Puppy Forum and Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I can't decide. :)

I've decided. I really want the experience of having a giant breed dog. I've had pointers, poodles, australian shepherds, and find myself without a dog, and the itch is back. :) I've decided either a Newfoundland or a St. Bernard.

I'd do rescue/shelter (have with all my other dogs), but I have a 10 month old son, and I really don't want to have to train out undesirable behavior with a small child and I would really like a puppy starting out this time so that there's no question about whether my son is one of the dog's people, etc.

What I really need is some help deciding on whether to get:

1. A St. Bernard from a couple who seems to have great references BUT doesn't OFA certify the puppies' parents... they say, though that "we've had great dogs from this line."

OR

2. A newfoundland from a much larger breeder (they seem like they really do care; not a puppy mill) who OFA certifies their dogs, and I can look at this puppy's bloodlines and see that back 2 generations, they're certified "Good" for hip dysplasia all around in siblings and direct relatives (except for one "Fair" in a grandparent).

Just tying to do my homework as best as I can... yeesh.

Any thoughts from anyone? A saint bernard from a couple who doesn't do the paperwork, but seems awfully sweet and like they're good, honest people or a newfoundland from a larger breeder who's on top of everything when it comes to testing and ensuring they're breeding desireable traits?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,574 Posts
Hm, I have a friend who owns 1 St. Bernard from rescue and 1. Newfoundland from a breeder. The St. Bernard is the greatest dog in the world (besides my Rotties :) ) The Newfie is the only dog that I have ever met that I really do not care for. Not because of his breed, he is just... weird. He has no personality at all. He is just there. You can pet him but he seems like he is bored with life all the time. The St. Bernard is full of personality and the sweetest boy in the world.

Now, that said, I wouldn't buy a dog from anyone that didn't health test. To me, if a dog is worth breeding it is worth proving that worth by health testing. I wouldn't chance it on a giant breed. Way too many health issues in St. Bernard's to chance it, IMO. Have you gone to any dog shows to meet and greet with breeders and their dogs? Do you know of anyone that might be able to refer you to another breeder that does health test. A vet, perhaps or a kennel club in your area?

Thought I would add this picture of Gus and Buddy.


wanted to add this too. Might give you some info that you could use... breeder referral too.
http://www.saintbernardclub.org/2008Redesign/breeder_ref.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,525 Posts
If those were my only two choices, I'd go with the Newfie. BUT FIRST, I'd research both breeds for temperament and see which matched up. Then I'd do some extensive research to look for a breeder of that dog that DID do hip testing, maybe have higher scores and did other health tests as well.

St. Bernards

Newfoundlands

My first 2 picks of a giant breed would be a Great Dane and Irish Wolfhound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,307 Posts
I've trained both breeds and there were no bad ones but there was a Newfie that I absolutely liked a bunch(even told owner if something happened I would take dog.)
I don't do stuff like that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,997 Posts
I wouldn't rule out a rescue. Don't assume that all dogs in the shelter or in a rescue are problem dogs. It's just not the case.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
637 Posts
If my choices were really that limited, I'd go with the Newf breeder that does health testing. But speaking from experience, it can be very hard to find a truly responsible newf breeder.

I wouldn't risk getting a dog - especially a large/giant breed dog - from a breeder that doesn't health test. It's just not worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,258 Posts
Just to pop in and throw in my 2 cents. There is a member here whos relative got a saint from a breeder and at 3-6 months old I believe he came down with hip dysplasia. You dont want to chance it on a giant breed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
509 Posts
I think Rescue is the way to go....there are so many dogs out there that need good homes...and if you do your research, you can find a great dog...one that will love your family.

I rescued a 6 month old Siberian Husky...and he is the best dog I could have ever hoped for --- I couldn't have gotten a better dog if I went to the best breeder out there & put in a custom order!

www.saintrescue.org
www.newfrescue.com

Maybe these websites can help.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,966 Posts
I agree with Inga, it's time to widen your options... contact your local breed club or visit a dog show. Many breeders will be able to help you decide on whether the Saint or Newfie is better for you, and of course direct you to contacts where you might purchase your pup.

