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Newfoundland dog swimming for the coast guard

Newfoundland Dog Coast Guard: Furry Italian Lifeguards Save Lives!

Dogs aren't just man's best friends; they've also become our lifeguards! Meet the Newfoundland dog coast guard, one of the best rescue dogs in the world. These dogs are the choice for water rescue in many prominent coast guard organizations, and not without a good reason.

The story of this brave and courageous breed of dog began in the 18th century when they were used to help keep watch over the coasts of Newfoundland, Canada. This service was a major contribution to maritime safety and was a crucial component of the British Royal Navy's operations in the area.

Since their original service on the coastlines, these loyal and brave canines have gone on to become one of the most popular breeds for military use. Aside from their work on the coasts, These dogs have also been enlisted in several other roles, like search and rescue missions, recovery operations, and support to deep-sea divers.

The Perfect Water Rescue

This giant dog breed originated in Canada as a working dog for fishermen. They make ideal water rescue dogs for many reasons. These dogs are known for being excellent swimmers, with webbed feet and water-resistant double coats. Their size and strength allow them to swim long distances in rough seas.

They are able to jump into the water from speeding boats and even helicopters. In the water, they wear special harnesses that attach to a buoy or a life raft. Their strength and endurance enable them to swim out to a person in need and pull them to shore, carefully choosing a route through the safest currents.

The personality of Newfies also makes them perfect for water rescues. They are calm, even-tempered, and loyal, and despite their large size, are very gentle with children.

Physical Characteristics of Newfoundlands

Trainer with a Newfoundland dog on a leash

You might not know, but a Newfoundland has a few notable physical characteristics that help make it ideal for working as part of the Coast Guard.


These dogs are large—typically weighing between 120 and 150 pounds and standing an impressive 28 inches at the shoulder. This size is advantageous to a service career because their larger stature means they’re able to handle rougher waters, haul heavier objects and cover more distance with each stride.


They have a long and thick coat which helps insulate them from cold climates when they’re working on the water or ice, as well as making them impervious to rain. This double coat requires weekly brushing, but this also helps to prevent mats and ensure healthy skin for optimal working conditions in any environment.

Check out some DIY grooming tips for these furballs here.

Swimming Ability

These furbabies come equipped with webbed feet and powerful hindquarters. They are literally built for swimming! They also have a lot of stamina and can travel wide distances, which makes them perfect for rescue missions and bringing back objects from deep waters.

Italian Coast Guard And Trained Newfoundland Dogs

Italy's Coast Guard has 300 dogs on duty, many of them Newfoundlands. These dogs help keep safe millions of people every year from drowning. The Italian School of Water Rescue Dogs states that Newfies are the best breed for the purpose because of their size, tremendous strength, affinity for water, and, most importantly, a built-in instinct for rescue.

Handlers and their dogs must pass a series of training programs to become certified by the school. Teams are evaluated for things like obedience, teamwork, endurance, emergency lifesaving techniques such as CPR, and various types of water rescue.

The dogs must be proficient in different types of rescue scenarios, such as towing small boats, saving swimmers in trouble, diving from heights, and bringing ropes from one boat to another. There are many training exercises that teach these lessons alongside experts in the subject.

For more information on training techniques, check out the school’s excellent website HERE.

A rescue Newfoundland dog swimming away from a lifesaver

Want to show your love for these pups? Check out some of our amazing dog lover shirts. Twenty-five percent of the proceeds will go to no-kill animal shelters!


Are Newfoundlands good guard dogs?

Yes, Newfoundlands make perfect guard dogs. They are protective of their owners in spite of having a gentle disposition.

How to take care of a Newfoundland dog?

Start by providing them with plenty of exercises. This breed requires lots of space to run and play. Ensure that they receive a balanced diet and fresh water at all times. Regular grooming is also important since Newfoundlands have a thick coat that requires frequent brushing and occasional bathing.

It is also necessary to invest in training and socialization to prevent any behavior problems as these dogs can become quite large and strong. Regular veterinary check-ups are also important to ensure that your dog stays healthy and receives preventive care. Finally, be sure to give them plenty of love and attention as Newfoundlands make wonderful family pets and require lots of affection to thrive.

Can a Newfoundland dog survive in tropical countries?

Due to its thick and heavy coat, this breed is better suited to colder climates where they can keep warm. While they can still survive in tropical countries, certain precautions need to be taken. They will need to be kept in an air-conditioned environment or provided with frequent access to a shaded area to prevent overheating.

Special attention should also be given to their hydration, as their thick fur can make it difficult for them to cool down. Regular grooming would also be necessary to prevent matting and ensure their skin stays healthy. Overall, while it is possible for a Newfoundland to survive in tropical countries, providing the proper care and environment is essential to their well-being.

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