Puppies, Breeders and the NCA
One of the things that COVID has thrown into high relief is that the current structure the NCA has in place to work with prospective puppy buyers and our dedicated breeders just isn’t working. This leads to frustration all around.
- Breeders on our Breeders list are facing increasing numbers of inquiries balanced against long wait lists for their litters.
- Our Breeder Referral committee is stressed trying to respond to increasing numbers of inquiries, with ever fewer litters available for placement.
- Our Newf Ambassadors are doing a yeoman’s job at providing breed education, but struggle when they can only refer to the Breeder’s List, which can lead to frustration when prospective buyers either don’t get a response, or the response is that the breeder is not currently producing any pups or has a wait list out 12-24 months and is not taking any additional names.
- Mentoring the next generation of breeders has not received the attention and energy it should.
- Public education on social media has resulted in increased referrals of buyers to the Breeder’s List, with the frequent misunderstanding that it is a puppy marketplace, and not an educational venue. On average the Breeder’s List has 3500+ unique visitors every month on the website.
A focus group of Board members, along with the chairs of the Breeder’s List Committee, Newf Ambassador Committee, Arbitration Committee and BEC have been brainstorming and discussing how best to alleviate these frustrations, along with making the most effective use of our member’s expertise to meet the challenges we currently face as a breed club and as purebred dog fanciers.
Some of the priorities we discussed were:
1. As the voice for purebred Newfoundlands, it is incumbent upon the NCA to encourage and nurture the next generation of reputable, preservation breeders, as well as supporting those current hardworking at this vital task, and honoring those whose efforts have left their stamp on the breed.
2. Providing education to prospective buyers must be accompanied by some opportunity to connect with breeders who have litters available or planned who are willing to engage with buyers for potential placements.
3. Leveraging the tools available through our existing online properties will allow the NCA to provide connection between breeders and buyers without excessive work for the volunteers who coordinate and staff our programs.
4. Because we all follow our Code of Ethics and strive to produce healthy, physically and temperamentally sound puppies that are good reflections of breed type, we should be proud to promote litters bred by any NCA member.
The Focus Group has put forth the following proposal, which has been approved by the Arbitration, Breeders List and Breeder Education committees. This proposal was approved by the Board at its June Meeting, and the technical aspects of its implementation and management are being put in place:
1. Create a Puppy Referral Listing Program that will be available to all NCA members to list planned or existing litters for placement
A dashboard of all new listings will be reviewed by Breeder Referral and Arbitration Committees to assure eligibility requirements below have all been met.
Referral Lists will be available to Newf Ambassadors and Breeder Referral committees to share with prospective buyers.
Litters will be listed for 30 days and automatically removed but can be re‐listed, listing will display sire and dam with any available OFA results.
The following are the requirements that must be met or attested to by checking the corresponding boxes on the Listing Agreement (to be built into the Member Portal):
• Must have been a member in good standing of the Newfoundland Club of America, Inc. for no less than 1 year.
• Must have no complaints or formal grievances which the NCA Board or Mediation Committee has found to have a basis in fact and were unresolved. NCA members and non‐members may file complaints, only NCA members may file formal grievances.
• Must agree to always use a written Agreement/Contract in all Newfoundland transactions.
• Must agree to make a life‐long commitment to every Newfoundland they produce and to cooperate in the rescue of any Newfoundland dogs they produce.
• Must screen all puppies’ hearts at no earlier than 9 weeks old using a Board‐Certified (ACVIM) Cardiologist before placing and provide the screening results to the puppy buyer.
• Agrees to abide by the NCA Code of Ethics and to cooperate in the investigation of any written complaints lodged against them.
• Attests to the truthfulness of the information provided herein and authorizes the Newfoundland Club of America to verify said information.
• Acknowledges that inclusion on the Puppy Referral Program is a privilege, not a right of membership. Removal from the Puppy Referral Program is subject to the Club’s Arbitration process. Breeders will be removed after due process should there be a complaint left outstanding against them as determined by the Arbitration process until resolved and will be removed permanently if there has been a total of three (3) complaints lodged which were found against them even if resolved.
2. Create a Breeder of Distinction Program to recognize individuals who have become respected breeders, displayed in the Hall of Fame section of the website. All current Breeder’s List members will be grandfathered into the program, new applicants will be able to apply. The program will feature sections to list Emeritus Breeders who have retired from breeding as well as In Memoriam Breeders who have passed.
Criteria for Eligibility:
• Must have been a member in good standing of the Newfoundland Club of America, Inc. for five consecutive years.
• Must have no grievances or complaints, which the Board or Mediation Committee has found to have a basis in fact and are unresolved. NCA members and non‐members may file complaints, only NCA members may file formal grievances.
• Must always use a written Agreement/Contract in all Newfoundland transactions.
• Must have bred two (2) Newfoundland litters while a member of the NCA, Litters and co‐owned litters must have been whelped and raised on applicant’s premises.
• Must have bred an AKC or CKC Champion Newfoundland. A copy of the Certificate of Title must be attached if not previously submitted or listed in the NCA Database.
• Must have one sponsor, who is a current Breeder of Distinction.
• The NCA expects its members to make a life‐long commitment to every Newfoundland they produce and to cooperate in the rescue of any Newfoundland dogs they produce.
• The NCA recommends that every Breeder of Distinction be a member of an NCA regional club. If the member does not live in the United States, he or she should be a member of their national or regional club in the country in which they live.
• The NCA recommends that every Breeder of Distinction be either a Newfoundland Ambassador (providing public education) and/or a Breeder Mentor (providing education to prospective breeders) if they meet those qualifications.
• Attest to the truthfulness of the information provided herein and authorizes the Newfoundland Club of America to verify said information.
• Acknowledges that inclusion Breeders of Distinction Program is a privilege, not a right of membership. Removal from the Breeder of Distinction Program is subject to the Club’s Arbitration process. Breeders will be removed from the program after due process should there be a complaint left outstanding against them as determined by the Arbitration process until resolved and will be removed permanently if there has been a total of three (3) complaints lodged which were found against them even if resolved.
3. Revitalize the Breeder Education Mentor Program. Outreach to all Breeders of Distinction to encourage them to participate, provide additional resources and training in adult education and mentorship.
Proposed Revised Breeder Mentor Requirements
• Have been an NCA Member for a minimum of five years.
• Have owned and exhibited Newfoundlands for a minimum of ten (10) years
• Have bred and raised 5 or more litters on your premises resulting in at least 4 Champions. Litters and co‐owned litters must have been whelped and raised on applicant’s premises.
• Attended National or Regional Specialties within the past five years.
• Able to discuss obedience and working events.
• Able to discuss the various health issues and health tests used for pre‐breeding screening purposes.
• Must have the ability to discuss the breed without promoting their own kennel and/or bloodline and without being disrespectful to other kennels and/or bloodlines.
• Candidates should possess an in‐depth understanding of the Breed Standard demonstrated by, but not limited to the following or other achievements of equal merit:
• Has demonstrated skill as an AKC approved or provisional judge or has judged sweepstakes at a specialty.
• Has demonstrated skill as an NCA Working Judge.
• Has produced Register of Merit Newfoundlands.
• Has produced Versatile Newfoundlands.