Meet Hugo the Newfoundland and his owner Tess

About the Breed 

Hugo the Newfoundland (or Newfie as they are more affectionately known) is a breed which originated from the Newfoundland province of Canada. They are a working breed and were bred to help fishermen bring in their nets and to rescue people from the water.

They are natural water dogs, boasting webbed feet, a waterproof double coat and very powerful swimming stroke allowing them to power through the water with ease. They have a natural affinity for water, whether it be digging in their water-bowl, splashing in puddles, impromptu dips in fish ponds or a swim at the beach.

Why did you choose this particular breed?

I first became intrigued with the enormous size and appearance on the Newfoundland. They are beautiful, regal and very impressive dogs, people often comment that they look like bears. But what really made me fall in love with the breed was their sweet, placid nature and their love for human company.

Is Hugo’s personality/behaviour in line with what people may associate with the breed?

Some people are intimidated by the giant size of the Newfoundland, and are fearful of them. However, they are one of the most gentle and sweet natured dogs out there.

Despite his enormous size and general clumsiness Hugo is extremely gentle and calm with children of all ages. He genuinely enjoys meeting new people and will go out of his way to introduce himself to anyone he can find.

Any Tips for someone considering getting this breed?

For anyone who is considering to add a Newfoundland to their family, it is important to know that they are a high maintenance breed. Most obviously it the maintenance of their thick double coat which requires daily brushing and regular trims. Bath day is also no small effort as not only do they need to be bathed, they need to be blow dried after to fully dry out that thick coat.

They can also be messy dogs – they shed, they drool and they will walk copious amounts of dirt and mud inside with their enormous paws. Being so large they also require good training to ensure they have good manners and don’t accidentally hurt anyone by jumping on them.

They are family orientated dog so are suited best to be living inside with their people, not in the backyard. Newfoundlands don’t like to spend large amounts of time alone so are well suited to families and people who spend a lot of time at home to keep them company.

How interested/good at training or obedience?

Newfoundlands are generally easy to train. However, they can be a little stubborn and somewhat lazy, so keeping training sessions, short, fun and rewarding is the best way to train a Newfie. As a working breed they can really enjoy training and being given ‘tasks’ such as bringing in the newspaper. The breed excels at water training and carting.

Any tricks, skills or community work?

When Hugo is a little older (he’s currently 2.5 years) I aim to have him trained as a therapy dog so he can visit people in hospitals, aged care homes and schools. I think this would be rewarding for everyone involved and especially for Hugo as he enjoys human company so much.

I have taught him a few little fun tricks such as ‘shake’, ‘wave’ and ‘ding the bell’. I am currently trying to teach him to carry object.

To see more of the gorgeous Hugo the Newfoundland check out his instagram page at @hugo_the_newfie