell or broker puppies. We are happy to help any interested families with resources or common questions but we do not have puppies to sell.
When considering a well bred and purebred dog for your family, consider the following points and common questions:
1. What energy level are you and your family comfortable with?
Not all dogs (even those that are similar in size) are the same in energy level. Are you comfortable with a short walk daily or is your household extremely active?
2. What level of grooming are you prepared to commit to? How much grooming will you commit to? Some breeds require much more than others. A Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier or Bichon Frisé will require very different grooming than a short coated breed. Length of time and frequency of grooming will also vary considerably as will the cost. Some breeds will need grooming daily with trims and maintenance every 4-6 weeks. What are you prepared to deal with? Do you have a groomer versed in your breed to help you or will you learn yourself?
3. What kind of temperament suits you best?
The great thing about the purebred dog is that there is a greater degree of predictability in temperament. Many families with herding dogs will report their dog trying to herd them or their children around the house and seek help, for example, not realizing that it is the nature of the dog to do so. Others may indicate that they wanted a more high drive dog and not the lap dog they've brought home or vice versa. They are surprised when dogs often bred for guarding, do their jobs when they wanted a social butterfly temperament.
What suits you best when you imagine the temperament of your ideal dog? Let this consideration guide you as you choose a breed. Every purebred dog has a breed standard (located on the CKC webpage and national club). This will indicate a lot about a specific breeds temperament and common traits but when all else fails, you can also chat to a breeder and let them guide you.
4. Where do I find a breeder? Finding a breeder is the first step to finding your new family member. You can use the CKC to help locate a breeder for your chosen breed or you can look up their national club. The national clubs typically have a breeder list and are filled with dog fanciers and breeders trying hard to improve, preserve and protect their breed. Come check out our local shows for a chance to connect with your favorite breed.
5. What do I ask a breeder? How do I know I'm not being scammed or buying from a puppy mill?
You should be able to ask your breeder any questions you have about their breeding program, how they raise puppies, temperaments of their dogs and the health of their dogs. Many breeds have lists of required health testing that the breeding dogs must undergo before being bred. Become familiar with your breed's health testing and ask to see it. Such testing requirements can usually be found on the national club or on the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals webpage (https://www.ofa.org/browse-by-breed).
Scammers and mills will likely not have health testing performed on their dogs. Furthermore they are unlikely to have any titles (examples include: Conformation, Obedience, Agility etc.) on their dogs . Ask about their involvement in their local clubs, the CKC and national clubs. Ask also for the health clearances too as many breeders will be happy to show these to you. A reputable breeder won't mind answering well intentioned questions either as you learn about their breeding program or the breed. You can also ask for references from other puppy families.
6. Why do I have to wait so long for a puppy?
Breeding ethically takes an incredible amount of time and effort from a breeder. Some litters may have been planned a year or more in advance! Reputable breeders take the time to health test their dogs to mitigate health issues common to their breed. Some tests may not be able to be performed in Newfoundland and others are dependent on specialists flying into the province a few times a year.
There is also considerable time and effort placed into raising puppies once a litter is on the ground as breeders work tirelessly to socialize their puppies to give them nothing but the best start possible. Furthermore, they are not breeding their females continuously and may only have one or two litters a year. Different breeds also have different litter sizes which will affect how long you wait for a puppy. While the wait is sometimes long for a family who is excited to have a new puppy, it is important to remember that the wait is worth it.
7. Are you ready for a lifetime commitment? Adding a new puppy to your family is a lifetime commitment. Are you prepared to embark on the journey of training, grooming and caring for a puppy's lifelong health? Are you prepared to help a puppy grow into a mature balanced and healthy dog?