Great Pyrenees vs Newfoundland: Key Differences Explained

Written by Katelynn Sobus
Published: May 27, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/rzoze19
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The Great Pyrenees and Newfoundland are two remarkably similar breeds, bred for guarding livestock yet remaining incredibly affectionate with family. Great Pyrs have rounder snouts and ears that sit further back on their heads. Newfoundlands are excellent with strangers, drool plentifully, and bark only occasionally.

Want to learn more about these protective breeds? Let’s dive in!

Comparing Great Pyrenees vs Newfoundland

The Great Pyrenees differs from Newfoundland majorly in size and appearance.

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Great PyreneesNewfoundland
Size25-32 inches, 85+ pounds26-28 inches, 100-150 pounds
AppearanceRounder face, ears set far back on the head, fur may be black, brown, grey, or white and blackBoxy snout, ears set forward on the head, white fur with tan, grey, badger, or reddish-brown markings
Lifespan10-12 years8-10 years
TemperamentCan be wary around strange people and dogsExcellent with children and other dogs, friendly toward strangers
Drooling LevelModerateHigh
Barking LevelModerateLow


Key Differences Between Great Pyrenees and Newfoundland

The primary difference between Great Pyrenees dogs and Newfoundlands is their friendliness toward strangers. Their key differences include size, appearance, lifespan, drooling level, and barking level.

Let’s dive into these characteristics below to see what makes these pups so unique!

Great Pyrenees vs Newfoundland: Size

Great Pyrenees dogs are 25-32 inches tall. Females weigh more than 85 pounds, and males weigh over 100 pounds. There is no upper weight limit set by the AKC breed standard.

Newfoundlands stand 26-28 inches tall and weigh 100-150 pounds.

Female Great Pyrenees dogs weigh quite a bit less than Newfoundlands, while males are similar in size. Male Pyrs are often larger than Newfoundlands, though not always!

Great Pyrenees vs Newfoundland: Appearance

Biggest Dog Breeds: Newfoundland
Newfoundlands have shorter, boxier snouts than Great Pyrenees dogs.

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Newfoundlands have slightly shorter, boxier snouts than Great Pyrs. They also have ears that appear larger and sit forward on the face, while Great Pyrenees dogs have tiny, triangular ears that can almost blend into their fur!

Speaking of fur, these breeds have different coat colors as well.

According to breed standard, Newfoundlands can be any of the following colors:

  • Black
  • Brown
  • Grey
  • White and black

Great Pyrenees dogs can only be white with markings that are tan, grey, badger, or reddish-brown in color.

Great Pyrenees vs Newfoundland: Lifespan

Newfoundlands live 8-10 years on average, while Great Pyrenees dogs typically live 10-12 years. This means that most Great Pyrs will live longer lives than most Newfoundlands.

However, this isn’t an absolute guarantee. Some dogs, unfortunately, will live below their expected lifespan, while others will surpass it by many years. Genetics, veterinary care, diet, exercise, and daily care all play a part in how long your dog will live.

Great Pyrenees vs Newfoundland: Temperament

Great Pyrenees dog outdoor portrait against sky
Great Pyrenees dogs tend to be less affectionate with strangers than Newfoundlands, who think of everyone as a friend.

everydoghasastory/Shutterstock.com

Both of these dogs have very strong guarding instincts. They are alert and ready to protect, just like they were bred to do. However, Newfoundlands tend to be a lot friendlier with strangers. This extends to strange dogs and children.

Great Pyrs tend to take time to warm up to strangers. They’re less adaptable than Newfoundlands, but once they know their family has accepted someone, they’ll learn to love them too!

With family, both breeds are incredibly affectionate and maybe even clingy. It’s important that you don’t adopt these dogs unless you have time for them. They do best in a family where someone is home most of the day.

However, you should also teach your dog how to be comfortable alone for short periods. This will lessen their chances of developing separation anxiety.

Great Pyrenees vs Newfoundland: Drooling Level

Great Pyrenees dogs are moderate droolers. You’ll notice this the most around their food and water bowls, at your feet when they’re begging for a biscuit, and where they sleep.

Newfoundlands have the tendency to drool everywhere. You’ll have to wipe up after them and keep their face clean. Some days it might feel like you should just follow them around with a mop!

Great Pyrenees vs Newfoundland: Barking Level

Black and white Newfoundland
A Newfoundland typically barks only to alert, making them less prone to excessive barking behaviors.

Pandas/Shutterstock.com

Great Pyrs are moderate barkers. They don’t tend to bark excessively but can if they’re not given proper care and training.

Newfoundlands tend to bark when they see something of note, like a stranger approaching the house—or the mail carrier they see every day!

If your dog barks excessively, try prevention before training. This includes ensuring your pup has had enough exercise, mental stimulation, and attention. Remember that these dogs don’t like being left alone for long periods and may act up while you’re away, especially if they’ve developed separation anxiety.

Once you’ve eliminated these causes, some basic training is in order. Teach your dog the “speak” command, then use it to teach “quiet.”

Start with a controlled setting where you’ve told your dog to speak, then move to more difficult sessions. As with all training, you want to set your dog up for success—so don’t repeat “quiet” over and over as they bark, but instead wait for them to stop before rewarding that behavior.

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