Furball Acres
Coat Color

This page, as all information on my website is meant to share basic facts and hopefully help you with what you are seeking. I am not going into genetics, there are plenty of places to study up on that. Instead going over the accepted coat color for Newfoundland's in the United States.

Newfoundland Club of America (NCA) is the primary club for Newfoundland's in the USA. You can find a vast amount of information there, including regarding color. NCA recognizes black, brown, gray and landseer. Each of these colors can compete in conformation and work towards their AKC American Championship Title.

American Kennel Club (AKC) is the primary registry in the USA. They will register any color combination that can be produced in the Newfoundland. However, that in no way implies every color is accepted or should be bred for.

It seems these days most folks take to social media and post their question, which brings about both accurate and inaccurate replies. Thus arguing ensues and the poor person who asked a question is still left with their unanswered question. I believe whole heartedly that education is the basis on which to build, not bickering back and forth over every subject with color that arises. This is why I add to the website, if it helps just one person, then it's worth it to me.

First let me say that yes every color is lovely and yes they ALL are deserving of a wonderful, loving forever home. That said, we first need to look at the reason someone is breeding. If they are purposely breeding unacceptable colors, then they obviously are not trying to improve the Newfoundland breed. When a pairing for a litter is done the last thought should be color, not the first! One page cannot begin to even scrape the surface, so I will suffice to say, breeding for color first is no better than being a BYB (back yard breeder), imo.

OK, AKC will register black, black and white (landseer), brown, brown and white, gray, gray and white, beige, beige and white, black and tan.
You can view AKCs page here which shows standard and non-standard.
Only the 4 standard colors should be bred for- Black, Brown, Landseer and Gray (see more on gray below). Now when a breeder produces a litter it may happen to have a non-standard color, that is most certainly not the same as someone breeding primarily for non-standard colors. You see, some claim there are rare colors, not often seen, thus they charge a higher price. There are no rare colors, NONE.

Let me go a step further here regarding gray. There is a dilution gene in the Newfoundland (and many other breeds) that dilutes black to gray and brown to beige (there is neither a gray nor a beige gene). Color Dilution Alopecia (CDA) is linked to many dilutes, in many breeds. The grays/dilutes (which I will term gray for ease) have no health issues linked to their color! However, they can have hair loss if they in fact have CDA. Some believe that CDA is in all grays, this is not true. There are a few (VERY FEW) that seem not to have it with their dilution gene (for reasons I cannot answer, but it is being studied) and therefore can't pass it on to offspring. At the same time, there are grays that appear not affected (but they were minimally affected as a puppy, usually ear hair) , it is in their genetic makeup and they can pass It on to offspring. In this case, some offspring will have CDA some will not, but still no dog from that type of mating should ever be used to attempt to reproduce dilute! Sadly though, they are. Some care to produce color first and thus will breed a dog they know produces it, will even breed a dog affected by CDA. I would say, at best, perhaps 5% of dilutes do not have or carry CDA in their makeup. At this point, there is no test for it, so truly we should not be blindly breeding for dilute unless we believe CDA is not and has never been present in either parent being put together. That is something very few breeders have knowledge of.

As you can see, this makes breeding for gray risky and more difficult. I may be hated for this sentence, but here goes-If breeders would put color last on the list of why they are pairing two dogs it would be a step in the right direction. I am thankful many breeders do, but even more do not. Color is icing on the cake and should never be why you choose to breed two dogs. Unfortunately buyers look for color, thus folks will breed for color because it means a sale. Can you see where that leads?? The buyer and the breeder both putting color first - so what about the poor puppies? Don't we think their health should be put first? Yes it should and is by those of us that are truly passionate about the Newfoundland breed. Please educate yourself and do not put color high on your list, check everything else first, if all is good, then if you happen to end up with color too, well you got a bonus. The real treasure is that healthy furry puppy you just added to the family.

If you go looking at pictures throughout the internet you will find grays and beige (both dilutes) with either bald or very thin ear hair (sometimes way more than ear hair is affected). The lines those dogs come from should NOT be used to produce dilute ever! Yet these dogs are often in someone's breeding program, or even advertised at stud, because the color = a sale to them. I find it very sad and heartbreaking to see a color so beautiful being destroyed by unscrupulous uncaring breeders that have now succeeded in making more dilutes with CDA than ever before! Unfortunately this means dilutes should not be bred for at all, until the day comes where humans can put the temperament, health, structure all above and before the color.

Last Updated: 09/20/2018
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Furball Acres
Connie Bonczek
46 Calhoun St
Johnston, SC 29832
furballacres@nctv.com
803-275-4306