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5 things you didn’t know about the Newfoundland dog

 

Have you ever seen a Newfoundland dog up close? They’re huge! Mr. Orlando is here with some great facts about this Canadian breed of dog, also known as "Newfs," "Newfies" and "gentle giants."

 

FACT: You guessed it — they originally come from… Newfoundland!

Wikimedia/SKem/CC BY-SA

Surprise! As the name suggests, these big, strong and intelligent animals come from Newfoundland — before Newfoundland was a part of Canada. It is believed that Newfoundland dogs may have been brought over by the Vikings over 1,000 years ago!

 

FACT: Newfoundland dogs might be big, but they’re also very sweet and loyal

Wikimedia/Danper65/CC BY

Don’t let the size and deep bark of a Newfoundland dog scare you — they’re super friendly and very loyal. Newfoundland dogs are calm but can be very protective and will get between their owners and a stranger if they sense danger. Also known as a "nanny dog," Newfs are especially great with kids.

 

FACT: Newfoundland dogs love being in the water and are great swimmers

Photo credit: simonallardice on VisualHunt.com / CC BY

Newfoundland dogs have wide, webbed paws like a duck, big muscles for swimming in rough waters, their fur coat is double thick and oily which helps to make it like a warm raincoat and they can hold their breath for a long time.

 

FACT: Because they're such strong swimmers, they're famous for saving lives!

Newfoundland river rescue unit's dog in action. (Wikimedia/Bobby Mikul)

Because they are so strong and such great swimmers, Newfoundlands are famous for rescuing people from the water. There are many stories that tell of how Newfoundland dogs have saved sailors that were stranded in the sea when their ships sank. They’re strong enough to pull a person through rough seas to shore or safety! They’ve also been known to save their owners from drowning in swimming pools.

 

FACT: Newfoundlands make great lifeguards and are bred to be worker dogs

A reenactor shows how Newfoundlands were working dogs at Fort Ouiatenon, the first fortified European settlement in Indiana, U.S. (Photo credit: IndyDina with Mr. Wonderful on Visualhunt / CC BY)

You can find them living on fishing boats where they help bring in fishing nets and on farms where they can pull carts carrying heavy loads. Newfies are so strong, they’ve even been known to pull smaller boats by a rope into shore!