I would not buy a dog of any breed from a breeder who did not health test, especially not a giant breed. There are a lot of awfully sweet couples out there, and while they might be really great people that doesn't mean they know what's best for the dog population or your future pet. I'm sure you are a very sweet, honest person yourself but that doesn't mean you are breeding dogs for sale.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,066 Posts
I'd go for the Newf. Saints are nice, but they tend towards more temperament issues IME
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,072 Posts
I've known Newfs and Saints both with temperament issues, but frankly neither of these breeders sounds all that great. Hip testing has been around for a long time- if that's the only clearance htey're doing, I'd relaly like to see more than two generations of it, especially in a breed where HD is SUCH a huge issue. (And yes, all breeding programs start somewhere on the hips, but given the high levels of it in the breed, it's not a chance I'd take.)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,466 Posts
If you contact the national breed club for both breeds, which you can get by going to the AKC website at http://www.akc.org/ you'll be able to get a list of breeders in your area that are members and who, as members of the national club, have agreed to adhere to a code of ethics.

I definitely agree that you should not purchase from any breeder who does not do all health tests appropriate for their breed.

Personally, if it was me, I would go with a Newfie. The only negative for me (on both breeds) is that they drool ALOT. And be prepared for a lot of grooming and shedding.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
342 Posts
When concerned primarily with health issues especially on these big breeds I would hands down go with a highly reputable breeder that has paired dogs that were bred having the major health screenings performed to include consideration of temperment and biddablity as part of the criteria in choosing to breed. It is difficult to find a breeding pair in these breeds that has recieved a OFA rating of good and almost improbable/rare to find a pair that meets all of the standards with a "EXCELLENT" OFA rating and/or preferably a PENHIP screening.

I have dealt with (my brother is part of a large rescue ) and read about so many sad stories of people acquiring these breeds from unknown background sources and having to deal with the heartache of the common health issues especially HD. I would prefer knowing about the grandparents also when concerning health history in these breeds and a highly reputable breeder would have knowledge of the grandparents and beyound before choosing to breed.

It should also be noted that although the OFA screenings result in a highly less chance of a dog developing HD it still can happen as HD is influenced by environmental cause also according to studies. I have known dogs that where effected even though the parents both had "GOOD" OFA scores but again that does not change the value of screening for reducing the chances.

If I were to acquire one of these breeds from a rescue or with a unknown health history I would first have some health screenings performed ESPECIALLY xrays before considering keeping the dog unless of course none of that will make a decision in choosing to home the dog any different.

GOOD LUCK!!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
343 Posts
Sparkle has given great advice for you, and that would have been my advice as well.

We also share the same opinion on very large breed dogs that are in rescue situations regarding health and temperment concerns.

With that being said, go to this website http://www.ncanewfs.org/index.shtml , email the secretary of the club, and ask for them to recommend a breeder or breeders to you in your area.

Or, if the St. Bernards are your fancy, go here http://www.saintbernardclub.org/.

I suggest taking about 30 minutes per website. Really get in there and dig around. Look at the health pages and the breeder referral. Find out everything you can about the breed.

You could also go to a local specialty or dog show to get a feel for the dogs.

All breeds have issues, it's just finding out what you're willing to deal with. Honeslty, I've been lucky enough to know both breeds, and I think the Newfies are more couch potato like then the St. Bernards.

Both can be really fantastic dogs, but you really have to go to the right place to get them. If you end up going with a mom and pop breeder, you very well could end up regretting your decision in the end.

They may seem really nice, but they also likely have no idea what they're doing.

The big breeds have more health problems then the smaller breeds, usually. Some larger breeds only live until 9 or 10. You don't want to be that unlucky family thta falls in love with a large breed puppy that goes lame at 6 months, or ends up with osteosarcoma (bone cancer) or that has some very serious temperment issue (St. Bernards are prone to have temperment issues).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Thanks so much for everyone's input... I think I'm landing at newfoundland.

