How Newfoundland Dogs win our admiration

2 min read other

Jul 7, 2021

The famous Newfoundland dog goes back even further than Johnson Insurance. While our company was created 1880, it’s believed that one of our beloved mascot, Johnson the Dog’s distant ancestors may have arrived on our shores with the Vikings over a thousand years ago.1 Although the Newfoundland dog’s exact origins may be lost in the fog of time, today he embodies characteristics that inspire us, such as being loyal, strong, hardworking and just plain friendly.

With substantial average weights of 54 kg for females and 68 kg for males, you might wonder what makes these gentle giants the perfect candidates for Lifeguard of the Year.1 Their massive webbed paws and thick, water-resistant coat make them right at home in an icy ocean, while their large bones, huge lung capacity and impressive musculature give them ample power to take on challenging waves and powerful currents.2

The Newfoundland dog’s personality is as calm and sweet as his physical prowess is impressive. A quick learner with a strong natural connection to humans, he has an uncanny instinct for reading situations and taking the appropriate action. He can easily discern between people enjoying a swim and someone in distress.

During formal training as a water rescue dog, the Newfoundland dog is put through rigorous testing to determine his ability to carry a rescue line to a swimmer, retrieve submerged or floating objects, tow a disabled boat or even bring an unconscious person to safety with his strong but gentle jaws.1

Historically, his skills and strength were put to use by fishermen for hauling nets and farmers for pulling milk carts while famous English artists chose him as a handsome subject for popular paintings. Of course, it’s events like the 1919 wreck of the SS Ethie that secure this noble beast’s place in history and in our hearts. That freezing night, 92 souls were saved when a Newfoundland dog swam with a rope to secure the foundering ship to the shore. The survivors included a baby, bundled in a mail bag attached to the rope.2

It’s easy to see why Johnson Insurance and Johnson the Dog, our aptly named mascot, have become inseparable. As a symbol of hard work and genuine loyalty, the Newfoundland dog inspires us every single day to do the very best for our customers.

Article courtesy of Johnson Inc. (“Johnson”). Johnson is an insurance intermediary specializing in home, auto and travel insurance, as well as group benefits. For more information about Johnson, go to (Quebec residents please visit:

This article is provided for your general information only. Nothing in this article alters the terms or conditions of any insurance policy. Read your policy for a complete description of coverage and contact your insurance provider or intermediary for coverage and policy details.


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