Famous Newfoundland Dogs

Newfoundland Dog Day is March 25th! There’s definitely a lot to love about these gentle giants! Many remarkable Newfies have become famous for their courage, love, and loyalty. A local Ellicott City, MD vet lists a few of these very good boys below.


The most famous Newfoundland of all may very well be Napoleon the Wonder Dog, whose passing in 1868 made the papers. Also known as The Wizard Dog, Napoleon was a circus dog who was much beloved in Britain. The pooch was the star of Van Hare’s Magic circus, and traveled throughout Europe, charming audiences.


Next on our list is Bilbo, a furry, four-legged lifeguard who saved three people’s lives at Sennen Cove in Cornwall. Bilbo found himself in the spotlight in 2008, when a new law prohibited dogs from being allowed onto the beach. Petitions in protest—many citing Bilbo’s bravery—were signed by about 20,000 people. This ultimately led to a compromise, in which Bilbo was allowed back twice a week.


Another Newfoundland, Seaman, accompanied the famous explorers Lewis and Clark on a three-year expedition to the Pacific Ocean and back. His collar tag was originally lost, but was recovered and is now in a museum.


Boatswain was the faithful companion of the famous poet Lord Byron. The beloved pup was also the furry muse for Byron’s Epitaph To A Dog.


Boatswain wasn’t the only Newfie to inspire a poem. Another loyal pooch, Gipsy, was the subject of one written by Henry Bergh, who founded the ASPCA.


Do you recall Nana, the ‘nanny’ dog from Peter Pan? In the original play, Nana was a Newfoundland. Disney ‘cast’ a Saint Bernard in the role, but it still counts!


The First Officer of the Titanic had a Newfoundland named Riger on board during the ship’s ill-fated maiden voyage. Though the officer, William McMasterMurdoch, went down with the ship, the pup stayed afloat and swam beside a lifeboat until the Carpathia reached the scene. He was later adopted by another crew member.


Last but certainly not least, Gander was the mascot of the Royal Rifles of Canada during World War II. The brave pup was killed in action at the Battle of Hong Kong, after carrying a grenade away from wounded soldiers.

As your local Ellicott City, MD animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Contact us anytime!

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