The North Central Newfoundland Club

Glossary of Terms & Definitions

The following terms and definitions are offered by NCNC's from Puppy Buyer Education Committee to help you when speaking with breeders and to help you decide where to get your puppy:

AKC Registration Types:

Full - A dog registered on a full registration is eligible to compete in all AKC events including conformation. Any puppies sired/whelped by a dog with full registration are eligible to be registered with AKC. The full registration certificate is white with a purple border.

Limited - A dog registered on limited registration is eligible to compete in all AKC events with exception to conformation. Any puppies sired/whelped by a dog with limited registration are ineligible to be registered with AKC. The limited registration certificate is white with an orange border.

What are “papers”? Papers are just another term for a dog’s registration certificate. If a dog is registered with AKC, it has “AKC Papers”.

What is a Pedigree? A pedigree is a dog’s family tree listing by registered name it’s parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. Most commonly pedigrees show a dog’s ancestors going back 3-5 generations. A research pedigree will go back even farther. Other useful information that may be included on a pedigree are color(s), registration number, date of birth, call name and titles earned such as championships, obedience, agility, water, draft, etc. A pedigree may also list special designations of ancestors such as Best In Show, (BIS), Best In Specialty Show (BISS), Register of Merit, (ROM), to name a few.

Minimum Health Clearances for Newfoundlands: At a minimum, Newfoundlands used for breeding should be tested/screened for:

• Hip & elbow dysplasia – x-rays submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation For Animals (OFA), Penn-Hip or OVC (Ontario Veterinary College)*

• Heart issues (SAS & others) – checked by a board certified cardiologist as a puppy (after 10 weeks of age) prior to going to new home. Re-checked by a board certified cardiologist and submitted to OFA at one year of age or older, especially if planning to breed.

• Cystinuria – Cleared by DNA testing or parentage.

• Other recommended tests: Testing of eyes (CERF), thyroid and patellas are strongly recommended by NCA as needed.

Health Acronyms defined:

• OFA - The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is a not-for-profit organization located in Columbia, Missouri. It’s goal is to research and prevent orthopedic and hereditary diseases in animals. OFA evaluates hip and elbow x-rays for dysplasia and assigns a number to those dogs that are free of the disease at 2 years of age or older. OFA also will assign a number for cardiac clearance as well. OFA runs a searchable open database. See for more information.

• PennHip – The Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program is a not-for-profit program owned and operated by the University of Pennsylvania. Their goal is to reduce the frequency and severity of hip dysplasia in all breeds of dogs. PennHip is another method for evaluating hips using a series of 3 x-rays and can be performed as early as 16 weeks of age. PennHip evaluates the radiographic results and issues an evaluation report. For more information, go to:

• CHIC - The Canine Health Information Center is a canine health database sponsored by the AKC Canine Health Foundation and OFA. CHIC also maintains a DNA Bank that collects and stores canine DNA samples to be used in future research and testing for various diseases. Please visit for more information.

• OVC - The Ontario Veterinary College also evaluates hips/elbows. Unlike OFA, passing results are only listed as “normal” without any further sub grading. Only abnormal results are further defined. OVC will certify at 18 months.
For more information, see
*From the OVC website: Effective immediately, the OVC’s Hip and Elbow Certification Program will not take on any new submissions for review at this time. This is due to an unexpected shortage of resources and a backlog of cases.

• CHIC Number – Newfoundlands that have been tested/screened for cystinuria, hip/elbow dysplasia and heart disease whose owners agree to have all results (passing and non-passing) published in the open database are given a CHIC number and the CHIC logo is posted next to their names in the OFA database. It is important to understand that a Newf with a CHIC designation is not necessarily free of the diseases it was tested for. It only means that the owner agreed to have ALL results, both passing and non-passing, published in the open database.

• CERF – Canine Eye Registration Foundation is a certifying body that registers dogs certified free of heritable eye disease by a board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist. Dogs certified free of heritable eye diseases are given a CERF number. Certification is good for 12 months from the date of the eye exam and annual re-examination is recommended. For more information on CERF please visit

Go To the NCNC Breeder Referral List


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