The Newfoundland Club Inc, New Zealand


Breed Information

Whilst some people are anxious to get a Newfoundland, please make sure this is the breed for you. They grow rapidly, require grooming and exercise, but most of all need lots of love and time and commitment. A Newfoundland is for life.


The information contained on this page is just an overview of some of the potential health issues found in Newfoundlands today, both common and uncommon. For a more extensive list, see the Newfoundland Club of America's website:
Health Library - Newfoundland Club of America

If you are considering adding a Newfoundland as your new family pet, then it would be wise to research more on these areas listed below. A breeder will know if these problems exist in their lines, but be sure to ask, and see the results in writing. Also make sure you follow the breeder's guidelines with regard to exercising your puppy, as many adult joint problems can be prevented or minimised by being careful with your puppy's soft young bones.

More information on these disorders can be found in: Newfoundland books, on the internet, vets; and the Club can provide you with a copy of a booklet that contains more information. The following links are a starting point, please take the time to do your own research.

In alphabetical order:

  • Bloat and Gastric Torsion
    While not strictly genetic, as a deep-chested breed Newfoundland dogs are prone to this condition. Bloat is a critical emergency which causes extreme pain and death within hours if untreated. If you suspect your or any other dog has bloat please take it to a vet urgently!
    More information »
  • Cherry eye
    A mass of red tissue that appears in the inside of the corner of the eye. Requires surgical removal of the entire gland.
    More information »
  • Cystinuria
    Cystinuria is characterized by the inadequate reabsorption of cystine during the filtering process in the kidneys, thus resulting in an excessive concentration of this amino acid. Cystine will precipitate out of the urine, if the urine is neutral or acidic, and form crystals or stones in the kidneys, ureters, or bladder.
    More information - cystinuria »
    More information - bladder stones »
  • Elbow dysplasia
    Elbow dysplasia is a condition involving multiple developmental abnormalities of the elbow-joint. Breeding pairs should have elbows screened - check parents' results.
    More information »
  • Entropion
    This is the turning in of the eyelid which causes the lashes to rub on the cornea. This can cause pain and inflammation and damage the cornea if left untreated. Requires minor corrective surgery. See also ectropion.
    More information »
  • Heart disease
    Sub aortic stenosis is the second most common canine heart malformation and is defined as an "obstruction of the left ventricular outflow tract that ranges in severity from an incomplete fibrous ridge to a fibromuscular tunnel", and lies just under the aortic valve. This lesion causes turbulence in the blood as it crosses the aortic valve, and creates a murmur in most of the affected dogs. Dogs should be checked and cleared before breeding - ask for parents' results.
    More information »
  • Heatstroke (Hyperthermia)
    While heatstroke is not in any way genetic, as a heavy-coated breed Newfoundlands are susceptible to this condition so owners should be aware of the causes and treatment.
    More information »
  • Hip dysplasia
    Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disease that, in its more severe form, can eventually cause crippling lameness and painful arthritis of the joints. All dogs should be checked and hip scored prior to breeding - ask to see parents' results. Note there are 2 different types of hip scoring, check which method your breeder uses - normally a lower score is better but in the alternative method a high score is preferable.
    More information »
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
    OCD is caused by a flap of cartilage in the shoulder or stifle that breaks off and dies before it has fully calcified. Small pieces can be reabsorbed in to the body, but surgery may be required to remove the excess flap.
    More information »

Further reading on Newfoundland dogs and potential health problems:

Breeders List

Please note:

The following is an alphabetical list of breeders who are financial members of The Newfoundland Club Inc. This Club does not supervise the practices or ethics of any breeder.

All links displayed on the Club's web pages are not necessarily endorsed by the Club.

We recommend that you fully inform yourself before purchasing a Newfoundland puppy.

Breed Health Information »

Anne Rogers
Phone:  03 312 8151

Ken & Kath Kelly
Te Kauwhata
Phone:  07 826 7636

E Dabner
Hawarden, North Canterbury
Phone:  03 314 4977


If you are a New Zealand breeder of Newfoundland dogs and current financial member of The Newfoundland Club Inc, and wish to be listed on this page, email the webmaster.


Additional link: includes some non-Newfoundland Club breeders