Newfoundland Dog Size Comparison: Are These the Largest Breed?

newfoundland dog in field
© Reba Spike / unsplash

Written by Megan Martin

Published: November 20, 2021

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newfoundland dog size comparison: golden retriever german shepard great dane
Newfoundland dogs are known for their length and weight rather than their height!

While the Newfoundland dog may not be the biggest breed around, there’s no denying that these gentle giants are just that: giant! And this Newfoundland dog size comparison will show you just how true that is by pitting them against Great Danes, golden retrievers, German shepherds, and even you!

Known for their affection, intelligence, and size, Newfoundland dogs got their start as working dogs and have been around as an official breed since 1886! They’ve also been ranked Top 50 of the most popular dog breeds for the past 13 years. But do you know just how big these lovable giants are?

How Big is a Newfoundland Dog?

Types of Big Dogs; Newfoundland dog

Newfoundland dogs can thank some of their size for their thick fur designed for water.


Just a quick glance shows that it’s not surprising that the Newfoundland dog is one of the largest dog breeds around. After all, as if their size alone wasn’t large enough, they look like a lion with their thick mane and fur!

Both male and female Newfoundland dogs, also called a Newf or Newfie, can reach a shoulder height of 28 inches. Not sure how tall that is? It’s around 2 and a half feet and just a few inches off the standard height of most kitchen counters! This means that with their head included, your Newfie may just be able to watch you cook. Newfies are known for being longer than they are tall, however.

Male Newfoundland dogs can weigh up to 170 pounds, while females are more likely to weigh anywhere from 120 to 140 pounds. However, it’s not uncommon to also find a Newfie as light as 100 pounds or as heavy as 180 pounds depending on their age and genetics. 

At 260 pounds, the largest Newfoundland dog ever recorded nearly doubled the weight of the average human. And, with a snout to tail length of 6 feet, they’re also around half a foot longer than the average human height – a difference almost the same as an iPhone screen!

Despite their large size, though, the American Kennel Club has these giant giants down as some of the most affectionate dogs around. The breed overall is known for being great with families and other pets, even earning the nickname of “nanny dog”. Of course, any dog as large as the Newfie will come with unique challenges as a pet, if only because of their size compared to humans!

Human Vs. Newfoundland Dog Size Comparison

newfoundland dog size comparison: golden retriever german shepard great dane
Newfoundland dogs can be taller than a human when standing on their hindlegs!

Wondering just how you would size up to these giant giants?

At 28 inches at the shoulders, Newfoundland dogs are around the same height as a one-year-old baby. However, since they can grow to be nearly 6 feet long, they’re much taller on their hind legs. In fact, since the global average human height is around 5’4”, there’s a good chance the Newfie could see right over your head!

Weightwise, a male Newfie at their maximum weight is around the same as the average adult American. However, if you were to place that same Newfoundland dog on the scale with the average three-year-old, it would take nearly 6 children to weigh the same as him – an entire pre-kindergarten class!

As for their paws, it can take big feet to support such a big dog. In fact, you may just find that Newfoundland’s paws are the size of your hand! If you’re younger, they may even be larger. They have strong, powerful paws with webbing between their toes that helps them swim. 

Great Dane Vs. Newfoundland Size Comparison

Biggest Dog Breeds: Great Dane

Although one of the biggest dog breeds, Great Danes are known for being gentle.

©Jose Arcos Aguilar/

Both the Newfoundland and the Great Dane are regarded as some of the largest dog breeds, but it’s for different reasons. After all, side by side, a Newfie looks much smaller than a Great Dane!

Really, though, there’s only a difference of around 4 inches – the same as a credit card. Where the Newfoundland dog stands at a shoulder height of around 28 inches, the Great Dane stands at 32”. However, when you take into account the Great Dane’s head and ears, the difference seems much greater. 

However, the Great Dane only beats the Newfoundland in terms of height and weight. Newfies are often longer and bulkier than Great Danes. With lengths up to 6 feet and a dual-layer coat of fur, a Newfoundland dog’s claim to size fame comes from these parts of their size. The Great Dane still has the vertical advantage, though.

Golden Retriever Vs. Newfoundland Dog Size

Types of Retriever Dogs

Although Golden Retrievers aren’t the largest, they are among the top 3 most popular dogs in the U.S.

© Consaul

The golden retriever and the Newfoundland have many things in common. Both of these breeds can make amazing family pets thanks to their naturally happy and docile disposition, and both even have webbed paws. However, when it comes to size, a side-by-side comparison will show that the Newfoundland is a clear winner. 

At 24 inches tall, the tallest golden retriever is still an inch shorter than the smallest Newfoundland dog, and five inches shorter than the tallest – an ink pen of a difference. There’s also a 15-pound difference between the largest goldie and smallest Newfoundland dog.  

However, at the Newfie’s largest, they can be as much as two times the weight of even the largest male golden retriever, who only grows to be around 75 pounds. Can you imagine needing two goldies to balance the scale with these gentle giants?

From snout to tail, goldies average around 42”, which is about three and a half feet. The largest Newfoundland dogs can also nearly double this size, with some records showing them to be 6 feet long. 

German Shepherd Vs. Newfoundland Size Comparison

German shepherd sitting outside with head tilt

Even with those attentive ears, German shepherds aren’t larger than the Newfoundland dog!


The largest German shepherds can grow to a height of 26 inches at the shoulder. With a female Newfoundland’s dog height being a minimum of 25 inches, there’s the smallest possibility that a German shepherd could be taller.

However, at their largest, the Newfoundland dog’s shoulder height is three inches taller than the largest male shepherd. While this difference is only around the same size as a crayon, it can make a difference once you consider these dogs’ heads and ears as well.

German shepherds range from 49 to 88 pounds, around the same as a boxing bag. This means that even the largest German shepherd is still around 10 pounds – an average pumpkin – lighter than the smallest Newfoundland dog.

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About the Author

Megan is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is birds, felines, and sharks. She has been researching and writing about animals for four years, and she holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with minors in biology and professional and technical writing from Wingate University, which she earned in 2022. A resident of North Carolina, Megan is an avid birdwatcher that enjoys spending time with her cats and exploring local zoological parks with her husband.

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