In order to adopt a Newfoundland from the River King Newfoundland Club you’ll first need to submit our Adoption Application Form — but if you’re looking for your first Newfoundland, please read the rest of this page before filling out the form.

Newfoundlands become available from a variety of sources including current owners, breeders, humane shelters, animal control agencies, etc. All Newfs placed by RKNC Rescue are evaluated for

another RKNC rescue girl
Duchess, an RKNC rescue girl adopted at the age of seven,
enjoying her “forever” family in Michigan




temperament, vet checked, and altered prior to being placed. Adoptions are made on a “best match” basis: the background and needs of the Newfoundland must match those of the prospective owners.

Adopting a Newfoundland

If you are new to the breed and are interested in acquiring a Newfoundland from RKNC Rescue, here are some things you will need to consider:

Do you know what you want in a Newfoundland? Newfoundlands make great pets, companions, and family members, usually getting along well with other pets and with little children. Further, all healthy Newfs should be capable of water work, draft work, obedience/rally, tracking, and even agility. However, since all dogs obtained from RKNC Rescue will be spayed/neutered, breeding them or showing them in the conformation ring will not be options.

Do Newfoundlands make good house dogs? Yes, even good apartment dogs, as their exercise needs are relatively low once they’ve reached adulthood. However, Newfoundlands do shed and drool, sometimes copiously — Newfie owners regularly find themselves cleaning their walls, and occasionally their ceilings, and many of us rarely take our dogs out in public without a drool towel — and Newfs can be messy drinkers and eaters. (It’s not uncommon for them to leave a trail of water drops that begins at the bowl and ends — where else? — in your lap!)

Nala, a recent RKNC rescue dog,
relaxing at her new “forever” home in Illinois

Do you know how much do they eat? A growing puppy will eat about 5 – 6 cups of high-quality dog food a day (around 50 pounds of food every 3-4 weeks); adults will eat about 4 cups a day, depending on activity level. (That’s about as much as an active retriever-sized dog, so the food bill isn’t as high as some might expect given the size of Newfoundlands.)

Do you know how much they can weigh? Adult females can range between 90 – 120lbs and adult males can range from 120 – 150lbs. You must not let your Newf become overweight as this can cause lifelong orthopedic problems. Their size also raises practical issues. Many Newf owners find themselves buying vehicles with their dogs as much as their family in mind — some of us have been know to car-shop with tape measure in hand — and then there’s the fact that veterinary and grooming expenses are higher for larger dogs. And since Newfs like to be with their people, be prepared to have them near at hand, and occasionally underfoot, when cooking dinner and watching TV, regardless of the size of your house.

Are Newfs good with children? Absolutely. Remember Peter Pan? In the original early-20th-century stories by J. M. Barrie, the family nanny was a Newfoundland!   Newfs are usually wonderful with children, but from the beginning both the dog and the child should be taught to respect each other’s rights and to interact properly. Very young children should always be supervised with any breed of dog.

Do you know how much Newfs shed? Profusely, at times: twice a year they “blow coat,” and that means lots of hair to deal with. They are regarded as “high-grooming-needs” dogs; Newfs require frequent brushing to remove loose hair, prevent matting, and help maintain healthy skin. (Consider this tidbit: one of the most frequently recurring topics of inquiry on the popular Newf-L email discussion list is vacuum cleaners!) All this grooming requires a commitment of time and energy on the owner’s part, or else the regular assistance of a professional groomer and the expense that involves. Some Newf owners will undertake bathing and grooming their dogs themselves — it’s a great way to bond with your dog and to keep a close eye on skin and coat condition — but the thick double coat characteristic of the breed means it generally takes a good two hours or more to bathe and dry a Newf, and that’s with a good-quality dog dryer. (Never use a human hair dryer on a dog unless it has a “no-heat” setting, as the heat is bad for both skin and coat; human hair dryers also lack the volume to dry large, heavy-coated dogs in a reasonable amount of time).

A Newf is a very large commitment and will be part of your family for the next 10 years or so. Therefore, it is very important that you understand exactly what owning and caring for one means. Newfs are sweet, wonderful dogs but they do require a lot of time, dedication, money, and Lots of Love.


Bella, an RKNC recscue whose previous owners wanted her put down,
enjoying some Wisconsin snow with her new owner

You may also wish to consider taking a look at one or, ideally, all of the following documents, each of which provides a “real-world” perspective on owning a Newfoundland. (Please understand that no one is trying to discourage you from obtaining a Newfoundland, but those of us who love the breed want prospective first-time Newf owners to understand exactly what they’re getting into. The fewer Newfs that are given up to rescue or to shelters, the better.)

The Newfoundland and You

This pamphlet, produced by the Newfoundland Club of America, provides an excellent introduction to the Newfoundland in general. Although some of the information here is specifically geared toward prospective puppy buyers, this document has valuable information on the breed’s history, characteristics, health, and training.

“Don’t Buy a Newfoundland!”

Adapted from an article originally written for potential first-time owners of Bouviers des Flandres (another large, black breed), this helpful document has been widely circulated on the internet and via email. It remains excellent reading for the prospective Newfoundland owner.

“So You Think You Want a Newfoundland? A Guide for Prospective Owners”

From the Newfoundland Club of the United Kingdom — worth looking at for the humorous illustrations alone!

Scooter, another alumnus of the RKNC recscue program, with his new family in Chicago

If you are interested in adopting a rescued Newfoundland dog, please fill out the Adoption Application Form and submit it to the addres at the bottom of the form.

Adoption fees (which do not cover all of the costs involved in operating our rescue service) are charged by the RKNC Rescue Committee as follows: Adult: $200.00 plus any spaying or neutering cost RKNC has incurred; under 1 year of age: $300.00 plus any spaying or neutering cost RKNC has incurred. (On the rare occasions of very young puppies being available, the fee is $450.00 with the new owners agreeing to have the puppy spayed or neutered at the proper age.)

The adoption fee is considered a donation to the RKNC Rescue fund and is used to help defray expenses incurred for medical care, transportation, grooming, boarding, etc… Fees will not be refunded should the Newfoundland be returned to the RKNC Rescue Committee.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or know of a Newfoundland in need of rescue, please contact one of the following:

Debbie Fitton, RKNC Rescue Committee Chair   3455 Casner Road, Oakley, IL 62501; 217-864-3587 (H), 217-454-7782 (C);
Marilee Henja
Sue Zientara


Digs relaxes at home, very adorably