I've written to the local club for me for reccomendations on breeders, but haven't heart anything yet. We'll see.

I've talked to lots of people about their pups, and I'm just completely backing off anyone who I can't go to the OFA database and look up their dogs.

There's one breeder who really sounds good, and I can look up the records of the parents of the litter I'm looking at.

The mother is certified "good" for hips, "normal" cardiac, clear for cystinuria, and normal patella. Her parents are clear for cystinuria, "good and "fair" for hips, and both had normal cardiac tests. Her father also had a clear elbow test. She's got three half siblings listed, tests look good, but only one was certified on hips, but it was "good."

The father is "Good" hips. normal cardiac, clear for cystinuris and normal patella. Father's father is "Good" hips, and that's the only test. no test's listed for father's mother.

other offspring from this father have tested normal for cardiac, cystinuria and patella, but all are too young for hips testing.

So that all sounds pretty good, from where I sit. It's certainly more testing than I can see from any other breeder I've talked to.

The problem?

This breeder lists a LOT of breeds on their site. and I mean a lot. It's a farm, so they also have horses and cattle, but they have: newfoundlands, beagles, corgies, dachsunds, "puggles," and shiba inus.

everything I've seen says run from that. but then, the other things i've seen from this breeder are excellent.

would you run from this breeder or keep them around and make the 3.5 hour drive to go look at the dogs?

HELP!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
112 Posts
not all dogs in shelters have behavioral problems, and if they do, their foster parents often work them out. For example, a purebred australian shepherd was abandoned because it was born with one eye. Another's eyes were different colors. A dog from a rescue may not be perfect, but they will be certainly grateful
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,879 Posts
I personally wouldn't consider a breeder who breeds "puggles" to be ethical. Not to mention the number of other breeds. With so many different breeds and all that you have to wonder if it's just a particularly fancy puppy mill or puppy farm-- a purely for profit kind of place. I mean the testing they do is good and all. But do they prove their dogs in the show ring or with field trials of some sort?

Anyway, my instinct says forget about them and wait to hear from the breed club people.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
You use the plural in describing all your past dogs. What happened to all of them ? You will spend the next 13-15 years with a dog , shouldn't be described as an 'itch' .



Ok, I can't decide. :)

I've had pointers, poodles, australian shepherds, and find myself without a dog, and the itch is back. :) I've decided either a Newfoundland or a St. Bernard.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,296 Posts
The problem?

This breeder lists a LOT of breeds on their site. and I mean a lot. It's a farm, so they also have horses and cattle, but they have: newfoundlands, beagles, corgies, dachsunds, "puggles," and shiba inus.

everything I've seen says run from that. but then, the other things i've seen from this breeder are excellent.

would you run from this breeder or keep them around and make the 3.5 hour drive to go look at the dogs?

HELP!
I'd give them a shot; we've got a Holiday weekend coming up, so that might be a good time to make the 10 hour trip. It's true that multiple breeds is generally not a good sign, but if they're doing health testing, that probably overrides your other concerns. You can't tell for sure, though, without a site visit.

Keeping multiple breeds is an indicator of a puppy mill, but it's not definitive; there's no reason they can't be keeping good practices while holding multiple breeds. It's just unlikely due to the expense involved; most breeders do it because they love a particular breed, and can barely afford the expense of properly taking care of that single breed. Multiplying that loss by several breeds seems unlikely for even the biggest dog lover, but you may have found the exception to the rule; if so, I think it's worth checking out.

It's good to be skeptical, but don't let it cost you a good opportunity, and don't let a good breeder suffer for the actions of the bad ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
You use the plural in describing all your past dogs. What happened to all of them ? You will spend the next 13-15 years with a dog , shouldn't be described as an 'itch' .
I'm 37 years old and I've had a toy poodle (as a kid), australian shepherd and a pointer.

All died of old age.

thanks.
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top